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Can Being Too Beautiful Be a Problem?
Ha! Boy, am I kidding. Unless pasty flesh, chronically unbrushed hair, and 2-kids-no-sleep-eye-bags have suddenly come into fashion, being just too beautiful is a problem I can only imagine. And let's be honest, it's a problem I'd be willing to deal with.
So why this topic for a photo essay, and why is it so fascinating? For one thing, hello, these images are just fun to look at. And as the site explains, one of reasons why they share these stories in the first place is "to help people understand what it’s like to be someone else. Day-to-day, the reality, not the fantasy. When you’re good-looking, any stranger can tell that you’ve been fortunate. What rarely comes up — for reasons of intimidation, jealousy, or just the fact that it’s not easy for people to talk about being beautiful — are the complications of that good fortune."
No surprise that many of the beautiful people interviewed admit that their looks have opened doors for them. But what I found most affecting were the many young women who said that people assumed they were stupid or unfriendly because of their looks. I mean, I assumed they were stupid and unfriendly even as their quotes were urging me not to. And here's the line that really got me: "So much of my personal value has been placed on what I look like. It’s sad. Looks don’t last. So as I age, will I lose my value?”
It would be strange, actually, now that I think of it, to be a young person just finding her way in the world, and to not have to figure out her place the way the rest of us do. Not only is she beautiful but she's a model, so her beauty is her profession, and not one likely to thrive as she ages. If she's not careful, she may well find herself at 50 or so with few marketable skills, her main "talent," in the eyes of many, faded away. Put that way, it does seem a bit dismal. Thank goodness for my baby weight and mismanaged eyebrows! Perhaps they played a more important part than I thought in helping me to find my way in the world.
Oprah and Cybill Sheperd talk honestly about beauty and aging.
How different cultures define beauty.
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