Friday, August 14, 2009

The advantages of being not-so-beautiful (or How to console yourself every time you look in the mirror)

Before anything else, let’s establish the fact that I am not beautiful. Or pretty. Or striking. The closest I came was cute, which as we all know is Lord-help-me-you-are-ugly-but-I-don’t-want-to-hurt–your-feelings. I have never scored big in the looks department. When I was a young girl a neighbour commented that unlike my siblings I was “beautiful in a different way”. The fact that she was a husband beating loudmouth didn’t make it any better; I was still differently beautiful. And my siblings aren’t too beautiful/handsome either. My sister and I still laugh over my high school photos, especially the one I took in the NCC uniform. And people keep telling me I look older than I actually am (horrors!), and once when I was twenty-four years old a guy I knew said I looked twenty-six. But there is a silver lining - a few weeks ago a guy friend said I looked younger than I actually am (I asked him how old do I look and he said twenty six. Does that mean I will be stuck at that age forever? I wouldn’t mind it much.)

Ok enough about my looks, let’s talk about yours. How many of you are truly satisfied with the way you look? None of you, I bet. How many of you look at celebrity photos wishing you could look like them? I’d put my money on “All of you”.

Actually, I don’t want to talk about your looks either. Do whatever you like with it, keep it as it is, reinvent it, smear layers of makeup on your face, wear a mask, I don’t care. Let’s get to the point, shall we? A few reasons why we should be glad we were not born beautiful:

1. People are not intimidated by your looks, making you approachable and likeable.

2. When someone of the opposite sex likes you, you know it’s not because of your stunning beauty but because of something good in you (hooray, you have some good likeable quality).

3. There is more room for improvement. Makeovers, plastic surgery, botox, the possibilities are endless.

4. It’s a lesson in patience. How? Remember all those minutes and hours you spend applying makeup but it never quite came out as it did on the faces of the models in the magazines and you then remove it all and re-apply? If that isn’t patience, then what is?

5. It’s a great learning experience. How? You cannot win favours because of your "exceptional beauty", so you have to work harder to get what you want, which in the end always works out good for you and you learn something in the process.

6. No matter how dumb you are, you will never be called “beauty without brains”, which I feel is more of an insult than being called plain stupid.

7. Continuing with the above point, people don’t automatically categorise you as “dumb” because you are good looking. Something is expected out of you, something good, which again is a learning experience.

8. In case you decide to become a psychopath or serial killer you can always have the excuse that you felt like an outcast because of your unusually bad looks and that the seed of insecurity and inferiority was sowed in you as a result of all the taunts and mocking from your peers the fruit of which was your hatred for people in general and good looking people in particular, thus the killings.

9. You have more things to do to kill time. Squeezing pimples, scrubbing, removing unwanted hair, removing warts, fighting an ingrown toenail, looking up different techniques in skin care, fighting halitosis, etc etc. Boredom becomes an alien concept.

10. You are rendering a great service to humanity just by being ugly. If there were no ugly people, the beautiful people would not be beautiful at all; they would just be normal boring people. So always keep in mind that it’s because of people like you and me that the beautiful people are, well, beautiful. It’s all relative, my friend.

So, what next? Walk up to your parents and/or any living ancestor you can find and thank them for their imperfect genes.


  1. Haha a lighthearted guide to dealing with one's ugly mug. Isn't point # 8 a bit dicey though? I mean who knows, you might have a very ugly, mentally iffy reader who reads it as a go-ahead to actually start a new calling as a serial killer :D

  2. ahahahahahahahahahahahaha. .YOu make me laugh out loud just by reading the title of this post .. and reading it down.. I couldn't stop myself from laughing..

  3. ...i'm hoping to try the face tattoo cure myself, just working out kinks in the permissions department...

  4. J - If any ugly, mentally iffy reader gets inspired and decides to take up serial kiling as a career, I'd say "Go for it." It's not everyday that you're an inspiration, right?

    mnowluck - well, now that you know being ugly has its plus points, you can take out that mirror now. I promise it won't hurt.

    feddabonn - while you're there, you may want to look for face transplant donors.

  5. thought i posted my comments but nada. so here i go again (as much as i can recall):
    beautiful, witty post. made me recall my son when he was around 10 or so who commented that he did not have a very bright future. when asked to elaborate, he said that he would one day grow up looking like me which, in his opinion, did not augur well. :( a thought about point # 1: what if its the other way round and ppl are intimidated by one's not-so-beautiful looks?

  6. mnowluck - living in denial is a very, very dangerous thing.

    ruolngulworld - thank you. I don't think anyone's ever been intimidated by one's not-so-beautiful looks, at least as far as I am concerned. The most they'd feel is pity, or in extreme cases repulsion.

  7. It's the "inside" that matters the most. The clever sees what's inside, while the foolish becomes content with the outside :-) Well, didn't they say "Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder"?

    Your post reminds me of backstreet boys song, i used to love back in high school.. it goes like this..

    What makes you different
    Makes you beautiful
    What's there inside you
    Shines through to me
    In your eyes I see all the love I'll ever need
    What makes you different makes you beautiful to me

    I know sometimes you feel
    Like you don't fit in
    And this world doesn't know
    What you have within

    When I look at you
    I see something rare
    A rose that can grow anywhere
    And there's no one I know that can compare

  8. Mimi - beauty lies in the eyes of the beer holder :P
    On a serious note, yes true beauty is what you are on the inside.

  9. That's amusing. Beauty cause the first impression, but in the long run it is what is inside that really matters.....very well written..

  10. Hahaha! Point 10 is my favourite. So glad i'm actually doing social service without having to exert myself. Hooraaaaay!

  11. Hi Kym, thanks for visiting. We do need to learn to look beyond a beautiful exterior and see the goodness within.

    mesjay - Wonderful, isn't it? That people like us who would otherwise not contribute much to humanity are doing great work just by being our ugly selves?

  12. Damn! You beat me to it. I was just in the process of penning some ugly post myself :)

    But...this is effin' hilarious! I was smiling to myself and then I got to point 8 and 9 and couldn't hold it back anymore. I agree with everyone here, this is a funny and witty post and all that, but it is also a very brave post. We can all be comfortable saying we're ugly but to put it down in writing is not that easy.

  13. Jerusha - Come on let's hear what you have to say about being ugly. Let me add one more point: No matter how much you shout to the world about your ugliness you will never be called conceited or narcissistic, you are called brave and honest. Isn't it just great being ugly?

  14. Being an extremely good looking guy myself, let me thank you for giving us superior beings a glimpse into the lives of lesser human beings.
    I have a question though:
    Regarding point number 2, I'm confused because even though I'm your typical heartthrob, I still have lots of friends who I'm sure are friends with me not because I'm an Adonis. Can you tell me why that is? (PS. I do have a lot of money).

  15. Hahahaha - I laughed, because I am not ugly. I laughed, because of the little things that you've taught your fellow ugly-tizens to not cry everytime they look in the mirror.

    We are not ugly, we are at our best. We dip dip dip, we dop dop dop.

  16. The Chhamanator aka Adonis - Besides being extremely good looking with plenty of money, it looks to me like you are modest, humble, not the kind to praise himself or blow his trumpet at every little occasion; no wonder friends/fans flock to you. Take care not to cause a stampede.

    Joseph - what do you do when you dop? Is it some new age dance manoeuvre that I am not aware of? Or is it something that only ugly-tizens know how to do?

  17. My favorite point was the one about the hair plucking, pimple squeezing, toenail obsessing, etc. It is sooo true!! I do all that all the time, it's great entertainment... I feel sorry for those who don't get to do all that.

    EXCELLENT WRITING!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Hi Marie, thanks for dropping in. Being perfect must be so boring, right? It's us imperfect individuals who have all the advantage.

  19. haha Im late in leaving a comment but I have something to say. I think I would rather be an ugly guy than an attractive one. Why do I say that? Because being good looking doesn't always have its benefits. Of course you get noticed by a lot of girls and what not but as the writer says above that people are easily intimidated by a good looking person. I think thats why I have a hard time talking to new people sometimes because they are intimidated by my looks. I wish I was born average at least and not too good looking. Oh well:/