Tuesday, January 24, 2012

If I were a book would you judge me by my cover?

So after weeks and weeks of hearing "Looks aren't everything" said to me like I'm some kind of silly child I have decided to finally write a post about why that saying bothers me. When people hear the saying they assume it means "Good Looks aren't everything" or "There's more to life than looks". And, then the stereotypes come out to play...

Firstly I find it ridiculous that someone would think they need to say this to me. I wouldn't say that I'm a choosy person, especially not based on looks. I don't normally have a large range of people to choose from, so I can't be choosy. The reason that I don't have much of a social life is not because I'm choosy, but rather because I'm shy. So yes, this person has the wrong end of the stick.

I've noticed a lot of this judging that goes on and I wonder how much of it has to do with these stereotypes. "Good looking people are dumber", "Good looking people are meaner", "Ugly people are smarter", Ugly people are nicer"... These stereotypes infuriate me as they always have exceptions. At high school I was in the "Nerdy" group. There were a few boys in the group who often wouldn't talk or listen to me because I wasn't smart enough. They definitely weren't the nicest people. There  were more popular guys that were smarter at maths than I was. One day I remember a popular girl asking a friend "Do your friends actually talk about deb and grad or do you just talk about homework all the time?".

As far as looks go, yes they aren't everything, but without them the fashion industry, famous artworks, movies, cd covers and make-up would all be either very extinct or different. Yes the media does often portray people to be a certain way. People are positioned to think they should look like that or they should judge someone on their looks. But, without all of that do we just give up on having a nice appearance altogether? How else do you know if someone has made an effort to impress at a formal event?

I do understand that some people feel pressured to try and dress or make themselves up a certain way because of the media. Several Reality TV shows are to blame for the fact that many people think they need to improve their looks, when in some cases they don't. It is this I blame for people who think it's okay to treat other people like projects rather than people. You make friends with someone that decides you just aren't good enough and they want you to conform to their ways. Dress the way they dress.

I do believe that looks are important to an extent. If you are going to be in a relationship with someone you have to be somewhat attracted by something visual about them. Don't you? I don't think that a guy has to be generically good looking though. I don't expect to go out with a guy straight out of a 'Just Jeans' campaign. I think there are all different degrees of beautiful rather than just beautiful and ugly and that some people are beautiful in the things that they do and they way they project themselves. Sometimes beauty depends on how a person chooses to enhance their features. Dyeing your hair the wrong colour and walking around in a cat  suit might not tend to be effective in making you look beautiful no matter how bright your naturally pretty blue eyes are.

But is it all about looks? Going on this whole analogy thing in the title of the post 'Book Covers' require more than just an image. They often have a title, a caption, the authors name and a pretty picture. Some books have several editions. So not only do people judge you buy your looks, but they judge you on who your parents or friends are, what such and such said about you and what category they would class you as.

Being defined as a smart person for example is definitely a big factor in how others judge me. Mind you they also assume that means I got really good grades and used to watch star wars, which isn't 100% true. I didn't really fit any description of the word 'geek' or 'nerd'. A person once told me that some people are intimidated by smart people and maybe that is why nobody wanted to hang out with me. Am I supposed to just play it down? Pretend to act dumb?

What you hear about other people also tends to be a very stretched version of the truth. Often the rumours or stories are made up and if they aren't they become exaggerated by jealous gossips and Chinese whispers. The movie 'Easy A' is a classic example of this.

So, yes people shouldn't be picky. They shouldn't judge a person based on what someone else  thinks. They shouldn't however feel inclined to talk to someone just because they feel sorry for them. I understand the true meaning of "Looks aren't everything" isn't all about stereotyping others, but in future the phrase "Don't judge a book by it's cover" seems much more fitting don't you think? Especially for a book worm like me...

What do you think about the phrase? Do you believe that people are either beautiful or ugly? Do you think that the media is to blame? or is it simply the way we were brought up?

Let me know your thoughts. Please comment below.

Your Favourite Cynical Blogger,


Anna said...

everyone judges people by their apperance to a certain exstent, it's how we form out first impressions. it only becomes important if you insist of sticking to these judgements, and think a person has to fit the sterotypes their apperance conjured up. your right, looks do matter to a certain exstent, because we say stuff with our looks. it's like a language. you dress up for weddings to show it's important. you wear the dress your grandma gave you to show her you love that she got you a present. you don't wear thongs to a job interview. the basics of how we present ourselves helps others form an impression. this said, dress how you like because first impressions aren't made to last.

the Best quote i've heard about apperances is one from cinderalla by roger and hammerstein " do i love you because you're beautiful, or are you beautiful because i love you?"

your right don't judge a book by it's cover is much more fitting :)

Natalievintagegirl said...

Those are some great points.I love wearing gifts that my family gave me when I'm around them to show that I appreciate it. It's not just our own looks that influence what other people think of us, but the way we dress. I know when I dress in the morning I think about what my clothes say about me...

great quote! that's exactly what I meant by people are beautiful in different ways.

Ms. McKellips said...

Have you seen the movie "Shallow Hal"? It's about a guy whose only into good looking girls. He gets cursed to see only the true beauty in a person and totally falls for this fat girl who is absolutely beautiful inside. I really like the premise of this movie because if we were able to see people for their inner beauty or ugliness, I think we would all be in for a surprizingly rude awakening.

Natalievintagegirl said...

Yes I have. I think it is a great movie. I also appreciate the fact that Hal isn't the best looking guy. just goes to show that uglier doesn't always mean nicer.