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
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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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“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