In B movies, the bad guys are often ugly killers and the bad women are beautiful manipulators.
Bethany was one of the latter. Her earliest memories were of parents and their friends saying things like, ‘You’re so beautiful!” Bethany learned to crave such praise…and to use it.
One can’t say how she learned the time-honored strategy of looking deeply into her dad’s eyes and pleading, “Daddy, can’t I please have a…” As a young child it was just a piece of candy. As a teen it was “Can I stay out past my curfew” and later, “I’d be so excited if you’d buy me a Beemer.”
Nor were Bethany’s classmates immune to her charms. Although her personality and intellect were lackluster, her looks guaranteed her charter membership in the “in” group.
And of course, the boys were slayed. All the empty-headed ones craved her. Six boys asked her to the prom.
In applying for jobs, Bethany included a headshot atop her resume. In our shallow, lookist society, she landed jobs she otherwise never would have and survived layoffs she otherwise would have been part of.
And she continued to enjoy a rich social life. One day, her boyfriend took her on a motorcycle ride in the country. As they rounded a corner, they slammed into a deer, which thrust the guy onto the other side of the road where he was run-over instantly by an oncoming truck. She missed getting run over by inches but her helmet wasn’t fastened tightly enough, it flew off, and her face bounced along the asphalt.
Despite three cosmetic surgeries, Bethany’s face was now disfigured and scarred for life.
I’d like to be able to tell you that Bethany’s no longer being able to rely on her looks resulted in her developing her personality, work ethic, and kindness, but radical changes more often reside in B movie characters than in real life. Bethany mainly just ended up bitter.
A person assumes risk in relying too much on appearance. And even The Beautiful People lose their looks to time’s ravages. Focus on your product, not its wrapping.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marty Nemko Ph.D. Named the San Francisco Bay Area’s “Best Career Coach,” Marty Nemko has been career and personal coach to 4,500 clients and enjoys a 96% client-satisfaction rate. The author of seven books (250,000 copies sold) including How to Do Life: What They Didn’t Teach You in School plus over 2,000(!) published articles, including on Time.com where he also writes. Marty Nemko holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. Contact Marty at www.martynemko.com.