Former Disney CEO, Michael Eisner, recently commented that finding a beautiful AND funny woman is a rarity.
I find the concept of this duality to be fascinating, because I just might agree with him.
Now of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I think talent and confidence are the most attractive qualities in a woman. But for argument’s sake, if we’re considering Hollywood’s beauty standards, most funny females have “unconventional” or “quirky” looks. You don’t often find a hilarious heroine.
And here’s my theory as to why:
Sometimes, for the sake of comedy, you have to take the risk of making yourself look ugly, and not many beautiful women are willing to make that sacrifice.
While both beauty and comedy are calculated beasts – the prep and delivery are very specific – comedy’s success lies in the floating attempt, while beauty is more finitely measured. A joke needs an audience to land, while a photograph is fully developed upon view.
Comedy is all about being exposed. You cannot wonder what other people will think. You cannot censure every move you make. The funny lies in the absurd, the unexpected. You may very well make a fool of yourself and those who already feel foolish are better gluttons for punishment.
I think that’s why we don’t see as many beautiful women filling comedic roles. It’s not that they aren’t out there, it’s just that they prefer praise to peril.
Thankfully, I think pretty praise is overrated.
And now, a clip of my favorite risk-takers…