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Beauty Comes At a Price

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The world seems to think beautiful women have it easy - they are dead wrong. True, you get pursued all the time and it gets tough turning down so many eager proposals but if you are looking for a serious career, you can forget about it. It seems good looks can dim your prospects at landing a job, especially if it is considered macho.

If you are pretty, you need not apply for positions like manager R&D, mechanical engineer, director finance/security, hardware salesperson, prison guard or even a truck driver. Madamjee we prefer buying our nuts and bolts from ugly women. But look at the bright side, career crazed women can trash their gym gear, let go of their punishing salon rituals and bid adieu to their expensive makeup. Moral of the story: Why bother, if looking good is considered a crime.

It becomes worse if you are hot. Great, you managed to grab that coveted position despite your killer stats; you now make a belated discovery that most of your male colleagues prefer having intense discussions with your twins. Nobody in your organisation wants to take you seriously with the how can she be sexy and sharp logic. Look what happened to the curvy Debrahlee Lorenzana. The poor girl was fired from Citibank because her bosses and male colleagues found her too steamy for comfort. When the fed up femme fatale asked why her female colleagues who were similarly attired did not meet the same fate, her bosses shot back saying their general unattractiveness rendered irrelevant their sartorial choices, unlike the plaintiff. So it’s ok to strut your obese self in a pencil skirt but criminal if you are picture perfect! Moral of the story: it’s safer to turn off your boss rather than turning him on.
Of course if you are drop dead gorgeous, you can model a career on posing and preening. You can also shed crocodile tears on the silver screen and go laughing all the way to the bank. Unfortunately beauty comes with an expiry date and there comes a day when someone younger, prettier and more talented walks away with your job. So what do you do now?

• You can take a cue from Kate Moss, the original size zero model and make a killing selling your own jams. Ms Moss apparently got so excited after making jam from damson plums picked from her country estate that she now wants to launch her own range. A sweet and safe career option where nobody gives a damn about how you look.
• You could also turn to farming like Liz Hurley, better known for her Versace safety pin dress rather than her acting prowess. Liz is no ordinary farmer but of an organic variety who prefers farming organic meat and lamb products rather than boring old veggies. Her beef jerky apparently is a best seller. I am sure Ms Hurley’s sultry visage beaming from packets of this popular snack is an added stimulus for the customers. Does it come with complimentary safety pins?

• I wouldn’t advise you to go the Naomi Campbell way. Way back in 1997 Ms Campbell unabashedly flirts with the former President of Liberia, who also happens to be a warlord. The man goes putty in her expert hands and floors her with diamonds, a girl’s best friend. The supermodel doesn’t seem to mind that the diamonds have blood on them. The man in question, Charles Taylor, is now facing charges by the UN for war crimes and Ms Campbell is going blue in the face denying charges that she knew the origin of the uncut diamonds. Possession of an uncut diamond is a criminal offence in South Africa with penalties ranging from a hefty fine to ten years imprisonment for repeat offenders. Moral of the story: Farming pays, flirting does not.
If you choose to stay at home, untethered from the rat race and rather occupy yourself looking after the home & hearth, a dismal fate awaits you. Besides dying of boredom, you also face the ignominy of getting labelled as socially unproductive. The Indian Census of 2010 has graciously classified housewives in the same category as beggars, prostitutes and prisoners. Damn you woman, even your maid is better off than you! Homemakers would beg to differ of course. Moral of the story: It certainly doesn’t pay that you look after and keep your family happy.
And talking of prisoners, Poonam Rani, a resident of Delhi will soon be spending the rest of her life in prison, in the company of ugly guards (the applications of all the pretty ones were turned down). It seems the lady in question had so fallen in love with her beggar status that when her mother in law pressured her to join B Ed, she bludgeoned her to death. Moral of the story: It’s better to shut up rather than getting framed in a picture with a garland for company.

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Harness the bounty while it lasts.

Looks are a blessing too, though it needs to be marketed properly for maximum returns. Poor choices and you are in trouble. Looks are like athletic ability, at its peak during youth. If baseball players, football players, WWF grunts make a bonanza with their physical attributes during youth what's wrong with harnessing youth for a windfall from a feminine perspective ? Also, if one Citibank finds Ms. Gaga too hot to handle there should be no dearth of offers for such high voltage material. Also, just like a Phd is not required to sell shoes in a Bata store, there is no need for a Kate Moss to sell screwdrivers. By law of averages, a tiny percentage of women will fit the size zero 440 volts category. Let them enjoy it as a God given gift because of good karma and use it guiltlessly to maximum advantage.

To feel cherished,

Purba Ray's picture

To feel cherished, appreciated and loved is what we all seek. Beauty is just an accessory, which may or may not help.


Good looks are as powerful as a smart mind. Together the two are a lethal combination. Men are too selfish when it comes to business. It doesn't matter how a woman looks for them to be attracted to her. What they get attracted to is how a woman projects them at their place of work, amongst their colleagues, bosses and clients. A beautiful woman (I don't mean looks here) intimidates men and they feel sidelined when she gets all the attention. All women beautiful or not, get more attention than men. Smart women play their cards right, by giving a lot of importance to the 'important' men at work, and get laid as well. Whether they are beautiful or not, doesn't matter, because men want to own women who make them feel powerful. Age I don't think is really a factor. Men want women around if women continue to play dumb however smart or mature they are. On a more serious note :), women mustn't worry... In the presence of men, they are powerful and capable and better at anything they do. Besides you are as beautiful as you feel. Great article though :)

Thanks, that's some pep talk

Purba Ray's picture

Thanks, that's some pep talk :))

I completely agree, with what

I completely agree, with what has been said here..contrary to what people think, good looking women have their own share of problems..being a woman with some amount of looks, I can just about go on and on at the tiresomeness of the whole thing. It especially irks me when people assume for no reason at all that just because you have some amount of looks you don't have a head. I have no problems with other people's stupidity, but assuming that I fall in that category too is not acceptable to me. Great article & something very close to my heart.

What irks me even more is

Purba Ray's picture

What irks me even more is when men assume that most of us obsess about how we look. That we spend most of our waking hours in front of the mirror, at the salon or at a cosmetics counter.

I have to respectfully disagree....

I am not even sure what the basis of this article is about? I mean, I read and re-read the article and really tried hard to understand the basic premise, which if I am paraphrasing right -would mean, that being beautiful detrimental to professional success of happiness?? So first question, why is beauty even a variable, secondly if it is, being good looking, charming, personable and attractive are god gifted. Not many of us can boast of it, let alone leverage such qualities in the way we place ourselves.

As far as all those professions, go, I am sorry but having graduated from 2 business schools and being a career focused woman myself, I have had the privilege of knowing smart, intellingent, sexy, attractive and very very beautiful women who have been very successful. Whether they are in IMF, head world regions in Fortune 10 companies, have their very own venture capitalist firms, or have chosen to pursue the arts, or sciences or academics.

Their persona has been the complete picture of brains and beauty and they have not compromised either to get ahead. What is wrong in looking good? I still don't get it. I love dressing up to work, making sure I turn a head or 2 and you know what, any woman will be a TOTAL HYPOCRITE to say that she doesn't enjoy the attention. Oh you, Holier than Thou ladies, please, bite me... be honest to yourself. Be honest with yourself first and then with your mirror. Take care of what has been gifted to you, and if u are blessed with both a phenomenal brain in a beautiful body, u don't have to go strut your stuff, more power to you girl.. rock on.. let your beauty shine.

Stop looking for excuses that hold you back, at one time it was .. gosh I am so pretty I am being harassed.. now it is.. gosh if I am pretty.. I won't get a job.. REALLY !!!!.. ???? Grow up.. accept the world on your own terms. STOP putting parameters that were set or reset by men or other women and trying to redefine yourself thru those lenses.

Lose the tinted glasses ladies, look long and hard at yourself.. get off your butt if you need to lose weight, go back to school if you wanna study, be a mom if you want the greatest joy in life.. do it with grace, do it with dignity.. Beauty is a side effect.. stop making such a big deal about it..



Pritha..The premise of the

Purba Ray's picture

Pritha..The premise of the article is humour, in case you didn't get the point.

It's a compilation of news articles and an edition of my news gazette - Jhalmuri Times.

Guess so

... didn't come across in your replies either to earlier posts, so most of us assumed what we did.. thanks for clarifying !

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