I’m sure lots of women like the One Direction song What Makes You Beautiful because it seems to be telling a woman she’s more gorgeous than she knows.

Not knowing she’s beautiful, the song says, is exactly what makes her beautiful.

Pretty clever. But is it really about how women should recognize and celebrate their own beauty?

On a planet full of scary things, the only thing a teenage boy fears more than a teenage girl is a teenage girl who—in his mind, at least—“knows she’s hot.”

And how does a teenage boy know when a girl thinks she’s hot? Her response to his advances is not what he’d hoped.

So, let’s say Guy A laments to his friends about how a girl had rebuffed him. Now, I know I’ve said in the past that guys like to give each other the business, but about the business of l’amour, they are infinitely empathetic. Which means that upon hearing such a lament, Guy B would reflexively say, “She’s stuck up.”

And then Guy C would chime in with, “She’s good-looking, and she knows it.”

Translation: Guy A’s feelings are hurt because he believes this gal is hot, and her rejection makes him think, “I suck.” And Guys B and C are helping him salve his wounds…by agreeing with him.

You’re right, dude. She’s hot and since she doesn’t think you’re hot, you must suck.

Thanks, guys. And go F yourselves.

Anyway, the woman in the One Direction song turns heads, requires no makeup and only needs to be herself to wow a guy. Or, at least, one particular guy. Who, for some reason, can’t seem to make any romantic headway with her.

Talking to her would be a good way to start, but he doesn’t. Why? Because she lights up the room—and he’s afraid she’ll think of him as a dim bulb. Or be turned off because his arms are too skinny or his ears are too big.

Yeah, men think like that. I mean teenage boys. Teenage boys only. Definitely.

So the next time you, like the girl in the song, feel insecure and believe you need makeup to cover up, remember that somewhere, some guy is thinking similar things about himself.

And the reasons he’s not talking to you is that he’s afraid you’ll agree.

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