This Is The Grief Of Being Born Beautiful

Keagan Henman

By traditional standards, I would be considered beautiful. I have chiseled features, high cheekbones, excellent bone structure and a smile that could light up the night. I receive compliments all the time on my physical beauty followed by admonitions to consider being a fashion model of which I reply humbly “I am a model, a ROLE MODEL”. I usually follow this statement up with a coy yet robust full-toothed smile. This usually garners a smile in kind but I realize that the reason why I do this is so that others won’t think I’m conceited. I do it as a way of tunneling attention away from my looks and onto my winsome personality which is oftentimes overshadowed by my physical appearance.

In hopes of being liked and appreciated for more than just my physical features, I have often times tried to downplay my looks by engaging in charismatic hijinks that demonstrate my ability to be more than just a “pretty face”. I have taken preemptive measures to temper accusations because deep down inside I know that my looks attract controversy. I know that my beauty is a threat to others and often invites the deployment of silent criticisms and secret jealousies. Trying to make my beauty more palatable to others has become a full time job. It is extremely exhausting as there are so many preconceived notions attached to your life when you are a physically beautiful person.

For one you are always thought to be conceited and arrogant. Despite your attempts to be humble and meek, you are always the beneficiary of unsolicited judgements and negative criticisms about your level of self-appreciation. Dare you exude confidence and a healthy level of self-possession you are automatically deemed narcissistic or self-absorbed. Also your honest intentions are constantly assaulted by negative perceptions as the underlying belief about you is that you are a threat who is not to be trusted. You are instantly labeled as a suspect and treated accordingly even by those claiming to be your friends just because of a few well-placed chromosomes.

Also when you are beautiful you are perceived to be lazy. There is this unspoken belief that you have everything handed to you on a silver platter based solely on the merit of your looks. So given this standardized fallacy, no one will approach you. They will deliberately go out of their way to ignore you hoping to be different and consequently gain your attention. They believe that everyone approaches you and that everyone fawns all over you when in reality (considering most people subscribe to this belief), you are ignored on purpose and methodically dismissed.

Also when you are beautiful you will oftentimes struggle with feelings of intense loneliness. It is hard being misunderstood and being a beautiful person in todays crooked and twisted generation where being broken, damaged and a walking sideshow are things to be glorified and esteemed. You will find yourself ostracized from various groups because of how good you look.

You will find that other people will be threatened by you and afraid that you will take attention away from them. What they fear is not necessarily YOU but rather what you represent- the possibility of invisibility and the fear that they will be ignored when juxtaposed next to your beauty. This will cause you to do many things alone. The discomforting thing is that you will be watched, oogled over and scrutinized from a safe distance by interested others. The possibility of meeting someone new will be replaced by the fear of direct contact. You will feel exposed, raw, vulnerable and like a display at a museum. Oftentimes as a result of being exhibited, you will feel dehumanized and suffer from a deep sense of unreality which could potentially create a heightened ego as a defense mechanism to protect you from ego annihilation.

Also when you are beautiful you will always wonder if other people see the REAL you. Either others will be intimidated because of their belief that you are out of their league and completely avoid you altogether or you will be a floral-scented fly strip for narcissistic cretins who only want to use you as a tool to accentuate their own self-image. You will always wonder about other people’s agendas and will question if someone really likes you or sees you as purely ornamental, a trophy to be paraded around in order to increase their own social stature.

When you are beautiful you might also feel compelled to dumb-down your looks. In an effort to be taken seriously and seen as more than just an attractive face, you might wear things that mask your beauty. You might wear baggier clothes or wear no make-up just to get others to see YOU, the real you underneath the well-designed shell. You will self-depreciate and make fun of your flaws and foibles just to make other people feel comfortable, just to get them to accept you.

When you are beautiful others will think you have no right to complain as it is the belief that this world is designed for you. It goes back to the belief that the world falls at your feet simply because of your beautiful genes. Your feelings will be dismissed, devalued, minimized and infantilized and not taken very seriously by others. You will only be seen in relation to someone’s needful desires and never for what you are inside. Sadly it is the unspoken belief that when you are beautiful you are not worthy of respect.

Though being beautiful is a blessing, it can also present as a curse due to the misperceptions associated with being beautiful. Often times the burdensome plight of the beautiful is subjected to sarcasm, doubt and snide remarks as theirs is a burden that is often minimized in comparison to the plight of the less attractive. But trading war stories and comparing painful experiences with the goal of trying to one up and trump another person’s experience never did further our understanding of another person’s reality. Beautiful people have problems too and while it may not be problems others can relate to, it does not make their pain any less valid than that of those who are less attractive. We all need to remember that in our quest to end the reverse lookism and beauty discrimination that colors our world today. TC mark

More From Thought Catalog