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Playing favorites based on beauty

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Posted on May 13, 2005

Nila Priyambodo
Managing Editor

Everyone knows that strangers treat beautiful people better than they do average looking people. We’ve seen it on several hidden camera television shows and some of us have even experienced it.

We’ve learned that blondes are treated better than brunettes, that whites are treated better than people of other races and that thin people are treated better than fat people.

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Studies have even shown that the pretty person is more likely to get a job even if they are less qualified than those that are not as good looking.

Even the media is a repeat offender. They only publicize missing children or women if they are cute and white.

By now we have recognized it and made it a part of our lives because, after all, they are strangers. We are probably never going to see them again.

But what would you think if I told you that parents treat their pretty children better than their not-so-pretty children?

Researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada recently did a study where they observed how parents treat their children during trips to the supermarket.

Parents with ugly children allowed their children to engage in dangerous situations, such as wandering more than 10 feet away from their parents and standing in the shopping carts without seat belts.

However, parents with pretty children would always have their children seated in the shopping carts with seat belts.

Parents with ugly children would also lose interest in their children quicker than parents with pretty children.

Even though it isn’t fair for strangers to treat better looking people nicer than not-so-good looking people, I don’t blame them so much because appearance plays a big role in first impressions. After getting to know the person better, their personality can always make a beautiful person ugly and a less attractive person more beautiful.

But, I can’t believe that parents would treat their children differently because they are not attractive. Their children are not strangers.

Parents shouldn’t play favorites based on looks. They shouldn’t even play favorites at all.

Parents have no justification to treat their children poorly.

How did looks become such a priority in today’s culture where we hire people based on looks and not qualification and where we are only trying to find cute, white missing people?

Now it has gotten even worse with parents putting the same cultural behavior on their children.

What’s next? Are we going to only give the pretty people special rights and privileges, like voting, driving or even eating?

This is one of the reasons why children, teenagers and adults worry about looks and being pretty at such a young age, why they diet or don’t eat to stay thin and why they want to get plastic surgery to look beautiful.

Why can’t we be happy with the way we look and the physical traits we were given?

If we were meant to look differently, God would have made us look that way.

Besides, physical beauty is not everything. It can only take you so far in life.

Physical beauty does not guarantee happiness, love or fulfillment in your lives.

Nila Priyambodo, a sophomore journalism major, is managing editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at