Requested Topic: Societal Views of Appearance

In the topic “Looking for a Topic,” (Looking for a Topic) I asked for reader input on what I should write about next. I got two really great suggestions, one from Username79 and one from Jaden. This post will deal with the request from Jaden.

Jaden asked two really good questions and I will answer them in the order she asked them. They are:

Question One: What are your thoughts or opinions on societies personification on how people should look?

Answer One: In a word, jaded. American culture and society rife with adverts about the next great hair product, nail polish, or trendy clothing item that we forget, I think, that a persons value does not depend on how they look.

We are also led to believe (trained? conditioned? brainwashed?) into thinking that only beautiful people are worthy of attention. I don’t know if you watch soap operas, but if you get the chance, turn on one soap. It doesn’t matter which one. All you see are beautiful people. The women are (usually) long-legged beauty’s and the men are hunks. All are dressed nicely and seem to have no money problems at all. Some have no visible means of income, yet all manage to dress in the latest styles and drive trendy sports cars.

This reinforces the notion that everyone should dress in the best clothes possible and wear the latest “product” in their hair.

It’s not just the soaps, though. At every level of our society, children, especially females, are taught to “look pretty and males will follow you around.” I don’t know if you are familiar with the toy line called Bratz (Bratz Site) or not. They are a line of dolls who are always dressed in trendy fashions and have the latest accessories. These toys are aimed at the 9-15 crowd.

What is the purpose of these toys (beyond the obvious commercial aspect)? To teach young girls to be as pretty as possible. That if they just wear the latest fashions, carry the latest cell phone, and drive the latest SUV, then the world will give them what they want. It is an exteremely dangerous message to send to children.

But, that is our society. The “beautiful people” will get what they want, while the “ugly people” are treated as if they were an invisible nuisance to be dealt with. I don’t like that aspect of American society, but I don’t think it will change anytime soon so long as toys like the Bratz are allowed to teach our children how to be sluts instead of good, upstanding, law-abiding citizens.

Question Two: And do you think that the physical aspects tend to roll over on how people at large think someone should act?

Answer Two: Absolutely! Remember, if you are beautiful, you are good. You are worthy. If you are beautiful, you have a good job, drive a good vehicle, and have disposible income to meet any challenge. Not that you have any, because everyone loves you and gives you things so they can be in your presence.

Ugly people, on the other hand, are supposed to be poor, downtrodden, and hopeless. They are not supposed to drive anything of real value, a Pinto, for example. Or wear the latest fashions, because, well, they are ugly!

Beautiful people dress nice, therefore they are good people. They act “correctly,” and are never wrong.

Ugly people dress poorly, therefore they are bad people. The act “incorrectly,” and are never expected to rise above the poverty line. They are never right, either.

Polititians tread on this as well. This is why you will never see a male polititian wear anything but a suit and tie when they give a speech. Imagine if the president wore a Hawian shirt. People would take him even less seriously than now, because they would think he was not taking his job seriously if he’s not dressed nice. (Remember, beautiful people smart; ugly people stupid).

The same would hold true for a woman. Probably more so for her, come to think of it. If a professional woman showed up to work in anything but a “power suit” (heels, hose, professional looking attire) they would not be taken seriously. Thus, she must not be thought of as a human being, much less a vibrantly beautiful woman.

To conclude, American society is jaded. It has serious problems which can only be solved with a radical rethinking of our ideaology. American culture must change in order for it to survive. Rethinking our views on appearance would be a good first step.

Thank you, Jaden for a wonderful suggestion for a topic. If you want to make a suggestion for a topic, please feel free to leave me a comment with your suggestion. Or, you can send me an email at WonderGoon (at) breakthru (dot) com.

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About WonderGoon

WonderGoon is seeking enlightenment and questions everything.
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7 Responses to Requested Topic: Societal Views of Appearance

  1. Pingback: gep642 » Requested Topic: Societal Views of Appearance

  2. Jaden says:

    So then… What is done with the “in-betweeners”? I know that I am physically attractive to a lot of people, and I think that I am a good person. But I am in no way shape or form, living high on the hog *so to speak* Although I do agree with where you are going with this, I do have to say though, that, people on T.V. are ‘supposed’ to be beautiful. The producers jobs in the T.V. field are to grab peoples attention, so ratings go up, and they get fat ass wallets. Would you be so quick to watch the show Girls Next Door if it were women who looked like Roseann Barr? …(bad example I think b/c of the hit that her t.v. show ‘Roseann’ had, but is all I could think about a.t.m.)

    The point I think I am trying to make is this: Just because someone is physically beautiful, does not mean that they are beautiful people (Brittany Spears and Paris Hilton come quickly to mind) So, what about the beautiful people who are physically attractive, but you probably would not be caught dead hanging around with anyway because of the way they behave or act?…what then?

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  3. MajorTal says:

    I agree with your views on what societal norms have equated as beauty and worth of the human being in America( and all overly commercialised, industrial societies.) I am visited by an old SNL sketch where a room full of “college guys” get one wish from a Djinn, and they wish to see some lesbians have sex. This ends up not as they have anticipated like porno has led them to believe to be two hot young blonde women (in their minds I’m sure they are expecting Jenna Jameson and Traci Lords) and what they get are two average, rather butch, lesbians…….
    In response to Jaden and the comment on Britney and Paris…..that only goes to show that high school drop outs aren’t the best role models for young girls. Or cats, or even bits of fluff in my bin box.Oh well oh hell

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  4. WonderGoon says:

    Jaden said: “The point I think I am trying to make is this: Just because someone is physically beautiful, does not mean that they are beautiful people (Brittany Spears and Paris Hilton come quickly to mind) So, what about the beautiful people who are physically attractive, but you probably would not be caught dead hanging around with anyway because of the way they behave or act?…what then?”

    The old adage, “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugliness go straight to the bone” comes to mind. In this instance, I think, is when personal responsibility comes into play. To use your example, Brittany Spears and Paris Hilton. Of the two of them, Brittany is the more physically attractive (to me). But she’s not “datable material,” in that she’s too wrapped up in her own affairs to care overmuch about anyone else. If she did, she wouldn’t have lost her kids. Right?

    If it were me faced with making this choice, I would walk away. Physical beauty is irrelevant in such a situation. If I’m with someone who’s acting stupid, then I may be thought of as stupid also. I don’t want to be thought of as stupid. So I would leave.

    As to the “Girls Next Door,” honestly, I’ve seen a few shows, but only enough to detirmine I don’t want to see anymore. Now if I were in the mood for some soft core, then I would know where to turn. . . .

    As to the “in-betweeners,” If they dress up and try to live like the beautiful people, then they would probably be accepted, as long as they are pleasing to the eye and ego’s of whichever beautiful person they are orbiting.

    They can also dress down to be comfortable and have some self-worth; to free themselves from the grip of the egotistical person they normally orbit.

    In truth, the “in-betweeners” have the best life, for they can move between the two worlds of our society.

    I hope I’ve answered your question.

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  5. WonderGoon says:

    MajorTal said: “This ends up not as they have anticipated like porno has led them to believe to be two hot young blonde women (in their minds I’m sure they are expecting Jenna Jameson and Traci Lords) and what they get are two average, rather butch, lesbians…….”

    The moral here: Carefully word your wish. You get one shot at fulfilling it, so take the time to carefully word it. Be lawyer like in your wording.

    Good to have you back.

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  6. spikeq1love says:

    There has been at least one study [I’ll try to hunt it down for you if asked] that purported to show that the kids in school who were perceived of by their teachers to be physically attractive were also perceived of as being more intelligent [than the “ugly” kids].

    I remember being astonished to discover that a severely physically disabled woman in the hospital recovering from an appendectomy was able to play gin rummy. The woman was fairly non-verbal as well as being physically involved [deformed] and thus I assumed that she was also severely retarded.

    spike

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  7. WonderGoon says:

    Spike,
    I’d like to look at that study. Do you have a link handy?

    Have you sinced refined your perceptions of the intelligence of physically disabled persons in light of your experience? Did the experience alter your perceptions of “ugly” people? If so, in what way?

    Sorry to ask so many questions, but I am curious.

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