Being Profoundly Average: Pros and Cons
We’ve all seen those comparisons that pin two opposite terms like ‘beautiful’ and ‘ugly’ against each other, implying that one is ultimately better than the other. In fact, they usually both contain some serious downsides, but also multiple amazing advantages to consider.
If you consider yourself physically unattractive, it’s highly possible that you have a great personality. You may be someone who greatly appreciates people’s deeper traits. This ability generally makes you able to see those characteristics that define who people are as individuals, which is a much more useful skill to have in the long run.
Being beautiful can be greatly intimidating to others. As a result, you could end up starting to feel lonely. Alternatively, being unattractive could be bothersome because accepting and loving yourself might be more of a challenge.
However, there is a third category to consider: the ‘average’. In my humble opinion, people who are neither here nor there, people who don’t have that one special trait to embrace and turn around into an awesome staple of their personality. It is these individuals that have the best advantages of all. They are, as Goldilocks would say, ‘just right’, which can be extremely liberating. It is these balanced individuals who can truly do whatever they want. Nevertheless, popular culture has somehow managed to transform this into something most people want to stay away from. Everyone wants to be in one extreme or the other. But is there really an optimal side to be a part of?
Is there really a ‘better’ way to be?
Let’s face it, it’s not easy to be self-confident in this day and age, constantly having to compare yourself to what society deems as ‘beautiful’. Actually, it seems like there are standards for everything nowadays, from beauty to intelligence and everything in between. And all of them encourage you to compare yourself to others.
“Although beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, the feeling of being beautiful exists solely in the mind of the beheld.” Martha Beck
On the topic of beauty, Golda Meir reached the conclusion that “Not being beautiful was the true blessing. Not being beautiful forced me to develop my inner resources. The pretty girl has a handicap to overcome.”
Juliette Lewis states that: “Being beautiful can be a curse, especially if you want to be an artist and create.”
Nonetheless, there are also positive thinkers out there. For example Bindi Irwin, who teaches us that “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”
Barbra Streisand is a celebrity most people are familiar with. She is famous for completely embracing what was considered a ‘physical flaw’, and turning it around to highlight her most valuable features. Her recipe for success is simple: “You have got to discover you, what you do, and trust it.”
Minna Antrim brings an entirely new perspective to the table: “A beautiful woman delights the eye; a wise woman, the understanding; a pure one, the soul.” By acknowledging more than the two extremes of a human being, this quote is thought-provoking. Consequently, it gets you thinking about the multiple facets of a single person. As humans, we cannot be characterized through only one trait.
Let’s start with the cons and leave the best for last. This way, you will see how depending on the mindset you chose to adopt, everything can be turned around.
The basic downsides of being ordinary
1. You are ‘one of many’. With no distinctive features to set you aside from the crowd, you tend to be somewhat forgettable.
2. Popular culture tends to regard ‘weirdness’ as a desirable quality nowadays. As a result, ‘mediocrity’ becomes somewhat ‘boring’. It’s not cool to be ‘average’ so you might feel like overcompensating.
3. You don’t look like a million bucks, therefore it is more likely that your self-confidence will go down.
4. The members of the sex you are interested in will probably not notice you or compliment you a whole lot.
5. The first impressions you make are most likely not the best. People think you’re alright enough, you just don’t stand out.
6. You don’t receive compliments and people don’t look up at you as soon as you walk in the room. They also don’t offer to cater to your every whim.
Here are the excellent pluses of being average
1. Fitting in is what we all subconsciously desire. Being average can enhance your self-confidence because it means you are a capable person.
2. Fortunately being ‘cool’ is overrated. Considering everyone has their own, distinctive features, being ‘interesting’ simply depends on how you present yourself, regardless of the way you look. Certain factors might be more or less influential but everyone ultimately reaches the same conclusion in the end.
3. Putting less of an effort into the way you look means you can dedicate more time to other things deemed ‘more important’, like your character traits. And since we all know physical beauty is transient, it is those characteristics that will never fade in time that everyone will grow to appreciate in the end.
4. When scoring a partner, you will know that your relationship is based on more meaningful things than looks.
5. First impressions aren’t everything. In fact, you could become much more impressive in the long run, thanks to a first impression that set lower expectations.
6. Isn’t it great to walk down the street and not have to worry about uncomfortable cat calling or stalking? You bet it is!
Other pros and cons depend on circumstantial elements such as your intelligence level, your determination, even your height might have a role to play, so it’s quite impossible to list every possible scenario here.
Being ‘normal’ is… normal
If we could sum up the most inspirational life lessons the majority of people tend to consider important enough to pass on to others, the major takeaway seems to be to always be yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks.
You’d be surprised how alike we are to each other when it comes to our deepest, darkest thoughts. We are all normal. Everything that goes on in our minds has a reason behind it. And we can learn what it is by tracking the behavioral patterns that bring us to a certain point. Some of them could have been deeply embedded in our subconscious since childhood. Others might be simpler to spot. The main conclusion is that we are all human, and we are all essentially ‘normal.’
In the end, it doesn’t really matter if you are physically attractive, intelligent or kindhearted. These and many more qualities are part of all human beings. What you have to remember is to “Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else“, as Judy Garland would say. Because, as Ralph Waldo Emerson so eloquently put it: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Image source: Pixabay