Is Beauty Important in Life?

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When will there finally be more focus on the personality instead of looks?

Kardashians ruined society but no media channel magazine talking about that.

Beauty is held as an admired ideal across cultures. Images and narratives in media/entertainment constantly reinforce attractiveness as essential for happiness and success. But does beauty matter that much in the grand scheme of life?

In this blog, we dive deeper into beauty’s perceived importance across relationships, careers, self-confidence, and standards for women vs men. We also examine arguments that while beauty has some social advantages, focusing too narrowly on its pursuit can be detrimental.

Ultimately, attractiveness alone fails to determine life outcomes. Beauty centered too heavily on superficial measures also risks blinding inner radiance. Redefining beauty itself can provide healthier perspectives.

Beauty as a Social Advantage

Research confirms physical attractiveness affords certain social privileges and influence not accessible to less conventionally good-looking people. Beauty can sway everything from hiring decisions to court rulings.

Opens Doors in Careers/Income

Studies show attractive people tend to get chosen for jobs at higher rates and secure promotions/raises faster than less visually appealing candidates with equal qualifications. Perceived beauty sparks unconscious bias.

Wins Favor in Legal Cases
Data also reveals better-looking defendants tend to face easier punishment. A recent paper analyzing low-level crimes found judges gave more lenient jail sentences to attractive people versus unattractive convicts—beauty dazzles judgment.

Boosts Romantic Opportunity
Beautiful online daters receive up to 20-25 times more initial messages than their less attractive counterparts. Real-world dynamics show similar imbalances. Less stunning singles face steeper climbs finding partners and may battle worse loneliness.

However, beauty has notably higher social currency for women than men…

Beauty Pressures Weigh More on Women

Western traditions have long prized beauty in women above other attributes, a legacy still deeply embedded today. Attractiveness metrics disproportionately define women’s worth and likeability.

Female Appearance Tied Closer to Value
Sociologists argue gender socialization trains society to view women through a critical lens, surveying flaws versus appreciating essence. A woman’s beauty remains a crucial indicator of virtue/character.

Women Face Greater Age Penalties
By contrast, silver fox men acquire distinguished maturity lines while women get labeled “haggard.” Style/beauty industries exploit female age anxiety around defending against withering gazes upon turning 30 or 40. Disposability awaits those losing bloom.

Heavier Women Experience More Bias
Also, men draw less critique for being overweight versus universally negative attitudes toward plus-size women. Thinness still defines mainstream feminine beauty norms despite recent body positivity cultural shifts.

However, some contend prioritizing beauty too narrowly risks harmful mindsets…

The Dark Side of Beauty Focus

No doubt, physical attractiveness can smooth some life paths externally. But beauty-centric culture also inflicts collateral damage on self-esteem and mental health and sets skewed priorities for girls/women especially.

Fuels Appearance, Anxiety and Insecurity
When beauty represents the prime indicator of female social currency, it breeds anxiety chasing ever-elusive perfection. Consider ~91% of women feel unhappy with their bodies.

Lowers Self-Worth Beyond Looks
Over-emphasizing beauty also nurtures personal value resting disproportionately on appearance rather than character or accomplishments. One’s sense of self becomes tethered to outside approval rooted in evanescent assets.

Distorts Eating Habits
A meta-analysis of 15 psychology studies linked the internalization of beauty ideals with disordered eating. Attempting beauty standard emulation — extreme thinness, hourglass curves, etc — often catalyzes body image issues and dangerous diets.

Can Promote Exclusion and Bullying
Additionally, narrow beauty concepts centered on specific attributes like thinness/proportionality foster stigma and mistreatment, targeting groups falling outside those norms. Weight stigma, underrepresentation, and bullying all flow from exaggerated beauty hierarchies.

So, if beauty has limitations, how should we redefine it for healthier perspectives?

Reframing How We View Beauty

With closer examination, surface-based attractiveness and the privileges it may provide hardly define life’s purpose or pathways to meaning. Perhaps assessing beauty itself through more expansive, inclusive principles offers better direction.

Emphasizing Inner Character and Essence

We must widen restrictive beauty filters fixated solely on exterior factors like complexion, body shape, or dressing for the male gaze. Inner essence and shared humanity matter more.

Nurturing one’s character, curiosity, and compassion towards others elicits beauty’s deepest glow — the kind weathering far beyond youth’s inevitable erosion.

Celebrating All Body Types
True beauty flourishes through body positivity and embracing the diversity of real women’s shapes across the vast human spectrum.

Health expressed through all sizes deserves affirmation. Rigid beauty ideals must make space for alternatives where lush curves, resilience lines, and other so-called imperfections instead convey royalty.

Advocating Holistic Self-Care
They promote holistic self-care, further curbing the impulse and allowing beauty anxieties to commandeer female self-worth. Rest, emotional intimacy, and passions beyond the mirror provide richer life equilibrium.

When women define care on their regenerative terms, toxic messaging around the chase for validation through a sole pretty package loses volume.

Teaching Girls Full Identity Beyond Looks Mothers must coach girls early on expansive vistas for self-concept, not narrowly plowing endless beauty field furrows alone.

Seeds for other identities as leaders, creatives, nurturers, and change makers thirst for sunlight, too. Only bearing such fruit garners maturation into fully rooted womanhood.

Takeaways

While no one denies beauty grants certain social privileges, making it a sole life purpose risks ugly tradeoffs corrupting self-image and setting hollow priorities.

However, collectively elevating beauty’s very definition —inward and outward — into something participatory, responsible, and accessible to all best serves individual and community thriving.

Then beauty transforms from a superficial commodity into an active, boundless exchange cultivating our highest human potential. Now, that would be gorgeous living.

 

mandy b.
mandy b.https://iammandyb.com
Founder, owner, writer Iammandyb.com & artistheat.com (coming up this summer)
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