Well, that child has some remarkable advantages, as I have described. She is much more likely to accept herself and enjoy the benefits of self-confidence. However, she also faces some unique problems that the homely child never experiences. Beauty in our society is power, and power can be dangerous in immature hands. A fourteen-year-old young woman, for example, who is prematurely curved and rounded in all the right places may be pursued vigorously by males who would exploit her beauty. As she becomes more conscious of her flirtatious power, she is sometimes urged toward promiscuity. Furthermore, women who have been coveted physically since early childhood often become bitter and disillusioned as they age. I'm thinking particularly of Hollywood's most glamorous sex queens, such as Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot, who had difficulty dealing with the depersonalization of body worship as the years passed.
Research also indicates some interesting consequences in regard to marital stability for the "beautiful people." In one important study, the more attractive college girls were found to be less happily married twenty-five years later.1 It is apparently difficult to reserve the "power" of sex for one mate, ignoring the ego gratification that awaits outside the marriage bonds. And finally, the more attractive a person is in his or her youth, the more painful is the aging process.
My point is this: The measurement of worth on a scale of beauty is wrong, often damaging to the haves and have-nots.
“Attractive Women Less Happy, Study Says,” Psychology Today (September 1971).