Woman Who Complains She Is Too Hot for Finance Gets Advice
Remember the girl who believed she wastoo hot for finance and sought advice from the Financial Times columnist Lucy Kellaway on how to deal with her good looks in the workplace?
Basically, the anonymous writer complained men drooled over her, women hated her and no one would take her seriously because she was so fabulously good looking (also known as vain).
Well, she finally received a reply and basically she was told it's no wonder women don't like her, put a lid on it and being taken seriously is overrated.
I don’t think the problem is mad, but I do think it’s bad. Bad form, that is. When you have something that others want, it’s poor manners to complain about it.
If you were very rich, it would be crass to moan to anyone less rich about what a nuisance it was when charities clamour for money. Likewise if you are absolutely gorgeous, you are only allowed to complain about it to other supermodels. By publicising your “problem”, you make things worse. Not only do people fail to take you seriously, they fail to like you even the slightest bit. Read what readers have said about you on FT.com, if you haven’t already. And if that doesn’t do the trick, Google the wonderfully named Debrahlee Lorenzana who sued Citibank last year for firing her for allegedly being too sexy for her job. Her picture looks pretty; the story rather less so.
That said, I can (just about) imagine that being extraordinarily beautiful is difficult in corporate life — just as being extraordinarily anything can be—tall, small, clever stupid etc. We all know that to be merely attractive is an advantage at work, but to be drop dead gorgeous—as you imply you are—may indeed have the effects you describe on others. The only really beautiful women I know are, like you, endlessly preoccupied by the desire to be valued for themselves.
I daresay you’re right: other women don’t like you, men like you too much. Both sexes will assume that you are cold, vain and screwed up—just as the classic beautiful person is supposed to be. The only hope of counteracting this is to be as friendly and normal as you can and stop worrying about whether people take you seriously. I’ve never seen what is so good about being taken seriously anyway.
W.B. Yeats wrote a poem for a woman who sounds a bit like you: she worried that men loved her for her golden tresses and not for herself. He concludes: “That only God, my dear/Could love you for yourself alone/And not your yellow hair.”
I think Yeats missed a trick here: he forgot that hair grows grey in time. Beauty doesn’t last.
You will lose yours one day, possibly even quite soon. Will you be happy then?
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