Ever looked at someone and thought to yourself why on earth do they seem to get by so easily? Perhaps others people are always gravitating towards them, they always find it easy to get a job or maybe from a young age other adults have always seemed rather impressed, for no particular reason. Alright so maybe no particular person pops into your head, but I am sure we can all think of certain situations… Of course this can be down to a number of reasons, but let’s face it, being attractive certainly helps. And if this sounds like a load of crap, just keep on reading…
The Bimbo Effect and Halo Effect
The Bimbo affect refers to how someone who is perceived as attractive is more likely to be thought of as being more productive and having the relevant skills when it comes to getting a job. This means they are more likely to be hired.
Similar to the Bimbo affect, the halo effect refers to how people’s perceptions of people can differ depending on the looks. Therefore someone who is “attractive” is more likely to be viewed as more trustworthy, intelligent and hard working, just as some examples. Which can really make a significant difference to someone’s life. Concerning education, it could lead to teachers having more confidence in them and possibly predicting them higher grades, leading them to have more confidence in themselves. Therefore they may be more likely to accomplish higher grades at the end. Furthermore it can influence many other aspects of life such as being selected for a certain sports team, being asked to lead something or simply being spoken to in a certain way. While this could also be why celebrities who are deemed “pretty” tend to have a higher following than those not as known for their looks.
Why Is This?
Of course beauty is subjective, but it would be silly to ignore the “beauty standards” which are in place, which let’s face it, at one point or another most of us have been effected by.
But how did this all come about? Well for a start, as we know, beauty standards have been evolving and will continue to do so. And part of the reason for this is because there is an industry out there that wants to sell us stuff. Which turns anything that we may possibly feel insecure about as a way to make profit. This can translate into us being told that we are at fault if we don’t have perfectly clear skin for instance, then we can and ought to do something about it. People will want to be slimmer in certain areas, because most models have that body shape, so there are a million and one diet pills that probably don’t work circulating around on the internet. Alright, I have gone off on a bit of a tangent, but this is partly how beauty standards evolve. And thinking about it this way is pretty ridiculous…
Furthermore during imperialism, Western Beauty standards at the time encouraged the false belief that light skinned people are more attractive than dark skinned people. Which has sadly left an effect to this day. But you may counter this by stating that there are many POC models, who are deemed to be very attractive. However these tend to be toward the lighter skin range, while they tend to share aspects of western beauty standards. This is where having dark skin and being deemed “unattractive” according to these standards intersect.
Can this Sometimes be a Bad Thing?
From reading about the Bimbo effect, why would anyone not want to be attractive? However Bimbo, by definition, relates to “an attractive but unintelligent or frivolous young woman.” Unfortunately women who do match these standards, can be perceived as less intelligent. This means they may struggle getting a job in a more male dominated industry, and even if they did get one, they’d be likely to receive grief from their male counterparts. From this there will be some who’ll question if it’s really a privilege, and I’d still say it is, however it is important its negative implications.
What you Need to Remember
So it is important to recognise pretty privilege, and the beauty standards which forms it, to enable us to challenge our assumptions. While in spite of this, I will repeat that beauty is subjective, and what you may hate about yourself, someone else will love.