Keith C.

July 1997

"The Beautiful Ones"

I have been annoyed lately -- oh, why kid myself, a very long time -- by pretty people. Yes, pretty people.

I don't mean your average, pleasant looking joe. I mean those individuals who are so blessed who good looks and pristine skin that supermodels cringe in fear. Well, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but you get my point.

I despise beautiful people. I vividly remember listening to Prince and the Revolution's "The Beautiful Ones" (from the "Purple Rain" soundtrack). I remember thinking that it was about all of the beautiful people in the world and how I would never be one of them. This was in 1984. I was nine years old. Did I have a messed up head when I was a kid or what?

Back in high school, I would occasionally watch "Beverly Hills 90210." I guess I wanted to view a TV show that I could somehow identify with or that spoke to me and it did, in a way.

I identified with Andrea and David. They were decidedly not some of the beautiful ones. If you remember (before Andrea had a baby and David turned into a pseudo-smooth wannabe rapper), these two were on the very outskirts of the "90210" circle of friends.

Andrea was the bespeckled brainy girl who was the editor of the school newspaper.

I was the editor of the school yearbook.

David was the awkward guy who knew everybody and everybody knew him, he just wasn't friends with everyone.

I was actually quite popular in high school. Everybody knew me. But nobody knew me.

Okay, so where does "Purple Rain" and "90210" lead us to? Well, obviously and oddball mix of a low self-esteem problem at times, some pitiful role models (gay or otherwise) when I was younger and a severe case of envy. Yes, envy.

I've spent enough time in southern California, and Los Angeles, to know that being plain is decidedly not the way to go. You have to be beautiful in L.A. to be even noticed. Its ridiculous. The streets are literally crawling with desperate out of work models and waiter/actors; all of which have bone structure that would put Tom Cruise and Cindy Crawford to shame. And its not just the city of L.A. either.

I attend the University of Southern California. The school famous for once creating and distributing a beefcake calendar called "The Men of USC." And, well, it featured some of USC's best looking (and scantily clad) male students.

You seriously cannot walk through campus without tripping over someone (or many someones for that matter) who look like they've fallen out of a Calvin Klein advertisement. (Not the recent heroin chic ones either, but the ones from a few years ago. Think of the Obsession and Eternity ads. Okay, do you have that mental picture now? Great, my school is littered with those people.)

And you know, it wouldn't be so bad if all these beautiful people were actually nice or cool. But they never are. They never are.

They are usually self-absorbed, egotistical people who get off on having you fawn over them. They are single-minded. Their aim in life is bodily perfection. The perfect tan. The perfect skin. The perfect body. The perfect everything.

They go to the gym on a very regular basis. The lay out and tan whenever possible. They pay more attention to their wardrobe than they do their friends or family.

So, we go back to my annoyance with pretty people.

The self-esteem problem I've acknowledged and addressed.

The poor role model thing; well, there is only so much you can do when you are younger, and you do the best with what you've got.

The envy thing; I don't envy the beautiful ones who are self-absorbed. If they were thoughtful or genuine, then I would envy them. But like I said, I haven't met any yet.

Introduce me to one, and I might change my tune.


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