Preemptive disclaimer: You all know I adore Sephora, right? I love it and want to marry it. It is my own personal Shangri-La. I refer to it as The Mothership and dream of the day it will beam me up and take me to the great cosmetics playground in the sky.
One of the things I’m not always so wild about, though, is Sephora’s blog. Every once in a while there is a truly cringeworthy post, like this one from Tuesday in which the author, Jenna Mahoney, describes yet another iteration of the recurrent “physically attractive people enjoy preferential treatment at work” news flash. She asks readers to make the (absurdly reductionist) choice of being either gorgeous and stupid or unattractive and a genius, and then she gives the What Would Jenna Do version, as follows:
“After a few days of thinking on it, I’ve come to the following conclusion: I’d rather be off-the-charts smart than just another pretty face. I mean look at Cyrano, he got the girl. Plus if I’m a genuis [sic], then I’ll be able to make enough money to pay to change my looks later. –Jenna Mahoney”
Leaving aside the obvious (part of which I already snarked at in the title), the last phrase really, really disturbs me. I’ll be able to make enough money to pay to change my looks later?!
So here are the implications of that little excerpted bit of text:
1. Smart people make more money than not-so-smart people.
I’ll wait till you’re done laughing cynically. Take all the time you need. No, seriously, go ahead. Cathartic, isn’t it?
2. Even though I say being smart is better, in the end I want to use those smarts to figure out how I can be prettier.
Someone please pull me away from this wall; my head hurts from beating it against the bricks.
3a. Isn’t there something else? Oh yeah — the thing that gives you value as a human being, the thing that you have to choose between smarts and brains in order to achieve, is romantic success. We know that smarts are better than looks because Cyrano got the girl. Not because Cyrano cured cancer, or brought about world peace, or figured out how to end poverty and global warming. No, he got the girl. Oh, wait. She didn’t fall in love with him at first; she fell in love with Christian, the dimwitted eye candy. Only after she had already been attracted to Christian’s beauty did she stop and listen to the words; early on, she tells him that his growing stupid would displease her almost as much as if he became “ill-favored.” In other words, I’d be ticked if you got stupid, but I’d be more ticked if you got ugly. Later, she relents, and tells him she’d love him even if he were ugly. Hey, thanks, Roxane. I guess you grew up just a tiny, tiny bit there. I’m not so sure why she’s a girl worth getting. Oh, wait, let me guess. Is she pretty?
3b. See: House, season 6, episode 9 (“Ignorance is Bliss”), in which a genius physicist drugs himself with DXM mixed with alcohol in order to bring his intelligence down enough to have a happy relationship with his wife.
4. Not drawn from the above, but in response to it: People who say they’d rather be off-the-charts smart have a vastly underdeveloped understanding of the degree of anti-intellectual prejudice in the US. I know that people who are off-the-charts gorgeous don’t have charmed lives (“don’t hate me because I’m beautiful”), but anyone who thinks that being off-the-charts smart makes things easier has another think coming. In fact, a whole lot of thinks.
All right, I’m done being pissy. Let’s talk sales!
HauteLook has Juice Beauty starting today at 11 am Eastern/8 am Pacific.
SkinStore is having another 20% off sale through 3/29; some products are excluded, as usual (see the website for details). Use code SPRING20.
Caudalie is having a Friends & Family sale — through 3/29, get 20% off with code BFFDC.