When Looks Matter

I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Martin Luther King, Jr.


There isn’t a single day that we spend without making judgments about each other. We live in a society which teaches us that looks are all that matter and if someone doesn’t fit the criteria of having a ‘beautiful’ face, he or she should be labeled as ugly. If a woman doesn’t have a perfect figure, or if she is too short or too tall, everyone will instantly start judging her. And it is not just about women. If a man is short, or doesn’t have six pack abs, the society doesn’t leave any opportunity to judge him. What has the world come to? As a society, instead of concentrating on the abilities of men and women, we are taught to judge people on the way they look. It is as if everyone has to fit in a stereotype – if a girl likes to dress up, she must be shallow.  If a girl decides to wear shorts, she must be of a ‘loose’ character. How about the possibility that it might be a really hot day? Do you still expect her to be in her jeans? Yes there are certain times where a proper code of conduct is necessary. But to expect that from everyone every time seems foolish.  Maybe someone who has dressed up scantily is actually a good person at heart. Or the guy who you think is weak and thin is actually suffering from a disease. No one will come to correct your thinking. It is you yourself who has to make the change.  I cannot spend my entire day in jeans and I do not expect that from you either! We all love being in our pajamas, don’t we? And so I decided to go out wearing them. Big deal! That doesn’t give you any right to judge me!


The bigger question that has to be dealt with is – Who defines these standards of beauty? The glossy magazines that are available of every newsstand not only make you feel like the ugliest person in the whole world, but also feed into your brain that you have to change yourself if you want to be ‘accepted’. A model showing off her skinny body in some ad having the ‘perfect’ figure will make anyone feel unhappy about themselves. Why do we let them govern our thoughts? Being skinny isn’t as healthy as it looks. Woman become bulimic to get the perfect body which seems okay in the short term but leads to major health problems later in life. Everything has been defined under the ‘hot’ or ‘not’ category – The clothes we wear, the makeup we put on, the accessories we carry, our skin color and our hair color. And the worst part is that we are preparing the next generation for such a society too. Why not, instead of concentrating on the person’s looks, we start judging people on their intelligence? Won’t that make more sense? The less we will look from our eyes, the more we’ll see from our heart.


Even if half of the world stops caring so much about their looks and accept the way they are, all these industries will have to shut down. They make money off our insecurities and that’s why they are flourishing and will keep on benefiting for the next many years.  Why are we letting this happen? Instead of caring about a person’s character, why do we give so much thought to what they are wearing?

Who has given us the right to judge others? Don’t we wear makeup or like to dress up for a date or a party? Don’t we like it when others give us compliments and tell you how beautiful we look? But at the same time if someone is dressed better than us or is looking prettier than us, it does not even take a second before we start commenting on their looks. In a way, being superficial has become a normal part of our lives since time immemorial. We have to look pretty to impress someone we like. Who can dare to go out on a date wearing a loose t-shirt and a pajama with a messy bun? No one, unless we want our date to run away! This very situation tells us that it doesn’t give us any right to judge others. If someone likes to dress up, good for them. There is nothing wrong in that! I think that in each one of us there is something good which is not related to the way we look. We have our own set of talents and the world will become a more beautiful place if we decide to let go of our insecurities and concentrate on what we have to achieve.  As it has been said, looks don’t matter, what matters is what is on the inside.

Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.

- Markus Zusak, I am the Messenger

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