Comment from a beautiful reader

I am a beautiful woman who just found your site. I understand some of what is written there, some of it seems true, but it would be nice if you could also document the other side of the story. Some beautiful women do not suffer from this syndrome, but actually are dealing with a whole set of different problems which arise from being beautiful.

Yes, all men desire me . . . great, you might think. But it comes with its own set of issues. Like, how do you deal with all these men who are chasing you, most of whom want sex and nothing more (but you are enjoying the attention). It is actually ridden with a lot of anxiety for me. Whilst the attention is nice and an ego boost, it is hard to have conversations with men without thinking, “Just cut the crap, I know you want to sleep with me.”

Another issue with being beautiful is the expectations people place on you. Because you are beautiful means that you are apparently also confident, self-assured, successful, and popular. They aren't all necessarily true! Beautiful people feel bad about themselves in the same ways as other people, but they just have more superficial praise at their mercy. All the attention and expectation can be exhausting. Sometimes we just want to fade into the background! Not walk into a room and be the center of attention.

Just thought I would share this opposite viewpoint. I see that BWS is characterized by a lack of intelligence, which clearly I do not suffer from, but I think this alternative side of beauty should be conveyed. Not all beautiful women have it easy and have people running around after them at their beck and call. In fact, the attention can get overwhelming, which causes us to retreat so that we can be free. This can lead to loneliness . . . .

Response: I agree that not all gorgeous women have the beautiful woman syndrome, which I pointed out years ago when I first discussed this topic.

I also agree that being beautiful has drawbacks associated with it, but the perks of being beautiful generally outweigh its negative aspects. If being beautiful was terrible, attractive women would be happier once they lose their looks as they age. If they wished to accelerate this process, they could intentionally overeat and forget about exercising and personal grooming. But very few beautiful women do this, of course. Instead, most appreciate their gift—sometimes too much, and that's where the problem begins, when beautiful women let their beauty go to their heads, making them think they're better than others, just because they're beautiful.

Some attractive people think their appearance makes them better than others. I defriended and blocked a gorgeous woman—I'll call her Suzie—on Facebook after she arrogantly wrote that she shuns ugly people and wouldn't have any as a friend. How shallow is that? And how stupid is that? An accident or disease could quickly transform her from hot to not. I've seen this happen in my medical career (here's one case).

Think of all the people who've done great things, and then ask yourself how many of them were gorgeous women. A mere handful—certainly much less than their proportion of the population. That's no coincidence because stunning women are less likely to fully develop their talents, burn the midnight oil, and do the other things it takes to achieve greatness. Suzie doesn't realize that her bold bias against those not blessed with beauty manifests not only that she isn't nice, but her criteria for limiting friendship to attractive people means that she will miss the opportunity to know many good and potentially great people. As I discussed in an analysis of the attractive expert syndrome, when you add another criterion (beauty, in this case) that takes most people out of the running, you invariably end up with less of other qualities.

Interested in another aspect of beauty? Read about why beautiful women are less likely to end up as ER patients.

Narcissism: the secret sauce of self-delusion

Glamorous ESPN reporter exemplifies BWS nastiness

“Most beautiful dumb girls think they are smart and get away with it, because other people, on the whole, aren't much smarter.”
— Louise Brooks
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