Y’all probably aren’t beautiful. It’s statistical, not personal.
Most of us are average, a few of u.s.a. are ugly, and a tiny number of the states are beautiful or handsome.
Many of u.s. struggle with our own attractiveness, and in particular, the thought that we don’t have plenty of it. Research suggests that body dissatisfaction, or not liking one’s body, is a major business for both men and women. And the pursuit of a more than attractive body, if manifested as a bulldoze for thinness or a bulldoze for muscularity, is a big risk factor for the development of eating disorders and muscle dysmorphia, both which are on the rise in Commonwealth of australia.
Who practise we blame? The media, unsurprisingly, among a host of potential culprits.
In the absence of population-level interventions to improve our body image, social media and corporations have filled the void.
Tumblr and Instagram are replete with images and words that “anybody is cute”, that “dazzler is in the heart of the beholder”, that “beauty is only skin-deep”.
Dove, in marketing their beauty products predominantly to women, state their mission to create “a new definition of beauty [which] volition costless women from self-incertitude and encourage them to embrace their real beauty”.
These letters are comforting and appealing, but are they backed up by evidence?
Myths and maxims of beauty
Consider the sentiment, “dazzler is in the eye of the beholder”, which suggests beauty is subjective.
Data suggests that people are remarkably consequent in their determination of who is attractive and who isn’t, both within and across cultures. That’s not to say that subjectivity plays no part at all – as we’re all guided by our individually formed preferences – just that the scope for subjectivity exists within the narrow confines of the objective traits of physical beauty.
What about “beauty is only skin-deep”, or in other words, that a person’s appearance has no bearing on their personality or behaviour?
It does. “What is beautiful is adept”, according to a group of oft-cited psychologists in their seminal 1972 paper that explored this very idea. Decades after, we know beautiful people are not only simply thought of as “good”. Attractive people are also considered more intelligent, sociable, trustworthy, honest, capable, competent, likable, and friendly.
So, what should we do?
We could attempt to convince people that they are beautiful. We could attempt to redefine beauty standards to exist broader and encompassing of more people, thus allowing more than people to belong to the beautiful club. But these strategies won’t work considering they don’t reduce the importance ascribed to beauty in the get-go identify.
We could preach the platitude that dazzler is simply unimportant, simply this is wholly inconsistent with the data.
We ought to be counterbalanced in our approach to dazzler – that it is important, but not as important as the media makes it out to exist.
The media volition encourage you to base a disproportionate amount of your self-esteem on your and others’ positive evaluations of your external appearance. For some, this harmful tendency stems from family, friends, and partners.
Understand that y’all are complex and multifaceted. The sources from which y’all derive your self-esteem and cocky-worth must be similarly diverse. What can you do with your torso? What can your brain do? Are you intelligent, creative, funny, athletic, caring, a difficult worker, a great cook, a smashing female parent or father?
Consciously placing less importance on physical attractiveness and diversifying sources of self-esteem won’t exist easy. For some, the process will exist extremely hard and it may exist wise to seek the advice of a psychologist.
A generous dose of scepticism is likewise needed, particularly toward campaigns spearheaded by the dazzler industry – especially when these advertisements mask their commercial intentions nether the guise of “experience-practiced” benignancy.
Don’t be too disheartened that you’re not beautiful; not many people are. Cultivate your self-esteem elsewhere. Y’all’ll feel improve for it.
This article was co-authored by Sangwon Lee, undergraduate LLB/BA candidate at the University of Queensland.