Not Everything that Glitters is Gold- Physical Attractiveness Stereotype

It has been observed over the years that persons who are more “physically appealing” are perceived in a positive light than others who aren’t as fortunate. However, I put physically appealing in quotations because beauty is in the eye of the beholder and is very much subjective. John Nairaland describes this phenomena as, “physical attractiveness stereotype which is a term that psychologists use to refer to the tendency to assume that people who are physically attractive also possess other socially desirable personality traits.”

 

Talk about judging a book by its cover. How unfair is it to judge someone off of their physical appearance and not by their intellect or personality or even kindness and honesty of their heart.

A Beautiful Convict

A perfect example of this can be seen in the “Free Jeremy Meeks” campaign which started last year when a mugshot of a blue-eyed convicted was posted on social media. Women went crazy! Let me tell you these women completely forgot that he was arrested for possession of a firearm (which could have been used to KILL SOMEONE!!) and as a result this man’s photo went viral. Women worldwide were signing online petitions to free the infamous Jeremy Meeks. He got so much publicity (and we all know there’s no such thing as ‘BAD PUBLICITY’) that he caught the attention of many modelling agencies. The Daily Mail’s March 2015 article headlined: ‘Hot convict’ Jeremy Meeks wins modelling contract despite being behind bars.

 What is wrong with society? Of course he is good-looking but does this make him less of a convict? Apparently being good-looking speaks louder than credentials and character. This also proves that good looking people aren’t necessarily the same as on the inside.

The man who spawned a thousand memes: Meeks' mugshot inspired memes (like the one above) and earned him nicknames like 'Hotty McMug Shot' and 'Mugshot McDreamy'

Physically Appealing Persons Get the Jobs

Research has shown that being physically attractive proves to be significantly effective during a job interview.

If you’re from T&T you may have heard this stereotype that flight attendants and bank employees, to be specific, are usually chosen by their looks. People who have “high colour”, mixed, tall, slim, good-looking- all socially constructed views of what defines beauty- are the one who get the job and by extension “get- through in life”.

The Media Implies this Binary Opposition

You ever wondered why the villains in movies are usually the hella ugly or scary, creepy looking ones and the heroes are fine as ever? The media are the ones who have created these ideas of what beauty is supposed to reflect, and because the media has a such a huge impact it has formed these socially constructed beliefs.

Beliefs that the attractive people are good, as opposed to the less attractive ones who are always the villains. These crucial binary oppositions play a huge role in how society stereotype the physical appearance of people. Such strong binary opposition such as: black vs white; rich vs poor; slim vs fat and good vs. evil are pervasive in many Disney movies.

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Why is Ursula in Black and has over-exaggerated features?

Why couldn’t Ursula be attractive as well?

 

Beauty is not Skin Deep

Beauty is subjective when it comes to physical appearance, however the real beauty is in someone’s mind and heart. Beauty goes beyond the skin.

It comes from a person’s integrity, loyalty and honour. It comes from the person who sees the best in even the worst person, from someone who’s kindness has no limits. Beauty is reflected by such intangible characteristics that its something not seen, but something that is felt. The ability to see beyond surface level and appreciate what the reality of someone truly represents can lead to a less biased society.

REFERENCES:

Read more:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2978166/Hot-convict-Jeremy-Meeks-wins-modelling-contract-despite-bars.html#ixzz3WpjAVPCA
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

http://www.nairaland.com/1511018/physical-attractiveness-stereotype

Physical Attractiveness Stereotype. (n.d.). In Alleydog.com’s online glossary. Retrieved from: http://www.alleydog.com/glossary/definition-cit.php?term=Physical Attractiveness Stereotype

Read more: http://www.alleydog.com/glossary/cite-my-term.php?term=Physical%20Attractiveness%20Stereotype#ixzz3Wpgprsse

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“Where all that traffic does come from Daddyyyy?”- Bumpers Like Rain!

I’m not speaking about the typical connotative bumpers we “jam on” for Carnival. We’re talking bumper to fender traffic piled up on our Nation’s highways, main roads, back roads, nooks and crannies; your granddaddies took to check your grannies. STANDSTILL TRAFFIC, everywhere.

Photo: Wa Chubble is Dis
Photo: Wa Chubble is Dis

It’s Monday 23rd March, 2015… and this is what our roadways look like

Photo courtesy Marlon Arman-Marquis
Photo courtesy Marlon Arman-Marquis
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Photo: CNC3

This “unplanned roadblock” began from as early as 5am exactly one week ago Monday morning, I remember waking up to finding out about endless traffic, statuses going on up Facebook one after the next about “Police checking everything” and “Traffic like mad” I had absolutely no intentions of leaving my house to be held up in traffic for menacing hours.

Children were unable to get to school, employers and employees alike were all unable to reach the workplaces, flights were cancelled, banks were unable to open, the PBR was at a standstill, the EMR jammed and let’s not speak about the Highways. .

The greatest however, were the images that were flooding social networks. Photos taken by the frustrated drivers held up in traffic of Police officers efficiently and meticulously doing their work by checking oil, spare tires etc. because we all know that in T&T the officers of TTPS are the most multi-talented and diverse. However, don’t mind my sarcasm. This was true; the image below is of a news report from CNC3

Photocred: CNC3 via "Wa Chubble is Dis?"

Photo: Wa Chubble is Dis
Photo: Wa Chubble is Dis

See didn’t I tell you they were checking every single thing?!

Let’s stray from this disaster that took place and focus on what the theme of this blog is about…. Stereotypes; this blog entry will delve into “Stereotypes attached to TTPS”

Photo: Wa Chubble is DIs
Photo: Wa Chubble is DIs

By no means are these MY PERSONAL VIEWS, the following are stereotypes I’ve heard over the past few years and the number of them that came up on my news feed during Monday’s roadblocks.

  • Police doesn’t do anything and get paid
  • Police corrupt
  • Police like too much woman
  • Police does take bribe
  • Police wotless
  • Police does wine on people for Carnival
  • Police disrespectful
  • Police like to abuse their power
  • Police slow and unresponsive to crime
  • Police afraid to go in bad man area
  • The worst man you could be with is a Police man
  • Police men are people who failed high school and getting paid more than people with degrees
  • Police were people who used to get bullied when they were younger so now they take advantage of other people

I can bet my last dollar, that you’ve at least heard 3 of these stereotypes; if not then you’re clearly not from Trinidad & Tobago or you’re a Police (no offense). However, are there truths to any of these stereotypes? Comment and let me know.

Now being as objective as I can be with the issue on Monday, the Police are in fact right for protesting for their raise of pay since they have one of the lowest paid jobs in public service as well as having the highest risk. According to the Secretary of the Police and Social Welfare Association, Michael Seales said that members have been complaining that since 2011 there has been no progress in the negotiations with the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO). Seales said the basic salary of a junior police officer was TT$5,123 (One TT dollar =US$0.16 cents) and just about TT$1,000 more in benefits. However, the manner in which they protested by holding our island under ransom caused massive losses to productivity and finances, which set the state back millions of dollars just for that one day. So yes, the police were wrong in the way they protested but they aren’t wrong for wanting a raise in pay.

If you’re a UWI student like me you would remember the strike of the OWTU, the janitors did not clean bathrooms or empty garbage for more than 2 weeks. The stench was unbearable and there was litter everywhere, garbage cans were overflowing and flies and bees were beginning to circulate.

Everyone protests in some way or the other to get what they want, this has become a norm in T&T so don’t be mad at the Police for protesting, be mad at them for holding the state as ransom. Also, don’t lose faith in them they were doing their job after all and very efficiently might I add. At the end of the day the Police are the first people we contact during emergencies and mishaps (excluding the Ambulance) so let’s work together with them instead of criticizing, give constructive criticism, they are not all bad, there are good ones out there.

Let’s just say thank God that T&TEC didn’t decide to strike

😀 :v (y)

REFERENCES:

Read more: http://www.caribbean360.com/news/trinidad-comes-to-a-virtual-standstill-as-police-deny-embarking-upon-industrial-action#ixzz3VqnONyT7

Wa Chubble is Dis via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Wachubbleisdis?ref=ts&fref=ts

CNC3 via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CNC3Television?ref=ts&fref=ts

Guardian: VIDEO: Gridlock across T&T roadways as police conduct stop and search exercises during rush hour traffic. Video: Jeff Mayers / T&T Guardian

De Only Good Red Thing is a Dollar

A calm Sunday evening while taking a drive with some friends around the savannah, we saw this gorgeous red-skinned girl. Her skin flawless, legs for days as she was showing them off in short shorts, curly hair, and brown eyes. Plaint talk… She was a looker (coming from a heterosexual female) even I did a double take, along with my two male and two female friends. Comments were “Damnnn that body”, “Omg, I love her hair”, “Woman to have”… and then out of the blue, “Too bad de only good red thing issa dollar!” that last comment had everyone else saying “For real” and in agreement. However, I’ve heard this all my life and its a social belief that majority of Trinibagonians use. Let’s be real if you’re a Trini there’s no doubt in my mind that you’ve heard that phrase.

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“De only good red thing is a dollar?” but why? My friends didn’t know the girl personally so why jump to that conclusion? This is where my curiosity to understand such a stereotype came from.

What does this statement even mean?

In the simplest way to put it, “De only good red thing is a dollar” with reference to a female who has lighter skin or as we know it “red skin” (usually mixed women), means that when it comes to red “things” the dollar beats back the woman, as the woman isn’t good, then she obviously has to be bad, right? Not really, this statement also attaches a connotation behind it that implies that “all red woman bad”. Don’t front here people we know what bad in Trini slang means.

trinidadmoney

Patriarchal Society

As much as we have feminists in an abundance these days, we can’t forget that we live in a patriarchal society where in the colonial era women were objectified and seen as objects to use, this is where we get the reference of encapsulating a women when speaking of “red things”

Unfair Stereotype

Being as objective as I can be and also doing research, surveys and ethnographic studies, I came to the conclusion that this stereotype is completely unfair to say the least. Majority of these women are usually perceived in a negative light because of this local stereotype that has existed since I could remember myself.

Why do people think red women are “bad”?

So I did some investigation into why people assume this. My method was to post a status on Facebook and allow the comments and opinions to pour in, the following images are screenshots of what was said.

The status I posted
The status I posted

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From the screenshots you can see that although there is some division among the comments, the majority of people agree that “the only good red thing is indeed a dollar”

The following are screenshots from a heated conversation about “red women” on Twitter:

IMG_20150322_184628 IMG_20150322_184650 IMG_20150322_184741 IMG_20150322_184930

Now these screenshots are extreme opinions of red women

People have usually said:

  • Red women have a bad attitude
  • Red women feel they better than everyone else
  • Red women like to “horn”
  • Red women too stush
  • Red women like material things
  • Red women can’t cook
  • Red women too high maintenance
  • Red women only good for looks and nothing else

The list goes on and on and on and on

Good “red women”

I can’t agree with the popular consensus because I have red skinned friends who are nothing like what these stereotypes state. My friends are all humble, friendly, faithful , down to earth, independent and ambitious. These young women have more to offer than just their great looks and complexion. They’re all furthering their studies and have never been in any compromising situation where they characters were questionable. However, they have all been victims of these stereotypical comments and even thought they’ve complained, they moved passed them because their goals are bigger than stereotypes that aren’t true, especially those that are attached to them because of their complexion.

adri
Adriana Salandy Student at UWI BA in Psychology
faithy
Faith Espinoza Administrative Secretary, Student: Associates in Tourism Management
lizzie
Elizabeth Cox Corporate Secretary Student: Business Management

So to conclude this blog, the only good red thing IS INDEED a dollar, because women aren’t things… We’re human beings.

“I Live Where You Vacation”- Trinibagonian Stereotypes

“I live where you vacation”

"I Live Where You Vacation"
“I Live Where You Vacation”

Trinidad and Tobago’s scenic landscapes attract many tourist and quite often people are “surprised” when they observe that we actually have an economic industry beside tourism. Absurd right? I recently had an encounter with a relative from abroad who’s never been to T&T but has heard of it. The questions she asked me about where I live had me picking up my jaw from the floor. First the way she spoke as if I was deaf had me telling her, “I’m Trini… Not deaf.” made me think about how many other people think these very obnoxious stereotypes about our twin-islands. Here’s a list of general stereotypes I’ve come across, ranging from some drastic ones to some that have truth in them.

Anyone with a Caribbean accent is automatically from Jamaica

Sesame Street's Representation of the Caribbean
Sesame Street used Jamaica to represent the entire Caribbean

I have some friends studying abroad who frequently complain about foreigners asking them if they’re from Jamaica as soon as they hear their accents. Newsflash, not everyone with a Caribbean accent is from Jamaica. Jamaica isn’t the only island that exists in the Caribbean, get an atlas, this is the 21st Century. Seriously? Many times we can see Jamaica being used as a representation for the Caribbean as a whole, so the media is partly to blame for some of the stereotypes. Some may even blame Trinibagonians for not promoting their culture as much as Jamaicans do. However, the point is there are many other Caribbean accents and not all of them sound like Jamaicans and come from Jamaica. They’re the Bajans, the Vincentians, the St. Lucians and so forth.

Everyone in Trinidad lives next to a beach

Home to some of the most beautiful beaches
Home to some of the most beautiful beaches

Beside the fact that this question is so stereotypical, how is this logically possible that 1.2 million individuals has the beach as their backyards? What happens to all the other land away from the coastlines? Are they “undiscovered” still? This is such an annoying stereotype that upsets me because it makes me think that people believe all we do in Trinidad is live this hyper-fantasized idea of living on the beach and relaxing ALL THE TIME.

economy  Silhouette of oil platform in sea against moody sky at sunset

Let me eliminate that idea one time, we do not ONLY have beaches here in fact we have a series of successful business and we can boast of islands rich with natural resources. People hustle and bustle daily to their jobs which isn’t just being a coconut or doubles vendor, which brings me to my next point…

Coconut Vendors, Doubles Vendors, Vegetable Vendors and Women Making Ornaments at the road side.

COCONUTS2

This is such a pervasive stereotype that Trinbagonians and by extension Caribbean people face, that we do not have other jobs beside selling something made by hand or selling fruits and vegetable and honey at the side of the road. The movies really has a primitive way of portraying “island life” as extremely laid back and not taking things seriously, when in fact we do more than pick coconuts and sell.

All Trinis do is LIME!!!

ave

There is definitely some truth in this stereotype and if you say no, “Yuh blasted lying”. We see you on the Avenue liming and drinking, taking a wine on the ‘smallie’ that pass in the short shorts, you and your girls tracking that fineee man passing by and if you’re still in denial Triniscene and Lime.TT can prove you wrong.

Admit it, Carnival is the most anticipated time of the year for Trinbagonians whether you play mas or you’re anti-Carnival you still look forward to the season. Some may go to every single fete and participate in almost all/ all Carnival related activities. Whereas, those who participate may go to the beach or camp etc. Whatever you do you see it as a lime and Carnival happens to be a great reason to lime.

Carnival5
The Greatest Show on Earth

Let’s be real here whether you and your friends are catching up on some hot gossip over dinner or partying it out on the Avenue you’re still liming. Trinibagonians make a lime out of anything and find any reason to lime. Can’t necessarily blame us when we live where you vacation 🙂

Stereotypes Embedded in Disney Movies

No Better Movie than a Disney Movie?

The truth is I can go on and on about the stereotypes that are cryptic or even blatant in Disney movies. These movies are so saturated with gender and racial stereotypes, its almost impossible to make mention of all of them.

Disney movies have warmed the hearts of children and adults alike, telling stories of overcoming triumphant challenges, going against the odds, rising from difficult situations and the rags to riches stories. Along with these stories come valuable lessons like being determined, not giving up and having persistence.

However, are these the only stories or ideologies we’re gaining from these movies? As harmless as some of these movies may seem there are other pervasive themes that are being overlooked.

disney-princesses

disney-princes-deconstructed

Cinderella and Outer Appearance

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Cinderella shows us that your physical appearance matters when getting a man to marry you. The Prince only notices her when she is all “dolled up” by her Fairy God Mother and instantly falls in love with her at the Ball. He was nowhere to be found as she was a hard worker, waking up diligently every morning doing chores (another gender stereotype of the woman being a housekeeper). Why didn’t he notice her in her rags, why did he need the infamous “glass slipper” to fit to know it was her? Only when the glass slipper fit her and she then transformed again into the glamorous princess, did he recognize her. This shows that her physical appearance played a drastic role in why the prince fell for her. Also you can notice the distinct difference between Cinderella and her step-sisters, they do not have the “desirable attributes” needed to be a Princess.

Cinderella vs. Wicked Step Sisters
Cinderella vs. Wicked Step Sisters

Arab Stereotypes in Aladdin

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Aladdin is laden with stereotypes, generally stereotypes that are arguably historically inaccurate and are flat out offensive. First you have Aladdin who’s a thief, the majority of men in the movie have mediocre jobs (snake charmers, sword swallowers etc.), the aristocratic men display an abuse of their power and greed and of course the fact that there are half naked women in almost every scene. The movie also showcases Arabs as inhumane, barbaric and aggressive people.

Jasmine as a Sexual Object

Jasmine seducing Aladdin
Jasmine seducing Aladdin

Jasmine although headstrong and stubborn, is portrayed as a female who utilizes her sexuality to get her way and manipulate men when she needs to. Similarly to nearly every Disney Princess, Jasmine’s body is the “desirable figure” sending a message to young girls watching that to be a Princess there are the qualities that are required physically. Jasmine is essentially objectified and is highly eroticized almost to an inappropriate portrayal for young viewers. Her role as a female in society is to marry an eligible bachelor. Aladdin, only becomes eligible when Genie transforms him into the ideological image of a Prince: handsome, well-dressed and of course wealthy. Thus portraying questionable stereotypes for the young viewers watching.

Ariel Gives Up Everything For Prince Eric

TheFW_LittleMermaid-1

The Little Mermaid is a story of a brave, adventurous and determined girl. However, this girl ends up “selling her soul” by giving up her most precious talent, her voice to Ursula, changes her anatomy, defies her father and abandons her home, family and friends to be with Prince Eric. Basically, it is the journey and lengths a girl would go to for her Prince Charming, even if it means changing who she is to be with the man of her “dreams”. If this isn’t a wrong direction to steer young girls in then something is completely wrong with society.

A Tale as Old as Time

The Disney vault has a numerous amount of movies to choose from, but since the early 1900s there has been a stagnant theme of the “Damsel in Distress”, the helpless girl rescued by a handsome, charming man. These princesses also have their physical appearance to be suited to what is deemed desirable. Slim figure, long hair, light skin and perfect features. Towbin et al., highlights common characteristics of young women as, “(a) A woman’s appearance is valued more than her intellect, (b) Women are helpless and in need of protection, (c) Women are domestic and are likely to marry, and (d) Overweight women are ugly, unpleasant, and unmarried (14).”

However, in recent years Disney has been trying to neutralize their somewhat consistent portrayal of their characters from the oppressed female and handsome, charming Princes coming along to rescue her. These include, “Mulan”, Tiana in “The Princess and the Frog” and most recent of all Elsa from “Frozen”. Even though there are still minor stereotypes permeating throughout the movies, the female characters are so empowering that it takes away from those stereotypes.

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You Don’t Need a Man

Reference:

Towbin, Mia Adessa, et al. “Images of Gender, Race, Age, and Sexual Orientation in Disney Feature-Length Animated Films.” Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 15:4, 2004, p. 19-44

“Woman make me a sandwich!”, said the man. GENDER STEREOTYPES IN SOCIETY

Men- breadwinner Women- homemaker
Men- breadwinner
Women- homemaker

Gender stereotypes have existed for as long as we all can remember. There has always been constant and fixed characteristics expected of men and women.

Oh mighty men, the strong and powerful, who are expected to be the breadwinners: dominant, independent and full of reason. While the ever so sensitive and fragile women who are natural caregivers and homemakers: submissive, dependent and emotional. These are just a few of the many characteristics expected from each gender role.

Stemming from medieval days, women were seen as objects “trophy wives” if we may call them. They were ornamental objects. Men made the decisions, they had the careers, they got the adventures. While women sat at home cooking, cleaning and taking care of the children; until her husband came home of course, so she could serve him. Women were not seen to be able to perform tasks that required much physical labor. The ads in the 1950s-1970s frequently portrayed women as helpless, weak and incompetent. This Del Monte Ketchup up from in 1953 shows the woman looking almost surprised in knowing she can open this “woman safe” ketchup bottle, as they coined the term. Talk about making a mockery of women, the feminists of today would throw a never ending fit about this ad.

Del Monte Ketchup’s 1953′s ad campaign
Del Monte Ketchup’s 1953′s ad campaign

Today in our society, women’s strive to gain equality has landed us being able to have careers in teaching, medicine and even law; which were all predominated by men. However, it is stereotyped that a woman is manly if she opts to become a mechanic or a carpenter and men are stereotyped as being effeminate when they choose to be a makeup artist, hair stylist or even design women’s clothing.

Although, times are changing and women are “taking over” we can still see that patriarchal backbone in the society still coming through. Indira Ghani, the first and only female Prime Minister of India was assassinated by two of her own body guards. What was the reason? Her gender of course, she was assassinated mainly because of the fact that she was a woman (O’ Connor, 2010). Margaret Thatcher once said, “In politics, If you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.”  women are seen as being unable to lead. Leading is stereotypically a man’s job.

I recently heard a story on the news about a man who had this unquenchable dream to become a pilot but did not have the financial resources. He was willing to do just about anything to achieve this dream of his, His wife being the “tradition woman” was a housewife. Being the loving, caring woman she is by nature, suggested that her husband sell their house in order for him to go away to aviation school to make this dream of his a reality. He did indeed sell the house and become a pilot after a couple years, all because of his wife’s sacrifice and submission to her husbands dream. He was praised for becoming a Plot and eventually opening his own school in Trinidad. But what about her? The news didn’t even make mention of what happened to his wife. Where did she stay all those years while he was at school? What did she do? Who did she have at her side with their children? What about her dreams?

Stereotypically, women didn’t have dreams and if they did they belonged in their heads -_-  how unfair! The husband’s dreams however, are to become the wife’s dreams essentially. Of course that was traditional ways of thinking. Today through compromise and understanding both partners can have successful careers and make it in the professional world. Roles are even being switched up where men are the “stay-at-home-fathers” and the mothers are the breadwinners. As Judith Butler said in her article that gender is not biological but it is performed.

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References:

Butler, Judith. (1990) Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, 128-130.

O’ Connor, K. P. (2010). Gender and Woman’s Leadership: A Reference Handbook, 384-385.

Margaret Thatcher Quotes. http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/gender-stereotypes