At varsity I conducted a research project in the field of Social Psychology specifically, Social Behaviour and Interpersonal attraction, which pertained to characteristics associated with people perceived to be physically attractive. The results of my study showed that good characteristics such as kindness, friendliness, humour and an overall stellar persona are associated with individuals perceived to be physically attractive. My research also found that the more attractive you are perceived to be, the higher your chances of being provided with better opportunities than those perceived otherwise. In reality however, there is no correlation between attractiveness and personality nor is there a correlation between attractiveness and intelligence for that matter.
It is believed among evolutionary psychologists that certain aspects of good looks influence attraction due to it being an indication of reproductive fitness. In other words we choose our partner according to the chance that mixing our DNA with theirs will bolster our chances of breeding gorgeous spawn. “Ooh, he must have straight hair”, “he must have a nice smile”, “he must be tall” Sound familiar? Yes, we’re all guilty of having that conversation with ourselves, a friend or family member about the looks of our future children resting on the looks of our partner. I mean honestly speaking; nobody wants an ugly baby, so I understand.
Generally speaking though, attractiveness and youthfulness are emphasised by men whereas women tend to emphasise financial prospects in a potential partner. Which makes me think, if ideally women want a handsome man but in reality, also want a financially stable man, how do they draw a compromise? It boils down to “be with a rich troll or be with a poor heartthrob”.
Getting back to the topic at hand…
So what is beauty? Can it be that my career-growth and progression in life is hindered by the chance that someone else is given preference because they are thought to be more attractive? If this is so, that beautiful people get first preference to the best opportunities, then what’s the rest of us to do?
Well, fear not little Ugly Ducklings, the answer is rather simple and lies in the simple word: i.e. “perception”. Yes, one tiny word which means so much. We have no control over the way we look; accept it as fact!! Well, some would go the extreme route and “take charge” of their appearance by booking an appointment on their local plastic surgeons’ table. Let me tell you now if beauty is your ideal then plastic surgery should NOT be an option. A look into 50-something Hollywood superstars, who swear by the knife, should be wakeup call enough. Someone needs to tell those guys how ridiculous they look, STAT!
If you were late in line when God was giving out full lips, straight noses, long legs, massive breasts, a reversal on pattern balding, or anything else that you think would make you more appealing, then tough luck! We all have flaws, some more obvious than others; which means that some of us need to put in a little more effort to hide our flaws, than others. Or… you could just learn to accept it.
Did you know that confidence is one of the most attractive characteristics in anyone, male or female? For the more intelligent and less expensive option to beauty and to get an equal shot at what’s on offer in the world, all you need to do is a little maintenance. For some, it would of course be a LOT of maintenance. (I say this with love.)
When I was younger, I battled a lot with my own flaws, finding it difficult to cope with many things that I hated about myself: My crooked nose, my manly shoulders, my manly voice, my manly ways… Needless to say I grew up preferring boy toys, boys’ company and boy activities, which worked out very well for my brother (an only boy of four siblings). Luckily no longer bothered about my Y-chromosome, I am embracing my flaws and honing my confidence in the process.
We cannot change our appearance but we can certainly change our attitude towards our own beauty. A lot to do with projecting beauty lies within our attitude and how we see ourselves. There is truth to the saying “love yourself and others in turn, will love you.”
Another thing to keep in mind is that whilst it is proven that people perceived to be attractive are afforded certain opportunities, it by no means implies that people perceived to be attractive, who are in certain positions, have been easily given those opportunities. (Read again if you didn’t understand the first time)
“Beautiful” people have to sometimes work extra hard to prove their competence. Unfortunately with being perceived as attractive, the brain ranking is rather low. I’m not too sure where this came from, perhaps peoples’ jealousy but what I can say is that just like the rest of us, perceived attractive individuals too, have their own flaws. They are just following their own template of embracing their flaws and carrying themselves with confidence. The fact that others are consumed with jealousy and seek comfort in the easy explanation that “he / she got there because of their looks”, stands as testament to the ACTUAL ugliness out there.
Psychologists have devoted a lot of time in doing scientific research to establish the template of beauty. One of the theories that they have come up with is that beauty has a lot to do with the symmetry of your face. They believe that the more symmetrical your face, the more beautiful you are considered to be. Think Britney Spears!
Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. There is no template for what “beautiful” is. Each of us interprets beauty differently. That is why I have been referring to beauty as a perception. How many times have you been attracted to someone who is physically unattractive and you just don’t understand why you’re so drawn to them? Or have you seen someone SOO UGLY attract hordes of suitors? It is their aura and their confident attitude.
Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, the truth of the matter is… beauty has nothing to do with looks and everything to do with confidence… and modesty. There has to be a balance. I call it confident modesty. Internalise that you are beautiful but do not emphasise your looks, especially not to make those around you uncomfortable. Once you’re at that level of discomfort you’re bordering arrogance; and arrogance and confidence are worlds apart! In other words, emphasise your qualities and competencies.
Looks are temporary but true beauty is eternal…
The key to being beautiful is to own your flaws and sometimes…flash a smile. #Winning! J
As a pick-me-up, I have included a few pictures of celebrities with flaws like the rest of us but who carry themselves with confidence which ultimately makes them instantly attractive. For the ladies I have included some shots of celebrities without make-up. These women look as ordinary as we do when we wake up. There is hope for all of us!
I hope this inspires your inner celebrity.
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: @ToxicSweety_
ToxicSweety over and out!
Celebrities without make-up: