You Can Be Both Pretty and Funny

There’s an episode of the TV show Parks and Recreation in which the main character, Leslie, is desperately trying to think of a joke to tell. Her friend Ann tried to help,  but couldn’t contribute anything worthy. Leslie tells her, “Oh Ann, you’re too beautiful to be funny. It’s not your fault. You’ve never had to compensate for anything.”

Leslie didn’t say that Ann can’t be funny because she’s pretty, but that Ann has no reason to develop the intellect to be funny because she is already good looking. Leslie feels that because Ann’s pretty, people will like her anyways.

I’ve heard a lot of people discuss the idea of a girl being either pretty or funny, but not both. I think a lot of people believe that the ability to make others laugh is something that one develops as a way to compensate for something else. But it’s very possible for someone to grow up unattractive, become funny, then become hot and remain funny. So, does that reasoning still hold validity? I believe that someone can be both pretty and funny. Natasha Leggero does it. She’s a beautiful and talented comedian.

I think people came up with the “Pretty or Funny. Choose One” policy out of bitterness. They don’t like the idea of a person having it all. No one should have it that good, right? Everyone needs a shortcoming.

Well, everyone does have a shortcoming. This goes beyond looks and humor. Some people are hard to talk to. Some people are mean. Some people are ignorant.

I don’t think having a sense of humor relates to looks at all. I believe that in order to be really funny, one must be intelligent. Behind every great joke should be some sort of a thought process. My least favorite kind of comedy is lazy comedy – the kind that doesn’t require much effort and often relies on things like stereotypes. I want to change the question “Can you be pretty and funny?” to “Can you be stupid and funny?”

I think I’m pretty. It’s not a very big deal if I think I’m pretty or not because looking good barely matters. What’s more important are things like being a good person to have conversations with, being intelligent, and having opinions. Maybe I’m pretty. Maybe I’m not. But either way, it’s not very important. You can think you’re pretty, but don’t act like it makes you better as a person.

I guess that’s why I hate the argument that pretty girls can’t be funny and funny girls can’t be pretty. Behind the argument is an underlying assumption that being pretty is close to the same levels of worth and importance as being funny. But no. Being funny matters way more.

Maybe it’s true. Maybe she’s both funny and pretty while you’re funny and average looking. But there’s something wrong with her and there’s also something wrong with you. We’re all a little messed up.



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