A friend on my Face Book friend list had written this caption on a picture, “Just because it looks pretty does not make it any less correct!” – Ruma Chakravarti
My mind wandered, taking me back to many years ago, a day back in college. It was my final year of University and we were having a debate on a passage from Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ in the canteen over umpteen cups of tea.
During the course of debate the argument shrunk to two people and amidst lot of interest from the onlookers I was the one who stood to be the favorite. But in what seemed a sudden dramatic twist more than Shakespeare himself, my debater opponent suddenly let out, “Just because you are pretty, doesn’t mean whatever you say is final and correct” A totally absurd and hilarious conclusion to what could have been a very fine debate. Amidst an uproar of cat calls and ribbing, I left the debate disgusted at the absurd turn of events.
What started that day has turned into an experience of a lifetime. Leading me to ruminate and mull over a question many a times. What makes people think that those who have a pretty face have it any easier than others? There are plenty who could put up counter questions to this query and cite how much more worse the situation is for those NOT with a pretty face. But like any other problem, it is only those who face it, who know what it means to them. And to them it is no less a problem because others don’t happen to think so. A pretty girl being raped will find fingers pointing at her, because she took the liberty to enjoy a drink or walk in the roads, when she felt like it. It is of course her duty to sit at home, preferably with a veil on her head and pay the price of being pretty.
On my first job interview out of college in an ad agency, I was asked, “You are very pretty, and you would get married soon and may leave the firm, what would we do then?” Stupid questions like that didn’t need me to reiterate that if the fat ass of a man had a brain hemorrhage tomorrow from not using his brain, what would happen to his company!
In college, if any guy showed the slightest interest in you, you would hear a whisper sooner or later, of course he likes you, but are you sure he likes you for who you are or for your looks? Much later in life, I made friends with neighbors while in Calcutta. Some of us girl friends would hang out together. To my amusement I discovered that me and another poor pretty face were omitted from being invited to a particular home get-together because the hostess was insecure about her husband.
Over a period of time, most girls with a pretty face either develop an understanding of these things or just overlook them. Some sensitive ones take time because it might still affect them,to be blamed for getting a promotion over another less pretty lady in spite of all the hard work she might have put in, or being blamed if she is eve-teased, because according to many, not pretty looking girls are not eve-teased!
A pretty face might still be tolerable, but heaven forbid if you have a pretty face allied with brains, an unthinkable combination! Many pretty and intelligent girls will tell you of many a situation, where you felt like saying to the person who thinks you are daft, “Look I know what shit you are, so just @##$%%^ off but the wiser ones will tell you that, smiling and acting daft and generally letting the person think, that they are right, perhaps has its own advantages too.
What is however not so easy to shed is the fact that, no matter how good you are at what you do, there will still be someone sniggering at your back saying, oh she has it easy because of a pretty face! There will still be the so called gentlemen lecher who will sprout philosophy on an open podium and send you lecherous messages in private, because that pretty face gives every person the license to take a chance at another’s sense of respect and silence.
Being pretty is not a choice, like being not pretty is not a choice, but assuming that pretty people have it easier in life and assuming things about them is definitely not so pretty a choice.