Things Pretty People Shouldn’t Do

Life is tough for all of us, that we know. We all accept, for the most part, that at certain moments life is just going to be kind of… not that awesome. For everyone. And we’re all allowed our errant moments of complaining and we will indulge each other’s fantasies that the universe is, indeed, pre-destined — and it is destined against us. But if you are beautiful, attractive, lovely, aesthetically pleasing, or any other variant of nice to look at — there are certain things that you just shouldn’t do when in the presence of us general losers. Things you should pay attention to, if you will. And, for your convenience, I’ve compiled an easy-to-follow list of things to just avoid in polite conversation.

Don’t complain about getting hit on. I understand that perhaps, if you struck genetic gold and look totally bang-able even if you stumbled out of your apartment in jeggings and a Snuggie, it might seem like the whole entire world is out to have sex with you at all times. But the truth is, even the most homely of girls will get cat-called and lip-smacked at by the less-than-discerning masses of blue-collar workers and teenage boys. A convenience store attendant calling you “pretty girl?” Yeah, that happens to literal bridge trolls, provided they are in possession of female genitalia. If your complaints are about that kind of attention — join the club. If you’re more referring to the offers of free drinks, leniency on small tickets and fines, and general smiles and compliments from everyone around you–enjoy it while it lasts, and stop complaining about it.

Don’t put up pictures of yourself with captions like “Ughhhh looking so gross today, just woke up!!” Look, you’re not fooling anyone. We all know what we do with pictures of us that we’re actually embarrassed about. We de-tag ourselves with the speed and urgency of a Japanese Bullet Train and judge the living hell out of whatever fake friend dared to present that abomination to the masses with our names attached. We do not put them on our blogs with humblebraggy, faux-self deprecating tags on them. You look good, you’re just wearing sweatpants and have your hair in a messy bun. We get it, you look good ten seconds after you wake up. Go away.

Stop implying you didn’t get jobs because of how beautiful you are. Fine, I’ll accept this actually maybe happens occasionally — you have the unfortunate luck of running into the one person both petty and short-sighted enough not to hire the otherwise most-capable-for-the-job-in-every-way candidate just because they were intimidatingly good-looking. Maybe that happened to you — I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. But if it did, honestly, you dodged a bullet. Would you really want to work for someone like that? No. So stop.

Stop talking about how society is judging/ being mean to you. You know who gets negatively, unfairly judged on their appearance? Burn victims, the physically handicapped, the morbidly obese, the elderly, and many other groups. Not you. If someone is the kind of person who sees a handsome man or beautiful woman and thinks, “They must have an IQ of 84, as God never gives with both hands,” they are both an idiot and the kind of person who makes those judgments about everyone. I’m sure they think all ugly people are criminals and all fat people are compulsive liars… or something along those lines.

Don’t accuse women of not being your friend because of how beautiful you are. Hey, wouldn’t that be so awesome if we could blame our lack of friends on something as simple, concise, and not-our-fault as our physical appearance? Uh, yeah, no. If women consistently don’t want to hang out with you and people constantly accuse you of being vapid or shallow, maybe it’s because you’re really unfortunate to be around because of your incredibly inflated ego and sense of self-importance? And those guy friends that are so awesome to hang out with and non-judgmental? They’re waiting to weasel their way into a friend-bang so they can brag about it for a while and stop having to nod along to your stories. Just so you know.

Here’s the thing: It would be cool if this stuff didn’t matter, it really would. But, unlike what Elmo, Oprah, and the Tumblr community would have you believe, we’re not all beautiful. Sure, we’re all “beautiful” in the abstract sense of the word, but in the scientific-facial-symmetry and babies-smile-at-pictures-of-you-in-weird-studies way, we’re not all equally good looking. And that’s fine! There are many qualities that are way cooler than being attractive, and they aren’t ripped so mercilessly off our faces as we age. But for the time being, when you have that physical beauty, it is an advantage in almost every discernible way. You know this, we know this, everyone knows this. But the thing is — you didn’t do anything to earn your jackpot in the genetic lottery. Those of us — the normal, everyday people — we are very aware of your sheer luck and know how nice it would be if we had it. There’s no need to rub it in everyone’s faces as you find something to complain about. Accept that you got a little leg up, and work on every other quality God didn’t sprinkle over your face at birth. If you can. TC mark

image – Elizabeth Albert

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.


More From Thought Catalog

  • Rebecca

    hear, hear

  • Samie Rose

    I love this. It’s an obvious response to something else on the site, but that’s cool with me.

  • anon

    this. 100% this.

  • GFWRgggtrhtrwhatrdzf

    Have definitely read this article a number of time on TC, not blaming the author, maybe the publisher.



  • Cipher213

    written by a fat girl

  • Rishtopher

    You know what, Chelsea? You’re my favourite. 

    • steph


    • Jenesuispasmorrissey

      Me too

  • Jordana Bevan


  • Sophia

    The humblebragging is just the worst.

  • Shea

    Wanna know what’s fun? Rumors that you’re anorexic because there is “no way you can be that naturally thin” and having all of your guy friends hit on you and make passes. It’s something legitimate to feel hurt toward, you know. Some of these might be legitimate to not whine about, but  sometimes people are cruel.

    • Aimee Vondrak

      I think she was talking about people who complain about how attractive they are. I’m not sure where being thinner than average comes into play here. I’d say that’s a legitimate insecurity.

      • NoSexCity

        … I feel like we’re on different planets. Skinniest = most attractive.

    • NoSexCity

      If they didn’t hate on you for being skinny they’d find something else to nag you about. Get over it, and enjoy those 00’s while you still can.

    • Assirammmmmm

      This happens to me… & that job thing? Legit. I trained for 3 weeks for a job a month ago, didn’t get it, & now the manager was hitting me up this weekend. “Lets make a deal, meet me out and I’ll take care of everything from there…or we can meet up later” ew no…not having sex with you…using you for drinks maybe..maybe…but probably not. & all my friends deaded me last semester because all these guys got a hold of some naked pictures and they were “embarrassed to be associated with that” Erm…excuse me? Sorry all the guys you want that I dont, want me…not my fault.. ugh. Being pretty does suck a lot.sometimes… and then guys underestimating your intelligence/personality. I hate the sheer shock that I get from guys as they get to know me that I’m funny and have a brain… and everyone hitting on you and eyefucking you 247 is very irritating. If I don’t have headphones on in the subway and Penn station its inevitable shit gets whispered in my ear as I walk by. #problems

      • Guest

        would you rather have people looking at you constantly or not at all?

        now shut up.

      • muffin

        As an average-looking person… not at all.

      • Lovely Rita

        You can’t be serious with this. 
        You want to complain about not getting hired for a job because the manager didn’t take you seriously? The fact that you would accept free drinks from him, at all, just validates his judgment. Your friends didn’t ditch you because they’re jealous, they don’t want to be associated with “the girl who takes whore pics”. Yeah, those guys should TOTALLY be taking you seriously in those nude pictures.
        If you’re looking for sympathy, and trying to prove you’re more than just a pretty face, you should carry yourself that way.

    • Na


    • Steph

      Look, have you ever watched When Harry Met Sally?  I would say 95% of the time if you have straight, male friends they will at one point try to hit on you or want to sleep with you.  I’m only marginally attractive and every single one of my straight guy friends has at one point asked me out/tried to sleep with me/admitted to having feelings for me.  Not because I’m flirting with them, not because I’m too pretty it hurts, but because for the most part guys just naturally gravitate sexually towards chicks they’re friends with.

      Get over it.

  • Caroline T

    Oh man, nuff said! This is definitely partially in response to that ding-dong who posted the article “What it’s Like to be a Pretty Girl” a couple of weeks back. I hope she reads it and feels at least a little stupid about writing that.

  • Michael Koh


  • Aimee Vondrak

    Those of us average looking people are going to cheers this, and those readers who are abnormally super-beautiful are going to be mad. So I’ll cheers you. Great article :)

  • ethel

    so, i have some major problems with this. i’m an ex model and therefore considered to be quite “attractive”, judged by society’s bizaare standards. I am super tall, super skinny, have a notable face (notable meaning i don’t find it particularly pretty, but i get that it looks DIFFERENT than most people), and i get a lot of attention whereever I go. People stop me on the street to tell me how pretty I am. Often. (I say this to put my next statement in context, not to brag to anonymous faces. bragging about being pretty when its your job to be pretty is just redundant.)

    I don’t think you understand how alienating that attention can be. I am constantly told that I am different in the most obvious of ways, and how LUCKY I am to not be normal. The reality is, because of all this attention, I feel completely disconnected from my body. I, me, myself, my insides, are normal– my emotions are messy, and confusing, and I feel insecure in the exact same ways you do. But because my body and face is abnormal, whats inside is assumed to be abnormal too. People assume I have no problems, no hurt feelings, no confidence issues. I look different, so I must BE different, BE better. People — especially men who are romantically interested in me — idealize me, and when they realize I am just the same as everyone else, the illusion is shattered, and I am worthless, as I no longer support their fantasy. I have come to resent my body and my face, as it is all I AM to so many people. a precious few are able to be my close friends and not make my looks an issue, but even they, my best friends in the world, get angry when we go out and i get attention. of course they do. it would SUCK to go out with your best friend and just watch as she gets hit on… especially as I am terrified of men and sex after a lifetime of being treated like nothing but a sex object, and have to reject all the offers anyway. no friendship of mine has been unaffected by my looks, let alone my romantic relationships! 

    so honey, I get that this ‘whining’ all comes from a place of innate confidence and self-love (because pretty people must love themselves– everyone else does!), but thats honestly bullshit. the prettiest girls are often the ones who hate themselves the most.

    • ethel

      *I get that YOU THINK this ‘whining’ all comes from a place…
      leaving out integral parts of sentences, not really helpin the pretty people are smart too movement, am I? haha xxx

      • Aja

        I like your attitude.

    • suzy q

      i find it interesting you use the words “different” and “abnormal” to describe your beauty. These are words that describe negative features. You also say that because you look abnormal your insides must be abnormal. I’m not following. Your outsides are beautiful and therefore one would assume you on the inside are too.

      However, I see what you mean that partner would idealize you. But I find the rest of your argument to be worded strangley.

      • suzy q

        *one would assume your beautiful on the inside too

      • ethel

        Thanks for your response and understanding, Suzy. I get how my wording is confusing — I meant that my insides are normal but are often assumed to be different than everyone else’s, because of my looks. My insides are beautiful, but also ugly at times– the same as everyone else. I am human, but I often feel like people expect me to be something different, something like a work of art; beautiful to look at but beyond emotion and insecurity, lifeless. I used the words “abnormal” and “normal” because I hate the idea of describing myself as “pretty” and everyone else as “average” or even “ugly”. Plus the original author kept saying “us normal ones”, and I wanted to point out how alienating that language was. If she is normal, then I am inherently abnormal, with all those negative connotations. 

      • LS

        don’t worry ethel, i have solved your bullshit problem, as i solved it for the author of “eye candy, the burden of beauty” (who for unknown reasons was not receptive to the idea!)
        simply replace your current diet/exercise regimen with remaining completely sedentary
        consume approximately 30 krispy kreme donuts per day, and as many beers in the evening as you can stomach
        and – before you say it – don’t worry about your “fast metabolism”!
        an excess of 8000 calories per day will make ANY human being overweight!
        then you can just “be you” and people will see the “real you”

      • ethel

        oh funny i get it. if i’m complaining about being pretty, just get fat, and then i’ll learn not to complain so much! 

        as if people who are fatter than me can’t be considered beautiful, can’t be sexually objectified, can’t be put in the exact same position i have my entire life? fuck you. ever met a plus size model? they have to deal with the exact same amount of bullshit as I do, probably more. and let me tell you, the essential features of my face and my height wouldn’t change, no matter how much my body did, and I would still be considered beautiful by a shitton of people. in fact, all the people who made fun of me for my skeletal frame, will suddenly come running once i get tits. that’ll really help me feel comfortable in myself and my body.

        atleast “the real me” has some fuckin sensitivity, unlike you. 

      • LS

        so what you are saying is that you are so blessed that you could gorge yourself on 30 krispy kreme donuts per day, drink a case of pilsner every night, become morbidly obese, and people would still bow at your feet?
        wow… yes, you are right, ethel, i am incredibly insensitive, you really are in a tight spot here
        but just for shits, why don’t you try it and then get back to me on what really happens

      • Lala


      • NYUstudent

        Get over it. This is fucking thoughtcatalog not letmepleaseeveryonecatalog

      • Jo

        When I started reading the comments, I understood both perspectives and where each one is coming from. But now, I think as LALA said, you are just jealous

      • guest

        …and you’re just proving the point that some people assume pretty people don’t have the right to complain. So you’re saying that if after she picks up an unhealthy habit and gains weight she still has the same problems, she can complain? Makes A LOT of sense.

      • LS

        you are all correct; i am jealous of people who received (to some degree) a free pass to additional power, money and attention in the genetic roulette game; why wouldn’t i be? anyone who claims not wish they’d been born a bit better looking is a liar. beauty opens doors, increases opportunities. look at your facebook scroll; who has the biggest social networks?

        “pretty people” do have “the right” to complain – just like white people have the right to complain about being white, and thin people have the right to complain about being thin. 100% of non-sociopaths feel insecure and have feelings of self-loathing. but society values certain things and does not value other things. expecting “average people” to be receptive to the image-related complaints of a “beautiful person” is as unrealistic as expecting to be able to visit an abject inner city area, wearing gucci, walk into a bar and have the drunks there nod their heads sympathetically while you tell them how fucking HARD it was to grow up rich, with all of the ANXIETY and people WATCHING you and EXPECTATIONS. ultimately, you look like an ass, and people are going to call you on it.”sometimes pretty girls hate themselves the most”? get real. no, they really do not, and anybody who sincerely thinks so has had a painfully limited number of experiences or is totally incapable of sincere introspection.

      • guest

        Okay, I do get your point. But still, sometimes pretty girls DO hate themselves the most and who’s to say that they are unjust in doing so? Sure, there are much worse problems and you have to know when and who to complain to, but everyone has their struggles.

      • NYUstudent

        Kudos for a well written argument LS. 

      • Shawn

        That analogy is fundamentally flawed. The difference between being a physically beautiful model and wearing a Gucci purse is that YOU CAN TAKE OFF THE GUCCI PURSE AT ANY TIME. Wearing a gucci suit and flashing one’s wealth is in no way the equivalent of being “beautiful”, whatever that means.

        I think you’re missing her point ENTIRELY. Is she taking for granted the advantages of being (what society claims to be) beautiful? No. If you had taken the time to listen to her, you wouldn’t have read “blah blah blah I’m so pretty and life is hard!” and actually read the voice of someone who is misunderstood.

         But what she IS doing is trying to say that “beauty” comes with its own alienation, its own problems, and its own hang-ups. Yes, beauty opens a lot of doors, but not all of those doors lead you to people/situations/places that are healthy for you. It’s not all daisy’s and champagne.

    • EYE
    • Tre

      I constitute as one of the ‘pretty’ girls  I am the height and weight of
      a model and facially beautiful. I however haven’t always been this way,
      as a teenager I was over weight and not seen as one of the ‘pretty’
      people, my best friend was the most sought over girl in my social group,
      when we went out men (boys) naturally gravitated to her and I was more
      often than not over looked, all this has meant is that I had to develop a
      personality as I could not survive on my looks. As I’ve gotten older
      I’ve lost weight and become more attractive,  but through my friend (who
      now consequently has no friends since she never developed a personality
      assuming she could ride through life on her looks) I have learnt that
      sometimes it’s not always best to be the prettiest growing up and even
      now that I am one of them, the constant attention can be unnerving,
      there are days when I wish that I could leave the house without
      attracting anyones attention never mind 75% of the people who I cross
      path with. I am however not complaining it has to be said being pretty
      defiantly does have it’s advantages. It irritates how all the other ‘pretty’ girls on here are moaning about what has been said, that people have misconceived preconceptions based
      upon your looks, get over it. Yes your looks may cause people to
      naturally gravitate towards you but I assure that is not why they stick
      around, and if they’re aren’t sticking around maybe it’s your
      personality that’s putting them off. I have friends of both male and
      female (more male these days) but on the contrary they don’t hang out
      with me because they want to sleep with me (trust me on this, I’ve tried
      to get into one of their pants only to be rejected) they hang out with
      me because of who I am. So yes people will naturally be attracted to you
      (and maybe you are more beautiful than me so maybe they do idolise you)
      but I think maybe you idolise yourself. I think my friends are friends
      with me because they know I’m human with all the hang up that other
      people have despite my beauty. To be perfectly honest, beauty has never
      been an issue with us (apart from with the girl who only ever relied on her looks), maybe because we all learnt early enough that a sparkly
      personality is better than a pretty face.

  • anonymous

    I liked the article: but you should have changed the name into: “Things moderately looking people who think they’re pretty shouldn’t do.”
    seems more fitting, I think the gorgeous people really have to put up with some of this sh*t and some of the almost pretty people wish they were really pretty and could put up with this sh*t, thus complain/brag about it.

    (just imagening the Tumblr girls posting semi-naked pictures from themselves, complaning about themselves, not really the biggest beauties, but oh so good at self portraits ;) )

  • guest
  • Andrew Farr

    Chelsea Fagan, shame on you…

    1. Clearly aimed not at “pretty people” but “pretty women”. C’mon.
    2. All points are equally applicable to insecure individuals anywhere along the spectrum of beauty.

    And making fun of insecure people is kind of fucked up.

  • anony

    What is your issue with women? Get a life, get over your judgments, and get a non-bitchy personality.  Woman bashing is “so junior high.”

  • Amber

    Why is your article titled “Things Pretty People Shouldn’t Do” when you wrote it as if you meant “Things Pretty Women Shouldn’t Do”? It’s almost hilarious how you jump at any chance you get to shame,  devalue, and condescend women. We get it, okay? You hate all females. Try writing about something else, your schtick is getting old.

    • Guy

      True story.

  • cd

    sounds like the complaints of someone who’s always been jealous of the pretty girls.   i understand and respect the implication that pretty women should consider the thoughts/feelings of those less attractive when doing most of these things.  but it’s unfair for the author to ask pretty women to think of those less attractive when she herself seems to be dismissing the feelings of attractive women.  while being unattractive certainly comes with some disadvantages, so does being attractive – it’s stereotypical at best and selfishly malicious at worst to assume that the problems or complaints of “pretty people” aren’t legitimate.  although i do agree with the comment on fake self-deprecating captions to pictures…those really are the worst.

    • muffin


  • AM Santos

    The beauty of an individual still depends on his/her personality. Stop dividing the population between pretty and not-so-pretty. There are no pretty or ugly people in this world. Only judgmental ones.

  • Na

    I’ve been both ugly and pretty (it can happen) and it’s been interesting, to say the least. Having experienced both sides of the coin, I would never dream of writing an article about why it’s hard to be pretty, and I would never trade people buying me free drinks at Starbucks because they think I’m attractive for being told, “You know how ugly you are, right?” 

    And I think that’s where the issue lays with people like Tessah Schoenrock: it seems that when you grow up pretty and know nothing else, you’re in your own little world, complete with delusions of adversity. It’s kind of sad, too, because people like that won’t truly realize the privilege of good looks until they’re gone, and while they do have them they’ll cry about ~society not treating them fairly (which is wildly dramatized by pretty people, as it hardly has any real effect, if at all) instead of just sitting back and enjoying it. 

  • Guest

    what i don’t understand is why anyone would play the victim for having a positive quality such as beauty. if you’re going to play the victim and say how hard it is to have a good quality, such as attractiveness, I don’t care what anyone says, that is just insecurity.  If someone owns their beauty and is secure with themselves, they wouldn’t be complaining about it so much. Obviously there is some type of insecurity taking place..

  • Tayla Dam

    every job i’ve ever had i’ve got based on attraction and my bosses have straight up told me this. i think it’s worse than not being hired.

    • rilez


      • Tayla Dam

        i never said i was attractive, i said i got jobs based on employers being attracted to me. god people on this site will do anything to bring others down

    • guest

      weird you’re not even that pretty

      • Tayla Dam

        i never said i was attractive, i said i got jobs based on employers being attracted to me. god people on this site will do anything to bring others down

    • Guest

      let me’re attractive simply cause you have fake blonde hair, right?
      hehe..hehehe. :)

      • Tayla Dam

        i never said i was attractive, i said i got jobs based on employers being attracted to me. god people on this site will do anything to bring others down

  • Guesttt

    OH MY GOD. Obviously a response to that awful, misguided T.S. “pretty girl” article. Thumbs down, Chelsea, for agreeing it’s about beauty. Tsk, tsk. Thought Catalog is awful.

    • Tyrone

      cool name. Get outta here ya moron.

  • Anonymous
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