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Does Being Beautiful Hold Women Back? Miranda Hart Says So

Posted on the 25 September 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost
Is beauty a curse? Miranda Hart says so Ladies: Time to ditch the beauty treatments and start spreading yourselves with dung?

The background

Bad news for supermodels, Hollywood actresses and indeed any woman who’s rather fetching. According to a spate of recent articles, being a beautiful woman means you are likely to have a mundane life, be terribly insecure, and spend your time kissing boys and partying instead of building a successful career. Oh, and another thing, hot stuff: you’re too pretty to be funny. Now go and brush your hair.


Miranda Hart: It’s better never to have been beautiful

“As a beautiful young woman in a world full of people with eyes, it’s unlikely that you’re going to have to draw heavily upon your other personal resources – intelligence, wit, compassion and general wily low cunning – in order to just ‘get by’,” said comedienne Miranda Hart, in an extract from her new book published in The Telegraph. Being plain is a positive advantage for a teenage girl, as the lack of male attention means she can spend time honing her talents: “You’ll very likely emerge from your chrysalis aged 25 as a highly accomplished young thing ready to take on the world. Meanwhile, The Beautiful Ones will have been so busy having boyfriends and brushing their hair they’ll just be… who they always were.”

Hart is setting up a false dichotomy

Hart’s musings on beauty are just another example of women’s obsession with looks, said Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett in The Guardian: “The idea that you cannot be both attractive and intelligent or successful persists despite all evidence to the contrary…  Then there’s the snobbish notion that spending time on your appearance somehow makes you just that little bit stupider than those people who ponce around quoting Goethe in a flurry of plaque and dandruff, not caring that being in their vicinity makes everyone else want to gouge out their own retinas with an eyelash curler. Can’t we have both? What’s wrong with having brushed hair, clean knickers, a great sex life and an exceptional grasp of mental arithmetic?”

Are beautiful women funny?

Hart isn’t the only woman taking aim at attractiveness. As Madeleine Davies reported for Jezebel, US journalist Nikki Finke slammed the decision to give a comedy Emmy to Modern Family‘s Julie Bowen: “Listen up, Hollywood: Beautiful actresses are not funny. They don’t know how to do comedy…” Davies wasn’t entirely impressed: “While Bowen is a perhaps a poor example of a beautiful and funny woman, there are plenty out there. (I’d name names, but I’ve already done that here.) Additionally, quips like this only further pushes us to label what is attractive (in this case, it’s being thin, caucasian and young) and what isn’t.”

Beauty is so limiting

Hot on the heels of Samantha Brick, Eve Ahmed complained in The Daily Mail that being a self-described beauty has its disadvantages: “The fact is that loveliness is not the blessing people imagine it to be. It fosters envy, and assumptions that you are vacuous and arrogant.” Ahmed argued that being beautiful had hindered her career and distracted her from knuckling down to write: “Every time I put pen to paper, my colleagues would drag me out to discos and bars. To my surprise, I’d become Miss Popular: the good-time, fun-loving party animal who nobody — including me, by now — took seriously.”

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