Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Laws of Attraction*

Today in my bar review class our lecturer was this beautiful woman.  When I say beautiful, I mean breathtaking. She was truly lovely.  On top of that she's clearly quite the smarty.  Law professors don't come from slouch stock.  There's the expression about how those who can't do, teach.  Well, not only do I think that that's an incorrect statement in general, but I also know it to be false in the case of law schools.  You don't get to teach the law unless you yourself were at the top of your class and/or did some impressive things in practice.  Needless to say, she had the intellectual chops, too.  As all the guys grinned goofily during her lecture, which I assure you was no more interesting than the rest, I realized that they, and I, were impressed at the combination of her looks and intelligence more than by the substance of the class.  All of our speakers have been at the top of their field.  It's just that most of them have been older men telling stupid jokes and using outdated celebrities in their hypotheticals.  It's like we were all impressed that someone could have both good looks and brains, in spades.  I don't know in which direction it's more unfair.  Is it worse that the men in my class seemed to think that every word she said was made of pure gold because she was a young, beautiful woman, instead of someone who is isn't?  Is it worse that we might find it surprising that someone of her appearance would also be smart?  In either case, it made my self-esteem sag like a steamy diaper until I realized that it was me that was so full of shit (sorry Mom). 

Deep down, I wasn't really upset about some gender inequality that makes pretty women get treated better and I wasn't really all that concerned that people might stereotype her because of her appearance.  No, in reality, I was jealous.  Like, bad.  I wanted it to be me to float in on a cloud of adoration and I was frustrated that I'll never be taller, thinner, tanner, ___fill in the blanks as you wish_____.  I've never been that threatened by pretty women that I felt lacked in substance because I think, you know, I've got something going for me that's more than just luck of the genetic draw.  I have to say though, the combination in some people can really bring out my worst insecurities.  I'll start thinking that there's some grand social heirarchy based on appearance where we each are treated according to our varying levels of attractiveness and, of course, I'm always the victim of my own homespun made for TV movie. 

As usually happens (I hope), I return to my rational mind and tell myself to get a grip.  If there is some heirarchy it's because of thoughts like my own.  I'm as big a part of it as anyone else by first, allowing myself to be sucked in by self-doubt and, second, by imposing that onto other people.  I mean really, good for her.  I think I need to remember that there are things that I have, and may too often take for granted, that someone else might feel they lack.  It all seems to be pretty relative.  I don't know that we ever get rid of our insecurities, but I'm pretty sure it's not healthy to give them a key to our house and keep their kind of milk in the fridge. 

*I may have topped my own cheeseball self on that title!  It was definitely uncalled for.  I'm sorry.

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