Thursday, April 16, 2015

Que Bonita!

When I was in Dubai for training not long ago, I was seated next to a guy that seemed like he ran out of smiles. I tried, in every unobtrusive way, to strike the slightest conversation with him. But then, I figured it was easier to talk to a cow. After three days displaying my affability, I gave up and decided to pretend that I was sitting next to Nobody till the course ended. So I relentlessly kept my sangfroid until the last week of the course. That one morning, he handed me the attendance list as his lips formed the perfect crescent revealing his orderly ivories. “Good morning! There you go,” he said as I drowned in his baby-blue eyes. By the way, the fellow I was sitting next to was also the cutest guy in class. And suddenly, Mr Blue-Eyes was vindicated of all the hostility and the package of things that he appeared to be. What happened to my immunity towards good-looks and staunch belief of inner beauty? That moment, I was slapped with the cruel fact that I have denied for so long. Good looks do matter. 
A comely face is always inviting
More than half of the managers surveyed in the United States believed that unattractive candidates will have a harder time getting hired compared to their beautiful counterparts of the same qualification. [1] Well, good luck to those frumps, unless you run into an employer like Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada. Even so, you have to at least look like Anne Hathaway. When it comes to character attributes, looks scored 7.1 on the scale of 10 compared to education which only contributes 6.8 to a person’s character. [1] This could seriously translate to splurging on facials instead of tuition fees. A survey also said that 60% of men believed that women would benefit from wearing clothes that shows off figure. [1] This I reckon as an understatement. If only so many of them think so, why are motor show girls who bare their legs paid twice as much as those who wear pants and those who bare their shoulders, thrice? There is a wee part of us that despises fat people as well. [1] Oh yes, even you with the BMI of 24. No matter how much effort to promote oversized models, our predilection will spring right back to models who feed on leaves. Fat is not fabulous. If it was, Miss Malaysia Andrea Fonseka would not have changed the figure that already won her the title. Let us not even go to wrinkles and dewlaps. Why are we not surprised when a lady won’t tell her age?

Leg lengthening in China
Though it behoves people to look good nowadays, some parts of the world are taking it irresponsibly too far. Height in China for example, corresponds to job opportunities and even marriage. Leg extension is an unnerving operation that involves breaking the leg bone. Then, allowing it to hopefully regrow and fill the inches that the patient was short of. Their courage to break their legs is born out of desperation to be literally looked up upon. Virtually any part of the body can be perfected under the scalpel. Even children in Korea get their eyelids done for a double eyelid-effect. [3] I must say that they were blind to the worth of oriental eyes until they had their lids slit open. I am also beginning to believe that there could be rule #101 out there that says to look attractive is to look Western. If not, why do little Chinese girls rather reach out for a blonde Barbie instead of an Asian one. [2] One out of four Asian women slathers skin whitening lotions. [2] While men in Teheran shop for their noses, Brazilian beauties are persecuting their curvy guitar shaped figures into skin and bones. [2] People like Heidi Montag, who successfully had ten plastic surgeries in a day, just had to make all of those more compulsory. If they could change their parents, they would. In Shanghai’s Ninth People Hospital, 30 000 plastic surgeries took place in 2004. In 2009, the hospital profited from 40 000 such operations and the number is predicted to exponentiate to 50 000 in a year. [2] The meaning of deeper eyelids or a sharper nose is no longer confined to the face. It gauges success and fate.

 A display of vanity
The importance of physical appearance has escalated through times. Fifty years ago, women in China did not embrace what seem to be the rudiments of womanhood today. Under the ruling of Mao Ze Dong, Chinese women wore pants and were not allowed to wear makeup. [2] But now, aesthetics is deemed divine because it brought them to new heights. Even men are not spared. 43% of Americans from 6-9 years of age are already living in the lipstick jungle. [2] People know that looks can make a difference in their lives.

Why do cheerleaders appear more glamorous?
It was difficult to admit that I succumbed to a comely face, especially if I was the one calling people who judge on looks shallow. But it is the truth that we find people with good physique inviting, whether we like it or not. Ever wondered why your handsome colleague could make more sales? Or why do frivolous cheerleaders appear to be more glamourous than the noble librarians? They appear to have it all and we have no idea why! It is also the reason to why some ridiculously debauched figures like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton are still worshiped. All of us are innately fascinated with the handsome and beautiful.

Beauty has been vital since the time of Nerfertiti
To be vain is humane. It has been vital since the time of Nefertiti. Appearance is the first resume submitted in a job interview, the first etiquette on a date or the first cup of coffee in the morning. It surely took more than elocution and aspiration for Obama to win the election. Looking good, in whichever definition, impinges on our lives- not that we need a Citibank employee to show us what that means. It is very unfortunate to see so many people turning into slaves of obsession. It is not wrong to expect more of what we see in the mirror every day but there is a fine line that we should not cross. So prettify yourselves ladies and gentlemen, whether by having a new facial ritual, a pair of Jimmy Choos or simply by a dash of confidence. Look your best all the time because your inner beauty will be easier to discover if outer beauty paved the way.

Beautifully yours,
Hooi E-Wen
23rd July 2010 for Javier Suarez on Searex-9