Being pretty means you win at life. That’s how it works. If you are born with the right genetics for the time, it’s like being born to the right family. You will have advantages in life. You will win where others fail, with no effort needed.

The Stoics disregarded beauty, amongst other things. It had no value because it was a thing that was out of your control. No one has any say in the family they are born into, or the body and face they are born with. If you are born with physical gifts, you will have advantages because of the Cargo Cult mentality. People will believe they can somehow gain your advantage by supporting you. Vote for rich people, and you will become rich too! Because magic, I suppose.

We are supposed to be modern people, educated and above such biases and bigotry. We are supposed to be as enlightened as the Stoics, but their teachings are lost. The ideal is that we will not factor in our understanding of other people things that are out of that persons control. We don’t make assumptions about someone based on their skin colour anymore. Or we aren’t supposed to, anyway. We shouldn’t judge on wealth, sex, sexual orientation, age or any other such factor.

Unless, of course, you are a pretty woman. Then it’s okay to get the hate on. If you happen to fall into the category of sexy? And you somehow dare to do martial arts? Expect jokes, comments, and much, much derision.

You can’t “win” at pretty much more than by being Miss America, right? If you’ve won at being the prettiest person in your country, well…your life is made, isn’t it? You have nothing else to prove, because you are the best. Meet Ms. Whitney Virginia Miller, the 2012 Miss United States:

Why would she want to study a martial art? She has nothing concrete to gain. She’s not going to gain more money or fame than she already has. She’s going to have a lot of fat and ugly people beating the crap out of her pretty regularly, to boot. Why? Why does she do this?

Let’s have a look at this dancer, Dawn Pascoe. She exhibits, in this performance, an ungodly amount of strength. She is a powerful woman. She is worthy of a ton of respect for her physical development and prowess. She is a strong woman. But what does she choose to do with her strength? She dances. She shows incredible beauty in her expression of movement. You cannot respect the strength and prowess without also respecting the beauty, because it was her choice to present her art this way.

When the woman who trained with you chose to pick up the sword, they earned the right to be judged on their choice, which was the same one everyone in your class made…male, female, pretty, ugly, fat or skinny. You have a moral obligation to see beyond the things that are out of their control, and see them for the choice they made to train along side you.

Skill in martial arts comes from the ability to truly see who you are facing in a bout. Respecting your opponents and training partners isn’t just a nicety, it’s a requirement, a block on the road to true skill that you must overcome. From respect can come true appreciation for others do with their martial choices. With appreciation, you can come to an acceptance of your own choices, and find a way to truly deep training.

There is no difference between the dancer, the beauty queen, and the boxer. They have all put their foot on the hard road.