Beauty Bias & The Creation of Pretty Privilege

Beauty Bias & The Creation of Pretty Privilege

April 9, 2020 0 By Katawan Jaroenmethakul

EXPLAINER

The more attractive you are, the more social and economic opportunities you will get . The conversations around Beauty bias or Pretty privilege are not new . We all know of white privilege , class privilege , male privilege , etc . It’s the time to break down about pretty privilege .

What is Pretty Privilege ?

We live in a society that drives us to work really hard on our looks. Makeup tutorialsworkout routines, and special diets are all the rage. We cannot deny that people who are considered attractive have a certain currency that affords them more social and economic opportunities. Being pretty makes finding a job easier and makes you more popular , in real life as much as in social media . It’s even easier for attractive people to get away with crimes . Attractive people are less likely to be convicted—and more likely to get lighter sentences when they are. This is pretty privilege.  


Who decides what is pretty ?

We all know that looks are subjective , so it’s difficult to understand how something like pretty privilege can be a thing. Class privilege or white privilege , for example , is easier to understand because it relates to the way certain elements of the identity that seem to be more easily measured.

 Beauty standards are set and maintained by the faces we see shined on the covers of magazines, on television, and billboards. The people we choose celebrate often reflect who we see as pretty or beautiful. However , all women , all features , all skins are beautiful in their own ways. Everyone is limited , they have their own identities and fascination.

The science behind pretty privilege

A study titled Why Beauty Matters published in March 2006 by the American Economic Review presented findings on the beauty premium. The article says “A large body of work in social psychology suggests that factors such as confidence and physical attractiveness play a big role in labor market outcomes. Beauty is perceived to be correlated with intelligence, social skills and health” , it shows that we’re more likely to view them as intelligent, healthy, and socially capable because they look good.

Looks linked to self-confidence

The research in Why Beauty Matters shows that employers considered attractive people more productive than less attractive people, even when their only interaction was telephonically. In the research controlled for self-confidence, economists found that employers tended to overestimate the productivity of beautiful people. “Employers (wrongly) expect good-looking workers to perform better than their less attractive counterparts under both visual and oral interaction, even after controlling for individual worker characteristics and worker confidence,” the researchers wrote.

It’s not based on facts , it’s based on judgement , but we give better treatment to people who look nice. “

When I heard this word from the video for the first time , I realized that it’s the fact which has been happening in our societies for long time. Sometimes we choose people to treat unawarely instead of treating everyone equally because we just decide them only from their features. Beauty may be only skin deep, but the damages associated with its absence go much deeper. Unattractive individuals are less likely to be hired and promoted, and are assumed less likely to have desirable traits, such as goodness, kindness, and honesty. Moreover, Research shows us that adolescents with poor body image are more likely to be depressed , anxious , and suicidal. So what should we do ?

What should we do with the effects of Beauty Bias ?

I would like to show you the 5 effective ways to live your life with Beauty bias or Pretty privilege .

1. Accept that appearance is important – A major way we see ourselves and relate to each other , so if a person’s seeking external validation , it’s because they want to feel better.

2. Take a complete inventory of your body – Promote more diverse and positive ideas about body image.

3. Give yourself options – If Barbie doll is what you are used to, spend more time admiring other looks : people of different ages , ethnic backgrounds , and expression. Retrain your mind to see the other 95% of the planet.

4. Be kind to everyone – including the beautiful people. Beautiful people have their own insecurities and pressures. They tend to question if rewards are because of their looks or their actions and they feel a greater sense of pressure to stay attractive.

5. Say what you want to be true – ” You are bold, you are brilliant, and you are beautiful. There is no one else like you, I’m going to choose to love you, I’m going to keep you. ” The affirmation from Ashley Graham.

” Being Judge By Our Looks “

“I mean, being pretty helps…would you not say?” Oprah Winfrey asked Janet Mock during her interview for Super Soul Sunday in 2015.

“Uh, yeah,” Janet answered nonchalantly.

“Thank you for saying that,” Oprah said. “I hate it when pretty girls always say, ‘No, it really doesn’t make a difference. You should see my cellulite.’”

“Pretty privilege is real,” Janet stated.

“Pretty privilege is real, girl!” Oprah repeated as if she had just discovered a new A-Ha!, high-fiving me under her grand oak trees.

People with privilege do not want to discuss their privilege — whether it’s privilege derived from whiteness, straightness, cisness. But we must acknowledge our privilege if we are to dismantle these systems. We have to be honest, and I’ll start with myself: I am pretty and I benefit from my looks.