Obesely Speaking

The brain and obesity

11 Reasons Being Super Hot Looking is Problematic

The ugly side of pretty: a super model's perspective
Billi Gordon, Ph.D.
This post is a response to The Gorgeous Brain by Billi Gordon, Ph.D.

Russian Supermodel Katherine Levchenko

I said in an earlier post, The Gorgeous Brain, pretty is a thing, beauty is a force.  Yet, many overweight women envy the “thin, pretty, girls,” and think, “If only I looked like that, everything would be fine.” Knowing a differential engine drives life; I asked some supermodels, and glamour girls to tell me the downsides of being terminally pretty. They said: 

Number 1: “My looks intimidate normal good guys. They are afraid to approach me.  They always presume I want the super rich guy, or the super good-looking guy. Yeah I am pretty, but I am just a woman underneath this.  I want a nice guy that I can feel safe with, who makes me laugh.  He does not need to be rich. He does not have to be a GQ model.  I just want a normal guy, who burps, and leaves his socks all over the house, but cares enough about me to take care of the guy things.  You know the car stuff, and killing bugs. I get a lot of attention, but it is not quality attention.  I just want to meet a nice guy who is into me for the person I am, not my face and my body. I want someone who will love me when I am not smoking hot.”

Supermodel Alice Angelica
Photo: Maurice Rinaldi
Number 2: “My physical appearance intimidates women, so they never want me around.  I have a terrible time making female friends, other than other models. You want to have friends outside of your work circle. I have had little success finding female friends.”

Number 3: “People presume that I am shallow because I am pretty.  My looks are a marketable asset, so I manage them as any person would manage a vital asset. That does not make me shallow.”

Former Playboy Playmate of the Year, Lillian Muller @60
Number 4: “People always think that I am dumb and vacuous.  You cannot look like me, and survive in this world, especially this town, by being vacuous.”

Number 5: “People have no empathy for me. My boyfriend was killed, and someone I had gone to high school with posted online, ‘I could care less. I am glad she is in pain.  Let her suffer.  She has never suffered a day in her life.’ I was devastated by that comment.”

Number 6: “I cannot wear normal clothes because everything looks too sexy on me.  A normal girl can throw on shorts and a tank top on a hot day and go to the market.   If I did that, it would cause a huge commotion.”

Number 7: “People use me like a trophy or a prop. I cannot tell you how many guys ask me out only because they want a beautiful girl on their arms. I am just an accessory, like an expensive tie, or a flashy car.  It also happens with very insecure women who just want to be my friend to live vicariously through my experiences. It is very painful to discover that your friend does not really like you, but rather is trying to use your looks to shore up their ailing self-esteem.”

Katherine Levchenko
 Number 8: “Society forces me to rely on my looks, and then condemns me for exploiting my looks.  You cannot have it both ways. I will admit it, people do things for me that they would not do for less attractive people.  It has been that way my entire life.  People have always gravitated to my looks, not my capabilities.  After a while you learn to give the people what they want.  It is demoralizing.”

Number 9: “Men become so sexually excited when they get in bed with me, they ejaculate prematurely. It is an occupational hazard of being super hot looking. Regrettably, when you look a certain way, men are more interested in having sex with you than making love to you."  

Legendary Norwegian Beauty, Lillian Muller @50 "The older the grape; the sweeter the wine"
Number 10: “Men presume that I am a whore and a bitch because I look hot.  It is horribly sexist, and says everything about men, and nothing about me. Still it makes my life miserable.” 

Number 11: “Crazy people fixate on me.  It is very creepy. Men follow me around in stores.  I am always on my guard.  I have had people break into my apartment and steal my lingerie—very creepy stuff.”  

According to many terminally pretty women, the problems are:  difficulty meeting guys;  people think they are dumb; people are less empathetic towards them; men do not respect them; and people look at their bodies and think they know them without ever having met them. Does any of this sound familiar?  True, these are generic female concerns, but they are usually more resounding for large women.  

Katherine Levchenko
Granted, the superficial reasons large women experience this treatment are different from those of the "super hot looking women," but the core issue is identical, humans commodify women. It does not matter if society calls you supermodel or fatso.  At the end of the day: lonely is lonely, sad is sad, and mistreated is mistreated. We all run the same gamut of emotions. Which matters more: the reason we are crying, or that tears are falling. We all have our private demons and public devils. Likewise, each of us has a singular life, and a unique journey.  Hence, our task is to know that the Universe cherishes all humans equally, even if Madison Avenue does not.  Remain Fabulous and Phenomenal. 

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Billi Gordon, Ph.D., is  Co-Investigator in the  Ingestive Behaviors & Obesity Program, Center for the Neurobiology of Stress, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

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