So much of wisdom is buried in sadness. We have to work our way through it, uncover the I-wish-it-wasn't-true truth and learn from it.
Sometimes, what it takes to overcome our human defects and is to recognize them, admit we have them and shout to ourselves, "I'm better than that!"
In this case, overcoming the spell-inducing allure of beauty could begin with this AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED excerpt:
(The narrator is a plastic surgeon who works with children who have facial deformities.) "Beauty is an enormous, unmerited gift given randomly, stupidly."
"And so I chose my specialty to even out the odds for people like Thalia, to rectify, with each slice of my scalpel, an arbitrary injustice, to make a small stand against a world order I found disgraceful, one in which a dog bite could rob a little girl of her future, make her an outcast, an object of scorn."
That we can make people who, through no fault of their own, are physically unattractive, whether it be a result of accident, injury, disease or age, outcasts is, for sure, disgraceful.
We're better than that. Or, at least we should be.