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Jewish World Review Oct. 23, 2003 / 27 Tishrei, 5764

Lenore Skenazy

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Consumer Reports

Why beauties end up with beasts | Could it possibly be that the more beautiful you are, the more likely your mate will turn out to be a low-down, no-good, philandering cad who treats you like the fuzz on week-old tapioca pudding?

Consider these recent events: Halle Berry is splitting from her husband, Eric Benet, a serial cheater. Uma Thurman has done the same with her hub, Ethan Hawke, a sensitive artiste (you can tell by his goatee). He supposedly has taken up with a 22-year-old he met at a restaurant. She was celebrating her birthday, he was humiliating his wife. Perfect match.

Jennifer Lopez, meantime, is in the less-than-jolly position of maybe being dumped by her maybe fiancé who maybe cut loose - as we say in polite company - with a Canadian stripper.

What gives? Why do the guys with the biggest beauties seem to seek the most extracurricular booty?

Because life is fair.

Not fair in a good sense, mind you. Just fair in the sense that stars who seem to have everything really don't have much more than the rest of us. Except money, power and chefs for their pets, that is.

"Have you ever sat on a balcony and seen a beautiful view and then sat there for another 10 years and stopped noticing it?" asks Susan Perry, author of "Loving in Flow." That's what happens to the men married to gorgeous wives. "Novelty is what's arousing," she says, "not beauty per se."

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Novelty also happens to be what is extremely available when you're a superstar. And that's who the world's most beautiful women usually end up with. Hunky skunks whom other women are only too happy to flash their Victoria's Secrets at.

For a man to resist this smorgasbord, says Perry, "their character would have to be stronger than average. And no one ever said celebrities have stronger-than-average character."

But what about the fact that their wives - or fiancées or long-term girlfriends, as Liz Hurley was to Hugh Grant - are the very women most of the male population is busy licking posters of? Doesn't that excite the lucky hubs enough to make 'em think twice?

Apparently not. It could even make things worse. Like a drug addict who keeps taking bigger doses, a beauty addict married to, say, Nicole Kidman, could end up craving even finer flesh. These men are on such beauty overdrive that their minds (or some other vital organs) go nuts.

But just perhaps, suggests Jill Spiegel, author of "Flirting for Success," the fault lies not in the stars, male, but in the stars, female. "When you're a starlet who gets everything so easy, you crave a little challenge," Spiegel says. "That's why they're attracted to men with a bad boy edge to them."

Bottom line? Beautiful women + beautiful men = sad wrecks of lives. At least until they find other beautiful women and men. Then once again the helicopters hover and everyone toasts the radiant (if doomed) new couple.

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JWR contributor Lenore Skenazy is a columnist for The New York Daily News. Comment by clicking here.


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