• Cover: November 26, 2014
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Isn't She Lovely

What Happens When The Most Beautiful Woman In The Room Isn't You

Page: 7 of 7
  • It's true. You like spending time with Helen. Alone. But in public—out there for others to see and appraise—you can't shake the feeling that you're less attractive one, second best, the Debbie Reynolds to her Elizabeth Taylor. And we all know how that story turned out. (But in case you forgot, a refresher: Eddie Fisher left Reynolds and their two children for best pal Taylor. Years later, Reynolds reflected on the scandal: "Who would pass by Elizabeth? No woman living was as beautiful as her.")

    Again, Fisher sheds light: "Even if we don't think of ourselves as shallow, we don't forget if a woman is better looking than we are. We can overcome it, but the brain has a hard time completely letting it go."

    But you and Helen aren't actually competing against each other—not directly, you remind yourself. There is no one prize at the end, no winner or loser. The playing field is vast and various enough that when a guy prefers Helen to you, it's fine. He's not for you. (You repeat this like a mantra.) Because, there's a guy that will prefer you to Helen, will appreciate your smile and wit and ability to quote The Big Lebowski. You come to think of being friends with Helen as a test of your own character. She's only a social liability if you let her be, if you're cowed by your own insecurities in her presence. Eventually, being out with her becomes a point of pride, a chance for you to prove that you're confident enough to sit alongside a beautiful woman. And most of the time, it's true.

Isn't She Lovely
What Happens When The Most Beautiful Woman In The Room Isn't You
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