“Beauty is a short-lived tyranny” is one of the truest statements about beauty ever spoken or written. It was mentioned the other day by Joe Rogan while discussing Amber Heard, but it’s an observation that goes back to Socrates.

It means one thing and one thing only: When you’re young and considered beautiful (or, in dude terms, unusually good-looking), you have a great deal of temporary power. It only lasts for 10 or 15 years, 20 at the outside. Once your peak beauty factor fades you naturally have to rely on what you have inside or what you’ve learned in terms of skills and wisdom and whatnot. But when everyone loves your face and physique, you have the power of a modest tyrant.

Most guys are fairly honest about this. I was relatively fetching in my 20s and 30s, and I knew that my looks were a help as far as landing job interviews and meeting women, etc. I was too insecure and miserable in my early to mid 20s to take advantage of this, but in my late 20s and 30s I had a batting average of at least .400, which is pretty good considering that in the ’70s and ’80s (perhaps the greatest nookie era in American history) nobody was batting .1000 or even .750.

Ask most women to define beauty and nine times out of ten they’ll say something along the lines of this Audrey Hepburn quote: “The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.”

To that I say fine, but as Stanley Kowalski once said, “I never met a dame yet who didn’t know she was good looking or not without being told.”

An observation from 2011: “In the age of Botox and plastic surgery, beauty can be a much longer-lived tyranny than Socrates first believed.

“To men, the tyranny of beauty is all the things they do to entice it, capture it, and keep it, only to find that, like a flower, it only lasts so long.

“To women, the tyranny of beauty is the effort and time (and, often, no small amount of pain) required to be considered beautiful for as long as they can, by staving off the inevitable effects of aging.”