3 April 2015
How Does Outer Beauty Destroy Inner Beauty?
The opinions of society play a very large role in how we perceive ourselves, particularly in terms of physical attractiveness. Although judging someone from what they look like on the outside and not getting to know what defines them as a person is considered shallow and superficial, it is what our society has come to. Generally our first appearance is our first impression of how people view us and develop an image of who we are. According to Suzanne Vara, from Brand Marketing Integration, “We are drawn to other people through attraction that is through their physical appearance, their taste, reputation, their friendliness, their generosity, sense of humor, and values.” The physical appearance individuals have is what lures people to one another. If you do not grab people’s attention with your physical appearance, “they will not acknowledge you and if they do not acknowledge you, you have lost that opportunity to capture them” (Vara). Physical appearance can even help, or destroy, your chances of getting a job or promotion. Laura Sinberg, from Forbes, states, “Women who advance more at work are more attractive, thinner, and taller. They have a more youthful appearance than female colleagues who are promoted less often.” A study from Cornell University found that when white females put on an additional 64 pounds, their wages drop 9%. And according to a 2007 paper from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “there is a statistically significant ‘wage penalty’ for overweight and obese white women.” Whether or not weight itself plays a factor in how attractive some is, it is pretty much debatable that we are programmed by society to care about how other people look. Inner beauty shouldn’t be ignored, but society will never ignore outer beauty. No matter what we think or feel is fair, looks matter. A survey examined by Harris Interactive exposes “the belief that for long-term relationships to succeed paying attention to appearance and sustaining mutual attraction is key”. Over 1,000 men and women were asked questions like “How satisfied are you with your partner’s physical appearance?” and “How satisfied do you think your partner is with yours?” These questions made these men and women think about their relationship more in depth and examine what really matters in those relationships.
Typically, people are rarely asked aloud these questions because no one wants to sound that shallow. Even though a couple’s happiness depends largely on the quality of their emotional and inner connection, the physical attraction is what reels the partners to each other. “78% of both men and women believed that physical attraction was very important. 62% of men said a woman’s face is very important, while 53% say the same for her body. And when judging a man’s attractiveness, 50% of women say a man’s face is very important while 39% say the same for his body” (Diller). The survey also shows that women are more likely than men to mention personality traits before they mention physical ones when asked why they have feelings for a specific person. Physical assets are obviously more important to both sexes. “92% of couples agreed that their relationship was healthier when both partners felt confident in their appearance. 52% of men and women said they would like their partner to pay more attention to their physical appearance. 57% of men and 45% of women said that they are less attracted to their partner when they don’t take care of their appearance” (Diller). Good looks greatly benefit those who have them. According to Science 2.0, “Prettier people tend to have more social relationships, and gain the physiological benefits as a result.” When Personal Relationships Magazine conducted a survey, they found out that the importance of attractiveness depends on the social environment of where we live. “Physical appearance does matter in urban areas, but is far less important in rural areas” (Science 2.0). In urban areas, attractiveness is more significant for keeping social connections and feeling good about one’s self. Urban areas also are doubled in size than rural areas, so the chance of physical attractiveness in the population increases. In rural areas, attractiveness is less likely to be associated with making friends and feeling good. This research concludes that the importance of attractiveness varies with certain cultural environments. Although judging someone from what they look like on the outside is considered shallow and superficial, it is only our nature to be attracted to someone who we find physically attractive. Inner beauty shouldn’t be ignored, but society will never ignore outer beauty. No matter what we think or feel, looks matter.
Sinberg Laura. “Think Looks Don’t Matter? Think again” Forbes.com LLC, 2009 Vara Suzanne. “Why Your Appearance Matters” Genesis Framework WordPress, December 21, 2010 Diller Vivian. “Is Love Really Blind? A New Survey Provides Answers” TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc, 2012 “Does Physical Appearance Matter?” ION Publications LLC, 2009