Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.

Did you know that Mercury has been in retrograde for the past twenty-four days, and that phenomenon is associated with a lack of energy and sluggishness?  Me either.  But it has, so perhaps that explains things a little.  I just assumed I was having a raging case of PMS.

Speaking of raging cases of PMS, the internet has been all abuzz lately, about women complaining about being too pretty, and about pregnant women being too fat, as well as the usual chatter about women being too thin and the subsequent speculation about eating disorders.  Enough already. 

I read this article, about the downside of being pretty, but I have not yet, and I will not, read all of the vitriolic backlash to it.  The whole thing makes me feel sad.  For one thing, I have NEVER had a pilot send me a bottle of champagne on a flight.  Dammit.  Mostly, though, I felt sad because the author is 41.  I don’t doubt that she has had issues with jealousy and mean-spiritedness.  If you don’t believe that woman-to-woman meanness exists, then you have never been a cute 21 year old in a C-cup working as a summer student for an oil company whose employees consist solely of “old boys” and female secretaries.  However, I would like to think that as we age our personalities also develop to the point that looks are secondary and that by age 41, even the most beautiful women have friends.  The fact that the author is still complaining about all the backlash to her gorgeousness makes me suspect that perhaps her personality has not evolved past the “Don’t you think I’m pretty?” stage. 

However, I don’t know her, so I can’t comment on her personality.  I do know this: looks do matter, in society.  We like to say that they don’t but they do.  They matter a lot in different ways – not just in the “men send me wine at restaurants and pay for my cab fare” way, but in that being beautiful can affect one’s personality.  I wonder if that is what has happened with this woman.  A sense of entitlement and the “don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” attitude can make for an unpleasant person.

The author says “So now I’m 41 and probably one of very few women entering her fifth decade welcoming the decline of my looks. I can’t wait for the wrinkles and the grey hair that will help me blend into the background.  Perhaps then the sisterhood will finally stop judging me so harshly on what I look like, and instead accept me for who I am.”  I can’t help but feel the obnoxiousness of that.  I have many beautiful friends.  I have never judged them harshly based on their looks.  I have never thought of them of anything but beautiful, kind, smart women.  But perhaps if they told me that they were looking forward to wrinkles and grey hair so that they wouldn’t be so beautiful, perhaps they would not be the sort of women I would want to be around.  OMG!  I can’t wait to get ugly! 

What I’m saying is, perhaps it isn’t this woman’s appearance that is leaving her isolated from the female community.

Speaking of the female community, apparently Jessica Simpson is pregnant, and apparently she is looking pregnant.  Good for her!  Live it up, is my motto.  My whole life, I have thought about my weight and thought about my calorie intake and my calorie expenditure, and I’ve said no to brownies and no to chips and I’ve looked at the scale critically and I’ve thought about my pant size and I’ve worried about my cellulite and when I was pregnant I thought NO MORE!  I ate and ate and ate.  It was such a relief.  I wore maternity pants when I was thirteen weeks along and I loved every second of it.  I looked like this:

and that was just when I was only eight months along.  I gained double the recommended weight.  That was part of the joy of being pregnant.  Sure, I had to watch what I ate afterwards, and sure, it was kind of hard moving around because I could only waddle, but I. Was. Pregnant. 

So Jessica Simpson is too fat, and Angelina Jolie, Kate Middleton, and that woman from Modern Family are too thin.  First of all, don’t talk smack about Kate Middleton.  She is fabulous, and I will throw down for her.  But second of all, when we criticize women for being too thin, we do just as much disservice to the female community as when we criticize women for being too fat.  We don’t KNOW these people.  At least, I don’t.  If you know Kate Middleton, could you introduce me?  But we don’t know them, we don’t know what their lives are like, no matter what the media speculates.  We don’t know if they are thin because their lives are so hectic that they forget to eat.  Angelina Jolie has practically a baseball team of children; sure, she probably has nannies and everything, but she’s probably pretty busy too.  When I had a one and a half year old toddler and a colicky newborn, and both my toddler and my husband both were ill with the Norwalk virus, I ended up losing all my excess baby weight because I essentially didn’t sleep or eat and had a nervous breakdown.  That was an effective, if disturbing, weight loss program. 

There is speculation about eating disorders, when a woman is so thin.  Does this mean we should mock them?  Should we ostracize them for having what amounts to a mental illness?  Of course not.  Real women have curves! we say, but really, real women come in all shapes and sizes.  Real women are all women.  My friend Eryn wrote a great postissues with food, for their beauty or their lack thereof.

While I did not like the “Downside of Being Pretty” article, and while I did not get a good feeling in terms of that woman’s personality, I also strongly dislike the backlash against her.  I hate that there is discussion of a pregnant Jessica Simpson being too fat, I hate that there is media hype around celebrities being too thin.  The only solution is for us women to STOP IT.  Stop beating ourselves up about our looks.  Stop beating up other women because of their looks.  Let’s be better than that.


  1. I’m pretty sure Mercury teamed up with my PMS for a smackdown on my body.

    I read the article about the woman who was too pretty. For the record, I thought she was pretty but not spectacularly so. I have a friend who is ridiculously gorgeous. The no make-up, just brushes her hair but can stop traffic looks. She’s (a) never been given a bottle of champagne on a flight and (b) has plenty of girlfriends because she’s NICE. And also she’s not out there writing Woe Is Me articles about being too pretty.

    • If you’re 41 and you STILL don’t have any friends, I’m thinking it’s maybe not your stunning beauty that drives people away…

  2. I didn’t read the whole article because I just couldn’t. I wouldn’t spend that much time with a “don’t hate me because I’m so damned attractive” person in real life, I can’t be arsed to spend it with their words online.

    I don’t agree with all the shaming and the “she’s not so pretty really” comments… I read an article somewhere last night that basically blamed The Daily Mail for setting her up because they knew it would create controversy, thus driving page hits. I have to think there’s some truth to that. I can’t comment on her attractiveness or lack thereof – she’s not my type – but based on her willingness to look like a total berk not once but twice I’ve got to think she’s not all that smart or self-aware. I also question her self-esteem, which it would seem is badly damaged to the point where she mistakes this exploitation for legitimate compliments about her appearance.

  3. “That was an effective, if disturbing, weight loss program.” HA!

    I lost 40 lbs. in two weeks after my first pregnancy, and people complimented me. My secret? Undiagnosed PPD! AWESOME.

  4. I love: “What I’m saying is, perhaps it isn’t this woman’s appearance that is leaving her isolated from the female community.”

  5. It’s a thorny issue. People are never going to stop discussing how other people look – it’s the first thing you see, after all. When I comment on female movie or tv stars looking thin, it’s only ever out of concern – there’s a point at which arms look so thin and brittle that it’s not only unattractive (which my fat jiggly arms also are, I’m not afraid to admit it), it looks like it can’t possibly be healthy. But I don’t talk about it a lot, and I’m not writing letters to them about it.

    I found the ‘don’t hate me’ article baffling. She’s certainly attractive enough, and blonde, and, as Ayelet Waldman said on Twitter “men will fuck a porcupine if it’s wearing a blonde wig”, but I have friends who I think are more beautiful than her and we don’t tend to get mobbed by men throwing champagne or flowers or marriage proposals at them when we’re out. And, while I might feel the occasional pang at being less attractive than some of my friends, I can honestly say I have never, ever hated one of them for it. She said in the follow-up article something about U.S. women being more open-minded about this kind of thing, and if Angelina Jolie said the same thing about herself everyone would have agreed. But it’s not true. Because no one likes someone bemoaning their horrible fate as a too-attractive woman.

  6. I’m not going to make fun of Jessica Simpson’s weight because I’m still laughing at her for not knowing that tuna fish is FISH.

    When I parodied Brick’s article I purposely avoided commenting on her appearance, because I wanted to underscore that a grown woman who believes her appearance is 100% behind her personal and professional failings is a nutter. Also: she is completely without humour. I could put up with her arrogance and self-delusion if she was funny. But she’s not.

  7. When did it change? Do you think our foremothers, who traversed the fruited plain in howling winds, sailed across the Atlantic with newborns and toddlers, or scraped a living out of a virgin forest cared as much as we do about their appearance? Sure, they might have thought that some women were more “comely” than others, but I suspect that weight had more to do with enough food to eat, or not, than attractiveness, per se.

    I know why I am fat: I eat too much and I don’t move enough. But I get really tired of the “fat girl is mad b/c there aren’t good donuts” trope in the entertainment industry. Let people be.

  8. YES. YES. YES!!!
    I’ve lost a tremendous amount of weight. I’m tettering close to 20 pound loss and I was 123lbs before this gallbladder thing started.
    I’m 5’5.
    So can you imagine the stares I get?
    People are rude. I’ve had family and friends and even an ultrasound tech say that I’m too skinny and it’s gross even.
    The ultrasound tech went further and said “It’s worse to be this skinny than it is to be fat. You need to eat.”
    She seriously said that.
    We are all different. My neice is a pencil but that chick can throw down a 7 course meal without even coming up for air. Does that mean she’s annorexic…
    Bravo for this. Love this.

    • If someone is painfully thin, then more often than not there is something painful going on. Is it socially acceptable to cheerfully talk about someone’s pain and just tell them to “eat more”? Of course not. When I am stressed out I forget to eat, and that’s not a good thing.

  9. I like that Jessica Simpson looks pregnant too. I hate these thin ass celebrities who look like they’ve just swallowed a beach ball and that’s it.

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