Society is enamored with good looks. Scientific research has repeatedly shown that the better looking – according to society’s standard – that you are, the more advantages the world presents. The best limo Kitchener has to offer pulls up and takes you away on a special journey.
On a psychological level when we see someone who is tall, dark and handsome, or blonde, leggy and glowing we assume they have other traits that are equally as attractive. We might unconsciously dub them with traits they don’t necessarily deserve. We often automatically give them attributes like having a strong character or that they are smart, worldly or witty. This misconception goes on in all corners of society; in the workplace and the classroom, the playground and the coffee shop, even the courtroom.
Studies found that the more pleasing the appearance of a defendant the more lenient the sentence. It’s been documented that teachers will give better grades to students who are perceived to be more intelligent and competent even if their workmanship doesn’t support the grade. Promotions are given to the better looking candidate in an office environment, and salaries reflect this up to hundreds of thousands of dollars earned annually. To psychologist this is called the “what is beautiful, is good” effect.
This entire syndrome drives people to be artificially beautiful. Magazines and advertisers display unattainable standards that most people can’t reach. The marketers know what sells and of course they use it to the max. This isn’t going to change, but getting a conscious grip on the reality of it’s purpose can mitigate much of its damage. See it for what it is – a lure to get you to buy whatever it is they are selling by staging it around beautiful looking humans.
Our youth is an especially vulnerable time to experience the pressures of society’s unrealistic standards. To narrow it down even further, girls are more easily enticed into the false reality that they must look a certain way or they are “ugly”. Plastic surgery begins as early a middle school. I had a classmate in the 7th grade who had a nose job to make her ethnic nose more “attractive”. It may have given her self-esteem the emotional boosts she was looking for, but her nose didn’t appear that much different. So if it worked the magic mentally does it really matter if the physical results were negligible? There’s a whole other blog article in that question alone.
So much of our self-image is a total fabrication of overworked imaginations,which means it is mutable. The message is out there louder than ever that beauty can begin from within. It may sound like a tired cliché, but the playing field is leveling with the advancement of self awareness. Have you ever met someone who was not knock-out, good looking, but still had a certain air of self confidence and charisma that attracted people and advantages to him or her? A message was locked in at an early age that told them they were magnificent. Someone told that person to not be critical of themselves based on someone else’s idea of who they think they should be.
Someone taught that person to recognize the inner critic as a separate part that we all have, and not accept the propaganda it spreads. That person realized from an early age that they are a gift of the Divine and not a throw-off of a judgmental society. Best of all that person believed in themselves at the core of who they truly are. They take pride in their opinions and ideas and were supported by family members, teachers, mentors and healthy self talk.
Somehow they started to see early on the false sense of self that society peddles, and realized they had a choice to buy it or discard the notion. Those are the truly beautiful people we should all want to emulate. If they come in a pretty package then they have even a greater responsibility to the rest of us to share the truth about beauty.
What do you think our societies can do to support healthier points of view on this subject? Leave a comment below, I’d love to get your feedback.