Tuesday 22 February 2011

How important is Beauty?

A new TV show called Beauty & The Beast triggered a thought: How important is beauty to me?

The show pairs a pretty person from an industry promoting beauty with a person who is rather seriously deformed, either by genetic disorder or accident, to see how they discuss the matter. The show is actually quite well made and I was wondering how prejudiced I am.

So I imagined myself in an interview and being asked this question: How important is beauty to you?

And here is my, as usual, elaborate answer:

Beauty is important! It is important because that is how society works. And it does work like this in all cultures. The beauty signals may be different, but they nevertheless are there. Beauty opens doors!

Beauty alone however does not work. A beautiful face combined with a nasty personality is usually quickly uncovered as a nasty personality... the beauty aspect vanishes. On the other hand, a friendly person who is lacking beauty, but has style and panache, and who is doing the best out of what is there, will eventually get the doors to open as well, and they will stay open.

Hence it seems that for a person it is more important to not just focus on beauty as the most obvious and visible asset, but to get to know ones assets altogether. True to the motto: Know your assets and use them to your best advantage.

Additionally it is important to be aware that assets have varying shelf lives. There are the ones which one is likely to keep, like smartness. Only in severe accidents or illnesses one might lose it and then one has problems of an altogether different kind.

There are the ones, like money, of which one should know how they got acquired, how they can be lost, and how they can be regained if one would wish to do so.

And then there are the ones one will lose for sure, like beauty. Age will kill it, and although age bears a particular beauty in itself, it is not of the kind that opens doors. There are no two ways about it, that there will be a time in life when cuteness will have left, and one might want to aspire having it replaced by something more durable by then. Trying to preserve it in desperation quite likely will lead to being a tragic figure... the examples in the media are plentiful.

So yes, beauty is important and if one has it, one should use it as long as it lasts. It however is as important to bank on other assets as well. The ones, who don't have beauty, will have to build those assets a bit earlier in life, which might actually give them an advantage over the formerly beautiful faces later in life. 

Life is not fair? Well, sometimes it is!

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