Is This Woman 'Too Pretty' to Be a Nun?

too pretty to be a nunCollege student and gorgeous lady Angela Svec wrote a thoughtful piece "Too Pretty to Be a Nun?" on HuffPo about how she's contemplating becoming a nun. I mention her looks because they are important -- to everyone but Angela. Whenever the 27-year-old shares her desire to live a devoutly religious life, which includes living in a monastery (and never having sex, getting married, or raising children), she gets a response that will sound familiar to a lot of women: But you're so pretty.

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Svec says she tries to be "gracious" and uses it as an opportunity to remind others that God isn't the anti-Anna Wintour when it comes to casting nuns. All types of women -- short, tall, blonde, whatever -- can feel a calling to a higher power and choose to respond. Looks have nothing to do with it.

In fact, looks have nothing to do with most occupations -- at least they shouldn't.

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Yet so many educated professional women still hear: "But you don't look like an archaeologist/neuroscientist/psychics professor/fill in the blank."

Really?

What does an archaeologist (or neuroscientist) look like?

The first thing that comes to mind is, of course, a man. As the #NotThereYet campaign shows, even though women run countries and companies, go to the moon and back, and become Supreme Court justices, gender inequality still exists.

We're not used to seeing women in those positions. And when we do, we expect them to be unfeminine, even unattractive. Pretty? Never.

Pretty women should have pretty (read: "low-key") jobs. They should get married and have kids. A pretty nun? Well, that seems like it's even harder for people to swallow. What a waste! She could be making some man happy. She would have beautiful children.

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It's hard to believe that we're still dealing with these kinds of stereotypes. It's hard to imagine a world in which attractive men would only be thought of as firefighters or politicians. A world in which our jaws would drop if a Chris Hemsworth lookalike told us he was a research scientist.

If Angela Svec wants to be a nun (or a logger), that's up to her. What she looks like has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Do you think Angela is too pretty to be a nun? Can't gorgeous women be anything they want?



 

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