Aesthetic hierarchies are both a blessing and a curse for fruitful social interaction. Read Andy Hill‘s top tips on avoiding the tsunami of cringe
It ain’t easy being pretty. Or rather, it really fucking is, if you don’t mind swift service at the bar, a minimum 30 likes on all selfies and the reassuring thought you’re unlikely to die alone. But like exotic birds in lavishly gilded cages, the alluring and the chiseled are prisoners of their looks just as much as the lumpen and ill-favoured.
Imagine if roughly half the people you met wanted to go to bed with you. It sounds great (or at least to me it does). Sure, you have power, a certain unconscious, ethereal authority over social situations. But here’s the catch: there’s an ever-present dishonest undertow to your discourse. Like a newly-minted millionaire taking his old school buddies out on the yacht, can you ever be sure people are being nice because they’re nice, or because they want something?
And that’s just the positive side. Jealousy is the ugliest of human emotions, and it manifests in all kinds of strange ways. This study suggests handsome guys are discriminated against in job interviews by alpha-type bosses who don’t fancy being upstaged by a suave underling. Beautiful girls are hunted like trophy game by insecure douchebags, wasting the best years of their lives before being callously spurned the instant a younger model appears.
Never fear, humble reader. Here’s our foolproof guide to not being an asshole…
Do say… ‘What are you studying?’
Or reading, or working on, or listening to, or thinking about. Ever heard the word sonder? Basically it refers to the idea that all human beings have an inner world just as elaborate and complex as your own.
Don’t say… ‘You should be a model’
They know. And they’re bored of hearing about it, so pipe down.
Think carefully before you say… ‘You’re going to have really beautiful babies’
If they’re in a relationship, and have suggested they might possibly have an interest in reproducing, you’re probably fine. But it’s still creepy.
And, for the record, babies are never beautiful. They’re piglets with angry human faces.
Any reference to Audrey Hepburn. Or Marilyn Monroe. Give it a rest.
And here’s a ready-made tweet to get you started
Observe: one kiss, no smiley.