LIFE AND OTHER FOUR LETTER WORDS: U G L Y
It’s the invasion of the beautiful people. Perky, dewy zombies coming for us like zombies do – unrelenting and forever.
Beautiful people are everywhere we look, and they won’t shut the fuck up.
On every flat surface, on every screen, in every shop window, gooning out of every magazine, and too often in our thoughts and conversations. We are surrounded by tall, blonde, skinny, big-titted giraffe women and their chiseled, perpetually wet, 8-packed man-friends pointing into the distance with mild constipation etched on to their faces and just the right shoes for the pants.
Beautiful people with beautiful things living beautiful lives - beautifully.
Why are these beautiful everywhere? And when did something as random being born beautiful become such a mitigating factor towards success in our ‘meritocracy’?
Beauty is making us sick.
Beauty is making us lazy.
Beauty is getting ugly.
There have always been beautiful people in the world – this is not new. In the past they would have been captured, neutered or oiled-up, chained to spike in a tent, and given to a king as a fuck-mitten and, after a few hard years of being truncheoned and made to dance their shine would have dulled and they might have been freed and would have crawled from the fun-tent and tried for survival in the cold with the rest of us.
But now they are the kings and are now wielding influence and power over us all and no one is standing up and yelling out, “Why are we letting it speak?”
Throughout history beauty has been held up and admired – but in my lifetime it has become the false idol we were warned about.
Human beauty is a potent selling tool.
It makes terrible music popular, makes terrible films box office hits, and makes people walk around with hats made of birdcages and pants with one leg too short and one leg too long or whatever is ‘in’ this week.
Survival and attracting a mate are our two primary needs.
Survival is pretty well taken care of since we killed everything on four legs with teeth that doesn’t fit into a station wagon or handbag, and the flu is now a few welcome days on the couch, not a death sentence.
Which leaves us with bagging a mate...
Our focus is now social status and sexual attractiveness.
These are our motivations and like all motivations they can be learned and turned back on us. We’ve embraced the idea that social status can be bought at a shopping mall and sexual attractiveness comes out of a bottle, off a rack, or out of a jar, and the easiest way to sell the myriad variations of these products is with a beautiful face next to it.
The rule is: the more prestigious your product, the more beautiful the face you can afford to have next to it.
We are being told thousands of times everyday that human beauty is equal to material quality and that the better looking you are the more successful you must be. Every flat surface on the earth has an image of a good-looking successful person smiling out of it — which would be fine except the flat surfaces the images are displayed on are owned by people that don’t have the best interests for us or our culture in the forefronts of their minds.
As we become more culturally porous and globalized, our shared language becomes a visual one.
Not through text but through images is how we will understand each other. Images are easier to consume - they require less work than reading. Even Twitter is too hard – 140 characters WTF?
Enter image-based Instagram because a picture is worth not having to read 1,000 words.
Now we are trained to read a photograph like a page of text. Semiotics and narrative pour out of every image. The ideal is always promoted and the invitation into that ideal is laid in front of us – the only barrier to entry seems to be the way we look to the outside world.
We lead easy lives.
Our lives are packeted, sweatless, automated and push button. We have time on our hands like no other generation before us and we have decided to spend it looking at each other. Observing, glaring, gorking, peeking, viewing, and staring. Social media has made you a TV channel – but like all TV channels, some are more popular than others… it depends on how beautiful the star is.
The number of photos taken this year will approach 1 trillion thanks to the explosion of selfies and these are the stories we follow.
@Jenseltser is a woman that has a channel with 3.4million viewers. Her medium is Instagram – purely visual. Jen has the best arse on the planet. Her arse looks like two bald men trying on the same lycra ski-hat at the same time. Jen’s channel is many images of her arse. Her arse working out or her arse wearing clothes from Baby Gap. That’s it. It may not win an Emmy (PS: Welcome back readers who ducked off to look at Jen’s arse), but 3.4 million people is a large audience so without a doubt this will parlay into something real and something with real money attached.
Beautiful Person + Visual Medium = Success.
I watched an interview with Jen – half an interview… I stopped when she described what she does as a ‘talent’. Most of her followers will only want to put a fork on one butt cheek and knife on the other and eat her arse like a ham, but this beautiful person is being interviewed and listened to right now and it’s hideous to watch.
She’s not the only beautiful idiot being listened to right now.
Beauty is a shitty shorthand for something you’ll like. The ‘best looking’ man in the world is also the most bankable film star in the world.
How can it be that all our best actors are amazing looking and all our best musicians are gorgeous?
How is every person qualified to read the news is a MILF or a DILF?
What are the chances that the American presidential candidates both look like guys that could be steering a boat in a Viagra commercial?
Is it that they aren’t our best, they are just the best of the beautiful? What are we missing out on? Do we even notice people that aren’t beautiful any more?
If you want a superhero power, all you need to do is wait.
Soon you’ll be middle aged and a little overweight and you’ll have the power of invisibility thrust upon you. No good looks, no chance. We are being told that our lives depend on how we look. Our success in the workplace is related to the clothes we wear and the way our hair looks — and most of all our youth.
Our ability to be successful and our ability to be SEEN and therefore exist are all related more and more to the way we look. No wonder we’re anxious.
Q.Why do women wear make up and go on diets?
A. Because they are fat and ugly.
That’s the short answer.
The long answer is because their hair is dull and lifeless. Their skin is too dark. Their skin is not dark enough. They have cellulite, stretch marks, wrinkles, suns spots and varicose veins. Their nails are weak, their eyelashes are stunted, the hair on their bodies make them look like an animal, their face is all one colour and they fucking stink. They have gunts, cankles, muffin tops, thunder thighs, bingo wings and belly boobs. Their noses are too long, their chins are too manish, their lips are thin and their faces are not put into
Tupperware containers every night while they sleep. Now go and spend some money, bitch… Because you’re worth it.
90% of women say that the way they look gets them down. And 2/3 would go under the surgeon’s knife to change the way they look. Bulimia is on the rise and anorexia is at an all-time high. Maybe it’s women… but maybe it’s Maybelline.
This is a preventable mental illness caused by three Mean Girl-like industries:
The Diet Industry – $20 billion industry in the US alone.
The Cosmetic Industry – $60 billion a year industry.
And the Cosmetic Surgery Crowd, with 14.6 million procedures performed last year.
Three giants who sell products that don’t work. Defective to their core.
Like buying a bike with no wheels or plane ticket that gets you a taxi ride. Wrinkle creams DON’T WORK. Diet Coke DOESN’T WORK. Plastic Surgery is barbaric, and if the goal is to make one beautiful it DOES NOT WORK. Yet these industries thrive and grow – largely due to the beautiful zombie army.
Plastic surgery is a celebration of the inadequacy of the human character. It’s an industry built on fear and delusion that’s masked as empowerment.
The diet industry is a criminal enterprise that is actively squashing real information about the food we eat in order to sell synthetic versions of perfectly good fare.
And the cosmetic companies biggest sin isn’t the lies they tell or the snake oil they sell - it’s the strangle hold they have over the media through their advertising buying power.
Magazine content is now driven by advertisers – their ads decide who our popular culture icons are.
Censorship is alive and well, but it’s not an engine of omission, it’s an engine of inclusion. Our culture is censored by the addition of beauty in every outlet over and over again forever. 99% of covers of women’s magazines are actresses and models who are interchangeable, forever young and airbrushed, and these are the same faces that appear in the ads. An article about Jolie and 10 pages later an ad with Jolie. The editorial in mainstream titles reflects brand values rather than human values – the content is designed as a soft landing for the cosmetic companies to lay their ads down.
Who we ‘are’ is being decided by committee one casting call at a time.
The least interesting and inoffensive amongst us are being promoted alongside the products they hold as the archetypes to aspire to. By advertising so ferociously and ubiquitously they are setting the standard for what it is to be a human being.
What makes us ‘us’ is being replaced by the anodyne versions of us that everyone can agree on, and that’s what’s making us mentally ill.
When we are surrounded by these images of perfection and we aren’t like them, we feel like defective products from the factory. Images of beauty make us feel anxious, panicked, and worried; guilty that we haven’t done something.
Like we’ve forgotten to be more – that through our not being beautiful we have chosen to be subhuman. And then we’re offered the ticket out of the feeling in a cream or a nose job. And when I say ‘we’ I mean ‘she’. This blame for not being beautiful is squarely copped on the (in need of surgery) jaw by women.
A less than gorgeous man can buy a watch or a Porsche – a woman must be obsessed with the way she looks and can’t actually change.
1,000’s of magazines filled with the beautiful bark at women to pick them up, and women do by the millions...
People magazine drops its "50 Most Beautiful People" issue on the stands. What a staggeringly pointless idea.
What shall I do with this information? Why does it benefit me? Will there be a test? One of their best selling issues annually bought by women, devoured the same way teenage boys devour car magazines. Fetishizing the faces, endlessly discussing wardrobes, skin tone, and Demi’s saggy knees.
They WISH they had legs like Giselle and HATE their own ankles – their ankles have done nothing to deserve this hate all they have ever done is be a fantastically elegant solution to the issue of connecting legs to feet.
The minutia to which women now cross-examine their own bodies and the bodies of others is staggering. Like convicts poring over blueprints to a prison looking for the weakness in it.
It makes women’s motivations look shallow and superficial and perpetuates this myth that young women are disproportionately interested in the way the appear – and maybe it’s true, but it certainly hasn’t always been like this – such a rabid pursuit of an ideal for beauty is a learned behavior.
This ideal that they model is an aesthetic of illness.
The ‘ideal’ beauty is the ideal of sickness.
When most women achieve that ideal, it is through unhealthy and dangerous practices.
Women need to lose an average of 23% of their body weight to be considered what they deem as ‘perfect’. Maybe leg removal could be the new black? And it’s not just affecting young girls with pictures of Kate Moss sellotaped to their school-books. It’s smart, driven women in all walks of life. With an extremely high level of anorexia and bulimia in the halls of academia and in the glass towers of corporate life… there are pictures of Kate Moss sellotaped to fiscal reports and doctorates too.
Because on the page after the ad with the face cream and the beautiful person is an ad for a shoe with a ‘SUPER’ beautiful person.
Fashion is the other knife in the back of women.
Unattainable images of youth and skeletal perfection decided on by middle-aged homosexual men like Karl Lagerfeld and Tom Ford. Men with chronic vagina allergies who see women as flat white surfaces on which to hang their art – which I understand.
But why is fashion so… prickish to their customers?
Anna Wintour is the reigning queen of this segue. A woman who looks like she was born from an egg and sleeps inside the cadavers of runaway teenagers and skips hand-in-hand with the cosmetic companies creating the next crop of 19-year olds for them to sell anti-wrinkle cream with.
And then there’s the models. The beautiful people themselves.
Models should not be role models. Fashion is art and expression, and if fashion is art then models are the blank walls that the art hangs on.
Having a favorite model is like having a favorite shade of white paint.
It’s hard not hate them all a little bit. Partly because we are jealous of their beauty but also because they keep acting like THEY HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH THEIR LOOKS! Human beauty itself is becoming a status symbol and those who a born with it are given higher status as a birth right, and they need to be way cooler about it.
For example - there’s an outcry from models that they aren’t being treated fairly. That they are being discriminated against, pressured to have sex or do drugs, or work long hours. But no one gives a shit and neither should we, because there’s a truth that they’re all forgetting...
You did this thing a while ago that makes us lose all sympathy for you.
Remember that thing? You woke up one day and thought, “You know who is really, really great looking and should be paid money because they happened to slither out of the right womb and grow up to be great looking? Ummm, ME!” And then you humorlessly went to a place where other people are good looking professionally go and said – “I think I’m awesome looking – where is my money?”
And now you’re pissed off because work sucks.
No shit. You have to work long hours and people try to hump you and you get pressure to be skinny – and then what happens? You get paid a normal person’s week’s wages in an hour for wearing some pants and looking bored.
You call it mistreatment – we call it CUNT TAX.
We’re supposed to feel sorry for a bunch of male models with unthumbed copies of the Catcher in the Rye and banjos they can’t play telling each other about the band names they have for the band they’ll start if they can just find a decent bongo player? That is not helping the beautiful-people-are-dumb stereo type.
I’m not teenage empowerment machine and singer Pink or your yoga teacher, so I’m not going to spout that ‘we are all beautiful’ bullshit. Some of us are snaggled toothed uglies that would make a baby cry if we could get our fat arses out of our livingroom/bedroom/toilet/crematorium to see a baby in the first place, but I am going to say we need to care less about it (especially you women). It’s making us ill.
And if we’re not careful, we’re going to let some bullies convince us we are ugly just because we aren’t beautiful.