Beauty as Curse

I can’t stop thinking about the movie I just saw. Jolene stars Jessica Chastain from The Help who is making a big name for herself in Hollywood right now. The hype isn’t rabid the way it might be with a more usual It girl. Because although Chastain is beautiful, she has a strong face, as full of character as beauty.

I think that’s why I can’t go to sleep. In the movie Jolene was continually abused because of her looks. She was taken advantage of by nearly everyone that crossed her path it seemed. And even the people who weren’t fucking her on the side of the road – in a truck full of carrots no less – didn’t want her. They just wanted what she represented. Someone young and sweet and loving and above all, beautiful.

Beauty can be a blessing and a curse. Someone not considered beautiful might think that’s a silly thing to say considering how our society treats those who are genetically blessed. But they don’t see everything that comes with those perks. A cute person pays for things just like someone who’s not cute, trust me. Maybe even more.

Beauty, or someone’s idea of beauty and what it represents can be a huge burden, not just because it can be soul and body destroyingly dangerous as it was for Jolene, but because it often has nothing to do with reality. It has nothing to do with who a person is or what they might be capable of. Beauty becomes a convenient and comfortable mantle to drape over the shoulders. And when it fades, the beholder often looks and does not see anything of value.

I don’t think it’s much of a compliment to be called beautiful. It’s nice, but it’s like cake. You eat too much and nothing fits.


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