Jurnee Serating-Ware claims she’s never felt pretty — and she’s more than OK with that.
Growing up in a small suburb just outside of Boston, she spent most of her childhood watching petite girls with long flowing hair be fawned over by the cutest guys in school. Her stocky build and short curly hair didn’t attract much attention.
And now, as an adult, it, too, seems to her that only well-endowed bombshells with slim waists and peach-perfect bottoms receive the red carpet treatment that comes as a benefit of “pretty privilege” — in which conventionally beautiful people are often shown unmerited favor due to their attractiveness — while she is regularly overlooked.
1 of 3
But Serating-Ware isn’t insecure about her appearance.
In fact, she loves her unique look. She’s proud of her ample curves, fluffy mane and tattoos inspired by the 1998 Disney movie “Mulan” — all of which often garners friendly compliments from women.
And Serating-Ware doesn’t envy the perks typically granted to her more conventionally beautiful counterparts, like getting VIP treatment at a nightclub or being lavished with flowers and gifts from starry-eyed admirers.
Instead, she says she’s happily enjoying the spoils of “ugly privilege.”
“It’s the privilege of feeling that you’re not targeted under the male gaze,” Ware, 27, an aesthetician from Hudson, Massachusetts, told The Post. “I get to go about my business without worrying about being approached at the gym or at work, I can go for walks when it’s dark outside and men don’t bother me for my number when I’m out shopping.”
“Having pretty privilege might suck,” she added, noting that most people who fall under the category are often stereotyped as dumb and are forced to make superficial rather than genuine connections with others.
Additional downsides to being cursed with ridiculously good looks include being left out of social gatherings by “insecure” and “jealous” people and being subjected to sexual harassment, pretty privilege beneficiary Shye Lee, 29, previously told The Post.
Serating-Ware is glad to be free from those troubles thanks to her unprepossessing presentation.
“I have less of a target on my back because I’m not a beauty queen,” she said. “I’m able to be myself without the pressure of living up to a beauty standard or thinking someone is only talking to be because of my looks.
“And it’s great.”
More than 2.7 million people have posted under the TikTok banner #UglyPrivilege, professing the upsides of falling short of traditional beauty norms. A-lister Julia Fox, 33, has also taken to social media to deem ugly the preferred standard. In the clip, the “Uncut Gems” starlet said being “ugly” — along with getting older and being dirty — is “f–king hot.”
New Yorker Danny M., 22, explained online that as a beneficiary of the trending designation, she finds that people automatically assume she’s intelligent owing to her plain looks.
“Ugly privilege is real,” she insisted before noting that she’s never catcalled or ambushed during her daily commute through the city streets. “I’m in a master’s program, and all my professors think I’m smart,” she laughed.
A 21-year-old content creator from Illinois named Sri highlighted the pros of being homely, admitting on TikTok that it forced her to focus on her books rather than looks and has strengthened her character.
Researchers have also found that the “ugliness penalty” in terms of pay is probably overstated.
A 2018 collaborative study by psychologists at the University of Massachusetts and the London School of Economics and Political Science found that very unattractive people “earned significantly more” than attractive people and “sometimes more than average-looking or attractive respondents.”
“Very unattractive workers have extremely high earnings and earn more than physically more attractive workers,” the researchers said in the report, which, in addition to attractiveness, also took into account the health, intelligence and personalities of subjects.
The social and financial gains that ugly privilege offers aside, Serating-Ware, who’s in a healthy relationship and earns a decent living as an aesthetician, said feeling comfortable in her own skin — despite being perceived as less attractive than a sexy Instagram model — is priceless.
“My partner makes me feel gorgeous, and that’s a great feeling,” she said, “and it’s great to be free from the [superficiality] of the world.
“When strangers, men or women, do approach me out in public, I know it’s because they’re genuinely interested in me and what I’m all about,” she added.
“They’re not just talking to me because they think I’m hot.”
This article was originally posted by The New York Post.