Monday, November 27, 2006

Beauty and the Beast

So Hottie Hottie put out this post posing yet another devil's advocate question. ..If a man is a nice person but have a ugly face would you have a serious relationship with him?
I realised that my response to this question was rather long winded and also raised some other social issues. I responded by saying No, for several reasons. Mind you I am taking 'ugly' to be someone who differs GREATLY from MY personal preferences. As they say in Trini,'Every bread have its cheese'.I don't really know how other people define ugly, I guess just generally not having flattering features or features that have been socially stereotyped and analysed as being 'acceptable'. In general none of my ex boyfriends have been stunners and I do not go seeking good looking men (or seek period, men come to me lolol).

Well firstly there is obviously the problem with physical attraction. I like to have sexual relations with my man and I can't see myself really getting that vibe if I am not physically attracted to the person. Which is going to frustrate me . I don't want to sleep with ugly people because it also opens the door to my next reason.........

Ugly kids...I hate to say it but the probability that you will have ugly kids increases significantly if one or both parties are ugly. As I commented on Hottie's site, I only want the best for my kids and the reality that we live in is that the world is not kind to ugly children or ugly people. The very thought of my child being the one who is constantly taunted for 'bat ears' or 'knock knee' is worrying to me. I wonder if I will be prepared to deal with the emotional trauma that can have on a child. My current b/f is pretty hot if I do say so myself. But we both have big heads so our kids probably will as well, but thats as bad as I can see it getting.

As I indicated on my comment on this topic, during my teenage years I was extremely insecure in my own self image. Partially because I was extremely skinny (with a big head) , I had large nipples for breasts and I had a ghastly birthmark that I constantly hid under clothes. I don't think I even owned a two piece swimsuit until I was 16 when i first played mas and probably did not even wear sleeveless tops until then. I firmly believe that the only reason I was finally able to come out of my shell and became the confident, independant person I am today is because of the attention I started getting for my looks around the same time. In my first attempt at starting a blog, I started an article which touched on this (Saucy may remember).But it was something like this...

The superficial world that we live in today was revealed to me very unexpectedly and very suddenly. Even though my liming squad in secondary school was popular, I was probably one of the quietest of the bunch. I would tell them I was teh least known of the knowns.I was also one of the most sheltered, and was not able to go out to parties etc as much as my friends and far less deal up with any man. So everyday I would go to school the same way as I did since form one, with my hair in one plait. Now I had a lot of hair which I could not comb and it was the easiest style in the world.One day in Form 4 I catch a vaps and decided to follow fashion and try something new. I corkscrewed my hair and went to school with my hair out. Hear what I say, I went simply from hair all brushed back to hair out.

So I get a few compliments from my friends and class mates but no big deal right? WRONG! Can I tell you that as I walked down the road after school , the boys are tripping over themselves. And I can tell you that is the definitive point as which my life changed. Instant superstardom. There was literally a guy who used to be my friend in primary school (the tom boy years). I used to pass him everyday walking down the road from school. He literally had said nothing to me since the day we started secondary school. That week he started saying Hello again. And everyday after that he was trying to talk to me with his friends around. All of a sudden I was a hot commodity. Can I tell you I happened to run into this same guy last week and he was still trying to hit on me ,all up in my business and asking why I not married. Want me to come to Europe to visit him (vomit). He had the audacity to comment that he had not seen me since primary school. I was going to blow him up in a nasty way but both our parents were around and I told him 'Nah man, we saw each other everyday right thru secondary school'.

I asked this really all it boils down to? Are people really that superficial? That I change something as little as my hair instantly I am reinevented to command attention and even respect?This actually pissed me off. I had not gotten any cuter physically, I still had small breasts, my face had not changed(I never had acne or anything though) and I was still meagre.I did not change my dresscode or my attitude. I just threw away my brush (does not work for everyone please!) and voila!

One of my friends had a man on a prestige school football team so we sometimes hung out with them. I think they all had some hot man or other tracking them. What do you know..I pick up my own hot man. The guy ask my friend about who I am. Of course she was like 'What do you mean who she is...that's Diva(hahaha pre -diva), she has always been with us everyday.' The man is to tell her that he has never seen me before and that he though i transferred from another school.He can't believe he has not seen me before and is astonished by her claim. I kid you not.

So with my new found smoking good looks I found myself from having one or two geks tracking me to juggling about 5 man calling Papa Jumbie house every night. Lik ethey going competition to see who could seal the deal first. My parents were confused themselves at this drastic influx of male callers and probably a little worried. I actually had to choose between these guys.(Needless to say my choice was the biggest mistake I made in my life but I stray..)

And it was not only boys that started tap dancing but big men. I learnt very quickly that being cuter was working to my advantage. I am not a pushy person, I don't ask people for things jus for the hell of it. But I was going into stores and every where I went I was getting free stuff. Literally. Food , clothes, tings. Party free, drink free. Stores opening up just for me. And i mean people giving NOT me asking. Attendants always quick to ask if I need help.I got more tips as a waitress.
I went to Hi Lo once about 15 mins after they closed, desperate to buy a cake for my b/f birthday .I hand signalled the guard through the window to open for me as the acshiers were still working. He got up to open the door and as I tried to squeeze in the crack he made , another very large middle aged woman was right behind me looking to rush in as well. When he saw her he drew back to close the door.The lady actually became offended. She started making one set of noise outside the ppl place. Asking why the guard was going to let me in and not her,if she was not somebody too.I quietly slipped away (most pissed the woman shit up my scene)

One thing I try not to do is take advantage of such priveleges so that when I actually want something I can get it.But as the years have passed I have realised that we do indeed live in a superficial world and the more attractive your physical appearance the more vulnerable ppl become to you. They are more trusting, more willing to be of assistance. Why do you think some of the greatest con men of the world are sauve well groomed, educated ppl. Because ppl fall into what is on the outside, the image.

Ironically the benefits of being beautiful in today's world does have its downside. If I was a tv personality (Empress Diva) or a model or a sales rep or some other people orientated job I would be having a stellar career based largely on just how attractive I was. I used to be a debt collecter believe it or not and best believe I was top performer several months running. Why? Cause people paid the nice lady.

I was also blessed with a high level of intelligence so I went down the path of sciences in school and came out with a stellar engineering degree instead. Unfortunately, I have learnt that people (as superficial as they are and especially in Trinidad) cannot assimilate the fact that you can have beauty AND brains. So now I am experiencing that people ASSUME that I am stupid. Imagine that! I actually had a client express suprise that I was part of the design team since 'most engineers don't look like you'. At first I took it as a compliment but it got really annoying once I started doing much of the business of the company and ppl assumed I was my bosses' assistant (even though I am attending working meetings).

I really had to put once receptionist in her place when I arrived to see her company director regarding a confidential matter. I had briefly met her at her company social and we had small talked a little with their other Admin staff.I don't walk around with a sign on my head that says "I have a brain" or "Actually, I AM a rocket scientist" and I treat everyone equally. So I told her that the envelope I had (laid on the desk as I juggled my things) was for her boss and that I wanted to see him as he was expecting the package. She off handedly told me 'He's busy' and before I could stop her she grabbed the envelope, ripped it open and proceeded to examine the contents of the envelope. I was so horrified that the expression on my face alone said it all. She realised that she had been hasty and said "Oh , I was not supposed to open it?" but only slightly embarrassed, no apology. I was most upset and demanded that she repack my envelope. As she did so she noticed that my business card which had been paperclipped to the package was face up on her desk. As she read it, the colour drained from her face as she realised my job title. She began stammering apologies immediately.Usually I take pleasure when I catch ppl off guard like this when they realise who they dealing with but she made things worse for herself. She told me (stammering), 'I'm sorry,I thought you were just a secretary' Now WTF is that suppossed to mean??? Do I not deserve respect as a secretary? Oh am I too young and cute to be a company head honcho.I had to rough her up, "Exactly, WHAT about me made you think I was a secretary?". She fumbled again and stammered " the party ...I did not realise......". Before she could finish I cut her off and told her to let her boss know I came and walked off on her in midsentence. My boss was most annoyed as well at her treatment and palced a call to her director saying 'Please inform your staff that Ms.Diva is NOT my secretary but my right hand woman.' So I have taken the step of presenting my card to new clients as I meet them so they doh get tie up. I demand the respect from in front. Doh feel yuh dealing with no ' sorf woman here.

So in general, being cute in the world makes you way through life a bit softer if you use it to your advantage. Use I say but don't abuse. You don't need to be whoring yourself out. However , it presents challenges when you want people to respect you for your intelligence. I have taken the position that it works in my favour cause I always have the element of surprise. You would never expect what I am capable of cause you would underestimate me from my appearance. The world should be glad I did not decide to become a criminal......


Hottie Hottie said...

Oh God girl. Like yuh wanted to get this one off yuh chest long time. Don't foget the people who assume that you breezing through life because you're good looking and take it upon themselves to "even the odds". So you have the nasty coworkers, the frenemies and even complete strangers who decide to "put you in your place." And it's even worse if you're mixed. And well, if yuh red, PRESSAH! Everybody does want to punish you for their insecurities.

Carnival Jumbie (Diva) said...

Well girl , doh worry, its only cause I tired write that I did not start the next post entitled "Haters"

saucydiva said...

Very nice commentry;it is scientifically proven that attractive people have an easier time in life compared to people considered not as attractive.

I don't think I am some gorgeous, drop dead beauty but I do know that I am considered attractive in the convential sense as well as I have big breasts which, trust me, gets ALOT of attention.And like you,when I was younger people thought I was as "stupid" as well; nice face, big breasts and wearing a sexy outfit meant I could not hold a conversation about poiltics or current events!

Now that I am all grown up,I get called "snob" and "stuck up" because of the way I speak and how I tend to carry myself. I am reserved at work, I do not participate in office gossip and co-workers who are friends are few and far between.

I have made enemies at work by just stepping foot through the door, people who think I "feel I am too red" or "feel I too nice" or "like myself too much". Sometimes I wonder why liking yourself bothers other people SO much.

Carnival Jumbie (Diva) said...

Doh frighten I have a next set line up to address them same shit!

Jamette said...

I still laughing at the 'nipples for breasts'. Neway i think we all had our insecurities back then and as we all get older we may still have some. i think it will always be funny to look back at 'the time when i felt x way about y'. I am sitting here trying to remember what ghastly birthmark you talking about and don't for the life of me know what you talking about. But back then (and considering the school we went to and where it was placed as well) it was sometimes hard to even exist. I never even wore shorts ever, because of my skinny, what i thought were awful legs and only realized that my legs made no difference much later on when I 'grew up' and found that my bambam would cancel out my skinny legs any day.

But yet again after gaining that confidence you find yourself doubting yourself when you become pregnant and your skin stretching all kinda ways you never imagined and not going back no matter how many people around you seem to spring back to 'normal'. I am sure in 2026 I will laugh at the Jamette of 2006 who thought she needed to lose some weight because she had one child. I guess I will grow up some more then too.

saucydiva said...

Jamette and Diva did you both go to Bishops?

I always thought Bishops girls had a superior sense of self :D

I went to St. Francois and did A'Levels at St. George's.

Sexelise said...

Physical attraction is a big thing for me... when i met mybf 4 years ago... the first thing I said was "Damn who is that" ... and i guess he felt the same way too... I dont think I ever dated an ugly man... but i have friends who do.. one of them told me one time..."when I send that out.. I know he coming home for sure, you feel I want to be worried with a pretty boy" LOL

Carnival Jumbie (Diva) said...

LOL sexelise. I glad you say that first and not me! It might sound kind of cocky but I feel the same way about my b/f. I do believe we had a similar occurence. Two years later I still watch him and say 'Damn this man is hot!'.

Carnival Jumbie (Diva) said...

Oh and Saucy, we went to SJC, P.O.S...the ghetto years cause our year group definitely had a wild streak lolol. Me and Jamette was in the same class since Form 1 right to U6

Anonymous said...

well, does a guy have to be good looking to be attractive? My b/f is quite handsome to me, but there have definitely been guys out there which I never considered 'handsome' but were still attractive because of some other aspect - power, physical strength, personality...

Carnival Jumbie (Diva) said...

I agree with 'anonymous'. ahhhh anonymous pick a name nuh!!
Any who, As I said my exs have not been particularly dashing but they all had something that made them attractive to me.
I was actually emabrassed to be seen with my first b/f cause he was so not my type but he was hilarious and when I finally warmed up to him I thought he was the sexiest man on earth.Go figure..

Karabana said...

What a great topic & post Diva, I can really relate to the hair change being the sudden change in ppl's perception. For me, LOL, it was the opposite hair situation though, I was the only mixed girl in our small town with frizzy "Diana Ross" hair, so when I finally got tired of the insults, I got a very very short cut that was the style back then. Yeah, things changed after that, started getting male atention & got my 1st boyfriend.

Career wise, lots more to discover about men - I was a fresh out of university reporter in amongst all the middle aged white men, wow, what a novelty I was! Forget not being taken seriously... try harassment, which was not defined as a workplace issue back then & even if your feminist self knew it was wrong, hah, good luck trying to battle small town mentality.

So many things that happen to us women growing up help us develop an understanding of how to get what we want in life, & if using our looks is to our advantage, that is a necessary reality of society.

A guy I dated 10 yrs older than me told me once you really know what men want. Yeah, I understand men. When you really think about it, they are not difficult to figure out. Their needs with women are basic. They often tell us this in no uncertain terms, but some women miss it.

Since my career switch 8 yrs ago, I work w mostly females, so for me it's more about fashion than femininity. Can't bother w contacts or makeup... I save that other side of me for outside the workplace which is where real life is for me anyway! LOL!

Ultimately looks won't sustain you.
Beauty & youth is fleeting, so for the immediate, enjoy.