Science Says Beauty Is Boring, And What The Hell Is Beauty, Anyway?

How many times have you met someone really, really ridiculously good-looking, only to discover that the catch-22 of such genetic physical advantage is that they’re also really, really ridiculously terrible — or, perhaps even worse, really, really ridiculously boring? At long last, scientists have proven that there’s actually something behind what we’ve suspected for years: when seeking to make a connection between beauty and appealing character traits or values, Psychological Science found that “beautiful people tend to focus more on conformity and self-promotion than independence and tolerance.”

Beauty, of course, is subjective; what one finds exquisite may very well be repulsive to another. The way that I personally translate the findings of this study is that they speak mainly to individuals who not only think of themselves as beautiful, but also believe that a physical appearance is of primary value over personality. And isn’t anyone with those kinds of convictions (or lack thereof) boring and kind of awful in the first place, whether or not they are, in fact, publicly perceived as beautiful? So while this study validates something that we all sort of inherently know — that the most conventionally good-looking person at the party is also very likely to be the most boring — aren’t some of the people that we think are most beautiful also the most flawed? For me, at least, I find imperfection in beauty far more compelling than perfect symmetry.

I went to high school with a girl who is now a successful commercial model. She enjoyed a very brief 15 minutes when she was photographed kissing the most lusted-after member of a boy band with a fanatic fan base. She is incredibly conventionally beautiful, with a perfect nose and pretty eyes, long, shiny hair and coltish legs. And let me tell you, long before she was known for her celebrity dalliance, she was the fucking worst, self-absorbed and unfriendly with a braggadocio that blew my mind whenever I was fortunate enough to be graced by her otherworldly presence. And yes, when she wasn’t making you feel godawful about yourself, she was a pretty nightmare of a bore.

You could say she was one of my first experiences with extreme beauty that came hand-in-hand with extreme unkindness cloaked in false modesty — and for all of my insecurities, and the innumerable value that I place on beauty and good looks, being acquainted with her made me finally grateful that although I may not be the most beautiful, fuck it, at least I’m not terrible. [Business Insider]