It’s a story that has all ends of the internet taking sides — is life really harder for beautiful people?
On Monday, The Cut posted a self-reflection piece from an anonymous woman in her 50s, talking about how difficult certain aspects of her life were due to her looks.
The woman, who began modelling in high school, said she had waist-length dark brown hair and brown eyes.
“My looks definitely opened doors for me. I worked in PR and as a news producer, writer, reporter, and talk-show host. I did acting in daytime soaps, TV commercials, and theater. I never interviewed for a job I didn’t get. I had a good degree from a good college, sure, but I think all things being equal, I’d get the job above other candidates because of the way I look,” she wrote.
READ MORE: Do your looks determine your salary at work?
She said being a beautiful woman also meant being hated by other women. “Women have made me cry my whole life. When I try to make friends with a woman, I feel like I’m a guy trying to woo her. Women don’t trust me. They don’t want me around their husbands. I’m often excluded from parties, with no explanation.”
She said throughout her life, her interaction with women became competitive and hateful. She claims people at work would “conspire” against her and told her bosses lies to get her fired. She also adds that at one point, she had to end her engagement because of her looks.
“His sister-in-law spread gossip about me to his family. They threatened to cut his inheritance if he stayed with me, so he left. That broke my heart,” she wrote.
And after years of relationships with men and women, jobs and trying to keep friends, she realized eventually, age becomes invisible.
“These days, since I have aged, when I don’t wear makeup and I gain a bit of weight (which happens often) I pass as normal. As far as men, and anyone under 40 is concerned, I am invisible. They do not see me. I could walk across the street naked — it’s that bad.”
Social media users react
In The Cut, some readers pointed out they were happy for being “average-looking.”
“No one’s ever threatened and if I’m invisible the older I get, I really don’t care. Strangely, I’ve gotten every job I’ve interviewed for as well. But I do have a good personality, so maybe that helped,” one reader wrote.
Others agreed after seeing it in their own lives.
“I have some truly beautiful friends, and I’ve often felt rather sorry for them, because it just seems so difficult for them to determine whether someone likes them or their faces,” another user wrote.
On Twitter, some people didn’t agree with the author’s views.
In 2012, a similar piece was written by British writer Samantha Bricks in the Daily Mail, claiming women hated her because of her beautiful looks.
“If you’re a woman reading this, I’d hazard that you’ve already formed your own opinion about me — and it won’t be very flattering. For while many doors have been opened (literally) as a result of my looks, just as many have been metaphorically slammed in my face — and usually by my own sex,” she wrote.
“You’d think we women would applaud each other for taking pride in our appearances,” she continued. “I work at mine — I don’t drink or smoke, I work out, even when I don’t feel like it, and very rarely succumb to chocolate. Unfortunately, women find nothing more annoying than someone else being the most attractive girl in a room.”
Is there science behind this?
There are some studies that back up some of these women’s claims. One report from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found attractive people had a harder time getting low-level jobs, Forbes reports.
But other studies show the benefits of being beautiful. One study from 2016 found beautiful people were seen as more intelligent, the Telegraph reports.
Dr. Maneet Bhatia, a clinical psychologist based in Toronto, says one thing we can take away from this story is how appearances can be deceiving.
WATCH: Could being attractive put your relationship in jeopardy?
“In society, we assign a sense of worth, happiness, and success to beauty, money, and social status and believe that those who have these live a ‘perfect’ life, that they are immune to suffering anxiety, stress, rejection and disappointment,” he tells Global News.
“It is this belief that leads us to feel surprised when, for example, actors, or athletes disclose they are suffering from mental health problems. We think, ‘They have it all, they are so attractive they should be happy. They have nothing to worry about.'”
He adds, instead of focusing on other people’s appearances or mental health, we should focus on our own. “Everyone has their own story, their own struggle and that no matter how you look, mental health affects us all.”