“It’s the mark of a good society when a pretty girl behaves as if she was plain.” Meaning: “The vain, narcissistic leech who thinks they deserve something just because they’re attractive makes themselves ugly so no one likes them.” I’m not sure who said that.
I see other women and men who vanity is the most important thing about them: it governs their interactions with others; colors their judgement of people; limits their vision. They seem to believe that their beauty is all they have to offer and don’t develop themselves in other areas. It’s an horrible, amputated, easy way to live. Disgusting as it is, I’m sure that I’ve lived that way for periods of time in my life because it’s an easy shorthand.
In high school I didn’t have crushes on boys or girls or think about being attractive. In college I became more aware that smiling at someone could result in getting free stuff or people to go out of their way. I’ve only recently thought of beauty as the kind of currency that it is, now that it’s leaving me.
Now my skin’s not as tight, there are faint wrinkles, and the creases where my nose and cheek meet seems deeper than before. It’s a shock to see and feel the consequences of overindulgence on my body. I’m 30 years old, and I’m looking back at my youth and mourning the loss of that kind of beauty. Did I enjoy it enough?
But what that currency of beauty can buy isn’t really what I want. Being treated well by strangers is nice, but I’m not limited to by the fact that I could use that to get by. My mind and emotional life are so much more balanced than they were even five years ago. I’m so glad to know who I am now. I’m grateful for the hard earned wisdom that I have, and look forward to being older. It’s a beautiful thing.