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To be mildly irritated whenever I see that Roald Dahl meme?

(25 Posts)
CruCru Wed 22-Jun-16 16:11:28

I know it is from a children's book but I keep seeing it on Facebook, sometimes on Twitter.

"A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely".

I think the reason I find it so irritating is that this comes across as the equivalent of Facebook telling me to "Smile! It might never happen!", only mentally rather than facially.

Quite often my thoughts are not good, they are bad tempered and cross. Clearly, I don't take them out on those around me. It isn't possible to only think good thought all the time.


justnotaballetmum Wed 22-Jun-16 16:13:08

I kind of know what it means, in that plain people can be very attractive when they are very beautiful people inside.

Nabootique Wed 22-Jun-16 16:14:53

I think it's just "beauty is on the inside", which I like, and I have actually shared that meme myself, I think. Sorry!

Scarydinosaurs Wed 22-Jun-16 16:17:48

You don't have to take it literally. It is a metaphor.

MerryMarigold Wed 22-Jun-16 16:19:59

It doesn't say 'a person who only EVER has good thoughts'.

I think it's a good point, well made.

IRegretNothing Wed 22-Jun-16 16:42:18

I remember that line from my childhood. It's from The Twits if I recall correctly.

I may be a pessimist but I always kind of interpreted it in a backwards way. I remember thinking, "Oh, well I'm not a pretty child so I must not be very nice." And then trying to think more 'good' thoughts...

LadyReuleaux Wed 22-Jun-16 16:42:21

I think there's some truth to it, though it's a bit simplistic. In the original book where it appears, there's a Quentin Blake illustration, which must have been hard to do, but he gets it right.

CruCru Wed 22-Jun-16 16:43:23

Fair enough, perhaps I'm just a bit ratty today.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Wed 22-Jun-16 16:47:05

YANBU. Resting bitchface anyone?
It's only true in that you are beautiful to those who love you, but it doesn't work with strangers. And there are plenty of people out there who are undeniably beautiful but also horrible, so it doesn't work that way round. I don't like it, it encourages people to judge by appearances.

SilverDragonfly1 Wed 22-Jun-16 16:57:30

What infuriates me is when people share memes from the new Alice in Wonderland films and attribute the quotes to Lewis Carroll! Usually the one about being bonkers angry

EssentialHummus Wed 22-Jun-16 16:57:34

I remember this from childhood (along with the illustration of what Mrs Twit could have looked like!) and it stuck with me. I like it. I don't think I'm particularly attractive but I am very smiley, and I think it makes me approachable sometimes too much and appealing in my own way. I also regularly notice others who are not particularly good-looking, but who come across as warm/welcoming. It's not always a particular feature so much as a kind of warmth in how they look at others.

Anyway - the quote made a big impact on me aged 6 or so, and I stuck with it grin

DerelictMyBalls Wed 22-Jun-16 16:58:38

YANBU. Also, it's not true: I am good-looking and a total bitch.

SilverDragonfly1 Wed 22-Jun-16 16:59:04

In fact, it annoys me so much I can't stop myself from posting in barely tangentially related threads blush

stopfuckingshoutingatme Wed 22-Jun-16 17:09:16

its not true though, sorry. ugly is ugly unfortunately - life is unkind to the non facially blessed. fact

MerryMarigold Wed 22-Jun-16 17:11:38

My grandmother was 'ugly' especially towards the end of her life. She looked like Master Yoda, but she was so beautiful, it actually shone out of her. She had the kindest face ever.

GigiB Wed 22-Jun-16 17:12:17

I agree its not great but loads of those FB messages are a bit rubbish - so they go over my head.

The reason I think its so bad/annoy is because it is trying to say lovely on the inside, lovely on the outside, which is a fine thing to say ...
but they way its termed if awful as it ends up saying 'you will always look lovely' which is bringing it back to looks again - not talking about a rich life, great friends, happiness etc instead 'looks' so undermines its own message!

crossparsley Wed 22-Jun-16 17:18:08

Yes, it's a metaphor. And bless him for saying that good people look like good people.
I ended up with dysphasia because ny parents hated me and repeatedly turned that into me being ugly. He meant well but it hurt those of us that felt ugly outside because we were hated through and through

claraschu Wed 22-Jun-16 17:18:17

I like how George Orwell put it. The last thing he ever wrote in his diary was:

“At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.”

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 22-Jun-16 17:18:27

It's irrelevant really anyway because people rarely have an accurate idea of where they are on the 'attractiveness scale'. Sometimes I see people strutting around and wonder why and marvel at their misplaced confidence. Other people can suddenly dazzle you with a look or a smile and their faces are completely transformed.

We all have very different ideas of what constitutes beauty in a person.

CruCru Wed 22-Jun-16 17:26:01

I remember when I was young (16?), some guy (who I'd only just met) saying that I was a pretty girl but not very warm.

At the time, I found this quite hurtful and worried that something about my personality made me unattractive.

Now I realise that he just fancied my mate, who was far more attractive than I was and kept laughing at his (crap) jokes.

MrsMook Wed 22-Jun-16 18:05:52

I like it. I've known people that are not "pretty" in an orthodox superficial way, but they have a lovely, attractive twinkle and their face lights up. Also people that are a cliche attractive that would look good on a magazine but tend to have cold, unwelcoming expressions.

First impressions are often aesthetic, but real beauty comes from who you are and is more than an arrangement of facial features.

MrsDoylesTeaParty Wed 22-Jun-16 18:41:07

YABU wink Because it's true! It's not saying smile constantly, just to not think ugly thoughts all the time because it does come out in your face. And lovely thoughts come out in smiles and soft expressions. I usually don't like twee memes as well.

OrigamiOverload Wed 22-Jun-16 19:16:42


I love Roald Dahl, and I used to like this quote.

I went through a very stressful period a couple of years ago and had intrusive negative thoughts. I saw this quote again at that time and it rather upset me. I felt ashamed of these thoughts I couldn't seem to control and hated the idea that my ugly thoughts might tell on my face.

Sugarlightly Wed 22-Jun-16 19:27:19

I've always taken it to mean ugly people are horrible!

LadyReuleaux Thu 23-Jun-16 16:44:15

I remember Claire Rayner talking about how she wasn't a looker and in some ways she was grateful for it. I thought "Aren't you? But you're lovely!" Then looking at a pic I could see what she meant, not conventionally attractive at all - but her loveliness shone out so much I had never seen her that way.

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