The Beautiful Woman Syndrome
The beautiful woman syndrome (or the most beautiful woman syndrome, as it is sometimes called) will affect most men who pursue gorgeous women. However, most men won't recognize the symptoms of the beautiful woman syndrome (BWS), nor will they know how to effectively deal with it. Result? A man will usually fail to win the heart of the stunning woman, and he may feel somewhat bitter about his lack of success.
Appearance discrimination has been called The New Racism. The beautiful woman syndrome arises from appearance discrimination: thinking you're better because you're better looking. Racists think they're better, too.
What is it?
The beautiful woman syndrome (BWS) is characterized by:
- Lack of personal and intellectual development. In spite of their lackluster personalities and tendency toward insipid speech, men still speak with BWS women because, well, men are men. I once dated a woman who had a terminal case of BWS, and she bored me to tears. Her repertoire of conversational topics was very limited, and I cannot recall even one interesting thing that she said. After I belatedly realized that she had nothing to offer except her looks, I resolved to never again date a BWS woman.
- Tendency to treat less-attractive people as members of an inferior species.
- Failure to appreciate the attributes of less-attractive people. Seemingly, BWSers (as I call them) think that the one supremely laudable attribute is physical appearance (or money in the case of a potential spouse), and the remaining attributes in other people are given short shrift.
- Predisposition to overestimate their intelligence and other attributes. I suppose I shouldn't fault them for this, because scientific research has substantiated that just about everyone thinks that more attractive people are smarter, more capable, and so on. Men are generally very eager to compliment beautiful women in every possible way. Thus, gorgeous women aren't lauded solely for their appearance. They're also told that they are interesting, smart, funny, wonderful, great, or amazing. After hearing such compliments countless times, they believe it. Another web site gives an example of how extreme their arrogance can be after they develop a big head from the perennial praise. As P. J. O'Rourke said, “It's always tempting to impute / Unlikely virtues to the cute.”
- Being extremely picky. Their looks should "buy" them a comparably attractive partner (or a rich one, given that old quid pro quo), but BWSers often want a man who is also intelligent, charming, friendly, pleasant, tender, loving, kind, easygoing, affectionate, thoughtful, caring, supportive, considerate, compassionate, helpful, attentive, responsive, dynamic, gallant, cheerful, loyal, honest, passionate, spontaneous, responsible, generous, courageous, patient, adventurous, enterprising, personable, articulate, and on and on. They “expect partners who have the moral fortitude of Nelson Mandela, the comedic timing of Stephen Colbert, the abs of Hugh Jackman, and the hair of Patrick Dempsey.” Why do women with the beautiful woman syndrome think they deserve so much? I'll explain why shortly.
- An unusual reaction to niceness. If you're nice to most people, they will like you more. If you're nice to BWSers, they won't think more of you — they'll think more of themselves. Your niceness will just reinforce their lofty self-image.
- A tendency to believe that the Constitution of the United States guarantees them a wonderful life.
- A propensity to not try as hard as other women. While there are exceptions, many beautiful women coast through life on their looks alone. Most people give a 100% effort because they are willing to work that hard to get what they want. BWSers get various things — jobs, money, stuff, smiles, compliments, dates, husbands, you name it — so easily that they know they don't have to try hard. Their unfounded sense of entitlement is fueled by a belief that they deserve the finer things in life.
- Aversion to hard/dirty/unpleasant physical work (and often hard work of any sort). BWSers typically believe that people should give them stuff because . . . well, just because they're beautiful and they deserve it. Why? Because they're beautiful. Deep-down, BWSers think that they're superior to others, so those inferior beings should hand over their possessions without a whimper — in fact, they'd better be nice about it! Why? That brings me to my next symptom of BWS:
- They have a low tolerance for disagreement. You'd better treat them with kid gloves, or else. Or else what? Or else they won't date you, or continue interacting with you. BWSers demand that others be deferential to them. Tiptoe carefully, or else. Why is there this need for others to walk on eggshells? Because, being the royalty they think they are, people should be exceptionally courteous and submissive. Because they're beautiful. Because they deserve it.
- They are easily angered, with trivial things setting them off. Example: A contestant on a reality show (True Beauty) said, “There's a lot of hate goin' on when you're beautiful.” She claimed, “It's very possible that I could be the most beautiful person in the country. When I look in the mirror, I see gorgeous skin, gorgeous eyes, nose is perfect, lips are perfect, eyebrows are perfect—everything about me is perfect. I'm so thankful to be beautiful.”
- They can be unfathomably ignorant. Example: Another contestant on True Beauty asked, mystified, “I wash this? … This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing here! … Is this considered washing, like am I done, or [garbled; sounded like 'do I have to do this?'] … (smirking in disgust) I feel like a housewife or something.” A person observing her commented that she does “no housework, so to watch Laura put a half a gallon of soap in two dishes has to bring a laugh in the household.” One can only wonder what an incredibly insular life she led in which she'd evidently never before washed dishes or observed someone else doing that.
- An amazing lack of insight into the emotions of people around them. For example, BWSers are often pursued by many men at the same time, and they're often quite obtuse about detecting that those men are falling in love. BWSers know that men want them — of course, they're beautiful! — but they turn a blind eye to the fact that those men are pouring out emotions that necessitate a response that is squarely on one side of the fence or the other: either some reciprocation of the love ("I'm falling in love with you, too . . .") or fessing up that she's not feeling the same ("Can't we just be friends?). Instead, BWSers bask in the glory of so much simultaneous attention from the opposite sex. BWSers don't care that by stringing the men along they are making the eventual rejection all the more painful. BWSers think, "Who cares? I'm the only one who matters. I like the adulation, and like getting stuff." Speaking of stuff, we're not talking about boxes of chocolates. BWSers sometimes receive expensive gifts, such as luxury cars, even from men who are just (in the minds of the BWSers) casual dates. I once had a BWSer matter-of-factly ask me for a car before we met. She figured that, as a doctor, I could afford it. I wasn't nearly as rich, or as stupid, as she thought.
- Narcissism, defined as an excessive admiration or love of oneself, concern only for oneself, or an immodestly high opinion of one's own worth. Features of the beautiful woman syndrome include vanity, conceitedness, egocentricity, self-absorption, self-centeredness, self-admiration, self-adulation, selfishness, bigheadedness, immodesty, self-worship, vainglory, and exaggerated self-importance. In short, you could say that a woman with the beautiful woman syndrome has a swelled head. All too often, however, there isn't much brainpower inside that big head, as I will demonstrate later on. Since narcissism grows from inflated feedback, gorgeous women are more likely to be narcissistic as a result of the effusive compliments they often receive.
- An increased likelihood of provoking negative emotions in people they interact with. If you meet someone who is truly great, you will probably go away from that meeting feeling energized, uplifted, inspired, or more knowledgeable. In contrast, a brush with a BWSer's inflated ego is more likely to leave you reeling with resentment.
Having the beautiful woman syndrome makes a woman more likely to:
“People put too much emphasis on looks.”
— Olympic gold medalist gymnast Shawn Johnson
Continue reading about the beautiful woman syndrome >
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