Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What If You're NOT Beautiful, No Matter What They Say?

Just a quick blog to comment on something that's been bugging me. I posted a link to an article about Isaiah Mustafa creating a mild controversy when he said that he wanted to marry a woman with good hair, and among the conversation on my page under the link was this statement regarding mainstream acceptance for Jamaicans' preference for a certain type (made by a Jamaican woman):  "It's pretty ignorant and sad because an individual there isn't chosen based on knowledge and talent but on looks and desirable traits such as light complexion and eyes and softer hair texture. They're obsessed with those traits because it's believed she'll do better in life."  

First let's talk about the last part of the statement, specifically the belief that women with desirable traits will do better in life.  I have to say that's absolutely true. Studies show that attractive people are treated much better than unattractive ones--and you can spare me the beauty-is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder spiel--and that, as a result of their attractiveness, they're afforded more opportunities than their unattractive counterparts.  If a culture reveres certain traits, having those traits is going to be an attribute. End of story.

Now, about the mate thing...I can't pretend to know a lot about Jamaican culture, but I know absolutely everything about human nature, plus a hefty amount about American culture, and I can definitively say that this desire for choosing a mate based on "looks and desirable traits" is universal and has absolutely nothing to do with being Jamaican.  (And, yes, before somebody points it out to me, I'm aware that there's prejudice within the black race that revolves around skin tone.  This post is not about that.)  As animals, we instinctively look for the most attractive mate with specific attributes; it's just plain nature.  Biology aside, we all, despite how evolved we might profess to be and how above being superficial we pretend to be, want a mate that's hot, rather than one that's not.  Knowledge and talent are, of course, nice traits for a mate to have, too, but when we're out looking, whether we're window shopping or looking for something to take home, it most certainly isn't  knowledge that we notice, no matter what culture we're from.

Look at this way--for this you must be honest (even if it's not here, at least be honest there, wherever you are). Do you really want to spend the rest of your life looking at somebody who's not pleasing to the eye? Do you? Do you?? Psst...you don't have to answer.  I already know.

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