Pretty Privilege is something a lot of people know exist, but feel uncomfortable talking about it. What does it mean to have a privilege? Privilege is an advantage someone enjoys because of who they are, what they have, or who they know.
Most people consider privilege only in terms of birth, status or political sense. They believe that people earn undue advantage by the kind of family they spring up from, celebrity status, hold or affiliated to a political position or figure.
But the privilege that comes with being physically attractive is unique in several ways.
Let’s take a deep analysis of what pretty privilege is, shall we?
Is Attractiveness Earned?
The first question we should ask ourselves is, “Is Attractiveness Earned?”
People have different views about what beauty should be. But this article isn’t focusing on intrinsic or platonic characteristics of beauty, but a general description of physical attractiveness.
Yes, we know that beauty standards change with time and developments in fashion trends especially with women. It also differs from country to country. What black people consider as beautiful with their melanin skin would probably not be a judging factor for Italians or Irish people.
In my opinion, attractive is unearned. Shape, facial structure, and a youthful look or exuberance comes to play in determining a woman’s level of physical attractiveness. Of course, we all know that people look like their parents, and when they have kids, they look like them. So, genetics also come to play.
Although pretty privilege is more evident in women, this article addresses both men and women.
Benefits of being attractive
Now that we know that attractiveness is unearned, what advantage does it bring? Are there any benefits?
Different people have different beliefs based on the experiences they’ve had or religious inclinations they delve towards. We can only base our conclusions on studies and research for common grounds.
1. People pay more attention to pretty people
Let’s face the facts. People tend to pay attention to attractive people more often than not.
According to Psychological Science, attractive people find it easier to get attention, and as such, are easily understood by people.
For instance, imagine being in a room and an extremely pretty women walks up to you politely to ask for a favor. Your heart will be warmed up to attend to her (except you instantly became envious of her beauty).
2. Pretty privilege gives you a level of trust
According to Political Research Quarterly, studies show that attractiveness affects the way people trust strangers on a first-hand basis. Pretty privilege places people at the top of the trust game, except their actions prove otherwise.
3. Pretty privilege gives more social ratings and dominance
This one is clearly evident in the society we live today, especially in the celebrity space. According to the Psychological Bulletin, people perceived attractive people as social, warm, friendly, and cool.
Let’s look at the celebrity space. Celebrities gain millions of followers on Instagram not based on the quality of their thoughts or experiences, but on the quality of their Instagram photos.
There is always a blogger or vlogger accessing style, facial structure, or elegance on one media platform or the other, judging the totality of their existence based on their physical looks alone.
4. Pretty people get better jobs, better spouses, and great wages
Generally, it is perceived that pretty people get better jobs, spouses and better wages. But we all know that it is subject to the environments they operate from and the quality of their lifestyles. Their attractiveness only fast-tracks their success.
According to the book Beauty Pays published by the Princeton University Press, researchers agree that looking good pays off greatly in the long run. They reveal several evidences of how society favors attractive people in terms of social favor, marriage, better paying jobs, popularity, etc.
Yay or Nay
Even though we try to be liberal in our opinions and spring up arguments that intrinsic characteristics are far more important, we can’t continue to turn a blind eye to the doors that pretty privilege unconsciously opens.
Women tend to be more vulnerable in such situations. Society treats them with decreasing regard as they grow older because they feel that the aesthetic “price tag” reduces with time. The only way most women still keep that regard is when they have great intellectual capacities or several notable achievements.
It is totally opposite for men because society regards men more based on their financial status.
Unfortunately, this is how society has been wired to work. The question we should ask ourselves is-
If beauty pays, how far can it take us?