Smoke and Mirrors: Beauty is Skin Deep

Topics: Physical attractiveness, Physical Appearance, Psychology Pages: 5 (1107 words) Published: May 2, 2014
Kelechi Agwuncha
11 February 2014
Period 4
Debunking Assumptions on One’s Demeanor Based from Outward Appearance

They all laughed at her, believing that because of her initial demeanor and homely appearance she would sing horribly. Then, with her first notes jaws dropped and the room stood still- the judges mesmerized by her beautiful voice. The woman today known as Susan Boyle has become a household name, selling over 19 million albums worldwide and receiving two Grammy Awards nominations. Discrimination towards Boyle during her audition is one of many incidents that show modern society is too quick to judge people on appearance. Beauty can be a facade that just barely covers the dirty, awful behavior hidden beneath the surface. The multitude of reasoning that contradicts not judging a person based on their looks and appearance makes it understood that acceptance of all is vital towards succeeding in life.

Although someone may appear to be repulsive, one shouldn’t form an immediate judgment on that someone based purely on what is seen on the surface, because when a deeper look is taken, they may not be who they reflect themselves to be to others and hold within them their true character. If one judges another immediately, the stigmatized individuals will feel unable to overcome constraints and perceive low personal control, resulting in possibly ruinous measures. Beauty is truly skin deep. The only difference between beautiful people and unattractive people are their appearance. In accordance with the Personality and Social Psychology Review “certain appearance qualities are stigmatizing with research demonstrating that individuals who are unattractive, baby faced, overweight, or short experience prejudice and discrimination in interpersonal relationships, educational settings, the job market, workplace, politics, and the criminal justice system (Zebrowitz, & Lachman 2001)”. Generally when others first see a person, they try to get an idea about him/her at the time of acquaintance that may inquire how intelligent they are. As stated in Looking Smart And Looking Good: Facial Cues To Intelligence And Their Origins “attractiveness is significantly correlated with perceived intelligence at all ages.” Attractiveness has not evolved as an honest indicator of intelligence. Appearance is artificial, as looks may be deceiving and you cannot judge a book by its cover. Although people often judge people/objects on appearance, as humans, part of the human experience requires determining what is good and what is bad. In relation to human’s belief system the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology believes all humans have formed immediate judgment on a basis of the anomalous-face overgeneralization effect, which perceives anomalous faces as less sociable, less warm, less strong, less healthy, less dominant, and less intelligent (Maner & Kenrick 2003) . In reality unattractive people are as capable and equal in character as attractive people, because a face does not determine one’s disposition. Physical beauty is simply superficial and cannot define a person’s true character. Furthermore many factors can play into perceived personal attractiveness — the way you dress, the way you act, the way you carry yourself, even things that are hard or impossible to change, like social status and wealth, race, and body size and shape (Association for Psychological Science). The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology states the previous factors do not reflect the true underlying qualities of a person. There is a tendency to think that those we find attractive are also beautiful on the inside, and as a result this has made beauty unfair, because not everyone can be born with great genes. As technology develops and changes humans also continue to alter every aspect of how people judge one another based on appearance in a more pessimistic, meandering, and untrue manner. (Harvard Shanghai...

Cited: Andreoletti, C., L. A. Zebrowitz, and M. E. Lachman. "Physical Appearance And Control Beliefs In Young, Middle-Aged, And Older Adults." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 27.8 (2001): 969-981. Print.
Zebrowitz, L. A., Hall, J. A., Murphy, N. A., & Rhodes, G. (2002). Looking Smart And Looking Good: Facial Cues To Intelligence And Their Origins. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28(2), 238-249.
Maner, J. K., Kenrick, D. T., Becker, D. V., Delton, A. W., Hofer, B., Wilbur, C. J., et al. (2003). Sexually Selective Cognition: Beauty Captures The Mind Of The Beholder.. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(6), 1107-1120.
Lickerman M.D., Alex. "Happiness in This World." Psychology Toay. N.p., 26 Aug. 2012. Web. 25 Jan. 2014.
Pickert, Kate. "The Man Who Remade Motherhood." The Nation 21 May 2012: n. page. Print.
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