I am someone who isn’t unattractive, nor do I cause people sleepless nights as I haunt their dreams with my unobtainable brilliance. I am average, I “get by” and 80% of the time I’m happy with that.
But there is always a girl you envy, no matter what the situation. School, College, Work; there will be a girl that nags at your thoughts, taunting you daily with her willowy figure, perfect hair and creamy skin. In her presence you will shrivel up inside, your skin will drain and you waddle off down the corridor feeling like a sad, fat hippo.
But there will come the inevitable moment that a drip of conversation will dribble between you, the drip turns into a flood and before you know it you are tentatively acquainted with goddess-woman. And the more you get to know her the more you realise she is as, if not more, insecure than you are.
I have met plenty of these doe-eyed and sad beauties. There seems to be something that intrinsically links beauty with a kind of pathetic weakness. Maybe being beautiful is a bit of a burden and something not a lot of people can live up to.
“Well I could live with that!” I hear you all cry. But before you get obsessed with envisioning yourself as the new “Joan” of your office, take a peek over at the geeky quiet girl. So she has a pair of glasses that don’t suit her, she never bothers with make-up and her skirt is just a little too calf skimming to be considered flattering. But whereas beauty girl seems to have everything, geek girl lives a much more fulfilled life. She has her friends, her hobbies, her books and her TV shows. And she is always, always good at stuff.
The office beauties I have known must have risen at about 5am each morning in order to perfect their hair, make-up and outfit. Breaks and lunchtimes were spent picking over the latest diet fad, or in the loos applying even more slap and lacquer. Conversations were routine and filled with the traumas of their relationships and how they were desperate to get back with guys that had dumped them months ago for being “too needy”.
Geek girl on the other hand sits in the sun reading her books, or chatting to her friends. All she worries about is whether her latest short story, illustration or invention will be picked up. Her life is full and her boyfriend, who shares all her interests, will adore her. Beauty girl, contrary to popular belief, isn’t even on her radar.
I have always struggled with the question: Would you rather be beautiful, or be good at something? For all the years I have spent scrutinising myself in the mirror, looking at my backside from every conceivable angle and buffing my thighs until they are red raw I would wholeheartedly have yelled: “MAKE ME BEAUTIFUL!” But now, as I hurtle towards 30 I realise that if I had been one of the beautiful people my life would be starting to end. I’d probably still be pining over someone that never loved me, and I’d still be tottering out of some club at 3am wasted and alone.
As it is, and no matter how clichéd I sound, it feels like life for this averagely faced person is just starting. From now on I am going to try to stare at books and art more than my own reflection and let go of “ideal images”. They say youth is wasted on the young, but I think beauty is wasted on the beautiful. All hail the geek girl I say, and long may she reign, quiet and happy.