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.
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.
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.
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