Why Am I So Ugly? Because Ugliness Has Major Perks
Looking good has always been a big deal, and appearance is especially important in today's society. We're constantly presented with articles, advertisements, treatments, tutorials, movies, shows, and books that encourage us, either directly or indirectly, to look a certain way.
When you stop to think about it, you'll quickly realize that the "ideal appearance" varies significantly. Heck, the only thing all these differing ideals have in common is the fact that they don't mirror your own appearance. Yet still these standards of beauty get to people.
I know this. I know this for a fact. We all do, right? Why else would image-based advertising be effective? Why else would we buy magazines and books filled with beauty tips? And why else would thousands of people type "I am ugly" and "Why am I so ugly" into Google each month (because literally thousands do)?
Let's accept the fact that society's beauty standards get to us. But let's also consider the fact that we might not want to adhere to them. Why? Because being really, really, ridiculously good looking has major downsides. I'll touch on some of them below, and I bet you can think of many more.
C'mon, people. Let's revel in our mediocre appearance.
What about you?
Do you find really attractive people to be intimidating?
Gorgeous People Can Be Intimidating
Have you ever avoided talking with someone because they're drop dead gorgeous? I know I have! I rather enjoy drooling over beautiful people from afar, but I don't usually make a point of talking to them. This makes me a silly coward, but I am most certainly not alone.
It's an unfortunate thing, isn't it? I love it when complete strangers strike up conversations with me, and I don't know if so many people would do so if they didn't find me accessible and approachable (which is a nice way of saying I don't appear to be "out of their league").
So while you might sometimes watch gorgeous people sail by with a certain amount of fearful jealousy, keep in mind that it might be preferable to be viewed with friendly interest as opposed to a mixture of admiration and jealousy.
Gorgeous Folks Can Stress People Out
Beyond being intimidating, beautiful people can literally stress others out.
In a 2010 University of Valencia study, it was found that men left alone in a room with a young attractive woman experienced raised levels of cortisol, the body's stress hormone.
While exposure to cortisol is not bad over short periods of time, chronic exposure can worsen conditions like heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and impotency. So hey- gorgeous people might be so intimidating that they're actually making their intimidated buddies sick with stress.
Ok... maybe I'm stretching things a little, but it's still worth noting that being around folks who you consider to be out of your league is stressful. And I don't know about you, but I'd prefer to have buddies who are not stressed out while in my presence.
Being Attractive is Stressful
Keeping up appearances, whatever those appearances may be (happiness, wealth, sanity...), is stressful, but it's even worse when that "appearance" is physical. If you're known for being beautiful, people will notice when you look like crap. They'll hold you accountable. And that's a total drag.
One major perk of being just moderately pretty, normal, or even unattractive, is an ability to get away with appearing however you please. If you aren't known for looking a certain way, you don't have to worry about checking yourself in the mirror every couple of hours. You don't have to always dress tastefully or make sure your brows are plucked. If you want to throw on that chartreuse muumuu, you TOTALLY can! DO YOU REALIZE HOW FANTASTIC THAT IS???
Chances are you take your average appearance (and the freedom that comes with it) for granted. Stop that. It's silly.
Looks Don't Last Forever
There's no sense in arguing that being very attractive does not have its perks. Beauty brings with it popularity, friends, free drinks, special treatment, and sometimes even great fame.
The problem with these perks is that they're fleeting. Unless you're Helen Mirren, your good looks will fade, and all that special attention may seep away, too (unless you're on the ball and establish a non-appearance based escape skill/trait). No amount of plastic surgery or witchcraft can save you from this unfortunate fate.
While unattractive people are forced to develop something else that makes them worth hanging out with (wit, wealth, amazing fire breathing skills, power, physical prowess, undeniably compelling pheromones...), they do not have to worry about these hooks decaying over time. More often than not, the traits that give them social clout are more likely to gain strength and worth with time.
So before you curse fate for giving you a normal face and body, ask yourself this: Would you prefer to have an asset that appreciates or depreciates over time?
Do You Really Want Appearance to Be Your Legacy?
What is your life's purpose? What do you want people to remember about you after you bite the dust?
I don't know about you, but I'd like to be remembered for something aside from my appearance. "Oh yeah, Simone... she was that crazy woman who used to shoot at kids with animal tranquilizers, right?" is so much cooler than "Oh yeah, Simone... she was really hot, wasn't she?"
Seriously though- it's almost an insult to be remembered for your physical appearance. I acknowledge the fact that being beautiful does take a lot of work, but despite one's efforts, all the credit beautiful folks get goes to their body parts; not their personalities, not their feats of strength or wit, and not their significant achievements. That's dreadfully disappointing.
Even while still alive, many gorgeous people are not given due credit for their actual skills. Take famously good looking actors as an example. Often typecast as token heartthrobs, they have difficulty developing reputations as serious performers (many succeed, but with no small amount of difficulty).
Isn't it nice that us Normals get to speak for ourselves when it comes to legacy-making? I think so.
Beauty is Always an Option
If you're still not satisfied with being average or below average-looking, consider this: If you need to, you can look exceedingly good. Anyone, if properly lit and styled by a team of professionals, can be made beautiful. We have the technology.
If you're not gorgeous by default, you have the privilege of turning to attractiveness as a sometimes activity. If you want to look good, you can. But you are also free to be judged by the content of your character. You have the best of both worlds.
There's No Pleasing Everyone
Besides having some serious drawbacks (only a few of which I've outlined above), beauty in itself is a flawed goal to pursue. Attempting to be gorgeous is just about as practical as attempting to find the end of a rainbow. There simply is no pleasing everyone, and there is no true success. No matter how attractive you may become, you will always have flaws and insecurities, and you will always be ugly to someone.
On the flip side, no matter what you look like, someone will find you attractive. That's just how beauty works. It's a subjective thing.
So why continually attempt to grasp at straws? Why not just accept the fact that you were given a certain body and make the most of it? So long as you're healthy and happy, I say you've won.
The truth is this: No matter how closely you conform with modern standards of beauty, you'll be truly radient so long as you flaunt what you've got.