Friday, December 17, 2010

Here's a Thought to Ponder

I was reading in Chicago magazine about a playwright who's last three projects have been about physical beauty and its meaning to people.

He talked about an experience in which he was waiting to hear a band at Lalapalooza this summer, and he began asking the women around him:

"How would you you feel if you overheard your husband/boyfriend saying the he loved you so much, but your face was just average?"

I know - weird right?

But I thought about it.

It's an interesting question - because you would think that most woman would say that they really just want to be loved above all else, so being considered average-looking would be secondary.

Oh no, my friends.

Most of the woman responded that they would be devastated and a comment like that would be a "dealbreaker," while most of the men were seemingly ambivalent.

And me?

Listen, I'll tell you right off - I'd wanna leap off my second story ledge if my husband thought I was average looking.

Now, let's get something straight. I think I am - on my very best day - average looking.

And that's with makeup on.

And I accept that. In fact, average might be generous. I usually go with "non-descript."

But no matter how ugly I think I personally am, I fully expect my husband to think I am the most beautiful person he ever saw.

Even first thing in the morning.

When I still have those eye crusties.

And hair in four different directions.

In a white wife beater and his old boxer briefs.

If my husband thought of me as anything less than beautiful, I would be really hurt. I admit it.

So I asked my husband - what would he think if he heard that?

Cheese: I don't think I'd care all that much. Guys in general don't. They really just wanna know that they are in the same stadium as a good looking guy, but otherwise they don't put much worth in that.

Me: Really? Because no kidding - I would destroy me.

Cheese: I guess I would much rather to prefer that you respected me, saw me as a good man and a good provider.

Me: I prefer that you think I'm hot.

Shit man, even writing that I feel so shallow.

Come on ladies - I can't be the only one like this, right? I mean, I love that my husband thinks I am funny and smart, but I really love that he thinks I'm hot.

And when we walk into a room, I like him to think that he just brought the most beautiful girl to the party, and that his his friends think that too - that they're not just like, "Oh Cheese is here! And look, he brought his really smart wife with him!"

Because let's be honest - I don't care of his guy friends don't chat me up about Freudian psychology or Bowenian theory over beers - but I might wonder what's wrong if they aren't checking out my sweet rack or watching me walk to the bathroom.

So does that make me shallow? That I care about looks like that?

That is all almost laughable coming from me - me, the Queen of Gym Clothes who has a allergy to hair brushes and wears baseball hats to her office to meet with her supervisees. It was only a few months ago that my sister ridiculed me when she asked me for facial cleanser, I handed her a bar of Dial soap.

What I am trying to say is that I don't work hard trying to make myself (or keep myself) beautiful. I would rather spend time being comfortable that putting on tight clothes or trying to be fashionable. I open my makeup bag twice a year. I don't like to put much of an effort forth at this whole beautiful thing. Maybe that's why - as a general rule of thumb - I don't ever consider myself pretty, much less beautiful.

But yet - I still want my husband to think I am.

That under my uniform of hoodies and running capri tights, and beyond this raggedy ponytail, and aside from my facial hair, he truly believes he landed himself the crown jewel.

So what would you think if you overheard your partner calling you "average looking?"


prin said...

If the husband thinks you're the hottest thing since pre-1992 McD's coffee, then he will be less likely to cheat on you, right?

If he finds you moderately attractive, then the odds of him finding somebody more attractive are higher...

That's how I justify it. But I don't even have to worry. My guy thinks I'm super hot.

(And you're hot too, for the record. Pffff.)

My Life and Running said...

It would crush me too... but I tend to tie it up with the idealistic thought that he should think I'm beautiful inside & out. If he truly loves my inside it transcends to my outside, right? If he thinks I'm just average, then he must love my insides less? Am I making sense? :)

Laura said...

I guess we're both sitting in the shallow end cause I'm thinking I'm right there with you.

In fact, I spend so little time actually looking in the mirror, doing my hair and/or applying make-up that when I see a photo of myself I'm usually shocked (then horrified) that I'm walking around looking like I do. In other words, the picture in my head is different than what I must really look like. Having said that, my husband thinks I'm hot and I love it ...

If he were here I'd ask him, but I think it's important to him that I think he's hot - not so much anyone else's opinion.

momo said...

do you think anyone goes into marriage thinking that their partner is 'average looking'? i don't know, but it seems to me that when you fall in love, that love creates a beauty in your partner that other people cannot see. so, your partner just might be average looking to others, but to you - they're the most beautiful person on earth.

Carrie said...

My level of attraction for a partner ebbs and flows. Sometimes I feel such a strong sense of attraction and other times I can pick out the things I don't find so attractive...and it usually coincides with the feelings I'm having for that person.

I think I'm okay with being classified as average looking, as long as my partner can appreciate that my talents, integrity, loyalty, etc. make me a well-rounded "above average" individual.

kodiacbear said...

Yup~right there in shallow end too. I need to know it.

Ella J. Burns said...

Beauty should start from within, because physical beauty alone fades.

rUntoNamAste said...

I think Cheese saw right through your pretty face and hot bod when he put a ring on it, Missy. There are tons of gorgeous women out there, but they will forever remain a fantasy and even in real life, they don't hold a candle to the qualities you possess. Even if you consider yourself average looking, know that you are the shit and any and every man would be lucky to have you. Anyway, after saying all that, this is one of those times when a husband should lie and say that his wife is the Queen of the Nile, even if he thinks she's a toad because his feelings would be crushed if wifey told him he was 'average' looking [I don't care what any man says about this, they're sensitive as bleep]. So yea, I'm with Team Shallow.