Hanging out recently with one of my closest friends, I found myself saying, “I’m so tired of being pretty.”
I then quickly corrected myself: “I’m tired of my being pretty being seen as something remarkable.”
I recognize that beauty privilege is indeed privilege and even though it carries complications, certainly any attempt to disdain one’s privilege is inviting scorn. It’s not that I am ungrateful for the canvas I was handed in life, the canvas upon which I then exacted my own artistry (which, believe me, has not been without great effort and investment on my part). My willingness to cultivate a certain appearance and commit to it has certainly afforded me many benefits throughout life, and it would be shortsighted of me if I didn’t cop to that.
It’s rather that I’m tired of being a lightning rod for attention that doesn’t actually have anything to do with me. I’m tired of men who express a vaguely predatory entitlement to me, as if my being pretty in their general vicinity is an invitation for them to pluck me up like fruit without any regard to my interest. I’m tired of being pretty when being pretty is the payoff of a Faustian bargain where the price I pay is my voice.
Here are some of the things I receive regularly that annoy me:
– invitations to be a unicorn in a threesome with a couple who have only known me for five minutes
– getting asked out by men in a presumptive way that feels less like they’re asking and more like they’re booking my time
– negs, boyfriend destroyer patterns, blatant push-pull rapport breaking tactics (as if I can’t both explain them and cite their creators)
– invitations focused on easy sexuality without any nod of accountability toward me
– invitations centered in a superficial lifestyle that doesn’t interest me
– obvious displays of attraction toward me without the slightest knowledge of who I am as a person
Importantly, none of these things are abusive or inappropriate, exactly. Asking is not inherently coercive. They’re just lazy and annoying, because they demonstrate a lack of curiosity about my own needs and a risibly stupid belief that being intimate with me will be simplistically gratifying.
I’m like, bruh, do you even know what path I’m on right now? Do you have any understanding of the ways that being around me is going to challenge you? Do you understand the things I’m about to call into being? Do you have any idea of my vision for my future? Do you understand that calling me away from that path, that vision, in order to spend time indulging the desires you project on me is selfish? Do you possess any notion of the things I would need or want from you in order for us to be an energetic match? Do you even understand that I need you to be (or grow into) an energetic match for me in order for me to find you even remotely of interest? Do you really think I’m supposed to be impressed by the fact that you find me pretty?
Save it for Tinder, guys. I get this shit all the time and it’s easy, it’s boring, and I’m over it. Pretty is everywhere, I’ve done it and I’m bored.
There’s a reason that in the PUA community we teach a technique called qualifying: to qualify a potential partner is to ask them questions about their passions, goals, values, and vision for themselves, not only to make them feel seen and appreciated, but also to demonstrate your own knowledge that looks alone are fucking boring and that there is more to compatibility than whether you find someone attractive.
As for my looks, of course I’ll maintain them because well, I’m already here and I like looking the way I do, and because I believe my energetic match deserves my best effort. I’m just tired of them being a thing, and I’m about to smite the next dude who insults me by acting like my being pretty is even remotely interesting. In the meantime I’m just going to secretly laugh to myself as these things inevitably keep happening, because it’s pretty fucking funny when people conclude from my appearance alone that they could handle me.