The "tolerant left" has done it again! I wrote a blog post they don't like (not because of my ideas, but because I'm white), and, unable to come up with a coherent and well-reasoned argument...
They've resorted to calling me ugly.
They weren't the first anonymous internet trolls to try to hurt my feelings, and I'm sure they won't be the last.
But here's the thing about their little poison pen comments:
On a scale of 1-10, it bothers me zero -- except insofar as it makes me feel sorry for them. Here's why.
1. They have a powerless, victimhood mindset.
They think they can hurt my feelings by calling me ugly -- which, as anyone who’s seen my Instagram knows, I am clearly not. (#ChooseBeautiful)
They would only try to hurt me in this way because they are so insecure about their own appearance and self-worth... that being called ugly by an anonymous stranger on the internet would hurt them tremendously.
They think that calling me a name will hurt me, because they can't imagine what it's like to have a positive body image and healthy self-esteem.
Can you imagine living with such a powerless, victimhood mindset, where people you don’t even know can control how you feel?
I can't imagine it. I truly can't.
One of my earliest memories as a child was seeing my reflection in a window and thinking I was the prettiest girl in the whole world -- though this thought was immediately followed-up with, "But probably everyone thinks that. It's probably impossible to look at yourself and not think you're beautiful."
High self-esteem was something I took for granted. I thought everyone loved themselves.
But trolls on the internet prove otherwise.
And, sure, I've written that there isn't necessarily a benefit to teaching self-esteem in schools -- researchers have found that there isn't a correlation between self-esteem and achievement. But. There is a correlation between self-esteem and happiness.
Which suggests that:
2. They're probably not as happy as I am.
I'll be the first to admit: causation hasn't been established between happiness and self-esteem. We don't know if happiness causes self-esteem, self-esteem causes happiness, or if something else causes both.
Nevertheless, I think it's safe to assume I'm happier than people who hide behind their computers and say mean things about other people. After all, according to psychologists, downward social comparison is the number one best way to feel better about yourself.
Their comments are simply a delusional, frantic attempt to feel an ounce of self-worth.
Meanwhile, I'm traveling the world, making money doing what I love, crushing it on the basketball (and volleyball, and frisbee, and rock climbing) court, writing music, exploring the great outdoors, and just loving life.
Dog-friendly backpacking in the Eastern Sierras. Not to self: next time you want to soak in the Carson Hot Springs, whitewater kayak in -- it takes longer, but it's much easier!
Calling someone ugly is a desperate effort to feel better when you've got little else going for you.
Isn't that sad?
3. They're probably dumb.
Right now is probably one of the worst times in modern history to be dumb. Knowledge is more valuable than ever -- with globalization, the difference between one job candidate and another who is 1% smarter... could be tens or hundreds of millions of dollars!
Which is why CEOs and other top employees of today earn so much more than those of yesteryear. Charles Murray discusses this at length in his super cool book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, which I highly recommend.
Meanwhile, more and more jobs are being automated or outsourced. If you can't do something a computer, machine, or overseas laborer couldn't do, you're basically worthless.
Which is another reason to feel bad for people who call me ugly. They're probably dumb -- which means that, in this economy, they're basically worthless.
People who make ad hominems do it because they're unable to think rationally. They're unable to make eloquent, logical arguments. All they can do is get emotional and feel things -- jealousy. Anger. Insecure. Discontent.
Unable to do what most of us learned to do in preschool and use their words... they just call people names.
To be fair, some at least make an effort to regurgitate some meaningless and unintelligible social justice jargon they heard somewhere (including phrases like, “since you don’t have a minority card [sic] let me go ahead and give you some advice”)...
But it’s clear they’ve put none of their own thought into it.
Either because they lack curiosity... or because they can't.
4. Even if they're not dumb, they still don't seem capable of acting rationally, rather than emotionally.
What good is all the intelligence in the world... if your panties are always so up in a bunch, and you can't even use it?
And, look, I get it. Thinking rationally is hard. Psychologist Jonathan Haidt wrote a whole amazing book about it, which I also recommend. It's called The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided By Politics and Religion.
Among other topics, Haidt discusses how it's difficult for everyone to think logically when they're emotional. And that some people are a lot more emotional than they realize. And basically the only way to overcome your primitive "lizard brain" and use your human ability to reason...
You need to be weird.
As in WEIRD.
As in Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic.
(To learn more about this, download The Righteous Mind or check out You're not going to believe what I'm about to tell you -- it's probably the most brilliant comic The Oatmeal has ever made.)
I fit the bill -- and one of the things I love most about myself is my ability to examine evidence, admit when I'm wrong, and constantly look for more evidence to support (or disconfirm) my hypothesis. That's why I love blogging so much!
That's why I don't think this FDA-approved weight-loss device is a powerful tool, rather than "disgusting" "medical-assisted bulimia". The facts just don't support those feelings.
It's why I love discussing controversial topics -- if they were straightforward and easy to solve, they wouldn't be "controversial", and it's fascinating to explore the different perspectives.
It's why I don't want to be with a man who's politically correct -- I want to be with a man who's EMPIRICALLY correct.
That's why I don't write comments like this:
I'm smarter than that... and I happen to have emotion regulation skills that surpass those of a two-year-old.
Can they develop those skills with effort and hard work?
Possibly. But probably not.
See, students of 2016 were exposed to fewer and less provocative ideas than students of 2014, and test data shows that many colleges fail to improve critical-thinking skills.
But nothing's impossible, I guess.
5. My spouse is going to be smarter than theirs... and our kids are going to be smarter than theirs.
To be honest, I only really thought of this because I mentioned Coming Apart earlier. But! I'd be remiss not to mention Genetics and intelligence differences: five special findings, an expert review in Molecular Psychiatry. In it, Plomin and Deary wrote:
Assortative mating is greater for intelligence (spouse correlations ~0.40) than for other behavioural traits such as personality and psychopathology (~0.10) or physical traits such as height and weight (~0.20). Assortative mating pumps additive genetic variance into the population every generation, contributing to the high narrow heritability (additive genetic variance) of intelligence.
In other words, we tend to like people who like us. Meaning Christians are more likely to end up with Christians. Beautiful people are more likely to end up with beautiful people. And smart people are more likely to end up with other smart people.
In fact, people select more highly for intelligence than personality or appearance.
Which means that, not only am I less likely to get divorced than these trolls (smart people have lower divorce rates than others)...
But I'm also probably going to have smarter kids.
I know your panties may be bunching, and you may be getting ready to write a comment about how I'm dumb and ugly (but, of course, you won't back it up with any actual arguments)... but your feelings do not trump the facts on this one.
That intelligence is heritable is not a matter of scientific debate. It's a matter of scientific fact. What is up for debate is exactly how much of intelligence can be predicted by genetics. Estimates range from 40% to 80% -- for reference, that's as much as height.
6. They're probably going to die before me.
Whether they're calling me ugly because they're dumb or powerless or jealous or overly emotional or insecure, they're probably going to die before me. Here are a few reasons why:
Of course, an early death may be a blessing in disguise for them. The real curse, for someone who feels so negative and nasty all the time, would be to live forever.
7. It sucks to be wrong.
I started this post by saying, "As anyone who’s seen my Instagram knows, I am clearly not ugly. (#ChooseBeautiful)"
Subjectively, I find myself to be beautiful -- and no damaged boychild in his mommy's basement can change that. Even when I've just gotten out of freezing cold water after abalone diving, I still think I look cute:
And, yes, beauty is (somewhat) in the eye of the beholder. But there are dozens of more objective measures we could use to quantify or qualify my beauty, from measurements to symmetry to how often I'm asked out to who knows what else.
(Of course, by going there, I'd inevitably trigger special snowflakes and sexist jerks alike -- women with the nerve to call themselves pretty piss insecure people off, and women who are "conventionally pretty" aren't supposed to have opinions.)
The point is... if you call me ugly, you're just plain wrong. But we both know you're not calling me ugly because you really think that -- as evidenced by this guy (or girl):
Like... come on. I clearly don't have red hair. It's like you're not even trying!
I could go on, but I think I've made my point. I feel bad for people who call me ugly -- but I'm also glad they take the time to comment! It's great for my SEO, and the more people who visit my blog, the more money and opportunities I make, just by sharing my thoughts online!
So please! Keep hating! Keep posting about me on Tumblr and Reddit (moderate, reasonable thinkers get hate from both sides)!
But also, maybe try to take a few deep breaths sometime, and read some of the advice on my blog. It could really help you improve your life.
Might I recommend:
And, of course...... (cue the "laughing at you so hard, I'm crying" emoji):
7/6/2017 06:26:20 pm
[[The "tolerant left" has done it again!]]
7/6/2017 07:04:08 pm
Umm... because it's very clear from reading the article and comments? Did it sound like the kind of thing that would get the alt-right in a tizzy? No. They get upset about articles like "If You Had To Grab Her By The Back of the Head and Force Your Faces Together, It Doesn't Count as a Kiss." Or, like, "Science is real."
7/6/2017 07:30:40 pm
No. One troll calling you ugly does not mean the "tolerant left" is at it again and all it can come up with is to call you ugly.
7/6/2017 10:56:42 pm
I think the misunderstanding is coming from you seeing "left" instead of "'tolerant' left" -- as in, regressive, far left, hypocritical SJWs. I thought it was clear that I'm not talking about reasonable democrats.
7/7/2017 09:13:20 am
7/6/2017 06:29:13 pm
This felt weirdly vindictive and petty, like Trump tweeting defensively about his small hands. I generally enjoy your posts for their unique perspectives and factual basis. I agree with 80% of what you say and find your content helpful! This one felt like it was written for that one internet troll jerk. Calling him a "damaged boychild in his mommy's basement" is just as low as him calling you ugly. Everyone with an online presence gets this kind of hate -- let it go.
7/6/2017 06:52:28 pm
It's a much larger issue than that, and we both know it. People like Lindy West and Ed Sheeran leave twitter because they don't like people calling them names. People talk about the shit female (and male) bloggers have to deal with, just for sharing their opinions. People talk about how horrible high school is now, because kids say mean things about each other online. And don't get me started on Felicia Czochanski.
7/6/2017 07:45:34 pm
"I can easily see how many people would find you attractive. I personally don't, "
7/6/2017 11:01:58 pm
@Amin Riadh -- I'm not sure I follow. What part of it was contentious? Who said anything about not being pretty? Maybe reread the thread?
7/6/2017 07:12:50 pm
Hey, so follow-up:
7/7/2017 02:04:50 pm
Sounds like you intended for this to help people who are being cyberbullied. That's great! I would love an article on that! That might be titled "Ways to deal with cyberbulling" or "Why bullies finish last"
7/7/2017 05:45:16 pm
If you have advice about cyber bullying, you can submit it as a guest post. I'd certainly consider it, especially if it contained advice that wasn't exactly the same as all the hundreds of other articles about cyber bullying. "Why Cyber Bullies Finish Last" isn't a bad title, either. ("Ways to deal with cyber bullying" is a bit generic-sounding, and probably wouldn't get much traction.)
8/9/2017 12:23:27 am
Well, I think you're pretty
3/24/2018 03:41:49 pm
I admire what appears to be complete self confidence, however are you trying to convince us, or yourself? Also, you’re a 7-8 tops. Not beautiful. Certainly not ugly, but “beautiful” is for 10s.
Awww, Andy! It sounds like you've been rejected by too many beautiful women! I hope my articles about confidence are helping you through what is clearly a sad and lonely time. Piece of advice, though: although it's normal to want to lash out at others (even strangers ON the internet, if you don't have any friends IRL) when you're in pain, it's counterproductive, as it makes people like you even less than they already do. You'd be better off focusing on doing a great job at work, so maybe you can get a raise or promotion, or learning a new hobby, so people will actually find you interesting.
3/24/2018 06:55:53 pm
whoa whoa relax there hot stuff. Nothing wrong with 7+ ;-)
3/24/2018 07:17:55 pm
You are in amazing shape, so definitely props for that.
3/24/2018 08:02:37 pm
Mmmk. All I’m saying is truly beautiful people don’t need to justify it in an absurd treatise.
7/7/2021 04:50:34 pm
10/11/2021 09:54:09 am
As a woman who struggles a lot with self-esteem and body image (after experiencing a fairly relentlessly emotionally abusive childhood), I think it's really inspiring to see that someone can actively really believe that they are super beautiful and intelligent and be confident enough to say it in front of other people.
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Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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