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I came across Samantha’s controversial article “There are downsides to looking this pretty” through nepaliaustralian. I was surprised by how people have criticized first, her being average-looking, and second, her supposed arrogance (stuff like true beauty is not on the outside, and she was such a narcissistic bitch).

I will neither defend nor bash her. I’d just like to pose some questions to ponder upon.

Have you never felt insecure in the presence of a lovely-er woman? I have.
Have you never given a handsome man some extra kindness because of his bright eyes and disarming smile? Or a woman simply because she’s nice. I have.

Don’t you just wonder why we have to invalidate the experience Samantha shared — simply that this is how the world has been to her?

On one level, people say that she looks like an average 40 year old. So who’s our standard of a gorgeous 40 year old? J.Lo, Cameron Diaz, Angelina or Catherine Zeta Jones? In my recent trip, there was a pretty lady who caught the attention of men. Yet later on, a guy told me, “I saw her make face when a fat woman got in her way. I was about to help her, but never mind.” A girl from SoleSister shared her experience of being given free breakfast by a hotel receptionist only because she smiled even after knowing that she wasn’t availing any. Whether you believe it or not, there are people who would be interested to meet you, hear your story, consider your business pitch, all because of your adorable smile. Wouldn’t you want to prefer being with someone who radiates sunshine, over someone who’s always on the lookout, preparing his next attack?

On another level, instead of questioning the validity of somebody’s experience, why don’t we take the disposition of seeing what we could learn from it? Why am I not getting the same perks? Am I ugly? Am I just unlucky? Don’t I believe that I am beautiful too? I am reminded of people’s reaction to The Secret and the attestation of people who have been practicing it. That it was crap. Why? Because they don’t experience it. What if there’s something to believing that we deserve the best, because we are beautiful, because we are loved?

That’s what we do, don’t we? When somebody opens us up to a different worldview, we react with defenses. It’s only either I am right or I am wrong – and I better be right. So she must be wrong.

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