This past weekend, I went out with a group of girlfriends. From the moment we got to the bars, until the second we went home, I noticed something. There was always a guy talking to my friend Marissa. Drunk, sober, short, tall, handsome, cave troll, whatever — it was constant. There was practically a line of guys scoping her out, and when one would leave, the next would swoop in to talk to her. When we’d leave one bar, whichever lucky guy had her attention would rally his friends in an attempt to come with us — to come with her — to the next. And this was hardly a one-night occurrence. Guys love Marissa. And it’s not because they saw her making a crowd laugh, or because they heard her solving mathematical equations. It’s not because she seems career-driven, and it’s not because she’s sweet. Marissa is beautiful. Really, really beautiful. She is thin, and she is blonde, and she has big boobs, and she is beautiful.
A lot of other girls at those bars were pretty. Most of them were average-looking. Some of them were ugly. But only a few were beautiful.
Beautiful people — and yes, beautiful women — are physically and aesthetically exceptional, and to be exceptional, they have to be the exception. Simple as that. While I believe that everyone should feel comfortable, confident, and happy in their own skin, to say that everyone is beautiful is simply not true. Frankly, I’m sick of journalists, big corporations, social media users, and society as a whole telling this lie that nobody really believes. You see someone unattractive, and you don’t suddenly think they’re attractive because it’s the polite thing to believe. But you say they are, and you share the links of heavy-set women in bikinis, and you comment on a bullied person’s viral Facebook post and tell them they’re gorgeous, because it makes you feel good about yourself. But no matter how many times you say it, these people are still having harder times than others finding love and finding kindness in a cruel, beauty-obsessed world, because your words aren’t true.
Forcing us to declare everyone beautiful and flawless doesn’t fix the problem. It simply furthers society’s obsession with beauty. No headline has ever read “every woman is funny.” Nobody out there is claiming that everyone is smart. There are no campaigns implying that simply being female makes you, ambitious, or inspiring, or athletic, or creative, or gentle, or honest, or kind. Because not everybody is. Nobody is all of those things. The focus is on beauty, because underneath it all, we’re still saying that beauty matters the most and we don’t want anyone’s feelings to get hurt if they don’t measure up. So rather than say “beauty doesn’t matter,” we say “everyone is beautiful.” And we feel better about ourselves, but everything is the same.
Not everyone is beautiful, and there will never be a point in time that everybody is, because if it were true, “beauty” wouldn’t even be a word. But I suppose in this everybody-gets-a-trophy world, it’s far worse to be honest than polite..
Image via Shutterstock