Women’s Health Interactive Forums

  • If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Do You Think Pretty Privilege Is A Real Thing? If So, How? - Let's Discuss!

Collapse
This is a sticky topic.
X
X
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
Clear All
new posts

  • Do You Think Pretty Privilege Is A Real Thing? If So, How? - Let's Discuss!

    Have you ever experienced pretty privilege? Maybe you have witnessed someone benefitting from their looks or perhaps you were the one who benefitted?

    In this article, I researched pretty privilege and interviewed folks who have experienced it. I would love to hear from you on your own thoughts and experiences!

    Pretty privilege certainly seems to be a real thing for people of all ages, so I also researched a bit about things we can do to age gracefully.

    You can read the entire article here:

    https://www.womens-health.com/pretty-privilege

  • From my point of view, marketing has a lot to do with the societal norms of beauty. Individual understanding of beauty is more changeable, where a close relationship, possibly with intimacy, can change a person's ideals to be more like their companion.
    I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
    ...
    Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

    From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

    Comment


    • Originally posted by jns View Post
      From my point of view, marketing has a lot to do with the societal norms of beauty. Individual understanding of beauty is more changeable, where a close relationship, possibly with intimacy, can change a person's ideals to be more like their companion.
      I absolutely agree that marketing shapes what society considers to be beautiful. It’s especially interesting to look at beauty trends and how they’ve shifted over the last century (or longer), particularly as a result of advertising, and how quickly the general opinion of what’s beautiful has changed over recent years in our everything-must-be-marketed-at-all-times culture. Unless a person lives in a cave 100 miles from anyone else, they cannot escape marketing. It’s impossible.

      And you’re right. A close relationship with someone can change a person’s ideals to reflect (and prefer) the qualities they find in their companion(s). Familiarity breeds beauty.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Alison H. View Post

        I absolutely agree that marketing shapes what society considers to be beautiful. It’s especially interesting to look at beauty trends and how they’ve shifted over the last century (or longer), particularly as a result of advertising, and how quickly the general opinion of what’s beautiful has changed over recent years in our everything-must-be-marketed-at-all-times culture. Unless a person lives in a cave 100 miles from anyone else, they cannot escape marketing. It’s impossible.

        And you’re right. A close relationship with someone can change a person’s ideals to reflect (and prefer) the qualities they find in their companion(s). Familiarity breeds beauty.
        So true! I love looking at the comparison photos of each decade of men and women and how the standards of beauty have shifted so greatly. I think the most important message those pictures give us is.... take it all with a grain of salt because, in ten years, it'll be different anyway.

        One area in this article I found of particular interest is how the pretty privilege ties strongly in with just being a woman. In career, I've always been so focused on my brain that I never gave much thought to my appearance. I learned very quickly that no matter how hard I worked and no matter how much I deserved a pat on the back or a promotion or whatever it was, it would ALWAYS be discredited by someone who proclaimed "He only did that for her because she's pretty." And the saddest part is that it was almost always women to say those things. My response, "Oh, so this must mean YOU think I'm pretty? Aww, thanks...." :-\ The assumption that just because you think someone pretty means everyone else does is just silly.

        Anyway, great article on an interesting topic, Alison!




        "Be what you're looking for."

        Comment


        • Great article, Alison! I loved how you went in-depth about how focusing on appearances, especially for women, can be costly financially and costly in other ways. It's also so interesting how the definition of pretty or beautiful changes over time.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Ashlee T. View Post

            So true! I love looking at the comparison photos of each decade of men and women and how the standards of beauty have shifted so greatly. I think the most important message those pictures give us is.... take it all with a grain of salt because, in ten years, it'll be different anyway.

            One area in this article I found of particular interest is how the pretty privilege ties strongly in with just being a woman. In career, I've always been so focused on my brain that I never gave much thought to my appearance. I learned very quickly that no matter how hard I worked and no matter how much I deserved a pat on the back or a promotion or whatever it was, it would ALWAYS be discredited by someone who proclaimed "He only did that for her because she's pretty." And the saddest part is that it was almost always women to say those things. My response, "Oh, so this must mean YOU think I'm pretty? Aww, thanks...." :-\ The assumption that just because you think someone pretty means everyone else does is just silly.

            Anyway, great article on an interesting topic, Alison!



            Thank you!

            It’s kind of bizarre to see how beauty trends have changed in comparison photographs; some of them have been extreme. I feel kind of bad, too, for those who adapted their look to fit one trend, only to suffer permanent damage that makes it harder to fit into another trend as it emerges later.

            (Like eyebrows… women who did the super-thin eyebrow thing back in the day and can no longer grow normal eyebrows. I know a couple of people that has happened to and while I pluck a little bit myself, it’s really just to kill those rando strays that don’t belong. I’m terrified of over-plucking and doing permanent damage.)

            And I agree: so much of what that article talks about is relevant to ALL women, not just the “beautiful” ones.

            Honestly… women do seem to be far more apt to go the “she got that thing because she’s pretty” route. I wonder if that is something men have experienced much… like if a man is promoted by a woman or receives something from a woman, do other men say things like, “Well he’s attractive so of course she promoted him or gave him a discount on his television.”

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Emily D. View Post
              Great article, Alison! I loved how you went in-depth about how focusing on appearances, especially for women, can be costly financially and costly in other ways. It's also so interesting how the definition of pretty or beautiful changes over time.
              Thank you! It was pretty eye-opening, actually, researching the financial cost. I’m kind of a cheapskate where cosmetics are concerned but when you think about it, even if you don’t spend that much, it still adds up to a lot over a lifetime!

              And it’s true that the definition of beauty changes as time passes and trends really are nothing more than trends. What kills me is just how far women will go to adapt, to stay “beautiful” based on what society has decided is beautiful this week, or this month, or this year. It’s a lot of pressure that I think many women struggle with, and social media doesn’t help the situation.

              Comment


              • Alison H. - I was totally thinking about eyebrows as I responded! When I was growing up it was wax wax wax wax and more wax! Now, it's "the bigger the better!" and I'm baffled almost daily by the squared-off drawn on eyebrow look that is in style currently. So much so that people are getting them tattooed in that way! And a few years ago I found myself wishing for fuller brows after waxing the heck out of them for so many years. Now, like you, I only pluck a few random strays and otherwise leave them unmanaged so I guess in my own way, I'm morphing with the trends too.
                "Be what you're looking for."

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Alison H. View Post
                  Honestly… women do seem to be far more apt to go the “she got that thing because she’s pretty” route. I wonder if that is something men have experienced much… like if a man is promoted by a woman or receives something from a woman, do other men say things like, “Well he’s attractive so of course she promoted him or gave him a discount on his television.”
                  I like to think that most of the women I worked with were promoted due to competence rather than for some other reason. I had two women bosses. The first was the company owner's daughter in a family company so her managing was a given. The second was technically competent, fair and a good boss at a different company. She relied on her own smarts to come up with decisions after gathering the facts. I liked working for her. The rest of the women I worked with (not for) were equally as competent as the men I worked with.
                  I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
                  ...
                  Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

                  From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

                  Comment


                  • Maybe it's the field I've been in for the past 15 years, but I've never observed what I thought would have been anything close to "pretty privilege". Outside the workplace, yes, many times.

                    Comment


                    • I do believe attractive/beautiful women do get far more respect and attention than the lesser-pretty women. You're told that if you're pretty, you've got more value as a human being, than say an "ugly" woman. For instance, supermodels are worshipped and praised. But is that short, stocky woman? No. It feels deeply unfair that if you are attractive, you are also assumed to be more intelligent. We know this is not always true. And in the media, have you noticed how the music stars are mostly tall and slim? Apart from Adele - whom is a superstar herself.

                      Anyhow, the beautiful women get the roles in the films and the model contracts. And that is what regular women are told they should aspire to be. Because unattractive women - at least compared to the famous ones - are thought less valuable. Women have also been told throughout time that they are meant to be beautiful and are valued for their beauty.

                      I had a friend years ago and she was utterly gorgeous. But I felt so jealous. Yes: really. Because even back then I knew my looks were what attracted people to me and decided whether others liked me. People do judge on appearance. I think they always will.

                      I don't look perfect but I make the effort with my appearance. Still I feel I would be respected more if I had model looks.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Popcorn&Candy View Post
                        It feels deeply unfair that if you are attractive, you are also assumed to be more intelligent. We know this is not always true.
                        I went to a college where most of the students were science or engineering majors. At the time I went, about 10% of the students were women. The more intelligent women were often less attractive, in my opinion. Most of the women there were very intelligent.
                        I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
                        ...
                        Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

                        From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

                        Comment


                        • You both bring up interesting points.

                          Even before this article, I had recently given thought to some things in the workplace related to this.

                          While "pretty" women do seem to be given more attention, it's important to note that it isn't always the attention they want. In my experience professionally, it seems like women who are less visually pleasing are taken more seriously. My theory is that this occurs because the men are less distracted by them and the women are less threatened by them. I also think that when a woman sees an attractive woman (and maybe men are even like this, too) they automatically think that woman doesn't deserve her position and therefore, don't want to see her continue to grow. There is an automatic resentment. A woman who may be perceived as attractive, but who does NOT ride on her looks, and works very hard in her professional growth does NOT want her looks to be a factor, for or against her.

                          Time and time again I've seen the quiet, meek, "homely" woman with her hair slicked back in a librarian bun, get the promotion even when she wasn't the most qualified. Is it because she portrays herself as "nerdy" and is therefore taken more seriously? Or is it because she blends in with the woodwork and no one feels distracted or threatened by her?
                          "Be what you're looking for."

                          Comment


                          • And to jns' observation, I've also wondered whether the "cuter" female children are not encouraged to be as studious as the "less cute" little girls. The pretty kids have a sort of "pass" given, based on their perceived potential popularity and success based on their appearance.

                            I had a friend when I was young that was exceptionally good looking. She had those model good looks-tall, big blue eyes, slender but shapely, long blonde hair, etc. She was the kind of girl that you saw a mile away, and couldn't take your eyes off. She was a great student up until we were in high school. Then, the distractions of boys' attention hit maybe? I don't know, but last I knew she was unemployed and really did nothing with her blessings, either in appearance or her mind. She was always pretty, and she was a better student even than I was, and then, something changed. Is there a change in people's drive or focus when they attract so much attention? Is it parental direction?

                            Ashlee, I do know of women that intentionally dress extra conservative and always kept hair back at work.Seeing them in the mall, you'd possibly not recognize them. I do think that was a conscious effort on their part to be respected and taken more seriously at work. They were in mid-leadership roles, and very ambitious.

                            Interesting topic.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Popcorn&Candy View Post
                              I do believe attractive/beautiful women do get far more respect and attention than the lesser-pretty women. You're told that if you're pretty, you've got more value as a human being, than say an "ugly" woman. For instance, supermodels are worshipped and praised. But is that short, stocky woman? No. It feels deeply unfair that if you are attractive, you are also assumed to be more intelligent. We know this is not always true. And in the media, have you noticed how the music stars are mostly tall and slim? Apart from Adele - whom is a superstar herself.
                              I totally agree. I like to think that musicians like Adele and Lizzo, or actresses like Chrissy Metz (This is Us) are helping to break the mold regarding tall and thin being the “beautiful ideal” these days, but that takes time.

                              Over the centuries, beauty trends have changed significantly; there was a time when more voluptuous women had figures that were considered ideal – because extra heft equated to a person being more well-off and higher in society. (Particularly around times of famine.) The wealthy could eat well, so obesity in those days meant better health and greater desirability.

                              At least until the early 1900s came along, extra weight on a woman was considered a sign of fertility, health, and beauty, before the pendulum changed direction.

                              Comment

                              Unconfigured Ad Widget

                              Collapse

                              Womens Health orange logoGet The Newsletter

                              Receive our passionately crafted, medically reviewed articles and insights — the stuff nobody else talks about but you want to know — delivered right to your inbox.

                              Latest Posts in Our Forums

                              Collapse

                              Latest Topics in Our Forums

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X