Sunday, December 21, 2008

Effing Beauty

Pretty people complaining about being pretty is about as ridiculously obnoxious as rich people complaining about having too much money. Or about fat people having too much food.

No one wants to hear it. There are enough ugly people in the world who would kill to have the face of Christy Turlington (or even the face of Rosie O'Donnell for that matter.... It really all depends on perspective). There are enough poor people in the world who would sell their souls for the annual income of a good ol' office assistant. There are enough starving people in the world who would stop at nothing to fill the bellies of their children and themselves.

So I keep trying to convince myself that, when put into perspective, it's completely irresponsible and undiscerning to complain about being pretty.

But I can't help it. No matter how many times I remind myself how fortunate I am to look as I do, I still just might crack should one more guy compliment my pretty face. I might cry. I might drop dead. I might start laughing hysterically, unable to control myself.

Because, as pretty as they may think I am, still not one worth his weight in dirt has wanted to date me. So when they tell me how pretty I am, it is traditionally closely followed up by a reason for which he doesn't care to see me again.

In the past months, I have gotten a good lineup of such reasons. The bullshit work excuse pulls in as the easy first. Incompatibility and other women tie for runner up. But what baffles me is that nearly every time, these reasons are preceded by an even-handed compliment aimed at my looks.

There was @hotinvestmentbanker who told me he thought I was pretty and dynamic, but someone had come back into his life. Then there was @workout.jpg who told me I had an amazing smile, great skin, and, of course, really pretty, but he just wanted to be friends. More recently I've fielded one more “You're so pretty” followed by a “I need to focus on work right now,” and (I swear these were the exact words), “I had a great time tonight. I think our backgrounds may be incompatible. But regardless, you have wonderful bone structure and eyes.” @bonestructure even instant messaged me the next day to tell me how amazing he thought I was, and how confident he was in my future successes as a PR executive.

And this has just been the last few months, not even counting the number of times I've been called “pretty” in the past few years.

Don't get me wrong. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with being complimented on my looks. It's that, after a while, feeling as though my face is the only positive attribute consistently recognized gets old. I want to start being recognized for my fantastic foxtrot and outstanding taste in sweaters for my dog. I want to be complimented for my wit, humor, and heart.

Basically I want someone to see past my appearances and just want me.

What difference does it make if they think I'm pretty if they don't want to see me again?

Granted, if they don't see past my exterior, who's to say I want to see them again anyway?


Janelle said...

hey, some office assistants make a shitload of money.

Jess said...

I know! My intention was to pick a pretty basic, middle class job. Hell, I have thought about aspiring to be an office assistant myself.

Jeff said...

When you go on a first date from now on, you should wear a mask. Not a creepy "The Strangers" mask, but something tasteful-yet-concealing. It closes off the "you're so pretty" discussion pretty handily and will even allow guys to talk about their date with 'Mask Girl' for years and years to come.

Jess said...

I like the way you think, Jeff. Where would you suggest getting such a mask?

Jeff said...

You know, I don't have the first clue. I'm a visionary, not an executor. I think I have a Davy Jones (Bill Nighy, not The Monkees) mask laying around from Halloween '07. I could loan it to you.