Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

Pity Hitting and the Tragedy of Beauty

My cousin just recently moved into my apartment in New York to further her modeling career.  Sigh indeed. I escorted her to her new agency, and sat on the front steps while she met with her manager. It’s the story of my life that I would have to sit outside on the dirty front stoop, in the cold and rain, of a modeling agency as a parade of physical perfection strut past me inside — looking annoyed and aloof as to the pains of being pretty, while operating their shiny BlackBerry Curves.  As if I was not laying it on thick enough in my own head, next a most deliciously ironic event occurred.

            A Haagan Dazs truck pulled right up front and parked.  Immediately behind it, a Budweiser truck pulled up and parked. I sat there giggling at the minor insanity of the situation. I don’t know if it was a sign from the powers at be or just a devise sent to torture the skinny souls inside. I have no reason for opening with this anecdote other than the fact it made me laugh in the way one does when one has to squeeze through crowded dinner tables and accidentally knocks over someone’s drink with one’s ass—laugh to cover the embarrassment and awkward complex developing—and also it’s an easy transition into my next theory of ugly v. pretty. Though it hits home to the insecurities each person has, it also truly balances the scales. When I relayed this story to my friend over a bottle of red, her simple reply was, “Oh, it’s like when guys hit on ugly girls at the bar.”

            I looked at her with Scooby Doo ears, “What’s that now?”

            “You know, how you always feel bad for the fat and/or ugly girls that guys are hitting on at the bar because you know those guys are just kidding.” She sat back munching on more cheese, completely content and acquiescent with her analysis of this sociologic trend.

            “Let me get this straight, if a guy is hitting on a girl who doesn’t necessarily fit the ideal cookie-cutter image of beauty, any attempts to seduce her are completely facetious?”

            “Pretty much. Yeah.”

            As I sat there stumped and stymied and dissecting her diagnosis for the physically unappealing, trying to drum up arguments for how absurd this was, I realized what aggravated me most was I began to appreciate she had a point—albeit misguided. Think about it:

            A pretty girl gets abducted, lets say while on spring break, so there are plenty of two-piece snapshots, and it gets national news coverage, candlelight visuals, celebrity endorsements for her safe return, and sometimes there’s even a song written about it.

            An ugly girl gets abducted and her parents and maybe a few neighbors get some flashlights and search through the woods.

A pretty boy is killed by a drunk driver, he is S.A.D.D. and M.A.D.D.’s newest poster child and his face is seen on all public service announcements and the cover of People Magazine, and the loss is said to be felt by everyone, and is a national tragedy.

            An ugly boy is killed by a drunk driver, and the charges pressed against the accused make page 7 of the local newspaper.

            It’s not even just the bad stuff that makes a person immediately define a situation as, “Oh, but she was so beautiful.” If a pretty girl gets a tattoo of a snake on her neck it’s a shame and she’s ruined her life.  If an ugly girl gets a tattoo of a snake on her neck she’s a rebel and though clerks may watch her when she’s shopping, she’s most likely a talented artist. Maybe I’m boiling it down to harshly, but, at the surface, as we are all presented, how much of the ugly v. pretty theory exists in how much we weigh the importance of a person.  All sarcasm aside, I would say pretty heavily. Gosh, thank God I’m pretty, so I know if I’m ever kidnapped, murdered or inked it will truly be tragic.

Dating Espionage

To Not Want