Humans Judge on Appearance

I never thought I would write something for my professional blog – my image consulting blog – that I’d want to cross post here.  As a matter of fact, it’s not even running over there until later this week.  But it fits here.  And since it DID make me mad, I’m saying it today.  🙂

It irritates me when we needlessly replicate social science studies – especially when we do so on the backs of children.  This popped up on my FB feed this weekend.

The idea is to expose how horribly lookist that we are, in order to shame us into acting differently.

I’m all for treating people well, regardless of their appearance – it’s part of my commitment to Christ.

James 2:1 – 4 My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? (NASB)

So, insofar as it involves me – or you, dear readers – I hope that you’re controlling your actions and basing them on compassion.  BUT.  BUT.  This wouldn’t have been in the Bible if it weren’t a natural human tendency.  (“Natural” is not a synonym for “good” – especially in the realm of human behavior).

What’s upsetting?  This has been proven.  Babies prefer pretty people.  Babies.  This is not nurture, it’s nature.  This is known.  Every interaction any one of us has ever had in the world has reminded us of this hard truth.

You didn’t need to make a little girl cry.  I’m mad that they hurt this little girl – do they think she’s going to forget that day?  Every protective parental bone in my body is infuriated right now.  How DARE they do this to her?  They knew she’d be rejected.

And I get mad when I hear grown people say, “well, it shouldn’t matter how I dress…”  You’re right.  It shouldn’t.  But it does.  Humans are visual creatures, and we take in information visually.

Learn to speak with your mouth closed, and you can make this work for you.  In the meantime, remember that these things work on you just as they work on tiny babies, and act with love.

4 thoughts on “Humans Judge on Appearance

  1. Booky McBookerson

    It’s a cruel world, unfortunately. These social experiment videos have been done to death and seem mostly to serve the purpose of making people feel smug in some way.

  2. Elspeth

    I wonder if they anticipate a day when the results of such experiments will yield a result that shows humans as more “evolved” than we are now.

    It is not going to happen. There are things about the way we look that cannot be helped, whether because of genes or wealth (lack thereof). And it is as it has always been. People have always preferred to look at what is more beautiful.

    Unfortunately (since you mentioned the tie in to the pro blog), the uglification of our culture and the attendant tendency to uglify the self -things which CAN be helped- serves to give more things for the human being to naturally recoil from. Precisely because it IS ugly.

    I couldn’t get the Now This video to come up, but it was my computer, not your link.

  3. Maea

    And I get mad when I hear grown people say, “well, it shouldn’t matter how I dress…” You’re right. It shouldn’t. But it does.

    I think when people say these things, they’re looking through the lens of what the world should be ideally, versus what the world is. Many people wish for a more ideal world and it’s not going to happen.

    It is also wise for us to realize this is a human nature thing. We might not be able to stop how we instinctively react. We can choose to behave differently. It’s no different than seeing a severe burn victim. Our internal response is going to be visceral, it just is. The difference is we can be compassionate to their suffering.

    1. hearthie Post author

      I think it’s meant to shame us … and emotional manipulation makes me angry. Not that I disagree with you – compassion is essential.


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