Drop Dead Gorgeous Syndrome – Curse, Blessing or Both?
As a teenage boy, I was completely convinced every “pretty girl” had the perfect life. All they had to do was smile. I was not an attractive teen and felt cheated by life. Little did I know about this thing called the Drop Dead Gorgeous Syndrome. The drop dead gorgeous syndrome is when a super attractive women loses herself and becomes addicted to and enslaved by her physical appearance. Her identity is dependent on what we think of the way she looks at any given time, not her achievements, intelligence, character, talents or sense of Self. I will not lie, I hated drop dead gorgeous girls when I was younger. It is an embarrassing admission but real. I was jealous, and felt like I had no chance to ever be with one of the “pretty girls” and this made me feel less masculine. Fortunately, I do not feel this way today. The following experience is based on a real event that happened many years ago. I have altered some facts to hide the identity of the woman involved out of respect for her and her privacy.
I met with nearly a dozen folks that Saturday, but I will never forget her. She walked-in during my last scheduled session of a free Reiki Clinic at the local food co-op without knocking or signing-up, dressed to light up a stage and smelling like an issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine fresh off the newsstand. She entered as if we were all just waiting for her. She walked around checking-out artwork on the walls while I finishing with the couple scheduled to end the day. I was not able to take my attention off her presence. I felt electricity immediately, but tried to stay professional with the women who were thanking me for their session. They walked out the door to the left and I was now alone with her. Her looks and scent were intoxicating. I forgot what and where I was. There was just her and that energy that permeated her being. “Hi. I am Allison. Sorry I am so late. They said you were finished at 5:00, but I hoped you would let me get a, what is it called, a treatment, or session or what would you call it?”
I reached out to accept her greeting, getting myself together enough to speak, “A session, but treatment is fine too. My name is Michael. Nice to meet you Allison. Please sit down here.” I point to the small circle of brown, metal folding chairs used as a space for conversation before and after sessions. She sat right next to him, everybody else throughout the day sat across from me. This made me nervous. Allison knew the power she had over all men. I was not an exception. This made her dangerous to herself and men.
“I do not know anything about Reiki. I saw a flyer on campus about what you were doing today and wanted to see what it was. I’m sorry I’m late, tried to get here earlier but I had some things to do. So can you explain what Reiki is first?”
“Of course. Reiki is a Japanese-based healing system, typically expressed though the use of laying-on of hands. Reiki is generally translated as Universal spiritually-guided, life-force energy. As you just saw with the women who were here, Reiki allows folks to keep their clothes on and touch is gentle and supportive. In fact, there actually doesn’t have to be any physical contact at all for Reiki to be effective. I often experience entire Reiki sessions without touch. Reiki Counseling is common to not have physical touch.”
“No, I think touch would be good. Since it’s late, I know you want to leave and I have to get ready for something tonight, how about we just go ahead and do it? I rode here on my scooter in the cold just for this. I decided I would try this, because it felt like something I needed to do for reasons I do not know.”
“That would be fine. I want to let you know that I will not touch any part of your body that is covered by a bikini, unless there is a special reason to do so.”
“I trust you; you can do whatever you think you need to do. I’m here for a reason and I’ll just go with it. What do we need to do to get started?”
“Thank you. You can get up on the table lying on your back and relax. It will take a moment for me to get ready. Then I’ll come over and join you. Your job is to stay present and pay attention. Reiki sessions do not include regular conversation. We can do the session in silence or there may be guided dialogue if either of us feels moved to do so. What you share with me can only help me support you, but silence is fine too. OK?” Allison nods her head yes and takes off her black leather jacket revealing her dark red, sort-of marooned v-neck sweater exposing cleavage and off her shoulders. After she gets up on the table. Allison lets out a slow, deep sigh allowing herself to become comfortable and relaxed. I am glad I have a moment to get focused and connected with Reiki. I manage to get it together, or maybe Reiki did it for me.
I stand behind her head hesitating before placing my hand on her head. Her scent is very powerful and now I can also smell her freshly shampooed chestnut colored hair, glistening from the light above on the ceiling. I ask Reiki for help and place my hands on her head gently and slowly, like I usually do. Reiki is taking over and I’m grateful for this. I can feel her relax under my touch almost immediately, which is surprising due to her high energy level just minutes before. I carefully placing my hands over her eyes and third eye, not to mess her perfectly applied greenish-blue mascara and deep red blush on her cheeks. She is strikingly beautiful looking down at her lying there so comfortably in her red sweater and brand new tight-fitting dark blue jeans. I notice the red lipstick on her lips. I again asks Reiki for help and receive it.
My hands move to her throat, sliding down to her collarbone. A minute later they move to the exposed area between her throat and chest. They stay there for a couple of minutes before Reiki speaks through me in almost a whisper. My voice is slow and low, “Allison. You do not need to be prefect. You are perfect and good enough just being you. You are good enough, pretty enough, skinny enough, smart enough, kind enough and a good enough friend and daughter.”
She instantly has tears rolling down her cheeks smearing her mascara. I wipe them away with my right hand leaving my left hand on her upper chest. I let her cry a little more freely; resistance is slipping away. “Being beautiful has sometimes been a burden for you, yes?” She nods her head up and down and her tears flow all the way down to her shoulders. I wipe them away as well. “You have worked hard to look the way you do and now it is your drug. You do not know how to be just yourself anymore. Does this feel true to you?”
“Yes”, her tears are more forceful now. “My whole life I have been the prettiest girl in every room. I know this and it has become all I am. I am smart, talented and creative. I rarely get noticed for anything but my pretty face and body. It is my identity. More than identity, it is my existence. I feel like I am here just to be looked at. All women hate me. Guys just want to have sex with me. They don’t care about me or who I am. They just want me to fulfill their fantasies of being with “the hot girl”. It has gotten to the point that I cannot leave the house without my hair and make-up done perfectly because I must have every man notice me. I didn’t use to be this way. I used to like the attention but that was it. Now i feel like a slave to my looks and comments.”
She lets herself completely submerge into the experience. I am holding one hand over the same spot and the other is now resting on her belly. I can feel the support she is receiving in her belly from Reiki, the energy is clear, clean and strong.
“Michael, I miss me. I miss my Soul. I miss feeling my body, ironic that my body is such a focus for me and everybody else but I rarely feel my body. It’s like it is not mine anymore. It belongs to everybody else like a museum exhibit, instead of a living human being inside.”
“What do you want to be different Allison?”
“I need to reclaim my body and life! I need to let the real me come out again. I can’t keep living this way, I am a slave to my looks and the reactions I receive. Guys fall in love with me almost immediately and then are stunned when they find out I am an actual real person with feelings and thoughts and needs, not just a fantasy in flesh. They look like they have seen a ghost when I speak intelligently and am not just a living mannequin. They run and don’t come back. I really am a good person but nobody cares to notice, women are the same way. they want to be friends with me just so they can meet good-looking successful men. They never care to get to know me either.” More tears, deeper.
“Has it always been this way?”
“Like I said, I always received attention from my looks but I was different then. I was grateful I was pretty and had an attractive body, but I still felt like a whole human being. I did not feel different or special. I just had an easy way to meet people without having to do anything besides be pretty. Most of the time I feel ugly these days, not my face or body, me, the person inside feels ugly. This is not who I am! What can I do to be myself again? I want to be more than just the drop-dead gorgeous girl with the great tits and ass! I know most women would kill to look like this and I should be happy, but I am not.Nobody understands.”
“I think you have already started the process by showing up here. You let your Higher Self guide us from the minute I placed my hands on you, so something is ready to shift inside you. I encourage you to listen to that voice that is speaking loud and clear about you being a whole person. Trust your Inner Voice to guide you and direct you on how to go forward from here.”
“Thank you. I feel that voice inside me too. I used to feel this regularly, good to feel it again. I feel like I do not have to look perfect all the time now. That seems clear. I just want to be able to show up and be myself, no matter what I look like. I feel like I can do that now! What a relief! I don’t have to constantly be a Cover Girl” Allison lets out a huge sigh of relief. I can feel her exhale in my belly. We settle back into silence through Reiki.
The rest of their session is silent. I do not place my hands in all the usual places, just the belly and her bare feet. Thirty minutes later we are finished We debrief about the session. Allison changes topics after looking at her platinum Gucci watch, “Michael, I would like you to be my special guest for the show I am the lead tonight. Will you please come if you are available? It would mean a lot to me, since you now have me totally ready for opening night. My way of saying thank you to you.”
“I would love to be your guest.” She gives me the details of her performance. We look into each other’s eyes and hug warmly, allowing enough time for the exchange to shift back and forth between us several times.
Allison says, “I’ll see you later” and leaves. I start packing the table and materials still dizzy from her beauty, scent and our shared experience. While sorting through her sensuality and power, I acknowledge I have experienced something of great value, and a connection much deeper than your typical free public Reiki session. There is more to her than meets the eye. I breathe in the Grace of such force and profound Gratitude at meeting and connecting with a another member of my Tribe. The fact that she is cloaked as a starlet does not get lost; in fact, it has stirred a pot inside me needing to be stirred.
This was my first understanding the drop dead gorgeous syndrome and its often hazardous effects.. As a man, I have assumed my whole life that drop dead gorgeous woman have all the privileges that come with their physical appearance and no consequences. Allison was an excellent teacher for opening my mind to the drop dead gorgeous syndrome. This experience was about ten years ago and I have had the opportunity to share it with other women and men for them to also gain knowledge from my experiences with Allison and the drop dead gorgeous syndrome.
The Problems with Being Drop Dead Gorgeous and Super Sexy
“I said in an earlier post, The Gorgeous Brain, pretty is a thing, beauty is a force. Yet, many women envy the “thin, pretty, girls,” and think, “If only I looked like that, everything would be fine.” Knowing a differential engine drives life, I asked some supermodels, and glamour girls to tell me the downsides of being terminally pretty. They said:
Number 1: “My looks intimidate normal good guys. They are afraid to approach me. They always presume I want the super rich guy, or the super good-looking guy. Yeah I am pretty, but I am just a woman underneath this. I want a nice guy that I can feel safe with, who makes me laugh. He does not need to be rich. He does not have to be a GQ model. I just want a normal guy, who burps, and leaves his socks all over the house, but cares enough about me to take care of the guy things. You know the car stuff, and killing bugs. I get a lot of attention, but it is not quality attention. I just want to meet a nice guy who is into me for the person I am, not my face and my body. I want someone who will love me when I am not smoking hot.”
Number 2: “My physical appearance intimidates women, so they never want me around. I have a terrible time making female friends, other than other models. You want to have friends outside of your work circle. I have had little success finding female friends.”
Number 3: “People presume that I am shallow because I am pretty. My looks are a marketable asset, so I manage them as any person would manage a vital asset. That does not make me shallow.”
Number 6: “I cannot wear normal clothes because everything looks too sexy on me. A normal girl can throw on shorts and a tank top on a hot day and go to the market. If I did that, it would cause a huge commotion.”
Number 7: “People use me like a trophy or a prop. I cannot tell you how many guys ask me out only because they want a beautiful girl on their arms. I am just an accessory, like an expensive tie, or a flashy car. It also happens with very insecure women who just want to be my friend to live vicariously through my experiences. It is very painful to discover that your friend does not really like you, but rather is trying to use your looks to shore up their ailing self-esteem.”
Number 8: “Society forces me to rely on my looks, and then condemns me for exploiting my looks. You cannot have it both ways. I will admit it, people do things for me that they would not do for less attractive people. It has been that way my entire life. People have always gravitated to my looks, not my capabilities. After a while you learn to give the people what they want. It is demoralizing.”
For the remainder of the article The Problems with Being Drop Dead Gorgeous and Super Sexy by Billi Gordon, please click the link with the title.
Curse of Drop Dead Gorgeous
“Most red-blooded heterosexual men will tell you to stay away from the beautiful women. In our minds a woman cannot be a total package. She cannot be nice, well-mannered and supportive as a beauty. She cannot be drop-dead gorgeous and not be a psycho or a total bitch. Many times a guy who gets in with a beauty will literally be waiting for bitch mode to reveal itself and if he isn’t that type then his friends probably are. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard a guy say that pretty girls are psycho, I would have a couple hundred dollars from that statement alone. It’s a harmful cliche because it gets into your head and it sits there. The stigma presents itself in books, movies and tales of woe from friends who have found a crazy beauty.
This is common knowledge to the world so I will not spend much time on it. Women unlike men run comparisons with one another. It is one of the reasons they hate each other so much, ESPECIALLY if a woman has it going on. The attitude becomes that of “oh she thinks she’s all that” or “those are fake anyway”. The aspect of hate is not foreign to most women when it comes to beauties unless they themselves are the stunner and they know it. If you want to test your girl on this, just ask her what she thinks of Giada De Laurentiis, hell you can go on any Food Network relative blog commentary and read their thoughts on Giada. The confident women will prop her cooking and scoff at her low cut dresses but the other 98% will say her head is big, her mouth is too big or refer negatively to her breasts. It’s amazing how much negativity a woman can receive just for looking good. Excerpt from This is common knowledge to the world so I will not spend much time on it. Women unlike men run comparisons with one another. It is one of the reasons they hate each other so much, ESPECIALLY if a woman has it going on. The attitude becomes that of “oh she thinks she’s all that” or “those are fake anyway”. The aspect of hate is not foreign to most women when it comes to beauties unless they themselves are the stunner and they know it. If you want to test your girl on this, just ask her what she thinks of Giada De Laurentiis, hell you can go on any Food Network relative blog commentary and read their thoughts on Giada. The confident women will prop her cooking and scoff at her low cut dresses but the other 98% will say her head is big, her mouth is too big or refer negatively to her breasts. It’s amazing how much negativity a woman can receive just for looking good. Excerpt from The Curse Of Being A Beautiful Woman by Greg Dragon.
Therapist Marisa Peer, author of self-help guide Ultimate Confidence, says that women have always measured themselves against each other by their looks rather than achievements — and it can make the lives of the good-looking very difficult.
“Many of my clients are models, yet people are always astounded when I explain they don’t have it easy,’ she says. If you are attractive other women think you lead a perfect life — which simply isn’t true.
‘They don’t realise you are just as vulnerable as they are. It’s hard when everyone resents you for your looks. Men think “what’s the point, she’s out of my league” and don’t ask you out. And women don’t want to hang out with someone more attractive than they are.”
Drop Dead Gorgeous Women and Low Self-Esteem
“Imagine that you are highly intelligent and articulate, you have something to offer that will make a difference in the world. Now imagine that you are extremely attractive. Sounds good? Then you realize that less emphasis is placed on your abilities. Imagine going forward throughout life labeled a “drop dead gorgeous” woman, this so-called positive attribute is what you become known for. Fast forward a few years, age creeps up on the best of us, you can no longer maintain your 20 something face and body. Self-esteem suffers as the main positive attribute begins to fade, throwing you into an identity crisis.”
Read more at Drop Dead Gorgeous Women and Low Self-Esteem.
An Open Letter From Elizabeth Gilbert
“Dear Ones –
Can we talk about something?
For the last few months, I’ve been growing uneasy about a phenomenon I’ve seen playing out in the media over women’s bodies and women’s appearance.
And no, this is not about the USUAL thing that makes me uneasy in the media (the exploitation and hyper-sexualization of women’s bodies, etc. etc…) That hasn’t changed, and I’m not tackling that today.
This is about something new.
This is about prominent women publicly criticizing other prominent women about body image questions, and about each other’s private beauty decisions.
I don’t want to see this anymore.
The history of women’s bodies and women’s beauty is a battlefield of epic (and sometimes violent) proportions. The last thing any of us need to be doing is judging each other and turning on each other.
What really frustrates me is the patronizing tone that is sometimes adopted, when a woman who has made a certain set of decisions about her own face and her own body criticizes another woman who has made an entirely different set of decisions about HER own face and HER own body.
You know the tone. It goes like this: “I just think it’s so sad that she felt she needed to do that…”
This is a tone of voice that fills me with ire, because: REALLY? Does it make you feel “sad”? Are sure you’re using the word “sad” correctly? Does your neighbor’s boob job really make you feel “sad”? Does that movie star’s plastic surgery genuinely make you feel “sad”? Are you honestly crying into your pillow at night about somebody’s Brazilian butt lift — the way you would cry about a death in the family? Honestly?
Or are you just judging a sister, and hiding your judgment behind a screen of moral appropriation?
No decision that any of us make about our appearance makes us morally better or morally worse than any other woman.
The scale of beauty in our world is vast and complicated and often politically, socially, and culturally confounding. At one extreme, you have the “all-natural” obsessives, who judge anybody who artificially alters her appearance in any manner whatsoever as vain and shallow. At the other of the scale are the extreme beauty junkies, who will do anything for an enhanced sense of beauty, and who judge everyone else as slovenly and drab.
We all have to figure out where we land on that scale. Lipstick, but no hair dye? Legs shaved, but not arms? Hair processing, but no Brazilian wax? Short skirts but no bikini tops? Two-inch heels, but not five-inch heels?
It all sends a message, and it all comes with complications. None of it is easy to figure out. And this is not even taking into account larger questions about religion, history, and cultural ethics. What looks like modesty on a woman in Rio de Janeiro looks like flagrancy in Salt Lake City. What looks like modesty in Salt Lake City is flagrancy in Cairo. What looks like modesty in Cairo is flagrancy in Riyadh. What looks like flagrancy to your grandmother looks like frumpiness to your teenager. What looks beautiful to me might look grotesque or even offensive to you.
My experience is this: once we have decided where we land on that scale of beauty, we tend to judge all the other women who have made different decisions in either direction around us: This woman is too vain; that one is too plain…it never ends.
It also bothers me that women who define themselves as liberal, left-wing feminists (like myself) will stand on a picket line to defend the right of another woman to do whatever she wants with her reproductive system — but then attack that woman for what she decided to do to her face.
Let me break it down for you: It’s none of your business.
Every single molecule of woman’s body belongs to HER.
Yes, even her lips.
Yes, even her butt.
To judge a fellow woman for her choices about her own appearance is not only cruel, it also speaks to a fundamental insecurity that says, “I am so uncomfortable with myself that I have now become deeply uncomfortable with YOU, lady — and I don’t even know you.”
So have some compassion for the fact that it is difficult for any woman to figure out where to place herself on that vast and emotionally-loaded scale of female aesthetic. And check your own vanity before you criticize someone else’s vanity. (And do not kid yourself that you are not vain because you do not partake in certain beauty rituals that other women partake in — because you are also making decisions about your body, your face, and your clothing every single day. With every one of those decisions you are also telegraphing to the world your own politics, your own opinions, your own needs and fears, and yes, often your own arrogance.)
No matter what you’re wearing, you are dressing up, too.
As the great drag queen RuPaul has said: “We are all born naked. Everything else is just drag.”
So be sympathetic. Everyone is facing her own battlefield in her own manner. And the only way you can express empathy about another woman’s vanity IS TO BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR OWN.
Once you have reached that place of authentic honesty about your own struggle, you will only ever show kindness toward your sisters.
So here’s what I do.
When I see a woman who has lost weight, I say, “You look terrific.”
When I see a woman who has quit dieting and embraced her curves, I say, “You look terrific.”
When I see a woman who has obviously just had plastic surgery, I say, “You look terrific.”
When I see a woman who has let her hair go grey and is hanging out at grocery store in her husband’s sweatpants, I say, “You look terrific.”
Because you know what? If you are woman and you managed to get up today and go outside, then you look terrific.
If you are still here, then you look terrific.
If you are able to go face down a world that has been arguing about your body and your face for centuries, then you look terrific.
If you have figured out what you need to wear, or do, or not do, in order to feel safe in your own skin, then you look terrific.
If you are standing on your own two feet and the stress of being a woman hasn’t killed you yet, then YOU LOOK TERRIFIC.
To say anything less than that to (or about) your fellow woman is to add ammunition to a war that is bad enough already.
So back off, everyone. Be kind.
You’re all stunning.
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