Do We Treat Beautiful Women Differently Because of Our Bias?
When it comes to physical beauty our standards, no matter how wrong, are quite rigid, and it reflects in the way we treat beautiful women. We can scream at top of our lungs about how every woman is beautiful, and how we are evolving into a more body positive society, we have to accept that on a subconscious level we all rate every person on the basis of their physical appearance. We know how to separate ugly, pretty, stunningly beautiful and average from each other, no matter how much we want to kick ourselves for this bias. There are times when we let our bias to looks cloud our perception of an individual’s life or character.
Do “Beautiful” women face more hatred from other women?
In an article published in The Cut, Alexa Tsoulis-Reay has chronicled the experience of an unnamed “really beautiful woman”, who says that other women absolutely despise her. In fact women have made her cry her whole life. She says, “When I try to make friends with a woman, I feel like I’m a guy trying to woo her. Women don’t trust me. They don’t want me around their husbands. I’m often excluded from parties, with no explanation.”
Beautiful women are either loved or hated, but they are never ignored.
They face hatred, bias, adulation from other women in extreme proportions. Women often let their own insecurities and admiration for perfection be the basis of their approach to a beautiful woman. The switch of jealousy or adulation flips in a second for them when they encounter a beautiful woman. How many of us actually look at a woman for the very first time, and not let her beauty cloud our instincts? Such judgements follow beautiful women in boardrooms, offices, parks, social gatherings and friendships.
Is physical beauty a disadvantage or an advantage?
Many may perceive that the life of a beautiful woman is a breezy walk through meadows. She has gates opened, chairs vacated, notes prepared, work delegated for her. There is always a line of men waiting to woe her. But don’t such things prevent others from taking her seriously? A beautiful woman has to work so much harder to be taken seriously. Just because everybody assumes her to either be an opportunist or plain dumb.
Another aspect is that of deep insecurity. When you are used to of having the world at your feet, it is hard to imagine your life without your beauty. Vanity turns into an obsession. They also find it hard to trust those around them, not knowing whether people like them for who they are, or how they look.
It would be false to say that we as a society have moved beyond our obsession with physical beauty.
While there are many who manage to find a gem of a personality beyond a great face, many still do not desire to dig that deep. We are willing to fawn or hate inside our bubble of judgement. And, there are some women who are satisfied with the perks of their appearance.
We have to remember that good looks may fade. However, a great personality always stands the test of time. So, in the end those who come out victorious are beautiful women who prove the mettle of their character and gain genuine affection, and those who manage to look beyond beauty and forge lasting friendships and acquaintances with women who are beautiful on the inside as well.
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own