If you had to pick: Beauty or Brains?

Hey girl,

If you had to pick between beauty or brains which would you choose?

So my sister and I brought up this hypothetical together after we went to see the live action of Beauty & the Beast the other day.

I really didn’t know what I would pick initially… Oh but on side note, it was a really bomb movie in my opinion. You should go see it! Not bomb as in it sucks, bomb as in it was really good. lol

Glad we got that cleared up 😛

Now, while this isn’t going to be an in-depth movie review, I think Beauty & the Beast  is a phenomenal film, because it touches upon a couple different themes that are important life lessons for every girl to learn. Even for grown-ass women, too.

I also think Belle is a much better role model for women all around because she’s much more developed as a character.

So before we dive in to the hypothetical let’s just give Disney credit for hitting a few of them , shall we?:

  • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This is probably the most famously recognized theme.
  • Sacrifice is the true nature of love . Belle takes the ultimate sacrifice when she switches places with her father in the castle.
  • Identity is how we view ourselves. Most of us deal with issues like “Am I a good-looking/generous/funny?” The Beast and castle residents struggle to maintain any sort of human identity.
  • Overcoming the fear of the other. Gaston riles the townspeople to attack the castle even though he has no basis for his arguments
  • Gay is fabulous. Gay people exist. Deal with
  • Kindness and intelligence are more important than good looks. A woman is much more attractive when she doesn’t throw herself at a man.
  • Others have said that B&B promotes domestic violence. I don’t think that’s what the movie intended to do. I think it wanted to show people that even when we act like beasts there is a still a heart behind the facade. Obviously if you’re in an abusive relationship than it doesn’t matter what kind heart the person has. You can’t justify someones harmful actions towards you.

Okay, so it’s interesting because here we have a character, Belle, who embodies both traits. She’s both incredibly fine and annoyingly intelligent. I would guess that most girls want to be like her because why not have the best of both worlds, right?!

Well the truth of the matter is there are plenty of dumb pretty women and there are plenty of smart ugly women. And probably only a small subset of of both pretty, smart women. But most people think they are above average in their looks and their intelligence, even though statistically that would be impossible.

But if you can get past that, then you can make the argument that there are different types of intelligence and you can also make the argument that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

So then what do you choose if they both are seemingly equal? I want to say that I would choose brains over beauty, but it’s a hard point because society values my looks way more than it values my intelligence.

There’s a push for strong, intelligent women, but ultimately it’s not valued as sexy in the same way that the shape of a woman’s figure is.

I mean it makes sense, how do you visually market brains, when it’s so much easier to put up pictures like this and get validation for it:

FullSizeRender 11

The other issue is that women are expected to be both beautiful and smart. Belle I would say is equally beautiful and intelligent. She doesn’t identify with her looks like the rest of the townspeople and values the intricacies of deep conversation more than her youthful appearance.

We like to think of ourselves in the same manner. It makes us feel better. to think that we have it all…

But seriously, that’s a lot of pressure because looks are fleeting. And just because you have brains, it doesn’t mean you will use them in the right way. You can be just as ego-centered with a big brain as you can with big boobs.

I think we must make a distinction in what we mean when we say beauty because I think most people see it synonymously with  youth. You can be old and wrinkly and still be found beautiful to people and you can be young and pretty and be seen as a terrible human being.

And this is the dilemma. Because as women we’re trying to cash out on our youth. We’re told this all the time.

You’re only young once.

Flaunt it while you got it.

Let them look.

So if you don’t fit that standard of beauty then what do you do?

If you identify with youth then your value would decrease with time. Beauty by this definition only goes as far as the depth of the wrinkles on my face.

Women who identify with their youth and believe that this is what beautiful is will eventually look like this:


Looks are fleeting. It’s silly to invest in something that depreciates.

But that doesn’t change the fact that we’re obsessed with prolonging the aging process. We spend thousands of dollars to look put together to the rest of the world.

And if you’re intelligent? Well then you better be sexy as hell, cuz no one will listen to you unless you are.


Amal Clooney is the type of woman many ladies look up to. She is the modern version of Belle I would say. She’s both intelligent and attractive. She has it all. Of course her intelligence is sexy….Her looking sexy plays a huge part in our acceptance of that reality.

The truth is that girls want to have the best of both worlds. We want to be superwomen.

So what’s a girl to do when you she isn’t blessed with Victoria Secret proportions?

Well you can identify with one end more than the other. If you value beauty more than brains you might be the type of person who spends a lot of time on external appearance. If you value brains over beauty than you might be the type of person who spends a lot of time in the books or competing with men.

If you don’t believe yourself to be pretty, then you won’t waste your time trying to accentuate your features. If you don’t believe yourself to be smart you’ll look for validation through compliments from men and other women.

But most of us see ourselves as both even though we lean to one side more than the other.

So which would you choose then?

While I want to say intelligence, but the truth is I don’t honestly believe my intelligence would be worth enough to society if I didn’t look a certain way. So for that reason I’m going to go with beauty. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but enough people have voted and it looks like looks have won the match this time.

What would you pick if you had a choice: Brains or Beauty? Write your answers in the comments below.


Stay beautiful and intelligent,


2 thoughts on “If you had to pick: Beauty or Brains?

  1. So what is a girl to do without a Victoria secret body? How is a girl able to stay motivated without those features that society deems beautiful? What do you think can be done about this dillema?
    I hope there’s a part II to this article 😅


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