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  • Writer's pictureTalia Cooper

Permission to Think You're Hot

According to the Greek myth, Narcissus died for being in love with his own reflection.

This story sends a clear message:

  • Be humble about your looks

  • To care about appearance is shallow, vain, or (apparently) even deadly


Humility is important, but when it comes to how we look, we’ve got ourselves tied up in a few double binds:

  • We’re not supposed to care about how we look

    • but we should look presentable

  • We’re supposed to be body positive

    • but not care about beauty

  • We admire people who look good

    • but shame them if they agree

These double binds come from a false understanding of beauty based in a capitalist scarcity mindset; we’re under the impression that there is a limited amount of beauty in the world.

image: a hand reaches for its distorted water reflection

image: a hand reaches for its distorted water reflection

Here’s the truth: beauty is unlimited.

Every human is beautiful because beauty is something that exists in a different realm.

When a child looks into a mirror and smiles, they are tapping into the totally awe-inducing feeling of purely marveling at the truth of having a body.

But the morality around vanity makes us confused about our own reflection. Then you throw oppressive messages on top– like fatphobia, racism, ableism, ageism, sexism, and transphobia– messages that tell us that humans should be ranked and that only some of us are valuable– and that’s when we really start to get confused about our gorgeousness.

No wonder it can feel so hard to think, “Hey! I look good!” But if you ever do– even for a nano-second– try to lean in. Savor it a little longer. That moment is a victory against oppression, and it’s also the truth. All the other moments are the societal conditioning clouding our view.

Enjoying your looks is not vanity, it’s clear-thinking.

Consider this blog your official permission to think of yourself as hot.


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