My American teacher and mentor posed a question to me this summer: Is Beauty a Blessing or a Curse? From time to time since then I have pondered this question and tried to look at it from different perspectives. A few weeks ago I texted a few friends and family members about this. Thank you Erika, mom, Simon for your input!
So, my first thought was that beauty is a blessing, but since my mentor is sharp, I knew the answer would not be that easy. Of course, when you have beauty/looks/attractiveness others will be prone to treat you better, right? (?) To a certain degree I believe that is true. But if a random person came up to you, asking you a question, wouldn´t it depend more on their kindness, smile, way of being polite affect the way that you would respond?
Still, knowing looks is the first thing that people see about you, it gets a good-looking person on the positive side at first. And a not-so-good-looking person is at a disadvantage. Maybe? And the first impression lasts, supposedly.
But it can be a curse too: I for one have prejudice against good-looking people. I become suspicious. Like “they have their looks and now they´re going to use it to get what they want.”
And it can be a barrier. I´m scared to talk to good-looking people! There, I said it! It´s scary to look at very good-looking people, just because of how they look. Why? Weird.
Beauty can also give unwanted attention, looks, catcalls, people just being interested in you because how you look. A shallow attention I assume.
And maybe others can´t see past your looks, thinking that you got where you are because you are good-looking, you can´t be sharp, can you? Is it a barrier to be good-looking in academia for example? You´re supposed to have glasses and not care about your looks, because knowledge is all you care about? You´re not shallow like that are you, because you´ve got your brilliant mind! I know there is at least two professor at my school that are always mentioned with the addition “he/she is so good-looking!” Why do we do that?
I guess kindness and honesty is just as important when talking to a person, maybe more important in the long-run. And once you get to know a person´s inside, those thoughts of looks disappear in some way. I mean, if you realize a good-looking person is mean, their looks don´t matter anymore. They become unattractive because of the way that they behave. A good-looking outside doesn´t really matter if you are ugly on the inside. And if you are beautiful within, your outside doesn´t matter as much, right?
But that takes some careful thinking about the way that they look and what they are actually saying and the way that they behave. And do we always think about that? And do we think about it differently for men and women? In leadership? I think women in leadership are expected to care more about their looks than men are. What do you think?