Pretty Privilege


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.

Published by victoriarose002

Hiya, I am an 18 year old blogger from the UK. I generally post about topics surrounding social, cultural and political commentary although I also aim to write some personal posts too... I am currently studying A levels, and as well as writing I like music, complaining and going to cool places. I encourage any comments, constructive criticism or any blog post suggestions. While don't hesitate to contact me at vickyyrose.02@gmail.com for anything blog related :)

32 thoughts on “Pretty Privilege

  1. It’s fascinating how arbitrary many of these standards are. It’s supposedly better to be lighter skinned… unless you’re white, in which case you may be considered more attractive with a tan.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. True that.πŸ‘πŸ‘
    All this if you have dark skin the lighter one is better, if you have light then the smoother one is better, if you have smooth skin then the clearer one is better and if you have all of them, do you consider getting a tan because it’s better !!!! Who the hell are making this rule

    Liked by 1 person

  3. β—‡ – Diamond Hard – β—‡

    β—‡ Great Treatise; personally and fortunately after over half a century on this beautiful planet that some call Gaia I don’t really like being around people very much…as I Continue to Painfully Evolve it becomes increasingly clear to me that what’s important and what’s NOT!!! important is entirely due to Our PAM (Perception Attitude MindSet); ergo My PAM at 15 is very different to My PAM Now so unless I AM Able To Do SomeThing about a Situation I Tend to treat it just like Water Off A Ducks Back…this may sound like a COPOUT!!! yet I Have My MMHI (Multiple Mental Health Issues) to consider; furthermore My Enegetic Growth and Development is Hindered by InCompatible Energy

    β—‡ – Diamond Hard – β—‡

    …β—‡β—‡β—‡…

    Like

  4. I’ve got to say, I don’t think about beauty a lot. I’ve never really cared about my appearance. However, I think I’m pretty lucky that I’m able to so relaxed about it, and that it doesn’t seem to have had any adverse effects. Although from what you’re saying, it might have and I just didn’t realize.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is hard to say, and I think for many someone’s appearance can have both positive and negative effects. Also I think it probably affects women slightly more than males just because there seems to be slightly more focus on the female appearance. While it depends on what someone does, concerning work, education etc.

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      1. In my (limited) experience, I would say it affects women substantially more than men. Although that might just be a product of spending many years at an all-boys school, which probably produced a different eco-system.

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      2. Funny you say that because I have been at an all girls school since yr 7, and in some ways it’s good, but then it’s so competitive, even when it comes to looks :/ I think women do experience it more generally, but there is still so much pressure for men to look “manly” ig.

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      3. Interesting that you found being at an all girls school competitive. There definitely is some of that atmosphere at mine, but it’s actually quite relaxed most of the time. Do you have a mixed 6th form?

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      4. Mine is mixed, although there are still significantly more boys than girls. Still, I think it’s been a very good thing for me, as before sixth form, I didn’t really socialize with people from outside of my school, so all my friends were guys. Luckily that’s not the case anymore. And yes, my school is a grammar school. What has your experience been?

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      5. Yep I am not surprised because my school is also a grammar school and is very competitive, which i think is more to do with being a grammar school than anything else. Also I often get Bs so in the scheme of grammar school students i’m dumb asf. Ii suppose mixing with the same gender can have benefits in some ways, and can also have drawbacks.

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      6. I wouldn’t want to be at your grammar school if Bs are bad! We definitely have a higher concentration of better grades at mine, but people are still out here getting Cs regularly, and there are people who get Es and occasionally Us. I guess it’s probably just where I live more than anything. I’m interested to hear what you think the drawbacks of a mixed sixth form are. I think there could have been some in the lower school, but now that we are supposedly more ‘mature’ I do think it’s overwhelmingly a positive thing.

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      7. I agree, in ways I would much rather be in a mixed environment (and will be at uni) but I am so used to being surrounded by girls all the time, I don’t think it is a good thing. Although the good side I guess is that there is less of the need to come in each day wearing makeup etc. But sixth former are almost adults so it seems ridiculous really to be in a one gender environment. And there are a few people who get Cs, but most people who TALK about their grades get AsπŸ™„ While predicted grades are based off the grades you get in year 12 rather than the progress you make generally.

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      8. I guess it makes sense that those who get high grades talk about them more, so it paints a somewhat misleading picture. It’s definitely unfortunate that the predicted grades are based off year 12 work, but Covid has really screwed things up and hopefully unis will take that into consideration. I was wondering what the best way to communicate with you off the blog would be (assuming that’s something you even want), as I don’t have any social media.

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      9. Of course, I have whatsapp if that is any good, or by text. If not then either by text or email.
        And agreed, and now our final grades may be more of a reflection of year 12 stuff, but no one really knows! I think unis are considering this, because I know a few have lowered their grade requirements.

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  5. We just blogged 3 weeks ago about beauty and a podcast was produced with us by a Canadian production compony about beauty. Many years ago, our dear Master was leading a research programme of a German and Finnish university about beauty. The problem with beauty is how to define beauty. We just work on a new blog and podcast-production about uglyness. That will be published on our blog in the week starting on February 15th. We suppose you know Umberto Eco’s books about beauty and ugliness. There are a lot of populistic myths around beauty.
    Thanks for sharing your ideas about this important topic.
    All the best.
    Stay healthy and happy
    The Fab Four of Cley
    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting comment, and I hadn’t actually heard about them before but I have looked it up. Yeah, I think capitalism is changing the way beauty is at least defined, as it is basically a way to make money from people who feel bad about themselves.

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      1. Well, I think that’s much too easy. Capitalism is part of it or as Karl Marx pointed it out especially in the 2. vol. of “Capital” the alienation. What we see as beauty is biological, sociological, aesthetical and by the zeitgeist determined. To say it’s the capitalism is too general and doesn’t explain the mechanism why we see something as beautiful or not. By the way we have documents speaking about beauty and ugliness as early as Homeric Greece – clearly pre-capitalist times. And another myths, in history beauty was always as important for men as for women and it’s still today as many researches found out. Look at magazines like “Men’s Health” f.e. and the cult of the hero in literature and advertisment.

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      2. True. I think there are definitely other aspects which do go into it, but I feel that a lot of at least today’s obsession with looks is as a result of beauty products being sold to us, making people think they need to change how they look. Or maybe that’s as result of the aesthetic standards of it.

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  6. Strong truths here. When I was young I never realized that being even a little pretty as a white girl was a huge advantage — I had far too many insecurities and brokenness to “get it” but now I understand the many disadvantages of a skewed worldview that it gave me and of course as you say, has messed up the world in some ways. And as someone who now looks older because I went grey, I finally understand a bit about prejudice based on looks. Keep at this kind of thinking — well done on writing about this. Peace, Jane

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There are so many ways to define beauty. But, unfortunately society’s definition of beauty is ridiculous. I don’t think one would even be able to fit into that standard because no matter how you beautify yourself, some faults would still be found. By the time one is done fixing all the things they think would make them beautiful and allow them to fit in, I don’t think they would still have their original body. Indeed, beauty hurts! Fascinating post, BTW.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Entirely agree with you, there are too many ways of defining beauty, however sadly the “beauty standards” put forward are really rigid and often make us think there is something wrong with how we look, when it isn’t the case.

      Like

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