What Does Character Look Like?
Should pretty or ugly decide good or bad? Unfortunately, more times than not, one’s judgment on the appearance of others can greatly influence or even completely determine his initial treatment of the individual. Recent studies have proved “that physically attractive individuals are thought to possess more sociably desirable personalities and higher moral standards than those who are physically unattractive” (Kong, Yan, Hong). This very common phenomenon would not raise issues if everyone was able to choose their physical features. Considering that in reality, physical traits are given by parents and completely out of the hands of the receiver, a standard of beauty seems irrational; although, the beauty ideologies of many nations is characterized by certain features. The negative effects and positive privileges associated with certain appearances unjustly impacts the lives of the public and remains a controversial conflict in society.
An 18 year old African American male wearing jeans and a T-shirt gets pulled over, frisked, and then ticketed for driving 5 miles per hour over the speed limit. An 18 year old Caucasian female wearing jeans and a T-shirt also gets pulled over, is given a warning, and told to “have a nice day” for driving 5 miles per hour over the speed limit: the same crime as the previous example. This is a cruel reality in New York for the young Black and Latino men that reside there. “…for them, it’s not a question of, ‘Will I get stopped?’ but ‘How many times will I get stopped?’” (Russell). The preconceived suspicion endured by these innocent men is based solely on a physical stereotype which, ethically, is wrong. The young lady who benefited from her favored looks couldn’t help genetics, although, the preferential treatment she received was also unethical.
With advantages stemming from a preferred look, America has become “a culture consumed by image […] and it’s a combination of looks and confidence that...
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Kong, Fanchang, Yan Zhang, and Hong Chen. “ERP differences between processing of physical characteristics and personality attributes.” Behavioral and Brain Functions 8 (2012): 49. Academic OneFile. Web. 7 Apr. 2013.
Lewis, Wendy. “The Changing Face of Beauty.” USA Today (Farmingdale) Vol. 138, No. 2774. Nov 2009: 64-66. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 07 Apr 2013.
Mankiller, Wilma, and others. “Beauty Culture.” The Reader’s Companion to U.S. Women’s History. Dec. 1 1998: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 07 Apr 2013
Russell, Cameron. “Looks Aren’t Everything. Believe Me, I’m a Model.” TEDTalks, Oct. 2012. Web. Jan. 2013.
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