My colleague searches through the tea bags, looking at them one by one, until she reluctantly settles on green tea. “I don’t want to drink too much tea. It turns your teeth brown.” She explains with a sigh. I sift through the tea bags and offer her a mango and apricot tea bag, but she scrunches her face up in disgust. I’m not even sure it is a herbal tea. It might just be apricot- and mango-flavored tea. I look at my own tea habit. I drink a lot of green tea – because it’s good for you, right? It detoxes you and is loaded in anti-oxidants and helps with weightloss… but it turns your teeth brown. I consider giving up tea. Water would be better.
Then I stop myself.
This happens to me all the time. Someone comes out with a generality about what makes you ugly and I gobble it up and try to change my behavior instantly. Because if I follow all the rules I will be pretty and I must be as pretty as I can be. And yet, what does being pretty get me? Where does being pretty bring me? It gets me compliments at most and I can’t do much with those apart from inflate my fragile ego and then obsess about remaining as attractive or becoming more attractive than I already am.
They say that if you are attractive, you stand a higher chance of being hired. But I do wonder whether being too attractive doesn’t also hinder you in the workspace. After all, a woman is either pretty or smart – she can’t be both. If intelligent words come out of an attractive woman’s mouth, they are so often dismissed by men – but if these same words come from a man or unattractive woman, they are taken seriously. Then pretty women are temptation on legs for all of those defenseless married men – so they don’t want them around and if they must be around, a distance must be maintained, a gruffness in attitude must be adopted to keep them at bay since a single pretty woman must be on the look out for a man. Which leads me to my next bullshit belief about beauty, and that is: the pretty bird catches the man.
Yes, I used to believe this – actually it was worse than that, it was a conviction. I still believe it, but now when I think about it, I can refute it. I was brought up to believe that if I was beautiful and slim, I would find that prince who worshiped me and we would live happily ever after without ever getting bored. Well, that’s the thing with fairytales – they’re nothing more than romantic lies. Love and beauty are not linked in anyway. If you want love, then get happy. Oh, and being beautiful won’t make you happy so you can forget about trying that. To get happy, you have to love yourself for who and what you are, not for the ideal that you could be, or the view that society has of you. You have to love the you who is still there when sound and light has been removed and you can emit no image or sound.
So don’t strive to be beautiful. It will get you nothing but frustration – frustration because you won’t understand why as you get prettier and prettier, nothing else in your life will improve and you will become addicted to compliments.