“You’re Pretty, You’ll Find Someone”
Men, please stop telling women our looks will find us love
It’s midnight in Barcelona and I’m seated next to Daniel whose quick-witted charm has caught my attention. Only before I have the chance to flaunt my quirky American humor, he breaks into a soliloquy about his beautiful French girlfriend. As though he’s Romeo himself, he carries on for several minutes about how it was love from the start between them. I smile while sipping a near-empty glass of sangria. Then he turns to me and asks, “Have you ever been in love?”
I hesitate to answer his question. Even if I did have a robust romantic history to ramble on about it seems any love story would wail in comparison. Instead, I offer up a slight shrug of the shoulders and a more honest answer than I’d care to give, “I’m not sure.”
“It’s okay. You’re pretty, you’ll find someone.”
These words slip from his tongue almost effortlessly. To me, they feel like a shallow attempt at reassurance. Pity poorly disguised. But something about the way his eyes meet mine makes me think he means this. Although that doesn’t make it any better. It might actually be worse this way.
To offer this remark as assurance, however complimentary it may be, seems perfunctory at best. It’s much like the kind of half-hearted thing you’d say to a friend who got stuck in the rain on the way to the party. “No, you look great. You’ll be dry in no time.” Never mind the mascara running down her cheek or the trail of water droplets she’s left behind on the hardwood.
Despite my best attempts to ignore society’s beauty standards, I struggle to quiet the indoctrinated voice in my head. I succumb to the notion that I am flawed. There is always something to fix. Something to enhance. Something to cover.
However, to say this with sincerity, and to yourself believe in its simplicity, to presume that if X is A, then together X and A must yield B, feels like an insult delivered with the utmost discretion…