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I’ve never been pretty. My little sister, all big brown eyes and bouncy blonde curls, looked like a baby angel; I was described as “mischievous.”

When you’re not pretty, you need to cultivate all other kinds of things to set you apart – you become funny or adventurous or sporty or – in my case – academic. I have never once been told that I am pretty by a guy. They often come around (with time) to regard me as variations on the theme of “cool”, “awesome”, “nice”, but never pretty.

Whether this is a good thing depends entirely on what you’re looking for. I am lucky to have lots of really close, wonderful male friends almost directly (in my opinion anyway) as a result of the fact that I’m not pretty, but I am nice. There wasn’t any sexual tension when we first met and there isn’t any now. I am secure in my relationships with lots of men (most of whom are also in relationships) because there is no threat. My assumption upon meeting a new guy is that he wants to be friends with me (safe bet).

For those of you who have ever watched How I Met Your Mother, you might be familiar with the Vicky Mendoza Diagonal on the Crazy-Hot Scale. For those of you who haven’t seen it (and don’t want to click on the link), it’s essentially a theory of Barney’s that a girl can be crazy, as long as she is also hot. If there is a directly proportional relationship between crazy-ness and hot-ness, you’re safe, but as soon as a girl is crazier than she is hot… Run.

Now, for me, this scale doesn’t really matter all that much. I am not hot, but I’m also not crazy. I hang around the origin of the scale (I feel like this should be nicknamed The Friend Zone – for girls), but can’t help thinking that I would take being a little bit crazy if it also meant that I was a little bit hot. You’re just more likely to succeed if you’re attractive – no matter how un-crazy you might be, the net benefit of hotness is greater than the net benefit of not-craziness.

Prettier girls just have so much choice that I have just never encountered. Imagine you could find a guy attractive and he would almost certainly feel the same about you. Or you could pursue one that you like, rather than assessing what’s on offer. I’m sure prettiness has its own problems, but, from where I am sitting, this sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

– Liv

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