Beauty Bites Back

Beauty is boring. The evidence is piling up.

An academic article in Psychological Science­ now confirms what party-goers have known forever. That is, beauty and charm are no more directly linked than a high IQ and a talent for whistling. A room full of Beautiful People might be impressively stiff with the whiff of Chanel No 5, but the intellectual atmosphere will be carrying a very low charge. If positive at all.

The grizzled and gargoyle-like Parisian chanteur Serge Gainsbourg, no great beauty himself, always used to pick-up the ugliest girls at parties. This was not simply because predatory male folklore insists that ill-favoured women will be more “grateful”, but because Gainsbourg, a stylish contrarian, knew that the conversation would be better, the uglier the girl.

Beauty is a conformist conspiracy. And the conspirators include the fashion, cosmetics and movie businesses: a terrible Greek chorus of brainless idolatry towards abstract form. The conspirators insist that women, nowadays men too, sh

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