Throughout history,both men and women have gone to great lengths to become more attractive. In allparts of the world, people take many different measures to beautify themselves. Even move, the animal world also exhibits the desire to be attractive. Malebirds of paradise, with their brilliant hues, contrast sharply with the females.
Male peacocks have stunning tail-feathers that are obviously used to attractfemales as well. Although it is true that a subgroup of all peoples have expended greatsums of money and energy to put themselves through a great deal of usually self-imposed tribulation and suffering, it is easy to discern the differentperceptions of beauty held by various groups. These perceptions vary greatlyabetween groups, which are demarcated by class, cultural, geographical,chronological, and religious borders, to name a few. What may be considered veryattractive by one group may even be seen as repulsive in another. The gangsterwith tattoos all over his body, clothed in attire that is much too large, withrings in all the most unexpected places, and sporting an outrageous hairdo,considers himself very attractive indeed. Yet, so do the tall, smartly dressedbusinesspersons with their suit, tie, and white handkerchief.
Men and women ofthe Victorian era, when women’s ankles were not even permitted to be exposed,would surely be shocked at the revealing outfits that have been donned bymembers of today’s society. In other words, one’s perception of beauty isgreatly influenced by the surrounding environment and the social groups to whichhe belongs. Yet, whatever one’s perception of beauty, one thing is the same. This is that all have taken great pains about their appearance. Why are good appearances so important to people?People tend to make initial judgments by first impressions that areusually based on appearances to a great extent. These initial judgments aredoubtlessly very important in many types of social, business, and otherrelationships.
Moreover, it is much easier for an attractive person to besocially active. He or she is usually perceived as more pleasant, which makes iteasier for him or her to approach others. Besides, some careers, such as models,actors or actresses, television anchors, and salespersons rely to a significantextent on their outward appearances. They must do their best to please theaudience, draw attention, or make a sale. The following three experiments done by the television news magazine20/20 illustrate the difference that appearances can have in one’s everyday life,regardless of whether one is an actress, model, salesperson, or garbageman. In an experiment with third graders, after having been taught by twoteachers varying only in attractiveness, the students consistently rated themore attractive teacher as smarter, more patient, more experienced and moreknowledgeable.
Right now, readers may be thinking, Such shallow behavior is tobe expected of a third grader. Grown-ups are mature and are not so arbitrary. Yet, even when one grows up, this shallow behavior does not change. In asecond experiment, two actors were hired to apply for a job. Both were equallycompetent, and similar in all manners except their appearances. The moreattractive man was hired on the spot, while the less attractive applicant wasvery nearly ignored altogether.
Even more definitive is the third and last experiment — car problems. Two actresses were hired to pretend to have car problems. They both stood at thesame place, at the same time of day, with the same problem. The more attractiveactress had four men pull over in 10n minutes, while the less attractive actressdid not receive help for over two hours. For those that are resolved to change their appearance, and wish to gainadvantages such as those cited above, no amount of money is too great to expend,and no pain is too great to be endured. A vast array of services and productsranging in price from the economical to the exorbitant are available to cater tothe demands of aspiring beauties.
Procedures such as tanning, tattooing, plasticsurgery, implants, body-piercing, liposuction are all available. Yet, it seemsthat some people are now placing an excessive amount of emphasis on theirappearances, and are overdoing the changes. However, although appearances can get one in the front door, so tospeak, they cannot be the sustaining part of jobs or social relationships. Thisis because the extremes of beauty or ugliness are all mediated by the eye overtime. On the contrary, one’s spiritual beauty is perpetually realized by theheart and is instrumental in lasting relationships.
For example, Beethoven wasnotoriously ugly and deaf, and it was said that he had a particular body odorthat was not very pleasant. Yet, this did not stop the inner person from showingthrough — the genius who created the magnificent music that not only lives onthrough the centuries, but is also said by many to be some of the best everwritten. Just as interesting is the example of Aesop. He is famous for hisfables, but is also notorious for being very ugly. Yet, his inner wisdom andbeauty made his master to free him from his slave status, and he traveledthroughout Europe, visiting many courts of rulers to spread the fables that areso wise. In conclusion, people should put what seems to be their endless effortused to improve their external appearance to work elevating their spiritualbeauty.
May we all be as wise as Aesop, and learn to balance both appearancesand inner worth to make ourselves more beautiful overall. Works Cited”Aesop. ” Grolier’s Electronic Encyclopedia. 1993. Coon, Dennis. Essentials of Psychology: Exploration and Application.
5th ed. LosAngeles. West Pub. 1991Robertson, Ian.
Sociology. 3rd ed. New York: Worth, 1987. Category: English