Why beautiful people should be made to suffer
Today’s message to young women is: All girls are beautiful. But some are more beautiful than others. Oh, and frankly – you over there! – you don’t make the grade at all. What the hell’s going on with those eyebrows? What is this? 2008?
In a world awash with far too many beautiful girls (for the purposes of this article for ‘beautiful’ read ‘fully coiffed, immaculately made-up, grain-fed, and catwalk-ready) today we also have the announcement of the 2011 Girlfriend Rimmel Model Search winner. You can meet the finalists here.
UPDATE: The winner was 13-year-old Irish, Croatian and Pacific Islander and Sydneyite Chloe Glassie. And she has braces!
Listening to their rehearsed gushing about being inspired by other beautiful girls, about becoming a celebrity and maybe getting into fashion and the excitement of a photoshoot and hopefully even finding Orlando Blooms of their very own is enough to make me fantasise about cursing them all with pustulent pimple outbreaks.
Sorry, girls, that was maybe a bit harsh. Although I’m assuming there’s not much time for reading columns from some bitter old hag what with all the primping and preening you’ve gotta do. And yes, you’re probably right that I’m not beautiful on the inside, either.
But if you do read this, you should know that not so very long ago, it was normal practice to force girls to endure suffering beyond imagining.
They were made to visibly endure the agonies of pubescence, from surprising spurts of hair growth to the horror of carbuncular acne and the twisted torture of full-metal braces.
No longer. Today’s girls are groomed till they gleam. Perfectly streaked hair swishes down slender backs or hangs in artfully dishevelled buns. Tans last all year round. Invisible fairies rearrange teeth into magically straight lines.
The nails are polished, the eyebrows arched, and I don’t even want to think about their bikini lines. That bastion of all good health information, Embarrassing Bodies, found most young women these days sport nary a clump. In fact they find the merest curl a filthy intruder.
And the skin. Oh, the skin. Growing up is about realising, essentially, that you are not the centre of the universe. It’s a harsh but necessary coming-of-age.
The one rite of passage guaranteed to push one past self-glorification and into the realm of the real, is a batch of really bad zits.
Pimples teach you many things that will serve you well later in life.
That they appear mainly on the face, and usually in time for an important event or casual encounter with a crush, teaches you that the universe is cruel.
That they can cluster on your chin one month, and your forehead the next, teaches you that the universe’s cruelty is based in randomness.
That the more you fiddle with them the worse they get teaches you that there are things beyond your control, and that sometimes doing nothing is the best course of action.
And that the age of pimples tends to segue seamlessly into the age of wrinkles is fate’s cruellest joke of all.
But, as the Dalai Lama would almost certainly say if one were to broach the subject of engorged pores with him:
We must recognise that the suffering of one person or one nation is the suffering of humanity.
With suffering comes empathy.
Today’s girls, with their expensive washes made from the acidic bile of endangered animals, or their home laser therapy kits, or personal beautician with a flair for blackhead removal, no longer know what it is to suffer being non-beautiful.
And for that I curse you, beautiful girls. May you at least once in your life wake up to a ragged mountain range of flaming zits.
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