XLIV. Smart Is Beautiful -

“Beauty doesn’t live forever. It dies with everything that dies.”

                                                           - The Collaborator, by Mirza Waheed

“Genius without education is like silver in the mine.”

                                                          - Quotation on the wall of Claudia Cohen Hall - Home of the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania and home of my major field of study, Health & Societies.


To be smart and/or genius with regards to academia, knowledge of fields of study that people are educated in at institutions of study, is incredibly attractive - indeed smart is beautiful.

Just imagine those overwhelmingly tall and leggy females with windblown hair who amble around in patloon-styled voluminous shorts with a long-sleeved, over sized sweater when it is merely forty degrees Fahrenheit outside and despite being sunny, there is a windchill temperature of thirty-something.

Look at how stupid they are… My mom and I think, (and then my mom verbalizes), as we both walk on the same New York city sidewalk pass those women, clad in our black pea-coats. We are walking at an adrenaline - triggered pace, purposefully so as to pass the stupidity that masks any beauty that could have otherwise existed.

Pushed by the wind into the highrise, I open my dorm suite door and shed my always lint adhesive, once black, now seemingly dark gray, pea-coat.

My roommates and I, senior undergraduates and all of Indian heritage, discuss our futures post-graduation. Inevitably we turn to marriage.

After countless evaluations, quasi-confrontations, and mutual analysis, we came to realize that the one component of our prince that we were not willing to compromise on, was the intellect he needed to have - and I suppose religion, and age.

We would cite males who had almost made the cut.

What did they all have in common? They all could carry out witty, significant, and effortless conversation. References in all disciplines did not go unnoticed.

Smart is indeed beautiful -

Natural stone, like silver, is no doubt beautiful. But if that beauty is not exposed under any gaze, the beauty remains  unnoticed. Genius without education is genius unnoticed.

Perhaps I agree with Penn about something.

Perhaps, but I doubt it.

This quotation is incredibly abridged if not censored and political correctness is hanging over this wall panel just as the brown/purple and anything but white clouds hang low over campus, the weather forever cast-over, worse than Iceland’s half year of darkness.

Genius without a reputation, a name, and prestige is of no use and I agree. Unfortunate for some, maybe for myself even, but there it is.

Is it possible to no longer be beautiful after one’s beauty has, at some point in time, been realized?

According to Mirza Waheed, Kashmiri journalist and writer, beauty can die.

If beauty is to be smart, then smartness can also die.

Waheed has certainly made beauty equivalent to life - logically, no one can disagree with him.

But then I remember what my parents told me: No matter what, being beautiful, dressing well and maintaining one’s appearance, will make your life infinitely smoother than if you do not, regardless of how accomplished your resume is.

I was in a flux during high school when they told me this - I remember, focusing so intently on my studies that I purposely neglected my attire. One weekend, not surprisingly, my mother and I went shopping.

This time my forever-chic and classic New Yorker - style exuding aunt would be joining us; And so I let down my hair from the tightly wound bun into an oxygen-porous side pony tail, and wore one of the precious dresses I owned at the time.

Every shop we went into every single employee - from the adolescent cum Hollister model to the twenty-something trendy students to the hipster/boho-chic dwellers of oblivion - asked me if I needed help and commented on the Long Island weather.

The amount of smartness in the above scenario was close to non-existent - it was, for all intensive purposes, dead, but beauty was thriving.


1. Smart is beautiful.

2. Brand name (per se), smartness is precious (stone). (*Reference: UPenn wall panel)

3.(A non-physical) Beauty (that can die) is life. (*Reference: Mirza Waheed’s writing.)

Life is beautiful, so let’s live life smartly: To the end of my undergraduate career! - Cheers! -