The perils of physical beauty

February 2, 2010

As a picture of a beautiful young model I know lays face-up in my kitchen garbage can -- covered in used coffee grounds -- I'm reminded that while physical beauty seems to be a very wonderful and coveted thing here on Earth, some of the most beautiful people I have known are also the most screwed-up people I have ever known. (And I say that with compassion).

I've been 'fortunate' to have been friends with models, dancers, and one tv weather girl, and other than the tv weather girl, who really kept her head on straight, I have no interest in knowing these other women any more. Their lives become very centered on their looks, and all of their discussions revolve around "I", "my", and "me", and as a listener of those discussions, I'm sorry so say it, but that talk becomes very boring very fast.

(To paraphrase Derek Jeter in a sports interview, "I'll never date a beauty pageant contestant again.")

Although it may sound like I'm here to knock them down today, that's not my intent. What I'm trying to say is that it's my observation that physically attractive people are pushed by society to act a certain way, and over time that pressure takes a toll on them (their little ego) and their behavior (their personality). Sooner or later, whether they know it or not, they are deep in I/my/me land. So they start with this gift -- physical beauty -- and it ends up controlling their ego, personality, and behavior.

Personally, I can barely imagine what it must be like to have your entire ego built around your physical appearance. How many years of meditation it must take to un-learn those thoughts, and what a fear of aging these people must have. I dislike aging enough as it is, but when you've been admired your entire life for your beauty, and then age begins taking its toll on that beauty (which is you), wow, I can see how that would batter your little ego.

I haven't written this well, and I will try to come back and rewrite it one day when my thoughts are more clear, but rather than end this on a negative tone, let me flip this around, and tip my hat to the physically beautiful people I have known who have somehow kept their little ego in check!


This article was inspired by two things. First, Tom Selleck's 65th birthday was a few days ago. I always thought of him as a good-looking guy (women always told me that, lol) who still seemed like a really nice guy. Second, by the photo of P in the garbage can. (Sorry about that P, nothing personal, it just ended up that way, but at least it made me more aware of these thoughts.)

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