Don’t Venerate the Pretty Face

Pretty FaceWhen you take her order at Starbucks, don't give her a complimentary shot of espresso. When she smiles at you in Olive Garden, don't leave a 20 dollar tip. Don't let her cut in line at the DMV (Secretary of State), don't pay her toll on the highway and please, please don't throw your coat on the ground when it rains. But you ask me, "Why not offer appreciation for the ecstasy excited by a nameless beauty?" Fool. You are making it harder on the rest of us. Beauty seems harmless from a distance, yes, but get too close and you will find a ravenous beastie. No, beauty itself is not the terror, nor the direct cause. It is the unregulated idiocy of men that is to blame. What is a girl to think when a smile will earn her more in goods than an hour's wage? In a world where charm is more valuable than wit and garment more honored than words there is little one can do but take advantage. "The rules do not apply to me" becomes their motto.

Be afraid, you who bow before the goddess and offer trinkets for her every glance. Stand in terror for one day she may work for you. She may wonder and complain that you expect the same from her as from everyone else. Through a fierce gaze she will command the world and they will turn against you, you and your unorthodox fairness. You alone, through the piercing stare, will see hollowness and condemn yourself for your former longings. May your best friend never date her, may your boss never hire her. Girls, heaven help you should she move in with you. Flee, run to the hills bags unpacked. Live in the shaft of a volcano if you must, it will be safer. She is a queen without a country, but demands loyalty and service just the same. The world is her kingdom and her solitary gift for all its labor is light reflected off her perfect form. "More than enough" she thinks. She will hate you for mere common courtesy, equality in any respect is step down for her. You will forever clean her dishes, curb her dog, pickup after her parties and still she will hate you for the audacity of sharing her air.

Pity the pretty face. Since she owns the world any kindness is taken for granted. She cannot receive love because everything is already due her. Since she is only respected for her beauty she only respects those who are beautiful. True friendship is unknown for she has not been taught to value anything in herself worth giving away, and she has not the wisdom to discern selfless affection in others. She is unteachable for she already knows the answer to everything: a sultry smile, a tight shirt and just the right perfume. In all things she is stagnant and with every passing year she slowly ages away into everything she hates. There is no life past 40 for the pretty face except to raise more pretty faces to infest the world.

"I will resist her" you think. A noble thought. Beware, she may find you intriguing. Perhaps her soul is not so dim to find reality when it walks up and says, "you're shallow and self-centered." If you capture her attention do not despair, you are but a passing fancy, your depth will soon wear her out. But if you dare I offer this solemn warning; she is trained in nothing else, and I mean nothing else, but the art of captivation. Few can resist captivity for long for all men are weak. While generally dim-witted she is a genius of the senses for she has studied nothing else. With a simple word, gesture, touch, she will send your senses into a comatose state making you dizzy and oh so happy. Her complete lack of general utility proves her expertise here. Had she been forced down a more difficult road to satisfy her needs for food, clothing, etc., she, like every other person, would have adapted. Not the pretty face. With beauty as her solitary tool she has crafted her entire world, she needs nothing else. Nothing, that is, as long as men like you and I venerate.

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  • phew, i’m so glad i’m ugly!
    that was a close one.

    actually just wanted to say you have an amazing writing style. for the first few paragraphs i was debating whether it was you writing or a quotation from a classic. you have a very literary flavor.

    i do hold out a tiny little bit of hope for that kind of person though. i can’t give her up to her fate entirely.

  • Hmmm, yes, I know this all too well. I was captured by one such. Everything has alway been handed to her on a platter, for her beauty and her charisma. She did take kindness for granted, and when it wasn’t given as expected, the end of the world ensued. By favoring them, you give them a disservice.

  • There is a character in the novel, “East of Eden” by Steinbeck who is similar to what you have described above. She captivates and uses any fool who will fall for it and she is plagued by no remorse or regret for her devouring.

    On the other hand, which you included as well, men do play such a role in this “game.” I remember back to high school, times working with other men who at the passing of a beautiful woman would stop everything and at the very least stare and then discuss their findings afterward with their fellow workers. However, this is not to say any one of these women passers-by were the woman you described above, in this case, the male could make any woman that.

    I remember I would never escape the friendly jeering in my direction as I never joined in their momentary bliss. “Why and what for” I always thought to myself. I didn’t know this woman, I would never be actively engaged in a relationship with her, the sight of her alone is what they had, and a fleeting sight at that.

    What mountains of energy and effort have been expelled for the few and fleeting moments of synthetic bliss.

    It reminds me of that oldies song. I’m not sure of the artist or even the exact name of the song, but the main line goes like so, “if you want to be happy for the rest of your life never make a pretty woman your wife, from my personal point of view get an ugly woman to marry you.”

    I was always confused by the lyrics of this song, “but who would intentionally look for an ugly woman to marry?” were my thoughts. I think, however, from what you have said and what I have come to at this point in my life is the fact that the song is really not telling people to marry someone ugly, you’re going to think your wife is pretty, that’s just how it goes, but beauty is not the point or the center of the union. I think “pretty” in the song reflects more on a personality trait you don’t want more than the observation of a physical feature.

    Don’t marry a “pretty” woman, “pretty” as in how you explain above. Like any good wisdom, the song wraps it in parable so any fool can’t come along and use it to his or her own ends. Therefore, the fool will listen to the song and ultimately judge the writer as an idiot, but the wise man will know what they’re talking about when the one hears the other lyrics of the song.

    By the way, I was at the thrift store the other day and I purchased “Jedi Knight, Jedi Academy” for $0.90. I was meant to have it I suppose.

  • I love that song.

  • Stephen F.

    beauty is a curse

  • wendi

    I don’t normally comment, but I want to congratulate you for making a point that so many manage so selectivley forget. I agree with you entirley. I think that the more important aspect of this particular problem is not necessarily the beauty (although that is a large factor), but the abuse of such a gift. Beauty in and of itself is a gift from God, and it is when beauty is used selfishly that it becomes a curse to both the owner and everyone around her.