ATH thinks | ‘Pretty privilege’: when beauty equals success


The term pretty privilege has been floating around for a while now, largely on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok where it has over 250 million views. But what is it really and why should we acknowledge its existence?

We have seen this phenomenon (and normalized it) in situations of daily life, for example, every time we go to a club and they only let certain friends in or they give them free drinks or desserts in restaurants. And also on Instagram, when you have more followers because of your appearance.

The idea of ​​archetypal beauty has become even more important recently, with the increasing popularity of filters, such as the #beautyscanner, which “scans” your face and gives you a beauty rating. Or with the exponential increase of the filters that promise to remove your blemishes at the click of a button, giving you the rosy cheeks, angular chin, sculpted cheekbones, and large eyes of someone considered “pretty.”

Woman with loose wavy copper hair
The ‘pretty privilege’ is the advantage that a person obtains due to their attractiveness. Credit: cottonbro studio/Pexels.

The pretty privilege It is the term that refers to the success and opportunities that a person can access for the mere fact of matching the beauty standards of the society in which they live.

In psychology, the halo effect is a cognitive bias that consists of inferring presumed characteristics from those already observed. That is, from a person’s attribute —in this case his beauty—, we extrapolate that positive quality to all other areas. We associate physical attractiveness with intangible characteristics about which we have no information.

Thus, beautiful people are perceived as more intelligent, fun, sociable, healthy and successful. This puts them in a position of employment or social advantage, having greater opportunities, connections and options.

We live in a society where our appearance matters. If, for example, someone has an appearance that falls within the established standards, we will have a good impression of them, they will be attractive to us and we will want to get closer.

Beauty must be understood from the class. Beauty standards have not always been the same, and these are shaped by the ruling class of the time. In the Middle Ages, to be handsome was to be fat, because it was a time when food was scarce in most homes. In the 19th century, paleness was considered beautiful, because it meant that one did not need to work. Although today the standards are broader, beauty could be translated into a slim, athletic, white body with blond hair.

If beauty standards are constantly changing and, for the most part, based on Eurocentric factions, it is more than obvious that the majority of the population does not benefit from this privilege.

On the other hand, people tend to have very high expectations of attractive people, so when they don’t meet those expectations, they are punished more severely than unattractive people.

The widespread beliefs that beautiful people do not suffer, are not mistreated, live better, are always happy and are bad, are examples of how society inflicts its own problems on the identity of another person, based on their beauty. When a person considered beautiful experiences an unfortunate event, she rarely receives sympathy because, surely, she is “conceited”, “she is entitled” or, even worse, somehow “deserves it”. For example, the public response to Britney Spears’ mental health crisis, Rihanna’s domestic violence case, or the robbery of Kim Kardashian in Paris.

Woman with curly hair in a high bun
The privilege of beauty very likely misleads us and treats differently those who possess attractive physical features without even knowing them. Credit: cottonbro studio/Pexels.

Neurology has shown that the human brain processes visual information very quickly and efficiently, and that a person’s physical appearance is one of the first characteristics that we perceive and evaluate. The human brain is specially wired to detect facial features such as symmetry, proportion, and emotional expression, allowing us to form quick opinions about the people around us.

Furthermore, neuroscience has shown that our brains are programmed to look for patterns and associations, and that we often make judgments about people based on stereotypes and prejudices.

However, it’s important to note that ideas based on appearance can be biased and aren’t always accurate or fair. Neurology provides us with valuable information about how our brains work when processing visual information and how our judgments are formed, but it is important that we work to overcome prejudices and stereotypes that can influence our perceptions of others.

Only by becoming aware of what we do and why we do it is that we will begin to question our decisions, what we like and what we believe is fair. We shouldn’t judge people by their beauty, but look within and accept differences, different bodies and tastes.

Let’s change the discourse! In the end, life is constant learning, and the way we learn is by asking, reflecting and acting.

And what do you think of the pretty privilege? Have you experienced it? Share your opinion with us at @allthingshairmex. We read you!

The post ATH thinks | ‘Pretty privilege’: when beauty equals success appeared first on All Things Hair Mexico.


Source link