Don’t Abuse the Power of Pretty

I’ve met plenty a pretty person, and I think it’s good for beautiful people to have confidence and don’t shirk away from their attractiveness. But there comes a point when knowing you’re pretty can turn into an abusive power.

The type of power abuse I’m referring to is commonly known as a “tease”, “heartbreaker”, or a “flirt”. These have feminine connotations, but I have met a fair share of handsome gentlemen with the same tendencies as beautiful women. These power abusers know they’re beautiful, enjoy it, and like to see others reactions to their beauty. Often times I’ve noticed that it becomes a bit of a game to them, seeing the opposite sex (or same sex queer) squirm. It is an incredibly powerful feeling to not have to do much other than exist and smile to make someone melt. And like all other powerful feelings, it can become addictive.

Look at how many I have on the line!

Look at how many I have on the line!

The opposite is also true of beautiful people; they can also not like to address their beauty or use it per se, because they are embarrassed by the attention or it or would feel entirely too conceited for them to acknowledge it in any way, shape, or form. I used to be this way. And yes, if someone asks me now if I think I am attractive, I say yes. It is an objective quality determined by any number of things including general cultural cues, independent preferences, and moods. But if I think I am an attractive individual, for whatever reason, I shouldn’t be embarrassed to acknowledge it. Anything else would be demeaning. There’s a difference between that and modesty.

Modesty is important. If you do think you’re attractive, don’t make a point of bringing it up to people, or rubbing it in their faces. Such attitude would be what is known as a “sore winner”. Confidence is great, but crossing the bridge into braggart territory is just harmful. The abuse of power I’m talking about is another harmful effect of being a sore winner in the game of beauty.

I had a friend once, who was off and on in a committed relationship with a guy for several years. I thought for sure they were destined to be married (turns out they were, they are now married.) But she would always attract the attention of other people, guys and lesbians alike. When she was single she would flirt and smile and offer her attentions to almost anyone, leading them to believe that she was really on their side and interested. She had many offers to become romantic with these other people, but she always declined and ended up returning to her steady flame. What bothered me most was that even whilst she was taken she would continue the flirting and sending “I’m really interested in you” vibes to these other people that were quite obviously interested in more than just her vague friendship. I told her once that I felt she was leading them on and that it wasn’t very nice. She just looked at me and said, “It’s fun.”

While it was fun for her to see how many callers she could get from both sexes, it wasn’t as fun for the people who thought they had made a genuine connection with her. What a surprise when all that alone time she spent doting on them turned out to be nothing more than a mild entertainment for her. It usually left them confused, upset, and very down on themselves. Being played with like a toy isn’t fun for the person standing in as the “toy”- no matter what Toy Story leads us to believe.

I try to be wary of this. I’ve gained confidence since high school, but I want to be responsible with it. As much as it sucks, beauty is power to an extent. If a guy I don’t feel romantically inclined to or even physically attracted to asks me to do something like sit in his lap or hang out one-on-one in a romantic setting I turn them down. Better to let them know immediately that it’s not what you’re into than to lead them along and play with their emotions. That is just cruel. And you never know, you may be distracting them from opportunities to meet the real person for them.

Taming the Mane

Am I pretty?

Am I pretty?

I’ve noticed a trend in the common world today, straight hair is the equivalent of beauty. I will admit that in my adolescence I watched make-over shows (primarily for the clothing), and in my time as an intern at a women’s magazine the makeovers were all incredibly similar in their styling. Every makeover given on a tv show or for a magazine saw to the flattening of curls. Frizzies were abolished and the women were sent on their way with products to help tame the mane. The shows and magazines are all saying the same thing: to be successful women should be attractive. Well, that’s not entirely wrong in our current clusterfuck of a society.

Women are perceived as more powerful if they know how to inspire arousal. And I do know that some of the shows (What Not to Wear for example) actually get to the core matter in that the issue isn’t attractiveness, it’s confidence. Stacy and Clinton are always saying, “If you feel good about your appearance you’ll feel better about your insides and exude that confidence for everyone to see, including employers, friends, family, and prospective romantic partners.” Or something along those lines.

Confidence is the key point here. Yes, it’s a good idea to look professional on a job interview, but that doesn’t mean you have to rid yourself of personality or the characteristics that make you truly stand out as an individual. More and more I’m viewing a sea of straight-haired beauties wearing ridiculous amounts of make-up to work out and pumps for every other occasion. Soon stilettos will be on treadmills and there will be mandatory waxes and peels for job positions. I may be exaggerating a bit, but I don’t think confidence should be derived from appearances. Women and men alike are being taught daily that sex appeal trumps everything else. (Feel great naked? Of course you feel great, you’re NAKED!)

I think the ultimate confidence is when you don’t have to change your looks to appeal to others. I was born with Shirley Temple hair, and by golly, if it doesn’t frizz up into a wet dog of a mess every time it rains. I still keep it in its natural element, and don’t fret terribly over its dead cell existence. Many a time friends, boyfriends, and family have remarked on how little time it takes me to get ready in the morning or before going out. That’s because I throw on something I’m comfortable in, dab on some make-up for funsies, and I’m out the door in 10 minutes or less. The point of going out into the world is to experience things, not look to see how others are experiencing you. (Or shall I say judging?) Who gives a damn.

In the ridiculous movie Bachelorette, the heavier bride, played by Rebel Wilson, said to her maid of honor (Kirsten Dunst) that everyone thought she was too fat for her soon to be husband. Kirsten Dunst just turns to her and says, “Fuck everyone.” I haven’t been this happy with Kirsten Dunst since Bring it On. Such comments are usually spouted out of a place of jealousy or self-loathing. Giving them any attention just warrants their further usage.

I’m not saying that if you straighten your hair you’re insecure, plenty of women derive confidence from the act among other things and that’s great. But it’s a cheap confidence if it’s obtained through beauty alone. Physical beauty fades, it’s a fact of our decomposing bodies that we don’t remain forever 22, and delaying the process with surgeries and treatments only makes the transition into later life more difficult. Why cling to something that doesn’t offer up anything of substance? Instead, sharpen your minds, eat well, and enjoy the simplicity and chaos that can be life. Rock your straight hair into your eighties if you want, but just realize that no one truly cares. At that age, we’re all on the verge of being forgotten, or forgetful. It won’t matter what’s on top of our heads as much as what’s within it.

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