Judging a person based on physical appearance is just … superficial. Cosmetic.
The original proverb first found in a work by Sir Thomas Overbury’s, poem Wife 1613 states:
“All the carnall beautie of my wife, Is but skinne-deep.”
As an aside, The Phrase Finder added, “what his wife thought isn’t recorded”… hmmm… did you hear the one “hell has no fury as a woman scorned”?! 😀
But I digress. Back to the basis of the source of the proverb – it suggests a disdain of focusing on physical attributes, as physical beauty is no guarantee of good character and temperament, ie “don’t judge a book by its cover”. Yet the focus on physical beauty continues to be propagated, by the same species as the person who decried it. When it started it mostly applied to the fairer sex. Well, look who set the rules….. But increasingly, it is now about beautiful/attractive “people”.
It is one of those things conditioned in life. A vicious cycle rooted in socialisation which is rooted in industry (those involved in celluloid – not to be confused with cellulite, heaven forbid! :0 to retail including cosmetics – you do know what that really means, right? It does not mean make-up. Fitness or “wellness” industries and even publications. Look at the fairy tales we feed our kids on… and the list goes on). This is further entrenched by the media which conditions us. We perpetuate the myth and the cycle goes on. Everyone knows and probably practises it whether consciously or subconsciously, but few will admit to it.
It is strange. But if we think about it, we tend to associate attractive people with more positive attributes. We like shiny things. Nothing dull. Or too fat. (Is there a politically correct word for that – cellulite challenged?). Or too thin (non cellulite challenged?) and on and on…. Let’s face it. Would you rather hang around with a group of attractive people (whether you feel “belong” or not) or with the not “in” crowd. Perhaps there’s been a misunderstanding of the principle of osmosis and some think there is some sort of tranference, that will bless hangers-on with the attributes of those they hang on to.
Well, you certainly can’t blame them. What with studies proving that attractive people “score” on the social level. We won’t go into the details of that. But you can google it, guys. :p Get more opportunities – more doors open for interviews. Get paid more. Get better treatment in restaurants etc…
There is no disputing this. Some of us have proabably been guilty of this at some point in our lives, especially during our gullible (a nicer word for “stupid”) teenage years, for some sadly, teenage insecurities carry to the grave! Why do you think more doctors go into cosmetic and reconstructive surgery? People feel pressure to change their physical appearance to be more attractive. To get equal opportunity or they are just plain insecure.
Where does it stop? It’s easy to say beauty comes from within, but in practise, that’s a lot more difficult. Stereotypes are just very hard to beat.
Undeniably, those blessed with good looks do tend to get a headstart in life. I use ‘headstart’ and not ‘get ahead’. Admittedly, it does open doors, throws wide open windows and elicits response from even the most stoic; but beauty will only get us so far.
Remember the movie Cyrano de Begerac … oh wait a minute that was a work of fiction woven around the life story of a real French dramatist and duellist. He did not write love letters for the Baron and did not get the girl in the end.
Hmmm… can’t recall off hand a movie where the nerd gets the girl or vice versa, without a transformation.
I got it! The proof of the pudding that the average joe and jane do get to proof their worth after all other attractive people are disqualified first, is the evidence of “bimbo” and “himbo” jokes. That’s serious stuff. There can’t be smoke without a fire! 😀
I was born… ok I grew to be of more porky proportions, in adulthood (due to the banker’s lunch syndrome and late night dinners, coupled with no exercise). While I try to manage my weight to a less than larger than life proportion, for health reasons, I will not do so because the celluloid world or any other world tells me I need to be a size 2 or 0!! Shops which sell clothes for twigs and clothes hangers will just have to do without my support. The more fool they.
So where does this leave us? Ever considered being comfortable in your own skin? Try that. There is truth in” beauty comes from within”. The more secure you are, the less needy you become, the more attractive you are. It takes time for superficial people to see that. But they don’t matter. It’s people who can see beyond physical appearance that matter. And thankfully, grey matters too!