This article from the National Catholic Register found its way to our eyeballs recently, and from its title we knew we had a live one on our hands: “The Death of Pretty.”
So we got this creepy, dead-eyed author guy putting finger to keyboard to lament the death of “pretty” in society. Luckily, or maybe unluckily, he defines his parameters for “pretty.”
People will define pretty differently. For the purposes of this piece, I define pretty as a mutually enriching balanced combination of beauty and projected innocence.
Once upon a time, women wanted to project an innocence. I am not idealizing another age and I have no illusions about the virtues of our grandparents, concupiscence being what it is. But some things were different in the back then. First and foremost, many beautiful women, whatever the state of their souls, still wished to project a public innocence and virtue. And that combination of beauty and innocence is what I define as pretty.
“And back then men wore jackets and ties to everything!” says Tina the Lesbian. “And women had to douse their vaginas in Lysol or bear full responsibility for the dissolution of their marriage. All of this before blue jeans and rock music and hula hoops.”
“So he’s okay with women being slutty whores if he doesn’t know about it?” says Ninja Vicki. “Pristine virginity on the outside, nasty cum dumpster on the inside, but that’s fine in his book because it perpetuates his delusions. Yup… he’s a Catholic all right.”
Our creepy writer guy continues…
By nature, generally when men see this combination in women it brings out their better qualities, their best in fact. That special combination of beauty and innocence, the pretty inspires men to protect and defend it.
“Those with the combination of ugliness and innocence, well you’re shit out of luck,” says Avonia the Wiccan Pimp. “Let the wolves tear you limb from limb while the men escape with the women prettier than you.”
“By nature when I hear someone say something this stupid, I can feel my brain try to fold itself in an attempt to escape the dumb,” says Mikka. “Just gotta love how he talks about women like their a piece of territory. WE MUST PROTECT OUR LAND OUR BOUNCY, BUXOM LAND!”
And it gets worse…
Young women today do not seem to aspire to pretty, they prefer to be regarded as hot. Hotness is something altogether different. When women want to be hot instead of pretty, they must view themselves in a certain way and consequently men view them differently as well.
As I said, pretty inspires men’s nobler instincts to protect and defend. Pretty is cherished. Hotness, on the other hand, is a commodity. Its value is temporary and must be used. It is a consumable.
“I usually use the term ‘pretty’ when I see a girl who’s okay but not quite in fuckable range,” says Anonymous Doug. “Like she’s a 4 or a 5… yeah, she’s okay but my dick’s just not going for it and I feel like being a little magnanimous in my rejection.”
“The inadvertent lesson I’m hearing is that you should be more than just looks,” says Samurai Cathy. “Being pretty or being hot… it doesn’t last, so you’d better have a personality and some brains and a career backing you up.”
And it’s at this point that we’ve struck oil… if oil was inane “get-off-my-lawn” blather that had the intellectual nourishment of a Styrofoam peanut.
The stars of the fifties surely suffered from the same sin as do stars of today. Stars of the fifties weren’t ideal but they pursued a public ideal different from today.
The merits of hotness over pretty is easy enough to understand, they made an entire musical about it. Who can forget how pretty Olivia Newton John was at the beginning of Grease. Beautiful and innocent. But her desire to be desired leads her to throw away all that is valuable in herself in the vain hopes of getting the attention of a boy. In the process, she destroys her innocence and thus destroys the pretty. What we are left with is hotness.
“Again, he just wants to be lied to, to live in a fantasy world,” says Tina the Lesbian. “The stars back then were doing so much fucking and drugs that if they explained to you in great detail all of the debauchery they indulged in, you’d say they were bullshitting you. I’d say point this guy to Nursemyra’s blog for some history lessons, but his lamentable constitution probably wouldn’t be able to take it.”
“If you want to blame Grease for something, blame it for ruining karaoke nights,” says Mikka. “Seeing a group of drunks screech their way through Summer Nights… that’s a crime against music. It’s certainly more serious than this alleged prettiness extinction.”
You must make a friend of horrible writing… poorly thought-out ideas and soupy dreck are your friends, for if they are not then they are enemies to be feared.
Most girls don’t want to be pretty anymore even if they understand what it is. It is ironic that 40 years of women’s liberation has succeeded only in turning women into a commodity. Something to be used up and thrown out.
“As opposed to back when women actually were a commodity and could be given away for some oxen and a parcel of land,” says Bernie the Half-Cyborg Cat, who is married to an Irish-Catholic who hasn’t listened to a thing the Church has said since her Confirmation. “And oh how you used to be able to beat them with sticks no wider than your thumb. Good times, I’m sure our author friend would say. Good times indeed.”
“Oh no… women don’t aspire to fulfill my wants and desires,” says Samurai Cathy. “Clearly this means societal ruin and damnation before the Lord.”
Did you know if you read something really smart and then right away read something really dumb, it’s like an intellectual speedball?
Our problem is that society doesn’t value innocence anymore, real or imagined. Nobody aspires to innocence anymore. Nobody wants to be thought of as innocent, the good girl. They want to be hot, not pretty.
“If innocence is not in vogue, there’s a pretty good reason for it,” says Ninja Vicki. “Innocence gets preyed upon. That’s what child molesters go after. That’s what gets them going. And it really gets their rocks off when they can prey on innocence and have a giant institution of men in funny hats stand behind them because they’re more concerned with maintaining ancient authority than with children having their worlds shattered by a padre’s wandering hands.”
“I think he just wants to be able to call women he doesn’t like whores without people getting on his case about it,” says Avonia the Wiccan Pimp, who works with actual whores. “Perhaps we should be glad that he doesn’t blame immodestly dressed women for getting themselves raped because of their hotness.”
“Is this guy saying he wants a lady on the street but a freak in the bed?” says Anonymous Doug. “Because Creepy Von Douchenozzle could have just said that and saved us a whole lot of time. Virginal whores… good in concept, not so good in real life. I mean, yeah, they’ll suck your cock but they’re really bad it. It’s almost like, why bother. Almost.”
Of course, none of this addresses the claim by Justin Timberlake that he was bringing sexy back, suggesting that it had gone away at some point prior to 2006.