Unreasonably Beautiful People

SmileSince I seem to have been ensnared by Game of Thrones, and have given up on doing some rather pressing (and actually fun) database work, I thought I would leave you with a disturbing observation. As I have gotten older, I went through a bad period, and ended up with rather bad teeth that I work very hard to maintain without the use of dentists. Thus, I have become obsessed with teeth. I am also rather obsessed with eye color. I used to think Hollywood had this thing against people like me with brown eyes. But it turned out that, in fact, if you look at the British and northern Europeans, brown eyes are actually kind of rare. And with George Clooney and Johnny Depp having brown eyes, it is kind of hard to make the case for being a member of an oppressed minority.

But the teeth thing still bugs me. I watch these shows of people living with no central heating or plumbing and yet they all have perfectly aligned, bright white teeth. There was a time not that long ago that even British movie stars had bad teeth. But I guess the American obsession with teeth has taken over everything. But I’m not fooled! I see a lot of really fine veneer work. I used to manage a dental office, so I know! Nasty procedure. I’d never have it done myself. I’m only interested in the health of my teeth, not looking like some dental freak. Anyway, it isn’t like having better teeth are going to turn me into George Clooney or Johnny Depp, brown eyes or not. (In my defense, I publicly challenge both men to a differential equation solving contest. Who’s the attractive one now?)

It’s one thing, though, for the royal women to have beautiful teeth. But there’s one character in Game of Thones who’s had his face half burned off and he has perfect teeth. What is it? Couldn’t Steve Buscemi do a English accent? He is literally the only actor I can think of who has rather bad teeth. And for all I know, he may have gotten his fixed. Plus he has blue eyes, so he’s dead to me anyway. I know we don’t want to look at a bunch of ugly people, but really. This is just too much.

Another thing: this series has an enormous number of naked female breasts. And to its credit, they all look quite natural, if you know what I mean: no “veneer” work. And they are all shockingly symmetrical and what I would call perfect. And that’s not a surprise because when it comes to women, I have a shockingly normal idea of beauty. And when I’m talking about breasts, I’m not just talking about minor characters. Major female characters who have beautiful faces, perfect teeth, deep blue eyes, wonderful acting skills, also just happen to have perfect breasts.

Am I going crazy?! This reminds me of a story I heard about some MIT physics students who were working out how many acceptable mates there were in the world for them. And in walked the only female physics professor there at that time. So they decided to do the calculation for her. (This is a standard physics exercise, “How many piano tuners are in New York City?” is a classic.) And she happened to be freakishly tall: like a bit over six feet. She would only accept a mate who was as intelligent as she was. So they cut out 99% of the population. And he would have to be as well educated as she was. That cut it down quite a bit more—actually only about 1% get PhDs, but you figure if you are starting with the smartest 1%, the numbers going to be higher. But here’s the kicker: he would have to be taller than she was. So basically, there was maybe one man in the world that fit that description, and maybe not even that.

Is that how it is in Hollywood? There are so many people who want to be actors that they can just say, “Oh, you have a slight overbite, maybe you should become a school teacher?” Actually, I think at some point this has got to reverse a bit. I mean the unrelenting beauty of the women and the men is too much. But back I go to watching all the warrior men who have never so much as had a tooth chipped!

Update (15 July 2014 5:15 pm)

For the record, having watched it all, I have to admit that I do not find the breasts on all the women in the show so perfect. This actually makes me feel much better. And for the record, when I talk about “perfect breast,” I mean just a kind of advertising ideal. I find almost all women beautiful in their great variety. The most beautiful women in the world are the women who like me!

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

0 thoughts on “Unreasonably Beautiful People

  1. Almost all actresses, and a majority of actors, are selected from among the top 5% of the population in looks. It’s good business sense on the part of the film and TV industry since generally people like looking at attractive people. That’s why you rarely see "flaws" or significant deviations from the ideal which are common in the real population.

  2. It drives me crazy when I watch Hollywood movies depicting, for example, the Old Wast, with cowboys sporting grizzled, mud-caked skin, shabby beards and dirty clothes, and then they smile,and Ting! Beautiful, perfectly straight, bright white teeth. It’s both hilarious and annoying. It really takes me out of the moment. I’m sitting there wondering how on earth the hard-scrabble, tobacco-chewing cowpoke from the 1880’s manages to maintain a mouthful of brilliant, perfectly aligned pearly whites. Where are the costume people?? Doesn’t this bother them? I mean, they pay manically obsessive attention to every other detail, but somehow manage to miss the fact that the actors teeth are going to shine like flashlight every time they grin? Has anyone else noticed this?

  3. @Infidel753 – Yeah, it used to be that the character actors could at least be less than beautiful, but even that isn’t really true anymore. Look what they did when they made the film version of [i]The Shipping News[/i], which I didn’t see, but Quoyle played by Kevin Spacey? Give me a break!

    @Kristen – That’s a great point about the costumes. I suspect that the teeth just aren’t something that most people notice. In general, I’m pretty unobservant about such things. It is just that I have such a hangup about teeth. It does pull me out of the story. But mostly, I’m just jealous. It doesn’t bother me that I’m not beautiful or strong or fast or whatever it is I’m supposed to be. But teeth mean a lot to me–especially since I’ve learned to cook!

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