False Modesty

 I feel bad for the person who was beautiful in high school and is now kind of plain.

by karen bergreen • More.com Member { View Profile }

Am I supposed to feel bad when a successful, gorgeous star says: “People used to make fun of me in high school? I wasn’t petty by their standards. I was too skinny, my boobs were too big, and my long shiny hair didn’t fit the mold of the short perm? It was also hard because my parents didn’t support my career. They kept saying things like college and unemployable. But. . . .

Look at Me Now.”  And the applause resounds — whether in the studio audience or on the page or in the air underneath all that hair."

I’m going to go out on a limb: I don’t feel bad.  At all.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a stone. I feel bad for the person who was beautiful in high school and is now kind of plain. She got a little big in the bottom. One day an unsightly — but not dangerous — growth sprouted from her neck or face. Maybe she relied a little too much on their looks back in the day and thus never cultivated a personality or a brain. She is little Norma Desmond, but not interesting enough to be Norma Desmond. Each year she drifts farther from the excellence she achieved at 14. Worse, she sees the gawky, booby, shiny-haired losers from high school plastered all over People magazine dining out on their unpopularity. 

Worse yet, the people who were mocked in high school and are mocked worse as grown-ups. They might, at a young age, harbor that the torment will end, but when they never seem to meet society’s standard of beauty or coolness the hope disappears. That truly sucks.

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