Beautiful People are Lonely Too


College. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

For my friend Sally, freshman year fell in the later category. Her assigned roommate was a life sized Barbie doll, complete with blond hair, blue eyes, a perfect wardrobe and an exotic French accent. Sally’s attempts at friendship with Barbie doll roommate went unrequited. Barbie wasn’t overly friendly, but luckily she wasn’t around much, as she busied herself with various social gatherings. Sally slowly made other friends and was beginning to adjust to college life…until Barbie decided to steal Sally’s boyfriend. Sally’s boyfriend OF THREE YEARS. Sally had chosen our college, far away from her family and friends, not for its wonderful curriculum, but because it was the school her boyfriend was attending. Sally was hysterical. When confronted with this ultimate betrayal, Sally’s roommate used an excuse that will long go down in the history as the worst excuse ever. Barbie looked Sally straight in the eye and said with her perfectly red pouty lips and sultry French accent, “Beautiful people are lonely too, Sally.”

That response by no means either justified her actions, or induced an ounce of compassion from Sally. But it was sincere. The world is full of lonely beautiful people.

As an OB/GYN, I see a lot of naked people, both physically and emotionally. Intellectually we all know not to judge people by their outward appearance, but on a daily basis I see the reality of that truth play out in my exam rooms.

One day recently my first two patients had the same complaint: low sex drive.

The first women looks the epitome of the suburban dream. She is beautiful, fit and wealthy, toting around 2 kids in her new Range Rover. The truth is that she miserable. She is fighting depression, struggling with low self esteem and marital problems.

My next patient is a slightly fluffy 40 something, who is happy and healthy. Her only concern is low sex drive. On further clarification her definition of low sex drive was having sex every other day, instead of twice a day. {I encouraged her that she’s well above average.}

I’m not attempting to equate sex with happiness, but merely saying that people are not always what they seem. In this image obsessed culture, we equate physical perfection with sexuality and happiness. From my experience, that is simply not true.

This popular meme “Comparison is the thief of Joy” is especially true when you take into consideration that you often don’t realize what you are comparing yourself to. The image you are seeing is not always real. A significant number of women have had plastic surgery of some kind or another. I would estimate that in my town, 20% of the breasts are filled with silicone. 

Often the happiest, most fulfilled women that I see are the ones who would be the most average appearing at the mall. Whereas so many of the people who are supposed to have their stuff together, really just don’t.

I don’t know whatever happened to Barbie Doll roommate. I hope she eventually found some companionship and fulfillment. Sally went on to a happy and successful life, as she has embraced the art of contentment. She learned that obviously, it’s a bad idea to follow a boy to college, but most importantly that outward beauty and inward beauty don’t always come in the same package.