A reader at What Privilege emailed, suggesting we dismantle the notion that conventionally beautiful women are privileged over other women. I’m all for this, but I was never considered conventionally beautiful (henceforth shortened to merely “beautiful”), so I could use some input from those who are, or who have talked at length to beautiful women.
I’ll start with this. I do agree with the poster that being “beautiful” isn’t really a privilege. Whatever perks there may be to being a beautiful woman, they are all to do with using her as a sex object. I.E., perhaps no one but a beautiful woman has a chance of marrying a superficial rich guy, but that’s hardly my idea of a privilege. There have been dubious studies indicating the conventionally attractive people get more promotions and raises at work, but if that’s true, it’s somehow failed to shatter the glass ceiling.
The reader also talked about how men avoid asking out beautiful women, on the assumption that they already have dates. I can confirm this. L.A. is flooded with conventionally beautiful struggling actresses, and I’ve been friends with them and witnessed this for myself. It may also be that guys lack the self-confidence to ask out beautiful women.
And then people treat beautiful women with incredible resentment. Not just those envious women who have bought into the idea that if only they were beautiful all would be well, but also those men who can’t attract beautiful women but have been taught by their culture that they deserve one (as a trophy, of course – these guys never seem to have noticed anything beyond the packaging of these mean women who won’t date them).
Obviously, women who aren’t conventionally beautiful get locked out of certain arenas: acting opportunities are severely limited, modeling isn’t even a possibility, etc. There’s definitely a prejudice against women who don’t conform to beauty standards. But I don’t think that translates to “privilege” for the ones who do. Just a few perks.
What do you think about the idea of beauty privilege?