By Tarin McMorrow and Sabina Padilla,
Two people walk into a room. One with a flawless skin and ideal facial characteristics, the other with blemishes and disproportionate features. Who are you more eager to please?
Research suggests that humans subconsciously act differently towards people based on their appearances; this may emerge from the distorted images of beauty created by the media.
Davis High psychology teacher Holly Istas said that significant investigation and examination have led her to believe that this is true.
“Studies have shown that people’s appearance affects the way that they are treated,” Istas said.
Daniel S. Hamermesh, author of “Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People are More Successful” stresses that by the standards of society, those who can catch a stranger’s attention by their appearance, will be more successful and treated better than others.
Mitra Varjavand, model and sophomore at DHS agrees that models are given this luxury. She says on set they are given more privileges than those working behind the lens.
“In society, we have a culture of beauty that is propagated by the media,” Istas said.
Istas believes that the media has created what she calls an “artificial standard” about what we’re expected to look like.
Researchers believe that the media does this because they know that this way they will sell their product and people are more likely to follow the influence of someone they find attractive, than someone they do not. This power is easily abused.
“I think it gives the public a false view, the people on set [of a photo shoot] are supposed to make [the ad] how they want it, which can be really unrealistic,” Varjavand said.
But what about these unrealistic qualities do people find so alluring?
“This arises, I believe, because of a holdover from an era when beauty was equated with health and the reproductive fitness. That makes them more attractive, and we have a subconscious desire to please them,” Hamermesh said.
DHS Spanish teacher Brittney Deibert was crowned Homecoming 2014’s “Mrs. Gorgeous” title. She believes that it has nothing to do with physicality but rather the way that one carries themselves.
“I think it has to do with your personality and the way you portray yourself […] [Personally] they view themselves as attractive because they have self-confidence,” Deibert said.
Istas said that a person is more likely to become some form of a public figure if they are appealing to the eye. Just like what Hamermesh said, those who are more attractive are given more priorities and opportunities.
But not all have the same state of mind.
“Clearly it’s not just looks. As only a madman would think the Kardashians are beautiful,” Hamermesh said.