How would you label this girl?
Labels are bullshit.

Often, we are forced to attribute them to ourselves- through resumes, social media profiles, etc. Yet, the worst labels are the ones which society foists upon us:

Nerd. Ditz. Princess. Geek. Jock. Stupid. Hot. 

There are a few we try to 'take back' and wear as a badge of honor, most are negative.   

And, although you may find it hard to believe, there are even downsides to being labeled as a 'hot' girl.  

Before you write me off as arrogant or feel the need to dispute, let me define 'hotness' - it is a term a woman does not give herself, it is a title bestowed or burdened upon her by society. It is one of the basest labels that can be affixed to a woman- this is not 'inner beauty' or any of that deep self help mumbo jumbo you may see on Dr. Phil. A girl doesn't choose this, although for some reason she is constantly being put up against others or challenged to prove it is so. And, god forbid a 'hot' girl has other qualities to offer the world, including self confidence.

1. Everyone is competing- but for what?
The second you are labeled as hot and people realize that you aren't insecure - or that you are least smart enough to keep such things to yourself- they feel the need to poke at you. Everyone around you is suddenly super competitive. The problem is, you can't begin to even fathom what this exhausting competition is for. To be the most attractive? Who cares? You'd rather be surrounded by other confident people, rather than alone with a bunch of people who hate themselves. To be the smartest? Well, who wants to be surrounded by idiots? To be the best? At what? Isn't everyone good at something? For some reason, with catty cutting comments and pointless peacocking, almost every other woman (and sometimes man) you meet seems to want to engage you in some sort of antagonistic encounter until one of you emerges a clear victor.  This happens everywhere: at work, at a bar, with girls you thought were your friends, with complete strangers. Part of you feels like you should participate, because, after all, no one likes to lose. Yet you can't help but wonder constantly: Why am I bothering? One thing I have learned: If you aren't competing, you've already won.

2. You can't always be yourself
Whether your hotness is on the inside or the outside, as with everything in life, there is an appropriate time and place to display it. Anyone with common sense knows: A bikini is not a good outfit for a boardroom. Yet even an outfit you see as inoffensive can be viewed as others as highly inappropriate. Unfortunately for you, this means you are constantly having to cover up. This isn't necessarily referring to your ...assets - although it can - this also means your true self. Both dressing down as well as dumbing down are severe injustices women everywhere face. However, in order to please society, be taken seriously, not be seen as only getting ahead due to looks, and not have our confidence mistaken for conceit, we must do so.

3. "...for a hot girl."
I hate this phrase and the other backhanded 'commendations' like it. Anyone who has ever given you a compliment followed by this qualifier should be shot. The one I get the most? "You know a lot about sports... for a hot girl." Even worse: "There are hot girls who like sports?!" I fail to see how this is a surprise. Go to Aerys Sports- the entire site is made up of amazing women who blog about sports! I hope one day you run into Erin Andrews on the street, and she punches you in the face. 

4. Healthy and skinny: why not both?
'Healthy' and 'skinny' are too often seen as antonyms. How do you think I got this body? By pure luck? Admittedly, there are some women who are born with amazing genes and high metabolism. Most of us, however, work our asses off (literally) to look this good, and because we love ourselves, we accept the fact that no one, least of all us, is perfect, and there is always room for improvement. Even Playboy playmates are constantly tweeting about going to the gym! Even making good eating choices give others leeway for lambasting hot girls. It's my fault for skipping chocolate cake last Tuesday and being very aware of what I put in my body. I admit, there are some women who face serious eating disorders, and I commend their friends for stepping in to help. However, it is all too often that the same people who say a girl is too thin are just as fascinated when someone seen as skinny puts on a pound or two. Everyone rushes out to buy that copy of Us Weekly to see how Reese Witherspoon is 'Just Like Us,' because look- there she is, on the streets of New York, unashamed- stuffing her face with a chili cheese dog! However, you can bet your spin class ass she puts in hard work at the gym or hitting the pavement to work off those street meat calories. We work to look this way, so yes, in a way we are enabling the 'hot girl' labelers, but at the same time, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being healthy- and it does take lots of work.

5. You have other qualities, too
Is Megan Fox a good actress? Damned if I know (not that I've seen any of her movies). Even in professions that are less based upon physical appearance, women are unfairly judged or even ignored by both men and women.  Although being labeled as 'hot' can get you ahead, even when it does so,  it happens at the cost of your other qualities.  People can become consumed by your 'hotness' and not care at all what you have to say for yourself or the amazing things you are capable of, making you feel frustrated as well as unfairly judged. Meanwhile, those around you are often jealous of something they can't begin to understand, and it fosters ill will. Even out of the office, fewer people feel as if they even should take you seriously merely because of your looks. Hello, my face is up here, buddy.

I have nothing against the women who are labeled as 'hot' - but I definitely am not a fan of the labelers. Because, when it comes to being seen as 'hot,' often that one label is mistaken for good and seen as the only important quality a woman has- and that is most definitely not hot.



Shanna Connolly
02/24/2012 17:00

Comment deleted

07/20/2012 13:34

I'd say this girl is pretty smart and very good looking. She likes baseball, clearly has drive, and an innovative mind. Only problem... she seems to be a Brewers fan. That's rough. ;)

Good luck in all that you do!

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