It is no secret that we live in an image-centric society. We are constantly bombarded by images of beauty, whether it be a billboard, advertisement on the side of a bus, or an advertisement that pops up on the side of our favorite website.
It takes little more than a glimpse at the cover of any women’s or men’s magazine to see an emphasis on increasing physical beauty and attractiveness. Granted, much advice circulates around the very necessary advice of being healthier and more fit [not necessarily for the purpose of being more attractive], but its more superficial teammates are always present.
While a worthy cause, these things take time. We don’t wake up one morning and magically find that nice set of abs we have been working so hard for. We are constantly a work in progress, always looking to improve. So what could I possibly suggesting that could instantly approve your physical attractiveness?
Take a look at this excerpt from a recent article in Scientific American:
“…Students in 6-week summer archaeology course rated each other on the first day of class on familiarity, intelligence, effort, liking, and physical attractiveness. The same students then did the same ratings again on the last day of class, after working with each other for the 6 weeks on a dig site, working 5 days per week and approximately 8 hours per day with each other. Consistent with the first two studies, non-physical traits (especially liking) contributed to final perceptions of physical attractiveness above and beyond the effects of the initial impressions of physical attractiveness.
On the first day of class, one woman received a below average rating (mean of 3.25) of physical attractiveness by the other members of the class. However, this woman turned out to be a quite popular, well liked, and hardworking member of the group. Strikingly, this woman went from a mean of 3.25 on the first day of class to a mean of 7.00 by the last day of class! Her rating of physical attractiveness increased quite a lot, and she presumably did not do one thing to alter her physical appearance.”
Interesting insight into a world that suggests men value looks over personality. Insight which suggests the two are not seen as separate qualities, but in fact directly related. In a previous article, I discussed the science behind why women shouldn’t play hard to get. The studies seem to be piling up in favor of kindness being physically attractive to men and women.
There is so much emphasis in our society on improving the body, we must not lose sight of also improving the mind. Our personality. Our desirability as a partner. How good of a friend we are. How kind we are to others rather than just how attractive we are to them (as we are learning they are often one in the same).
Also for this reason, we see a greater incentive to give people a chance before strictly judging them on their appearance. The proof is in the pudding, as they say – the more time we spend with someone, the more physically attractive they [might] become to us.
Yet more real life examples to show the fading desire for ‘bad boys’ and ‘mean girls.’ I believe people are getting tired of the inconsistency, mistreatment, and constant challenges that go along with being attracted to people who intentionally act disinterested or difficult. I believe that we, as a society, are beginning to gravitate more towards kindness and love, because we have realized how much of it we are lacking.
While physical attractiveness alone may sell products, it will not build happy relationships. Neither will being aloof or apathetic towards our teammate. A beautiful face means nothing without a beautiful heart.
While we should never lose sight of physically transforming ourselves into the person we want to become in order to maximize our confidence, self image, and productivity (when you feel better, you do better), we should also never lose sight of everything below the surface. What is on the inside often finds its way to the outside and can increase or decrease all of the work you have done aesthetically.
After all, when we love someone for who they truly are, everything about them instantly becomes beautiful.
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