anniebear here. Our contributor NookieNotes wrote this compelling observation that is heatedly discussed on a regular basis. Her words really resonate with me. You’ll see why in my response later in the article.
Last night, I was having a conversation on beauty with a new friend in town on business. It’s a conversation I’ve had many times, and I was sort of musing on it as I walked to my car. I passed a couple of very pretty women dressed up nicely and looking like they were freezing coming out of the parking ramp. One was saying to the other:
“Really, I can’t imagine being ugly or fat. That would suck. I’m so lucky to have good genes.”
The other agreed.
And indeed, they both had excellent genes.
However, what I heard was not just a comment about their self-perceptions of their looks, but also a statement about their self-esteem.
What I really heard was:
“I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough to make it without my looks making it easier. I’m not charming enough to be loved without my beauty. I’m not interesting enough to be popular without my long legs…”
Let me ask you:
• What happens when beautiful people are not longer “beautiful enough?”
• Do they cease to be worthwhile as human beings?
• Are they no longer desirable because popular culture says they aren’t?
And think not just about your answers. I know the answers of my friends, and I love you for it. That’s part of the reason you are my friends. Think about THEIR answers. Think about your young daughter’s answer, or your niece’s answer, or your sister’s answer, or your mother’s answer…
Or your son’s answer, your brother’s…
This is why I love when people I love think I’m beautiful, but really don’t care one way or another whether a stranger thinks I’m fat or perfect, gorgeous or dog-ugly.
Because what I offer the world is SO MUCH MORE than my meat wrapping.
This is terribly difficult to write and I hope you, my dear readers that come across this will be gentle in your response.
My whole life I have been judged by my meat-wrapping (a hilarious name!). Everyone is judged as such. I have had a different point of view as an admittedly aesthetically pretty, white, blonde girl. It’s embarrassing to admit this directly and I in no way want to come across as arrogant or a humblebrag. As Nookie says-looks are fleeting. Only in my adulthood have I been able to find my own personal value beyond my looks. It’s a daily struggle. In a world here the exterior appearance is seemingly the most important, my looks have always been under constant scrutiny, the first thing anyone notices about me besides my tall height. In turn, I’ve learned to seek this validation from people.
I am guilty of speaking those poisonous thoughts that Nookie overheard those pretty girls speak. I am just as insecure because I know this is temporary. It is an obsession. What will I do after it’s all gone? The BDSM lifestyle has helped me leaps and bounds to see beyond all of it, to see my future more securely and clearly. To see that I have more than my appearance, that I am more.
I believe my life has been easier because of my exterior appearance, but at the same time it has been more difficult. It’s harder to prove to people you have intelligence. It’s embarrassing when people tell me they are “surprised” by my developed personality and quick wit. I’m quick to negate people when they compliment me on something that involves my mental capacity or a good job performance. I dread certain social situations with men. It’s deflating to not get a job because I don’t “look” smart enough.
I have had friends and strangers tell me how “lucky” I am, that I am “blessed.” These people hold beauty to the same high, unattainable standard. These people, though well intentioned are just as superficial as I have been raised to be. It is a fight against the norm. I will struggle to be relevant and retain value when I am older.
I urge you all to help us move beyond this, as I am learning to do.
Nookie is a mostly FemDom-leaning North Carolina kinkster with a wide variety of interests, and a penchant for writing and teaching. She and her work can be found on Fetlife and tumblr.