I read this article the other day that was written by an overweight woman for overweight women. Some of the article I really liked, but the last paragraph lost me. The author confidently asserted to the millions of women her article was addressed to that they were beautiful, no matter how much they weighed.
Oh geez. Okay – does being overweight automatically exclude you from being beautiful? No! But being overweight does not automatically transform you into Beyoncé, either. We need to stop whispering sweet nothings into each other’s ears, especially if those sweet nothings are unknowable or knowably false.
Saying everyone has some positive attribute ruins the meaning, value, and specialness of that attribute.
I think why we feel so compelled to say all women are beautiful is we have a strong compulsion to affirm everyone’s value. Therefore, everyone must be beautiful.
But let’s all collectively gasp as we realize the sneaky unspoken assumption – that women who aren’t beautiful aren’t valuable. That is the real problem – not that the majority of a given group of people for a given period in time will inevitably prize certain physical features over others. Even if it’s not fair, it just is what it is and we have to learn to work with what we’ve got. So let’s come to terms with the idea that some women do not fit society’s beauty standards as well as others – but they still have value. There’s more to life than arousing as many men as possible before we die. I hope you see Eleanor Roosevelt and mother Theresa as more valuable human beings than the most famous porn star in the world, whoever she may be.
So I plead with you – stop lying to people, and stripping away the meaning of words, especially “beautiful.” Let beautiful mean something again!
Hurrah to ugly, valuable women!
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