When beauty becomes an issue

SHARE   |   Sunday, 01 February 2015   |   By Ontlametse Sugar
Former  Miss Botswana Sumaiyah Marope Former Miss Botswana Sumaiyah Marope

The concept of beauty or of what constitutes beauty has always been a topic for debate. Now there is even concern that one’s looks-beauiful or otherwise, depending on who is looking, affect the way people are treated. Someone perceived to be beautiful will be treated differently from the one who is not.
In schools at primary stage you have cases of bullying where students makes fun of others just because of how they look. Some people have always thought that prettier people get away with things easily just because of how they look, from how they are treated at work to every place that they go to. The question is ‘does how someone’s looks really affect how they are treated by the society’, and from the diverse reactions that we got it seems like the society also thinks prettier people always get more attention than the not so good looking people.
One university student said that she has a friend who is prettier than her, and that she always gets people’s attention. “I always go out with her and when we are introduced, especially to guys, they will not even look at me at all and sometimes it is offensive. But I like her. She is a good friend and her being too pretty does not mean I can’t hang out with her,” she said.
One other person who didn’t look as bad as she thought she was said,”Sometimes it’s like you don’t exist at all. It sucks but until we stop worrying about what we look like then the world will be a little much better place,” she said. She added that she used to do her makeup all the time, wear attractive clothes, but she got tired of all that and does not care how she is treated by anyone anymore as long as she is happy.
This makes one wonder if it is not the case of confidence, whether we are letting people treat us badly because we are not confident about ourselves and have low self-esteem.
One man who looked dapper in his suit said that his job involves seeing people every day, and that sometimes as guys it is quite a disadvantage to be good looking because they end up being liked by everyone, and those people will expect favours from them, just the same way prettier girls will be harassed by people of the opposite sex.
“I don’t understand why people are so superficial these days. Nobody is ugly and people will always see you for who you are; only senseless ones will consider your looks before your personality,” he said.
He said that the so-called prettier people are most of the times lonely because some people do not approach them due to the stereotype that pretty people are not nice, and some also do not want to hang around with them because they think of competition whenever they are together.
He said that though it is unfortunately true that how someone looks contributes to how they are treated sometimes, he does not consider anyone pretty if they do not have the personality to match the looks.
Clinical Psychologist Kerekolotswe Sane said that though human beings instantly react to things that they consider beautiful, but rather look up to each and every individual to make sure that they live a happier, healthier and more fruitful life because that will then have a huge impact as to how they are treated by the people they meet or the people around them.
“I understand very well how incapacitated someone might feel if they want to lose weight or if they think they do not look good enough. It is always important for someone to seek help if they have extreme thoughts about how they look, because after all everyone is such a beautiful soul,’ Sane said.
She advised that people should not worry excessively, especially the young ones who care so much about their looks, but rather be happy and focus on what they want to achieve, and then the positive energy that they have will definitely transmit to all the people around them. 



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