LOOKING BEYOND THE REFLECTION OF OUR EYES
Humans tend to link beauty with goodness, often thinking that if someone is beautiful then he/she must be of good character. However, external appearances should not be the measure of good virtue. How many times have you avoided building strong relationships because the external appearance of a person did not meet your standards of “good character”? How many times have you made a conclusion that a person is not morally acceptable based on how they look? Indeed, many times how a person looks keeps us away from understanding their real character. We are visual creatures, and many times, we believe what our eyes see. However, many times we forget that there is much more behind the reflection of our eyes. “Societal norms” have made us believe that there is this “perfect” picture of how a person of good character should look. Those norms are subjective-not incorporating the individuality and diversity of each person. We should bear in mind that our judgments many times could be wrong. When we make judgments based on looks, we are creating a limitation on our behaviors and ourselves. Everyone has a story, experiences, and knowledge. Imagine how much we can learn from other people and expand our knowledge if it were not for judgments. Accepting the diversity of each other and keeping an open mind is a key step in breaking that limitation. No matter how much information we try to gather based on a person’s look, the true essence of their character can only be discovered through understanding and communication. Thinking that we have deciphered a person’s personality based on their appearance is very illusive. Perhaps is an old instinct we once used to protect ourselves. However, we have to realize that we are now very complex and cognitive organisms. Relying on instincts will only make us move backwards. Furthermore, history has demonstrated that judgment based on appearances can be very dangerous. It has been the root of the modern cult of beauty, sexual objectification, racism, and war. For instance, the Nazis believed that anyone who did not have light skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes, was not the “pure” race, and therefore they should be exterminated. Similarly, Europeans used to have this idea that people with darker skin color were associated with evil and decided to enslave them. In addition, many people have developed and accepted a “law” of how beauty should look. It gave rises to our modern cults of beauty and until recently, it started the trend of sexual objectification. It is when most of the time only body parts of men or/and women are exposed, treating them as sexual objects. It is frequently used in publicity to gather other people’s attention. Do you think it is fair to take away someone’s individuality only so other people can achieve his or her own egocentric goals? Many questions concerning this topic have an obvious answer; we should not judge a person’s character based on his or her appearance. We need to understand that sometimes appearances needs to be changed because of financial availability, a person’s own choice, culture and race, and most importantly that physical appearance is something beyond our control. Unfortunately, not everyone has the same financial availability. Some people barely have enough food on the table. With those hardships, a person may also not have enough resources to look presentable externally. A ripped shirt, old jeans, and sloppy hair, in the eyes of many people are seen as skeptical. However, should we still judge them based on their appearance, even though they do not have the means to afford a better look? The financial availability of a person should not be a limitation for that person to demonstrate their character. They should be able to show who they are without the weight of other people’s judgments. For instance, Law enforcement organizations and society in general, think neatness in appearance is linked to truthfulness or...
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