My Looks Are Not Your Excuse

I wasn’t a pretty child. Oily skin, stringy hair, gangly long limbs. Then puberty came along, and like a fairy godmother, bestowed me with a complete makeover. Suddenly I had the passport into BabeLand.

That was an eon ago, long enough anyway to make me wonder whether the fairy godmother was really a wicked witch in disguise…such is the two-sidedness of her gift. Let me explain.

~O~O~O~O~O~

The love of my life was my dearest friend for many years. Then we got together and shortly afterwards broke up. It was a shattering experience and the final knife in my heart was his parting shot,

“Someday you’ll make some guy really happy…in bed.”

With that one statement he had reduced over six years of warmth and affection, of loyalty and empathy, of buried pride and caring gestures to something as frivolous and fleeting as my body. It still haunts me.

~O~O~O~O~O~

Another time, my best friend who is one of those few people who was born beautiful, was at the receiving end of the attentions of a guy I knew well. She didn’t reciprocate and so didn’t bother prolonging the conversation with me. Later, I heard him complaining about what a frigid ice queen she was. I found myself chiding him with,

“You know that’s not true. I could never be friends with someone like that. She’s just reserved, that’s all.”

He shrugged and in a rare moment of honesty admitted,

“I suppose so. But no guy likes taking no for an answer. And if the girl is good-looking, it’s even more of incentive to bitch about what a cold creature she is.”

~O~O~O~O~O~

I’ve had a chance to speak to someone I almost dated a few years ago. Almost I say because he ended it before it had begun, so to speak. Recently we got talking about the times back then. He said,

“I thought you were very attractive and I was tempted to give it a shot. But I knew it wouldn’t go anywhere so I decided not to. It wouldn’t have been fair on you.”

I always held him in high esteem and my regard for him grew even further after this conversation.

~O~O~O~O~O~

And for my final story there’s someone else who I’ve gone out with a few times. I discovered that he is already in some sort of relationship. When I pushed him, he admitted to it. I was left in a quandary when he told me,

“I think you’re attractive. You are quite hot, you know. At least I didn’t kiss you or something.”

Yes, I am deeply grateful for that. But the fact remains that I am left feeling a tad humiliated as well as quite insulted.

~O~O~O~O~O~

There’s a pattern I see in all of the above. Except for my wise never-boyfriend friend, all the other men have treated women as desirable objects, strong temptations. There’s a part of me, my vain, feminine side that basks in such glorious admiration. Unfortunately that’s only a part of me. I’m more than my face and my body and my sex appeal. What none of these men seem to have considered is that the woman, regardless of how hot she is, has actual emotions like any other human being. It seems basic but why don’t they get it?

A pretty face does not insulate you from being hurt. A great body does not protect you from feelings of rejection, abandonment and humiliation. My looks are not your excuse for bad behavior. And yet much of the bigger half of the population seems to think so.

My looks are not your excuse

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About IdeaSmith

IdeaSmith is the digital doppelganger of Ramya Pandyan (intrepid train-traveller and frequent spouter of post-midnight rhymes and rants). As IdeaSmith she battles obscurity and slays boredom with her stories about men, books, digitalia and Mumbai. She performs live and also blogs, tweets, Instagrams, Facebooks, +G’s, Youtubes and Goodreads all as IdeaSmith. Ramya is a blogger, digital storyteller and spoken word performer. She also runs a forum for aspiring writers called Alphabet Sambar. Tweet-bomb her at @ideasmithy.

Posted on December 5, 2009, in Harassment & abuse, Men, men, men, Vanity Unfair and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. You’re absolutely right. Good looks coupled with a smart brain that can floor most men, is actually a curse in disguise. The time and age when women think of it as a blessing is probably adolescence when we first get conscious of the other gender. But thereafter, it seems like a disadvantage rather than an advantage. And for that I wouldn’t want to blame myself but rather my narrow-minded boyfriends of recent years.

  2. Men can sometimes see women as just objects of their lust. They refuse to give you the security of a real relationship and treat you badly because the temptation of obtaining the body of the woman can be so blinding to them that they don’t even realise they are causing so much hurt.

    A lot of men cheat on their beautiful girlfriends and wives out of this very temptation…thereby not respecting either woman or her body.

    When a woman gives her all to the relationship and a man cannot give love and respect, security and trust to a woman it just means the is not deserving of any woman at all…better such men be out of our lives asap. Time for a banishing spell!

  3. Why are you surprised?

    I am a mathematician (sort of). So I’m going to spout some game theory at you.

    Imagine life is a game you’re playing. (Or more accurately, a number of different games you’re playing simultaneously – career related games, relationship related games, enjoyment related games, etc.) Every time you make a move, and then the other players in the game (your boss, or the woman sitting across from you, or the whole world) makes a move. Each time, you have a number of different choices of moves to make, and you try to look 5 moves ahead and pick the move that has the best probability of giving you the outcome you desire.

    Points to note:
    1. Your “desired outcome” is different from the desired outcome of the other players. Imagine a game of chess where one person is playing to mate the opposing king, and the other player is trying to create a beautiful pattern of black and white pieces on the board. And then the second player is surprised when the first keeps killing her pieces, and in the process spoiling the pattern. The first player doesn’t understand what the second player is whining about. Sounds familiar?

    2. Most people are not explicitly calculating all this, and 5 moves in their head. This happens instinctively. And no, in this process, we’re not all thinking of others in the world as opponents. But, still, there is this calculation going on, and different people are playing for different outcomes.

    3. Once you think through the probabilities, some actions make more sense. Imagine a guy. His desired outcome is sex with a hot woman. He goes to CCD everyday. Sees a (different) hot woman there every day, sitting by herself. Here are the three “moves” can make. (a) do nothing, (b) strike up a nice, healthy conversation with her, or (c) Try a pick-up line. Here are the possible outcomes. In case of (a), there’s 100% probability that nothing will happen. In case of (b) there’s a 80% chance that the conversation will go nowhere, 15% chance that it leads to a great platonic long-term relationship, and a 5% chance of a romantic relationship where the sex starts 2 years from now. In (c) there’s a 90% chance of getting a cold brush-off, a 9% chance of getting slapped, and a 1% chance of sex the same day. Question: if you were a guy with the desired outcome stated above, what would you do? The easiest path to the desired outcome is to try option (c) 100 times. Also, think of this: if you’re a woman going alone to a CCD, then all the men in category (a) will never approach you, and you wont notice them. Some men in category (b) will approach you, but in most of those cases, those conversations will go nowhere, and you’ll soon forget them. But, you’ll get a steady stream of category (c) who are on one of their 100 tries. You would end up with the impression that all men are lustful boors.

    Applying game theory to other aspects of life (work, marriage, parents) is left as an exercise to the motivated reader.

    And I promise that next time, I’ll share my feelings instead of a lecture. (Unless of course I get tempted to talk about evolutionary psychology, and how it drives all our behaviors.)
    .-= Navin Kabra´s last blog ..Why your talks/documents/presentations/blogs must contain concrete examples =-.

  4. @rakhi: *Sigh* Two heads and all they manage for years on end is ‘narrow-minded’.

    @Swati: Cinnamon brooms with a dash of red chilli!!

    @Navin: A mathematician who ‘gets’ relationships!!! In the case of the other person to lay that claim, I should probably have told him about my degree in mathematics! 😉 Actually lecture apart, this metaphor is a great one. I especially like your first point. It gives a whole new meaning to ‘wanting different things’. It hadn’t occurred to me so far, that our frames of reference could be so different that problems come as equal surprises to both parties (and not results of malicious intent as you point out later). Thengyu Mr.Kabra, lecture done good…would love to hear the psycho-babble bit of it as well! 😀

  5. hi,

    its really very true.. I have always faced this problem as may be I come across as one of those desirable women but men tend to forget that I have exactly same emotions as any other ordinary girl and i also would have heart which would similar kind of care, love, affection etc. etc. the most of the time i get treated as some sort of star and always get extra treatment which is often not called for. And also, once people start thinking about as someone different from the rest, you create more hurdles for yourself compare to those so-called ordinary women..
    keep it up… I also have started my blog, http://www.vaishalishah.wordpress.com .. share your views whenever you get time..
    thanks

  6. anon1(theoriginal)

    “On the contrary..”
    I was a pretty child, curly hair, quite fair, short and chubby. People thought I would grow to be a beautiful young woman.
    Then puberty came along, and like the wicked witch, cursed me with a complete makeover. Suddenly I found myself the only one without a passport to Babeland.
    I put on weight, got specs, cupsize A-, had no sense of fashion, and my attitude earned me a “she hates all men” title.
    The crush of my life was a guy in high school who I was also very friendly with. We never got together, of course, he started seeing the prettiest girl in class and shortly afterwards I stopped speaking to him.
    It was a shattering experience and the kick in the gut was his parting shot, “You are an amazing person, we can always stay friends..”

    This guy didn’t treat me like a desirable object (far from it !), but I still never wanted to see his stinking face again 😛

    Maybe the problem is that we take EVERYTHING so seriously when we are that age…

    much-MUCH-wiser-now,
    -anon1

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