Beauty affects so many things in our society. I sometimes read articles about the perfectly-proportioned face or the scientifically-determined most beautiful person in the world. I don’t pay much attention to these articles and the photos of the most beautiful people (as determined by science) don’t do much for me. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as the saying goes, and when I come across it, the impact is undeniable.
As much as I don’t want to admit it, beauty changes my behavior. An example is dating. I have seen how I become more tolerant of red flags if the person I’m dating is attractive. I know I shouldn’t do this. Even on dating apps, red flags on profiles are glossed over if the person is beautiful. I try to stop myself from doing this, telling myself that beauty isn’t everything, but why then do I keep doing it? Beauty has a hold over me, as it does over society.
If beauty has this hold over me, what else could beauty be doing? Maybe a recruiter will overlook a qualified candidate for a job in favor of another attractive candidate. Perhaps a parking penalty won’t be given to someone because they look beautiful, whereas for other people the penalty will be given without hesitation. It could also be the other way round. Maybe someone will be disrespected because they are attractive, having a look, height or size that other people want.
Beauty has another impact on me and to so many other people in society. Sometimes we don’t realize it but we might have something that other people envy. This could be in the form of material beauty. I see someone driving an expensive car and I often think about my own turbulent career path that hasn’t given me the earnings I thought I’d have by this age. I’m not a tall guy. Sometimes I see other tall people and get jealous at the opportunities they get such as admiration and better success in the dating game. I ask myself why anyone would want to be with me when there are so many other taller, more handsome guys out there. I had a conversation with a friend the other evening. She’s light-skinned in a country where the general skin color is brown. She has recently been having anxiety attacks. In our conversation I told her that it’s very likely that when she walks down the street, people will see her and consider how lucky she is. This is a country where skin lightening creams are a big seller.
As I said at the beginning of this post, beauty affects so much in our society. Is it any wonder cosmetics, filters, gym memberships are so prevalent? Are we teaching children unrealistic expectations when we tell them beauty is only skin deep? Is our obsession with beauty only going to get larger?