Ever since I was told of the tale of Snow White, I've known that beauty - and maintaining it - has been one of the forces that drives humanity. It's not deep - I find it extremely shallow, truth be told, it's an insult to our intellect, and it drives me crazy that people clearly not qualified for jobs are promoted on that basis alone, but beauty lends itself to sexual attraction, and that is as primal an impulse as one can get.
This won't make the Facebook album.
(Courtesy of toycutter.com)
Besides, I would be lying if I said I have never been stunned by physical perfection in my entire life, and that is why I understand how some people use this to their advantage.
I get it.
What I don't get is the false humility angle.
What's that, you might ask?
It's when certain people know they're attractive - perfect skin, a body that can cause Pavlovian salivation, a face that would make angels weep - and they purposely say the opposite of what they are in describing themselves. (First off, if you have to describe your physical features publicly, then you've lost the humility test right then and there.)
When a girl has salon commercial worthy hair and goes "I hate my dull, lifeless, limp locks! Pangit kaya ng buhok ko!"
When a man who constantly undresses himself in the locker room owing to a perfect physique would loudly exclaim "I look only half as good as I did last year!"
Social media has just upped this phenomenon tremendously: You have people with albums in their accounts titled "Me, Myself and I", all filled with pictures of themselves in what you know would be visually their "best pose" - e.g. a shorter person would insist on shots from the ground. And if you make the mistake of ever complimenting them on how pretty or how fresh they look, you would hear a variation of the same response:
"Naku, haggard pa ako sa lagay na yan, hahaha!"
"Thanks, but that was just a candid moment, di naman yan posed."
"I was debating with myself nga if I was going to post this, thanks sa validation, ha."
And there's the best answer in this category: "Ang pangit ko dito kaya!"
Stop the false humility. Please lang.
Just go with it. You are shallow, you think your self worth is tied to your looks, you have low self esteem and that is why you need others to validate your beauty.
You have an entire album waiting for people's comments to prove it.
Just don't go to a place where you have to extol how hideous you are.
Whether your beauty is natural or something you had to work for (or pay for), celebrate it for what it's worth, but for the love of everything decent, don't play the self deprecating card.
I had a personal run-in with this phenomenon, almost 15 years ago.
This woman, who can make Heidi Klum weep with her body, tried the very schtick that I have just described. She had just come back from the USA, and after she came from the gym, she went off to look for us (we were in a cafe). No one really blinked when she showed up in a bra top when she met us because (1) that's what she usually wore in the gym and (2) if I have to list people who "deserve" to be paraded in public for their perfect bodies like some slave trade, she would be in that list, no doubt.
Before we are can even say hi to her, she exclaims, "Ang taba taba ko na! Grabe!" (Now that I think of it, she was saying it a little too loudly for everyone in the cafe to hear.)
Silence as we process this false revelation.
Bitch A (for reference, almost all my friends are of this variety) then says, "Really? Eh, bakit ka lumalabas sa public na naka bra lang?"
She replies, "babalik pa naman ako sa gym, no, just saying hi!"
Bitch B then goes, "Aber, nasaan yang katabaan mo na sinasabi mo?"
She starts pinching her taut skin all over, vainly trying to find a skinfold to signify her "fatness". "Eto, oh, eto pa, to pa, to pa...siguro I gained 10 pounds sa pagpunta ko sa States!"
I give her a once-over - she refused to sit down at the cafe, she must really be hiding her obesity - and I said: "Oo nga, pero di lang 10 pounds, you gained more like 30 pounds."
Her bubbly smile all but vanished, and she shot back, "Sobra ka naman! Mga 2 pounds lang na-gain ko, over!"
That shut her false humility up.
So, the next time someone tries to pull the same thing on you, go right along to the extreme position: "Yes, you are so hideous that you're lucky you weren't put up for adoption!"
And just like that, we're all equals again.