Friday, March 15, 2013

The psychology of the beautiful woman - Part 2

Some time ago I wrote an article on life positions and concluded that there were 7 life positions instead of the customary 4. However in that article I asserted that human do not naturally see OKness in others. They have to be forced to see others as OK as it is not a natural thing for them to do. Whilst this may seem a somewhat machiavellian view of human nature it is one that I hold to and I may add could be argued to be consistent with Freud’s view of the natural state of human psychology.

This view follows the idea of primary narcissism as was presented by Freud. Every child is born a narcissist or as Freud would put it, with a form of self love that he called primary narcissism. On a side note this makes the narcissistic personality type unique amongst all the other personality types such as the paranoid, schizoid, OC, hysteric and so forth. People as they develop will grow into these personality types. They develop over time as a result of the person’s natural temperament and the early life script decisions they make. With the narcissistic personality it is not a matter of growing into it but growing out of it. The narcissist never resolves or develops out of his state of primary narcissism as all the other personality types do.

Sit woman

One resolves their primary narcissism by having the value of others forced upon them. Parents show to the child that the value and rights of their siblings are just as important as their own. Parents force the child to see the value of their siblings. They can’t eat all the cake alone but are forced to share it with their brothers and sisters because they are just as important. When this happens the child develops out of its state of primary narcissism and begins to conclude that others are OK. 

The machiavellian part is that if left alone a child will not naturally share the cake. Instead it will eat it all and leave none for the siblings if it can get away with it. So what has this got to do with the psychology of the beautiful woman you may ask. In my original article I state that people who are exceptionally good looking, very rich, famous or very powerful are not required to see others as OK like the average person is. Because of their special attribute they will always have a queue of people who are willing to be friends or at least associates of theirs. They do not have to treat others with as much respect that the average looking woman does, at least with males. Now I am sure many very good looking women have the view that others are OK, but the point here is that it is harder for them to maintain that position than it is with the average looking woman. That average female does not have a queue and hence she is constantly reminded of the necessity to treat others as OK such that they will still want to be her friend. The very beautiful woman has to spend extra effort to avoid the ever present slide back into her state of primary narcissism.


Siblings are crucial for our development out of primary narcissism.

I have mentioned before how the beautiful looking woman is in danger of being seduced by her own seductiveness. From early adolescence onwards she discovers that her beauty will get some (many) men to give her extra special treatment when she wants it. The problem with this is she will start to rely on it. The more she relies on it the less she has to develop other skills to get what is wanted. She does not have to develop other skills that the average looking woman does and indeed the male do, to get on in life and get where one is wanting to go.

A woman, particularly a good looking woman can use her physical attractiveness to climb up the ladder of what ever profession she is in. I am not talking about sleeping with various people to get to the top but as I mentioned in part one, the unconscious level of communication that is ever present in human communication. In this case between the woman and the man that will have some level of sexualness involved in it, especially for the very good looking female. Indeed I suggest that this will happen in many males minds whether she likes it or not.

This provides an interesting view on what is known as the glass ceiling effect for women. The idea, at least in westernized democracies, that there is a trend for women to make it only so far up the corporate ladder and then they seem to stop. There are very few women who actually get right to the top of what ever profession they may be in such as in politics or the commercial world. There are probably multiple reasons for this but for the beautiful woman she is especially disadvantaged in this way. 

Soldiers & girl

I would suggest that right at the very top of any profession her physical attractiveness counts for very little. She needs the other skills required, such that the men at the top have, whether they be political skills, commercial skills or some other kind of skill. At the very high levels the beauty stops working, or is much less influential in the males mind at least. She becomes more of a direct competitor to the male. If she has relied on her beauty then she has not had to develop (so much) the other skills over the years and hence she is disadvantaged. She has been seduced by her own seductiveness. Physical attractiveness for the male has never helped him climb the corporate ladder and thus he has had to develop the other skills required over many years.

One other thing not uncommonly seen in counselling with the female who is entering mid to late adulthood involves at times a significant level of psychological adjustment to be made. It can be quite a difficult time for her indeed. The looks start to disappear. What a western society has determined as physical attractiveness tends to go for the female when she reaches this stage of life. She discovers she is noticed less by males and indeed they start to notice the younger looking female instead. The more physical attractiveness she had the more she is going to notice this. For some women this period can be a time of quite difficult psychological adjustment.



  1. I think the beautiful Nigella makes that last paragraph null and void. ;-)

    I note that you mention the importance of siblings in relation to primary narcissism. One thing in having an only child is finding a different way to resolve it. It could be challenge to not make the lone child the epicentre of the world.

  2. Yes Linda,
    that is a very real problem for the only child and often they can develop some narcissistic qualities as a result of it.

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