Some long while ago, when I was a young and bookish and entirely virgin lad, I stumbled across the old truism “all brides are beautiful.” Being a literal sort, my first reaction was “that’s nonsense!” I’m not sure I’d ever even been to a wedding at that point in my life, but I was confident I’d seen unattractive women who would surely marry. However, as I grew older and wiser and more experienced, I came to appreciate the logic of the thing, especially its similarity to that hoary old chestnut and maxim of firearms safety: “There’s no such thing as an unloaded firearm.”

With a particular bride or a particular firearm, it might be possible to raise a literal objection; there are, in a literal sense, firearms with empty chambers, and there might be, in a literal sense, brides whose beauty cannot be limned by describing their physical attributes. But the social utility of the claim, in either case, must entirely overwhelm and sweep away any crabbed literal objections; and the man who cannot understand this, ought not to be allowed near a firearm or a woman, either one.

Having reached that stage in my moral and social development, the notion then struck me: Why do we limit this maxim of beauty to brides alone? No obvious reason presenting itself, I resolved that there must, indeed, be no such thing as an ugly woman. And for the most part, I’ve found it to be true.

Which brings me now to the latest barrage launched by Violet Blue against the tirelessly undead troll armies of the Internet. I’d hate to have people think that I’m just YAVBF (that would be Yet Another Violet Blue Fanboy, and yes, I have been accused of this by my own small half-platoon of trolls), but I am often in awe of her unique brand of combative courage. This time she takes on all the morons who enjoy what I’ve called crapping all over beauty, and she pulls no punches:

Every woman on the Internet gets called slutty and ugly and fat (to put it lightly) no matter what; all we have to be is female. In dinner conversation, my friend Lori reminded me of the Oscar Wilde quote, “Give a man a mask, and he’ll tell you the truth.” I restated it for the Internet, replying, “Give a man a mask, and he’ll slit your throat.” The application here is, “Give a man (or a woman) an anonymous account, and he’ll eviscerate your self-esteem.”

The problem is, with so many women I talk to, the trolling is effective. The number of times I’ve talked down a crying girlfriend after she’s been trolled in her comments about being fat, ugly, skanky, slutty or stupid is higher than I can count (no matter what she writes about). Trolls watch too much mainstream porn and TV, and believe stereotypes are real; they slap us with it and then we believe it, too. We compare ourselves to overly thin models, actresses, and porn stars, and it messes with our self-image and our ability to express ourselves sexually, and especially to enjoy sex.

She also quotes Margaret Cho:

In Margaret Cho’s “Beautiful” tour, she talks about recently being on a radio show and having the host ask her point-blank, live, on the air, “What if you woke up one day, and you were beautiful?” When asked, he defined beautiful as blonde, thin, large-breasted, a porno stereotype. Cho says, “Just think of what life is like for this poor guy. There’s beauty all around him in the world, and he can only see the most narrow definition of it.”

Poor guy, indeed. Has he not seen the way Margaret Cho can fill a leather jumpsuit? I’m no LOLcat, but I known a NOM NOM NOM scenario when I see one.

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