Grace loves to write commentaries on psycho-cultural and sociocultural dynamics in their myriad forms.
It PAY$ to be Beautiful
Many women learned at their parents' knees that beauty is only skin deep. They were further told by other relatives and adult figures that beauty is very transitory. They were taught that it was more important to develop our inner character and mental ability for that would be longer lasting after our physical beauty failed. Judge Judy Sheindlin eloquently stated beauty fades but dumb last forever. Also, many women were told that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and there are no ugly women.
Yes, many women were given the above platitudes regarding beauty. However, it was often subliminally conveyed through all types of media, particularly movies and magazines, that being beautiful has its distinct advantages. Numerous studies have conveyed over and over that beautiful children are considered to be more intelligent, industrious, and popular than those not considered to be beautiful. Women have been indoctrinated since little girls that it is their duty, rather their obligation, to be beautiful.
Young girls have been inundated with the ideology that beauty=good. Television and fictional characters who were beautiful had positive attributes. Snow White and Cinderella, example, were considered beautiful fictional characters. Glinda the Good Witch in the movies The Wizard of Oz and The Wiz was symbolized as a beautiful woman. Beauty is seen in this society as the embodiment of goodness and wholesomeness. Think of the girl/woman next door. There is not an unattractive bone in her. Girls next doors would be classified as beautiful albeit in a wholesome, nonthreatening way.
Young girls who are considered to be beautiful oftentimes are viewed and treated better by their peers and adults than their less attractive counterparts. This follows them throughout their tween and adolescent years. Teenage girls who are beautiful are often more popular with both genders, have more friends, and are considered to be dateable. They are also less likely to be depressed. They are more likely to be selected as prom or homecoming queens of their respective high schools and colleges as those institutions want someone who would have mass appeal and be a positive representative for the institution.
Women who are beautiful have myriad advantages over those who are not so. Doors and opportunities are opened to beautiful women that are not opened to their less attractive counterparts. Professions such as entertainment and modeling tend to hire those who are beautiful. Advertisers and casting directors want women who are draws and attractors so to speak. Advertisers and casting directors cater to public interests. They want women who are deemed pleasant and nonthreatening looking as to obtain the most mass appeal and approval.
In the entertainment business, talent is oftentimes secondary to beauty. A plain or homely woman wanting to become an actress has to possess extraordinary or prodigious talent in order to be considered, if she is considered. Conversely, a beautiful woman with a modicum of talent oftentimes have doors opened for her. Beauty is the name of the game in high visibility professions such as acting and modeling.
This applies to not only acting and modeling, other high visibility professions such as selling want beautiful women to boost their image and to attract certain types of clientele as suited to their particular business. If you have noticed, many high end and exclusive department stores have salespeople who would be classified as highly attractive, even beautiful. This is because these stores have an upscale image and want employees who they deem to adequately represent that image. Not only department stores but many upscale restaurants want beautiful women to be their hostesses, waitstaff, and greeters. Such restaurants want to attract a more upwardly mobile and affluent type of clientele.
High visibility jobs where one interacts with the public want people who are attractive for the obvious reasons. Attractive people tend to draw a large number of clientele. Depending upon the business, they attract a better class of clientele. This is beneficial to the business psychologically an financially. Business are extremely loathe to hire people who are not deemed attractive because it would distract and subtract from them.
In many upscale companies and corporations, the more attractive tend to be hired over the less attractive although both may have the same amount of education and qualifications. Let us not digress too much. Beautiful women tend to be hired more and/or over less attractive women because they represent class. Sometimes depending upon the nature of the company and corporation, beautiful women represent allure and sensuality.
Beautiful women, as handsome men, are more likely to be hired, paid, and promoted more during the tenure of their respective careers than those who are less attractive. However, there is a darker side to this scenario, beautiful women have to prove themselves in the workplace if they want to be taken seriously. The atavistic stereotype of beautiful women being intellectually lightweights still abounds. Oftentimes, they are presumed guilty and judged quite negatively, especially if the superior is female, until it is proven that they are quite substantial in the work arena.
Being beautiful even pays beyond the workplace. Beautiful women tend to be assisted and helped more than plainer and/or less attractive women. In an ABC 20/20 news segment interview, Heather Waghelstein, a 33 year old aspiring actress, stated that being she could not obtain acting jobs and had a poor social life because of her looks. She reported that she underwent a makeover transforming her from plain to beautiful. She added that before men ignored and/or were merely cordial to her, now they brought her drinks and were interested in dating her.
Beautiful women tend to date more than their less attractive counterparts. Men are more attracted to beautiful women because of their allure and personability. Beautiful women are viewed as having a high desirability quotient by men. They epitomize the feminine ideal to men. Women who are less attractive are oftentimes considered by men to be either less feminine or unfeminine and more masculine.
There is another disadvantage to beauty-aging. Many beautiful women experience apprehension and trepidation as they become older. They are no longer the beauties they once were. They are worried about losing their looks hence their attraction factor. Many of them believe that once they reach a particular age, they are no longer considered attractive.
Many beautiful women as they become older undergo plastic surgery or other noninvasive methods to retain their looks. This is highly evident in that plastic surgery is an extremely lucrative business especially with women over the age of 50. There are some beautiful women who use preventive methods to retain their looks far into their advanced years.
While some beautiful women accept the inevitability of aging and adjusting to that fact, there are others who with the demise of their beauty, become despondent. They got by on their looks and with that gone, they wonder what is next and become shadows of their former selves. Although there is a greater and increasing acceptance of the aging woman in this society, there is a long way to go before aging women are fully accepted as full, sensual women instead of decrepit old women. There are beautiful women who believe that their lives have ended because their beauty have faded.
In conclusion, society still judges women by their looks. Beautiful women have opportunities and advantages that their plainer sisters do not. They tend to be hired more especially in high visibility jobs/professions where looks count. They are paid and promoted more. However, in the workplace, they must work hard in order to be taken seriously and to overcome misperceptions about their looks.
Beautiful women are more likely to have more active dating lives. They represent allure and the ideal feminine image to men. With aging, many beautiful women experience fear regarding losing their looks. There are some who resort to plastic surgery and other methods of retaining their looks. Others become dejected with the prospect of losing their looks, feeling that it is all they had to count on. Such women become mere shadows of themselves. Smart women realize that physical beauty is only temporary and womankind had better cultivate and develop other more lasting qualities if they wish to be interesting and exciting people.
© 2013 Grace Marguerite Williams
LR on September 09, 2014:
Beautiful girls/women have men and boys throwing themselves at them that good men and boys can't trust them as long term partners and spouses that they want them to be less beautiful to other males and more beautiful to them only. But the good news is effective female skin care products which makes females look more attractive and younger longer as well as age slower compared to males. Males, on the other hand, lose their looks faster than females, despite males believing they are the ultimate, because there's no skin care products for them and also, they are very feisty, competitive, and stressed out which males them very for a rude awakening sooner or later compared to females.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on June 29, 2013:
Again, thank you for your response. There is indeed a DOWNSIDE to beauty-not being taken seriously, being overly harassed and/or disrespected by the opposite gender, and fear of losing one's looks when one reaches advanced age. Some beautiful girls/women believe that they're the ULTIMATE; however, they are for QUITE a rude awakening sooner or later!
Yoleen Lucas from Big Island of Hawaii on June 29, 2013:
I personally feel beauty is greatly overrated. While it has its advantages, it has disadvantages as well. I once had a co-worker who was a tall leggy blonde, and the boss went totally gaga over her, talking about sex at work and stuff. She wound up marrying someone else. I'll bet she was GLAD to get out of that harassing atmosphere! The reason she didn't just leave or file a complaint was because a recession was going on, and even if she got another job, she'd probably get harassed there, too.
I had a classmate who resembled Jayne Kennedy. We were taught to dress a certain way for job interviews, and she strutted in dressed totally inappropriately. She assumed they'd hire her based on her looks, but all they saw was her arrogance. Of course she didn't get any jobs. She gave up trying after a couple interviews.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on June 13, 2013:
This is so true. Beauty DOES open doors....
iguidenetwork from Austin, TX on June 13, 2013:
These are very true in many cases. Beautiful men and women get the boys/girls, the right jobs and the opportunities.... almost effortlessly. So forget the silly saying "beauty is useless but character is the best". Character always will win out in the end but beauty is not entirely useless. :))
d.william from Somewhere in the south on June 11, 2013:
And i DID appreciate it when i was young and beautiful. Now that i am old and decrepit i can see the difference in how i am treated. L.O.L.
Lucky i was not beautiful and dumb otherwise there would be no recourse for me now.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on June 11, 2013:
This so true. It seems that LOOKS are the name of the game these days.
d.william from Somewhere in the south on June 11, 2013:
voted up, useful and interesting.
My favorite quote is the one that Judge Judy Sheindlin eloquently stated "beauty fades but dumb last forever".
While meant to be sarcastic, or caustic, it is basically true.
Her success certainly was not dependent on her looks for instance.
This article can also apply to their male counterparts. Society in general puts too much emphasis on looks rather than intelligence.