Attractiveness Dualism: A Blessing or A Curse?


        We live in a world where something that looks appealing is highly valued. Maintaining a decent appearance seems to be conventional wisdom which holds true in every aspect, most notably in the way others might perceive us to be, whether it is in an informal or formal setting. While appearance is the first or foremost thing that we see when we meet someone, it inadvertently contributes to the level of respect based on our judgment towards others in the first place. This kind of moral judgment plays a crucial role in either how we treat someone or how someone will treat us. Although appearance alone doesn't represent the overall attributes of someone, at first glance, it can possibly leave a lasting impression, especially in the social domain. The significance of look that someone possesses might entail different sides of the same coin as there has been a thought-provoking discussion in regard to attractiveness along with its perks, its driving force, and not to mention its possible price that one has to pay.

        In general, media portrayal of body features (typically of the face) also significantly influences the perception towards the conventional beauty standard. Consequently, more and more individuals put a great deal of effort simply to achieve the beauty bar that has been set by those media. It is worth noting that the media depicts such beauty standards by enhancing and exaggerating some features by adding exposure to light or adjusting the angle. It is unironically common for people who keep pursuing ideal beauty standards merely for obtaining a validation over their physical features yet they are not aware that it can be very detrimental for them once they fail to meet the expected level. It may lead them to have low self-esteem and body dissatisfaction, thus making them feel overly insecure about their condition.

        Furthermore, the quality of being attractive is often associated with social commodities since it bears values and worths. All the values come down to the assumption which considers any other aspects within attractive people other than their appearances. For example, people may judge a good-looking individual has a good personality and intellectuality even if they assume it by appearance alone! Though it sounds biased, they generally only judge a book by its cover, such a bitter truth. In fact, that stereotype can be attributed to the so-called "Halo Effect". It basically refers to the idea of placing something over a series of something as the main features that govern the rest under it. Hence, the example above shares the same standpoint with this effect just because of one most noticeable thing, that is, physical features.

        As the title suggests, is it really a blessing of being gorgeous? Or else, is it a plain curse? Well, let's have a look at both advantages and disadvantages below. Being attractive arguably grants a couple of perks. Apart from the quality that is tied to attractiveness, someone who is good physically may experience "special" treatment from their surroundings. People tend to respect attractive people due to their charming persona. Not only does society glorify it but also its forms of expression through music. You can find anywhere on the internet about music videos that depict beauty standards whose images are flooded youthful faces and ideal bodies. In addition, attractiveness may be benefited from a higher level of confidence in social interactions mainly because of self-image which intertwines with positive interpersonal connections. Being attractive allows someone to easily get along or even strike up a conversation with others straightforwardly. Those perks are absolutely desirable for everyone, but at what cost?

        There are some drawbacks linked to attractiveness indeed. Physically attractive people are likely to develop a sense of entitlement. They may think that they deserve all the fame and special treatment even though they owe nothing to life. They act as if they can draw everyone's attention, even by doing a simple thing like sitting or walking, while it's not necessarily true. They just can't get over themselves. Another bad case is that there must be someone who is jealous or envious of them due to their physical features. It can hinder good relationships with others as others might perceive attractive people as a threat. Ones who hold a grudge against good-looking people can't afford competing, thus possessing low self-worth. The least they can do is cut off a good-looking person completely.

        After all, we should keep in mind that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The quality of being attractive can't be judged objectively since every person may have a different outlook towards it. It's neither a blessing nor a curse; it's just a matter of subjectivity that lies within a human's set of assumptions. I suggest that you just have to be authentic and be yourself. Don't let the external force get you down or discourage you since we are all unique in our own way. Other expectations about you will only take you so far; however, what does matter is your own value that you hold in your life. Our self-worth can't be defined by others; it is us as the ones who wholeheartedly understand it. 

Writer: M. Dimas Ferdiansyah

Editor: Febby Cahya Diva