The first thing we notice whenever we meet someone is their appearance; their facial features, their hair style, their make-up (if any), and their complexion. All of these characteristics combined together determine whether or not we find that person physically appealing. So much pressure is put on men as well as women nowadays to conform to what society deems as handsome and/or beautiful in order to get noticed. Why? Because beauty implies having access to the best of the best in terms of friends, lovers, and careers. Beauty implies receiving special treatment, being judged more favorably in spite of the circumstances, and attaining power and status quickly… all based on looks.
But really, is that not all just a bunch of clichés?
When the cute and cuddly 15-year-old Paris Jackson, the daughter of deceased pop rock musician Michael Jackson, confessed to being a victim of bullying in school as one of her reasons for attempting suicide, one would assume this beautiful young woman would have no struggles in her life thanks to a good gene pool mixture. The notion of someone as gorgeous as this little girl breaking down from being the target of ridicule is absolutely preposterous to think of as real, since it would appear that her beauty would be enough on its own to keep her immune from such psychological torment. Or better yet, an attractive young lady like her could pull off acquiring the largest support system of friends with ease, eagerly willing to throw themselves on the front line for her to fight against any adversity that comes her way. Or what about the fact that she is extremely beauty; who in their right mind would believe the notion of a beautiful girl like her would ever be a bullied victim?
Unfortunately, this notion is real, and believable. Those clichés are without a doubt debunked. Contrary to popular belief, beauty does not always have the benefits of favoritism.
Norma Jeane Mortenson, famously known as Marilyn Monroe, was named one of the most beautiful actresses in American culture in the 1950’s. The public envied her gorgeous blonde locks, her charming personality, and voluptuous curves, all of which catapulted her to becoming one of the biggest sex symbols during this era. She managed to charm three highly desirable husbands most women could only dream of marrying, and also managed to drive these desirable husbands away. Little did anyone know what was really underneath that enduring smile of hers; a tortured soul with a tortured past. With all the world at her feet and more, it’s safe to say even her beauty wasn’t sufficient enough to save her from the demons that drove her to an early grave…
On an even more grizzlier stereotyping scale, assuming the best in a person based on their looks has been known in the past to be a “deadly” mistake. Anna Marie Hahn, nicknamed “The Beautiful Blonde” serial killer by the press in the mid 1930’s, had a pleasant appearance and the sweetest most comforting smile that any of her elderly victims had ever seen before. Her charming demeanor added to her beauty, which is what she used to her malicious advantage when offering to care for the generous elderly men on their death beds. These dying elderly men in turn compensated her for her services by means of a financial inheritance after their deaths. Anna claimed to be a nurse, although she had no formal training, and also dubbed herself as “an angel of mercy”, claiming it was her duty to poison these elderly men in order to speed up the process of their natural death. By the time it was all said and done, Anna had murdered fifteen elderly men, whom died in agony from being induced with four different types of poisons, mainly being large quantities of arsenic and croton oil.
The truth of the matter is: beauty holds no real value in society. Even beauty has its inner psychological struggles. It has its relationship problems. It has its self-esteem issues. Beauty is a byproduct of what we take for granted. We live in a world today where people are quick to judge a book by its cover but slow to listen closely to what those words inside are really trying to tell us…
©2013 Learus Ohnine