I’ve long believed that how you look is every bit as important as what you think. How you dress and take care of your body tells others how you value yourself and, thus, how they should value you. As Primo Levi said, “A respectable appearance is the best guarantee of being respected.” (More.) The driving prejudice in 21st century America is based on looks, not race.
Today the folks over at TLC’s “What Not to Wear” — one of our favorite shows, by the way — posted a link on their Facebook feed to an article over at HowStuffWorks.com about the changing definitions of beauty. The piece discussed how perceptions of beauty have changed over the years and is a bit tangential for WNTW, which preaches the virtues of looking the best you can, regardless of whether that equates to objective “beauty.” It’s even slightly tangential for me: I buy into the WNTW ethos more than objective beauty per se. Nonetheless it’s worth a read, especially the first page, which makes the case that looking good actually makes a difference to the bottom line.
That’s all I have to say for now. It’s sunny outside, and I need to work on my tan.
UPDATE: I just heard a story about a movement that would afford ugly people legal protection. (More.)