Arrogant Cow!

cwt edt

Women are not allowed to state that they are beautiful. Fact. ‘How dare she say she is beautiful!’  ‘Arrogant cow!’That’s someone else’s job.’
You can acknowledge that you are tall, fat, Irish, an architect, jobless, useless, even ugly, but there is an unwritten rule that says women (in particular) cannot admit to being beautiful.

To be fair, I don’t know that many men would be praised for saying that they are good looking either, however, it is women who have been lambasted recently for daring to suggest that they might consider themselves attractive. And I mean people got really angry at them. You also get people annoyed if you wear an expression on your face that suggests that you think you are attractive. ‘That one thinks she is God’s gift.’ Oh the crime!

I should add that this phenomenon is a western disease, as I have heard African and Brazilian women state categorically that they are beautiful with no punchline or false self deprecation and the people surrounding them simply nod in agreement.


Why is a (western) woman not allowed to say she is beautiful? Straight face. No irony. No narcissism. No punchline,  just truth. Is this just other people reflecting their own insecurities?

Is it indeed just plain arrogant to suggest that you are beautiful?

Why do women bother with make up and all that gear if the aim is not to be beautiful at the end of it?

Would you like your daughter to be able to state confidently that as well as being well educated, she is also beautiful…or does that sound weird?

How comes you can be beautiful inside without annoying anyone but not beautiful outside?

Is coyly waiting for someone else to acknowledge your beauty a bit like asking for permission to be accepted as beautiful by someone else’s standards?


80 thoughts on “Arrogant Cow!

  1. Excuse me plisss…how did you arrive at the conclusion that it is a western phenomenon only??? Did your sample include women from the Indian sub-continent and its billion plus population?? I assure you…Indian women are also not supposed to self-proclaim their beauty!!! 😀 😛

    1. Excuse me plisss…while it may feel implied I didn’t say ‘only’.

      No my sample did not include women from the Indian sub continent as my knowledge banks did not stretch that far regarding this issue.
      I may yet have the inuits from the North American Arctic after me with the same accusation. 😛

      But do tell! – What would happen if an Indian lovely announced publicly that she was indeed an Indian lovely?

      …And do I see you poking your tongue out at Aunt Ed yet again! Remember I know where you live, what school you went to, your favourite meals etc. 😀

      1. Heehee 😀 North American Inuits!!! Well…I definitely did not see that coming!! BTW…i wonder if there is any blogger from Greenland or maybe Nunavut..would be interesting to follow! Don’t you think?
        About Indians, well…to be fair, even if a guy were to say that he thought himself handsome…he would be thoroughly ridiculed…and women…well…we Indian men prefer our women to look like Salma Hayek, cook like Nigella Lawson but be modest and quiet like…like…ummm..Arthur Ashe(?), though they have to fair-skinned, mind you! We are racist like hell…if you are a dark-skinned woman…your odds of getting a husband go down drastically…sorry…i am blabbering… I think my days are numbered…i am speaking politically incorrectly too often! :3
        BTW…I have posted on my blog…after 5 months! 😀

      2. Listen young Know-All let’s face it, with your frequent online absences it wouldn’t be wise to make you my designated health watch person now would it. You’d find me in 3 months! 😛

  2. aaah! This is one of my favourite topics. I used to think that I was ugly, because the mere word, or sentence ‘I am pretty’ was deemed a sin. No matter how many people told me I was beautiful, I didn’t believe them.

    This has changed. I’m now super happy with the way I look, having matured and learned to love myself, but sadly, women in the WEST, are so insecure, they are jealous beyond belief if a woman is beautiful, and that makes them say the most wicked, nasty things about her. None of them are true of course.

    The other problem us beauties have, is that the lecherous men at parties, (who are married), come to us and perv, which upsets their wives (and rightly so), even when we tell them to ‘stuff off’!

    It’s a bitch being gorgeous, but aaah, it’s a gift from God LOL…
    Oh p.s. If only I could lose a bit of weight…….but sadly I tried, didn’t work, so I happily wobble around. haha

      1. LOL, Oh lord it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way! (my favourite song) ahaha….I won’t diss the religions, but lets say that some like sack cloth, long baggy dresses and NO make up! no, not me darling. x x x OR you!! Oh it’s hard to be humble…da da da da dee!!

  3. I absolutely agree with bisimodupe1975’s point above. Self confidence, to my knowledge from conversations with guy friends, is absolutely one of the most attractive things about a woman. hands down.

  4. I am from South-East Asia and truth be told the disease you talk about is here too. I say it is the root of low self-esteem in anyone if they cannot digest that a person is in love with him/herself and they don’t need validation. What they do is envy those who have guts to love their own souls. Say it out loud that you are beautiful! You own yourself!

  5. I believe woman must first of all believe in her own beauty. I mean common girls don’t wait for the stamp of a man before you believe you are beautiful! It speaks volumes for self confidence. I’ll definitely want my daughter to see herself as beautiful and i tell her so every time. I don’t want her to fall into the trap of boys, guys, men who would fill her head with words they don’t actually mean…words that are just meant to take advantage of her. When a girl believes she is beautiful not in a condescending way to others, she can be her unique self and not try to be anyone! Great post my friend!

    1. Hear hear! We are amazing creatures that only use such a miniscule part of our amazingness. And I personally don’t separate human endeavour, beauty inside from the one outside.

      I find that if you are beautiful inside you more than likely know how to say things in a way that doesn’t annoy people by being brash and boastful.

  6. Could it be that “being beautiful” is a judgment best left to others? Similarly being brilliant or very talented or … are things best left to others to say. Add to that basic jealousy regarding an appearance that people can see (we can’t see someone else as being smart or brilliant, they must demonstrate it) and …?

    My partner often asks me if I think a person we see on the street is beautiful and my answer is always, “I don’t know” because beauty outside can be canceled by a lack of beauty inside and a dull exterior can hide an exquisite interior. Too often we fixate on the appearance and not the substance.

    And … why would anyone want to proclaim their beauty? It is or it is not. A proclamation does no good and should be met with indifference pr pity.

    1. Great points. I’m often put off by what comes out of people’s mouths and find great difficulty seeing them as attractive afterwards no matter what they wear or do.
      And there is nothing more enjoyable (well there is but…) than meeting a sharp, interesting brain regardless of the exterior.

      You’ve almost convinced me by your articulate input, but I still don’t see a problem stating a fact. It might be a throwaway sentence in the middle of talking about buying some halibut and delivered similarly rather than an obnoxiously loud and narcissistic self affirmation. I would question why should that be met with indifference or pity anymore than the discussion about the halibut?

  7. In light of what we call the “selfie-generation”, it seems odd to me that women are “not allowed” to call themselves beautiful. Personally, I’m someone who dislikes arrogance from virtually all sources regardless of gender. Whats worse is that arrogance has been “prescribed” to me for job interview and dating purposes as a man and I find it disgusting. Although there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. I would also say that there are a lot of media influences and “awareness” campaigns focused on improving the confidence/empowerment of females: “girl power”, “fierce” etc. From my perspective, the real issue isn’t female confidence/arrogance but the reaction towards it.

    1. Yep! We are twinning on all aspects you have raised. I hate arrogance especially as it is usually not warranted. (I may give it a pass when it is occasionally from someone of superior talent). I was only just pondering the selfie generation and how they might change the attitude I pointed out in the post.

  8. I would have a hard time calling myself beautiful. I guess I have taken too literal an interpretation of the phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” As the only time I see myself is in the mirror, I just don’t think of myself that way. I am however not ashamed to announce that I look good or look hot on days that I think I do. The hubby is usually wise enough to agree with me. Then again, this could also be a reason. To me, looking good or looking hot is a temporary statement as there are days I am downright frumpy. Beautiful, at least to me, has more permanence to it.

    1. Good old hubby. They somehow just learn what is best for peace don’t they? 🙂

      It is good to hear someone is in the ‘stating what is fact’ camp though, even if it is occasional according to you.

  9. I think it is a matter of being modest.
    Even if a woman says that she is intelligent, smart and so on, it does not sound so nice to me. All these unmeasurable qualities shouldn’t be self praised, but eventually left to others’ appraisal.
    Of course this is valid, for me, also for the men.

    1. But not even if it is delivered in a matter-of-fact way and not in boastful way? What if it is delivered in the same way you might say ‘The post has arrived.’ This is fact.

      ‘Yes I’m quite intelligent.’ Again this is (or may be) fact, so it puzzles me why folk feel it must not be said if in fact it is a fact!

  10. Interesting read. I agree with the fact that why is it socially unacceptable by a woman to acknowledge the fact that she is in fact beautiful? It doesn’t necessarily mean that that she is bragging or being vain!
    I often wonder why is it that declaring negative traits about oneself is perfectly acceptable (like you pointed out) whereas talking about one’s beauty isn’t?
    I think that’s the way society functions, it’s hard to acknowledge that you love someone and pretty easy to declare pointless hate.

  11. I think it depends how you use it, if someone knows they are beautiful but doesn’t float about it or use it to compare themselves to others then that really is beauty and screw what anyone else thinks, however if you are telling the world how beautiful you are and you look down on others then that is a sign that you don’t really feel beautiful unless you feel better than others and that is a sign of low self esteem. It is not a beautiful attitude. However we have been brought up in a world where ‘shining’ is frowned upon and ridiculed so I think it is also an attachment to the ways of the past.

    Moving forward….I’m beautiful, you are beautiful, we are all beautiful!

      1. yes, exactly ! but when a man is handsome, charming etc people call him lady killer, playboy, blah, blah. same appeal or traits of women are seen as otherwise.

    1. Not strictly all perjoratives as tall is not really considered one for example, or indeed Irish as you point out.

      But I was just being random as in why do certain descriptions (especially those which place the describer in a positive light) upset so many people.

    1. A-ha, now I can send my reply again. But this time keep it short. I don’t think women do highlight their beauty in the spoken word, but will display it in the way they present themselves, with confidence etc. I also think that us poms in general don’t play ourselves up, and for that matter living in South Africa I don’t think I’ve ever head the SA gals do it either.

      1. There’s probably a slight difference in the West/East African psyche to the South having been to those places, subtle though it may be. But I’ll bow to your SA knowledge as you are living there!

  12. now you’ve raised an interesting question. Is it not the same as women being tagged a bitch, while men are assertive? Hm, not sure if a good comparison. Ok, the beautiful thing then. Think it could be a cultural thing, and us Poms are not all that good at blowing our own trumpets, so UK gals probably wouldn’t do it anyway. That said, leaving in SA right now, I’ve not heard many SA gals ever pointing out their beauty. So in the end I’ve changed my mind, I think perhaps in general we don’t do it.

  13. Interesting questions you bring up. I look at beauty as a trait most people want and if someone were to go around acknowledging their own beauty (or handsomeness) I’d say they were in poor taste just as I would someone noting how much money they had or cool stuff. Probably some insecurity issues going on to.

    1. Interesting Tricia. I wonder if the tone of the statement would alter your perception a little eg I could tell you how much I earned last year or I could ostentatiously boast about it. I could state matter-of-factly that I’m fairly acceptably attractive or I could deliver the information in a way that put your back up.

      1. This is definitely true, tone and intent do play big roles. I think it depends too on how a person views those things. I grew up on New England where you never, ever boasted about anything. Bragging rights were saved for complaining how difficult thins are…;)

  14. I wrote a whole response and then deleted it. Could you give us an example of the comments that were made? Were these comments made in an arrogant way? Like, ‘Being beautiful, I can only pity other women.’ (that sounds ridiculous. No one would actually something like that.) or in a humble way, like “I know I’m beautiful and yet I can’t find Mr. Right.” I think the context makes a difference.

    1. Sure, one example is that there was a columnist for the Mail who came out and said she was very advantaged in life i.e men give her their seats, hold open doors and buy her drinks because she is beautiful.
      She was torn to pieces like hounds on a rabbit. It really mattered not whether you agreed that she was beautiful – that is subjective – the reaction to her stating it was the fascinating thing to witness. People could not wait to let her know she was ‘not all that’ in droves with the most demented, bile laden abuse allowed on that platform. It was one of the highest commented posts ever.

      Another example is a post I did on Victoria Beckham.

      One of the major reasons so many seem to hate her is because she seems to ‘think she is all that’. Bear in mind this woman has never actually said that she is all anything, but she rubs people up the wrong way because of how she chooses to present herself – which is after all her prerogative. Just take a peek at some of the things people say about her based on THEIR interpretation that she ‘thinks she is all that’ rather than an actual statement that she is.

      1. Thanks for those examples. I think that in western culture (certainly in Australia) people value humbleness. It’s not necessarily about not wanting a woman to feel confident in themselves and their appearance (whatever it is), but how that woman expresses her confidence.

        That said, our desire to tear someone down (punish them for their arrogance) is no less ugly and pathetic than the arrogance itself.

      2. Oh hear hear! One has to sit back and question what the tearer-downer needs so badly to get out of tearing down another person and do they ever stop and look seriously at their mental states?

  15. I think one source of this is what I would call false humility. It’s tempting to say that Judeo-Christianity is to blame, but that would be incomplete and unfair. There does seem to be a rule that calling oneself beautiful is vain or “stuck up.”
    Perhaps a deper and more real source of this is insecurity. If a woman calls herself beautiful, will there be room for all of the other women to be beautiful as well? Is there enough love and acceptance to go around; adequate places in the sun?

    1. Ah interesting LH, (if I’m understanding correctly) many religious orders call for modesty and humility. I think you may be right there in that despite many people dropping away from religion it’s legacy still hangs over people’s behaviours in certain circumstances.
      I’d agree with the insecurity issue for sure.

    1. Ha ha! Trust NS to come at it from a different angle! Plus yes it’s true. If parents could drive the message to their young ‘ins from an early age that they were simply ENOUGH. Beautiful, intelligent, serene (plus of course help them to be those things) these businesses would not be happy bunnies.
      But it will never happen for the majority and those business will always be plenty safe.

      1. it’s always broken my heart to see some sweet young thang in the absolute prime of life and beauty plastered in makeup and expensive gear. Tells me even this young goddess has low self esteem, and that’s crazy.

      2. And will probably never have the attributes and strength of character to be an individual thinker and a leader.

        Still we can’t all be Napolean, and as you pointed out before too many companies happily rely on them.

  16. Beauty is a difficult thing, because it’s partly objective – even babies prefer looking at symmetrical faces, apparently – and partly subjective. When you say you’re beautiful, it’s not only an objective statement about your genetic makeup, like saying you have red hair, it’s like you’re saying you think everyone is attracted to you. And in a culture where beauty is the “greatest good” – especially for females – it’s like you’re saying “I’m better than you, and I expect you all think so too,” which doesn’t go down well.
    In NZ culture, speaking of yourself in positive terms is generally badly received, whether it’s about your looks, your intelligence, or anything else. You’re expected to downplay your strengths (whether genetic or not) and let others speak well of you instead. Of course, speaking too badly of yourself can suggest that you’re fishing for compliments, which also doesn’t go down well. Safest just to talk about something else 🙂

    1. Jeez…or just shut up altogether eh? Wow. That was interesting, a bit like the Japanese culture where it is so deprecating you almost can’t get anything done for people honourably apologising for being alive!

      To say you are beautiful – ‘it’s like you’re saying you think everyone is attracted to you’
      ‘I’m better than you, and I expect you all think so too’ which of course is part of the problem i.e the made up stuff we adhere to this simple acknowledgement.

  17. Well said…beauty isalon a cultural construct. If you believe you’re beautiful, there is nothing wrong with voicing it on the outside gracefully

  18. There is no single definition of beauty, especially physical beauty. I have no problem with any woman stating emphatically that she is beautiful. Confidence is beautiful! The only time it is “ugly” is when anyone tries to lift themselves up by putting some other person down. Anyway, all women are beautiful, whether or not they say it out loud.
    -ValS xx

  19. I was entered in a beauty pageant at 13 by my aunt. Whilst it was the only one I was ever in, I was fortunate to win. And yes, with that sash and tiara I learnt of the social advantage that beauty can offer. (it has changed a little now that I’m in my forties though!)

  20. Hmm… My hubby is always after me to stop putting myself down and to see how beautiful I am. This is a big topic in our house. I think he would agree with me if I blurted out “I am feeling and looking beautiful today” in fact he’d probably faint…hahaha. I think women who are confidently beautiful, without the “hey look at me, admire me, I’m beautiful” attitude, should be able to say out loud they are beautiful without being shamed for saying so. I tell Abi everyday she is, she agrees of course hahaha, but I tell her so she will be able to say it about herself on her own one day.
    I think it would be a game changer if more women did admit out loud they were beautiful. Having the confidence to know it and say it could empower a women to seek better for themselves, what ever their situation was.
    For what it’s worth, that’s my two cents…

    1. It’s a great two cents because it is true. As Margaret Thatcher once said men, (perhaps the ones she worked with) often come with a confidence that doesn’t match their actual competence. Perhaps because the judgement and expectation on every aspect of their lives was less than for girls growing up (although some would argue that that is changing).
      So women seem (on the most part) always apologetic about being good at something or attractive.
      The shame for Abi is when someone (at junior school or the work place) tells her the opposite and she chooses to believe them instead of you, so keep reinforcing that message I would say, so it becomes a wall of steel.
      Also I’ve been talking to you for a while now and I’d have to agree with hubby.

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