Photo Credit: samanthabrick.com
Poor Samantha Brick is the victim of winning the gene pool lottery of stereotypical cultural beauty. So of course she used her power and influence to write an article about how women should stop measuring their worth on whether or not men think we’re attractive, and how we need to widen our definition of beauty until we can see beauty in every body and every face.
Just kidding! She wrote an article talking about all the things that men do for her (paying for cabs, waiving her bar tab, buying her champagne) all because her “pleasing appearance and pretty smile made their day,” and how unfair it is that other women hate her for it.
She laments, “And it is not just jealous wives who have frozen me out of their lives. Insecure female bosses have also barred me from promotions at work. And most poignantly of all, not one girlfriend has ever asked me to be her bridesmaid. You’d think we women would applaud each other for taking pride in our appearances…Unfortunately women find nothing more annoying than someone else being the most attractive girl in a room.”
I’m a woman who finds people who care who the most attractive woman in the room is far more annoying than someone else being the most attractive girl in the room. I also think it would be great if we applauded women for something other than their appearances.
Now, I’m far from the stereotype of beauty in my culture so I suppose that I could be accused of being bitter. Except that I’m certain I’m beautiful and if other people aren’t able to see that, I think that’s sad for them but has nothing to do with me. This week, I too had a cab driver waive my fare (he said I was “beautiful and a privilege to be around”) and a bartender waive my tab with a wink. A man even followed me three blocks from a photo shoot I was doing for The Adipositivity Project to ask for my number. Turns out that boys do make passes at girls with fat asses! Plus: I never have to worry that they’ll stop finding me attractive if I get fat. But let’s keep our eye on the ball -- these interactions don’t make me more or less attractive or valuable than I was in the first place.
I think it’s incredibly unfortunate that women are encouraged to determine our value based on whether men want to have sex with us. It gives far too much power to men, and far too much power to the multi-billion dollar diet and beauty industries who promise that they can make us more valuable for a fee (when in reality they are buying our self-esteem, cheapening it and selling it back to us at a profit.)
Let’s move past this. Challenge yourself to find something beautiful about every person you see (including yourself), and challenge yourself to think of compliments that are not about appearance. There’s an old adage that says, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. When the beholder doesn’t see beauty in every woman, the eye is just too narrow!