We have been raised from birth not to judge people by their external appearances and to judge them only by the content of their character. I do agree with this point, but I find it to be simplistic and ignorant of certain nuances. To a fair degree, it is not only acceptable to judge a person by
his or her appearance, but wise to do so. Surely it seems wrong to judge a book by its cover, but actually, the quality of the cover is oftentimes influenced by the quality of the text inside. The trick is simply identifying when this happens to be the case.
To understand my point, you have to define attractiveness by two categories: genetic and cultivated. Things like height, facial structure and relative proportions all fall under genetic attractiveness. There is nothing a person can do about factors like these and so it is useless to judge someone’s character based on these characteristics.
Cultivated attractiveness is a different story. This is a much broader category, but essentially any physical trait that you control falls under this category. Someone’s hairstyle, choice of clothing and degree of facial hair are all examples of factors that contribute to cultivated attractiveness.
This is why it is perfectly acceptable to judge someone based on cultivated attractiveness. It is completely under
that person’s control, and thus the way that person chooses to present himself or herself is an expression of his or her personality. There is no end to the subtleties that present themselves in this dynamic, but for now I shall only examine what it means to have a high degree of cultivated attractiveness.
For most of us, it takes a bit of work to make ourselves look attractive. It’s easy to let yourself go and give up on how you look. Eating healthy, going to the gym and keeping your hair clean and presentable requires a certain amount of discipline and self-control. People with a high degree of cultivated attractiveness thus also have a high degree of discipline and self-control.
So what of someone who is very disciplined but cares not for his or her appearance? For one, I doubt that person exists outside of exceedingly rare circumstances, but I digress. In this case, what
that person lacks is pride for how he or she looks, which, by extension, almost always means that said person lacks pride in himself or herself. Cultivated attractiveness is thus an effective barometer for how much pride someone takes in his or her being.
Finally, in order to successfully cultivate attractiveness within yourself, you must have a reasonably good idea of what will make you more attractive and what will not. To be able to accurately choose hairstyles, perfumes or clothing that will suit you, you need to possess a good sense of self-awareness. You can’t have cultivated attractiveness without self-awareness unless you have someone telling you what to do, which is another exceedingly rare circumstance.
Because we so often tend to conflate genetic attractiveness with cultivated attractiveness, we find ourselves trapped in a paradigm in which we cannot discern anything meaningful. Once we realize the difference between the two, we find ourselves better equipped to understand the intricacies of the world we live in. Deny this reality and all you do is make life harder for yourself.