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EST. May 2000 (AD)





By Jessica Becht

Not all are born with beauty, but most desire it. Those unpulchritudinous amongst us should remember that there are many types of beauty: beauty of deportment, beauty of dress, or, perhaps most essential, the beauty of self-possession. A woman who is happy, kind, and well mannered will dazzle no matter how awkward her profile.

Yet, a woman who is dissatisfied, jealous, or spiteful will present an unappealing aura despite delicate features.

This sort of old-fashioned advice went out with hats and gloves. Think back to your childhood. How many times did your grandmother admonish you with Beauty is as beauty does and other trite aphorisms? She believed in the myth that states Character counts. In truth, your grandmother wasn't doing you any favors. She should have stooped down to whisper Beauty is its own reward into one of your ears and It's too bad you were born so homely into the other.

Thanks to the skewed value system long propagated by the nation's grandmothers, many women have become inept wielders of femininity. Healthy displays of narcissism have been trampled under a propagandist hegemony that values "accomplishment" over mirror gazing. The average woman has forgotten her duty to microscopically scrutinize every feature before leaving her home. Appallingly, many women still do not own such essential beauty enhancing (or, depending on the individual, ugliness minimizing) products as eyebrow shellac, bicuspid bleach, and nipple stain, though benevolent advertisers have long made women aware of the pressing need for such items.

The average woman lacks the courage to consider her features objectively. As her true friends yearn to inform her, her face does not a pretty picture make. However, a true friend never hesitates to interject loving advice such as "Maybe that shade of red just isn't the best for a woman of your sallow complexion," and "Something about your face just doesn't look right to me." Please think of this article as a true and loving friend.

For example, are you one of the many women who have repeatedly failed to select the appropriate shade of mascara? If your lashes are black, a rich mysterious ebony will add even more drama. Yet, some unfortunates have sparse dull lashes of the brown, blonde, or reddish variety. Be honest. Are you one of them? Have you ever considered that the dark mascara that so flatters the genetically gifted has only succeeded in making you look like a phony tramp? Do you really want people to think of you as a broken-down nymphomaniacal bottle-blond in a moth-eaten raccoon coat out trolling for Russian sailors to service? Of course you don't. That's why you should wear brown mascara exclusively.

Lipstick is a universal cosmetic, available to all. But such democratization has only led to abuse. How often are the lips beneath the rose-tinted salve luscious, dare I say noble, enough to merit its benefactions? Be candid. You may be one of the very offenders I speak of. Are your lips thin, perhaps mismatched? Are they creased and shriveled? And you dare to emphasize such abominations with eye-catching crimson while unemployed plastic surgeons hold signs stating "Will inject silicone microbeads for food." Selfish, selfish woman.

These same surgeons might be employed to sculpt your nose into a less offensive shape. Ask yourself, "Is my nose small, delicately curved, and almost imperceptible?" Have you ever really been consoled by the assertion that your Cyranic profile is "unique"? It is time to realize that uniqueness needn't be an impediment to beauty. Your outsize nose is an opportunity for more beauty, an engraved invitation to the plastic surgeon's office. Sit down with your doctor and be frank. He will be happy to make up an alphabetical list of your flaws. Many doctors offer a multiple procedure discount. Take advantage of it!

Should you be dying your hair? Just between you and me, that brassy shade looks frightful. It's not making you look young, only cheap and striving. I must admit, though, it is preferable to that mouse color at your roots. Still, blonde is not for everyone. There is good reason why Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor have never bleached their hair. They are infinitely more beautiful as brunettes. Of course, they are also infinitely more beautiful than you.

I hope, as this article closes, that a new resolve has been stirring somewhere between your sagging breasts. A good friend (yours truly) has tactfully whispered in your ear. Now you are ready to face your reflection and state, "My ugliness is truly offensive. My obliviousness to this truth has been criminal. I resolve to change and will devote the preponderance of my time, energy, and money to correcting and/or camouflaging my numerous glaring deformities." Only in this way will you be truly feminine. Remember, beauty is its own reward.

©2003 Jessica Becht


Jessica Becht is currently sweltering in the state of Florida, where she has become quite intimate with election fiascos, hurricanes, and fire ants. When not shielding her alabaster complexion from the sun's brutal rays, she can be found strolling her baby about the neighborhood while silently mocking pink flamingo enthusiasts.

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