A woman walks down the street. She knows she is beautiful, and her family, friends, and nearby strangers agree with this knowledge. However, despite the fact that she is proud of her perfect hair and perky nose, she does not want to advertise this fact because she is afraid she will seem shallow. Two weeks ago, she was hired by a fortune 500 company, and although she is smart and competent, the reason she got hired is because she has big boobs and a pretty face. She is ashamed of this fact and she has not even disclosed it to her closest friends. She would have said no to the job, but the economy is bad, and people must do drastic things during a recession. She enjoys getting compliments for her looks, but if someone tells her that her beauty is her best feature, she will be highly offended.
Her best friend goes by the nickname little Einstein. She has always excelled in every class she has taken, and she usually does not need to study before a test. She knows she is smart, and the only thing that keeps her from boasting about it every three minutes is good social skills. Many people tell her that with her brain she can accomplish anything, and she never gets tired of hearing these words.
Society respects intelligence, and although admiring attractive people is considered shallow, both these traits come from the same source, genetics! Why are brains considered more admirable than beauty? Perhaps it’s because a person is born with beauty, but they must work for smarts. This logic only has one flaw, we admire people with natural intelligence more than the people who worked for it. Sure, we may respect the kid who did eight outlines of a chapter to make an A on a test, but we are in awe of the kid who was able to achieve that same A after only skimming the chapter. Also, any woman with manicured nails and designer eyebrows will tell you that achieving beauty requires money, time, and pain.
Perhaps we admire brainpower more because beauty fades, while intelligence stays till death. Unfortunately, anybody who has visited a nursing home, will disagree with that statement. Also, thanks to the wonderful breakthroughs of science, we can now battle gray hairs and wrinkles for over six decades( which is why actresses have longer shelf lives).
I believe the reason people have different attitudes about looks and smarts, despite the fact that it’s something most humans have no control over, is because of guilt. It only takes five seconds to decide if a person is pretty , and people feel guilty respecting a trait which they can identify that easily. At the same time, it takes at least two minutes of conversation to figure out if a person is smart (one minute if it’s Einstein), and therefore people admire the smart person, not for their intelligence, but because of the effort they put into deciding if that person was smart. Perhaps it’s also genetics that dictates how we prioritize the good characteristics of people. Why do you think brains is considered more admirable than beauty?