Graphic by Prajwal S D

“Beauty is how you feel inside and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something Physical.”

 – Sophia Loren

Beauty Bias is the favoritism towards individuals that are considered to be attractive regardless of their intellectual capabilities. The presence of this bias is well-documented in our everyday life. The standards of beauty also define the competency of a human. That is why we often see beautiful people getting hired sooner as compared to their unattractive coworkers. But beauty has nothing to do with competency.

The conventional standards of beauty are making our so-called progressive society a regressive one.  Smartness is often judged on the basis of looks and dressing. People are provided with opportunities based on their magnitude of beauty. If you are able to score well on the scale of beauty, you get easy access to a lot of career opportunities but if not, then you get a free subscription of harsh comments and comparison.

The Beauty bias gives rise to the halo effect. The term was coined by psychologist Edward Thorndike in the 1920s, it occurs when we develop an overall positive impression of someone because of one of their qualities or traits. It happens in some companies when they hire a person by focusing on one good trait and neglecting the required traits for the position. Due to this, the company can miss out on talented and deserving candidates which can further lead to loss to the company. 

The value of beauty can be realized in the early stage of life. Toys are designed according to society’s beauty standards. Dolls are made fair, with long legs and long hair but never short and dark. In schools, fair and pretty girls are often asked to stand in front rows during functions and taller students are promoted for sports. But, what about dark and short people? They are often seen compromising with conditions. 

Beauty doesn’t guarantee you an escape from stereotypes. It is often observed that women investing time in self-care and maintenance are thought to be dumb. Rather than referring to them as body-positive, they are often designated as fashion bimbo. But if a man does self-grooming, then he is called smart and charismatic.

Our obsession with beauty is increasing day by day. Plastic surgery, silicone breasts, hips, lip filling, and so many laser surgeries. The beauty cream “Fair & Lovely” showed in its advertisement how fair skin can aid you in landing your dream job. A study shows that Fair & Lovely brings in around $317m in annual revenue, making it India’s biggest-selling skin-lightening cream, and research firm Global Industry Analysts estimates that the international market for skin-lightening cosmetics could reach $12.3 billion dollars by 2027. It shows that people spend so much time and money just to look beautiful to match the standards of society.

Everyday fashion booms with a spike in the number of customers. Every girl wishes to look like a Victoria’s Secret model and most guys want a perfect face like Edward Cullen. In a society confused between beauty, smartness, and intelligence, people are struggling to find their place. 

It is high time we put this bias to an end. Beauty is not limited to physical appearance but it is a lot more than that. A progressive mindset is beautiful, kind is beautiful, bold is beautiful, confidence is beautiful, intelligence is beautiful. Every positive trait is beautiful. 

A Filipino proverb says that “Beauty will fade, but not goodness.” So, invest your time and money in good deeds because that makes you a beautiful human. 

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