Model sparks debate for listing the ‘disadvantages’ of being beautiful

Top 10 Times Celebs Clapped Back Against Beauty Standards

A woman has spoken out about the challenges of being beautiful, insisting that “pretty privilege” comes with disadvantages.

Emily Adonna, from California, posted a series of TikTok clips in which she stressed that her life hadn’t been a walk in the park, despite the perks she’d enjoyed thanks to her looks.

“Pretty privilege is a thing, I'm not here to deny that, though, too, it comes with disadvantages,” she began her first video, acknowledging that people were probably going to “hate her” for the remarks.

She explained: “I've never once been in a job where I haven't been harassed. I've rarely been in social situations where I haven't been harassed.

Sign up for our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

“People do not usually take ‘no’ for an answer with me, because they think I'm something to be possessed. People do not ask before touching me in public, I am grabbed regularly, I've been assaulted by a stranger.

“And I was once passed up on for a business opportunity because they thought I was too young and beautiful, and they thought that that would 'be distracting for other people in the industry.”

Emily then said that people’s behaviour towards her changes depending on what she’s wearing: “When I look raggedy, people don't touch me, they don't feel entitled to me.”


Replying to @spiritsofedenco #prettyprivilege #womenjustice #equality #model #lgbt

The clip has racked up more than 270,000 views and 30,000 likes, with hundreds of fellow TikTokers unconvinced by her arguments.

“Girls who aren't pretty by societal standards also get harassed in most social and professional situations. It's not a pretty privilege side effect,” one pointed out.

“You're way prettier than I am, and this happens to me all the time as well. I'm positive it's more a woman thing than a pretty thing,” commented a second.

But others were quick to defend Emily, with one writing: “So many haters here. They’re only hating because you’re pretty; they’re partially proving your point without even realizing.”

Another added: “A ton of pretty girls feel this way along with a harder time making genuine friendships and connections. It can be very isolating.”

In a follow-up video, Emily claimed that she was so “tired of being pretty” that she’d taken action: getting her septum pierced and hand tattoos, which she described as “culturally designed to destroy beauty”.

She also revealed that she had been “groomed” as a six-year-old by someone who worked at her school.

She said she hired an attorney and launched an investigation into the incident, but the school “did nothing”.

“They just said, ‘Yeah, he tends to favourite [sic] beautiful girls,” she recalled.

She continued: “Maybe my experience has been singular, but I don’t think it has, because I know a lot of beautiful women who have suffered from people feeling entitled to possessing them.

“And when the day came that I got sexually assaulted by a stranger, people said, ‘Well, you’re very beautiful, you have to be careful – why were you travelling along?’”

“Because I should be able to,” she said passionately. “Because regardless of how I look I should never have to feel that kind of disembodiment.”


Replying to @jillle10

Emily’s final follow-up continued her defence by considering the nature of the benefits her beauty affords her.

“A lot of the things that people consider ‘pretty privilege’, they’re not true privilege,” she began.

“I would never liken it to my white privilege. My white privilege is inherently beneficial and is by nature free to me. Is it right? No, but it costs me nothing.

“The opportunities and favours that you may get from being pretty are always transactional. They are done with an ulterior motive that someone else can gain access to me or to my body, which also means that it [sic] is rooted in an inequitable power dynamic, which is how all oppression starts.”

She ended her monologue: “I have benefits, I’ve had a long and really successful career as a model and I’m so grateful for that, but as far as opportunities go, it’s not a privilege if it’s transactional.”

We'll let you make up your own mind about that argument.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)