The Superficiality of Today

You’ve heard it all before: “The media feeds teens distorted body image ideas!” and “The world is too focused on looks now.” But really, let’s get down to the facts – how superficial is today’s society? Decide for yourself.

Ever heard of vanity sizing? Probably not. But chances are, you’ve experienced it.

Remember walking into a department store, picking up a few garments (all of which display a tag with your size on it), and trying them on only to discover some are much tighter than others?

Newsflash, people! Clothing companies are getting cvanityINTERNETlever – they’ve been labeling large attire with smaller sizes.

That size eight dress you just picked up? More likely that it’s really a size 10.

These companies feed off the fact that people gravitate towards the brands in which they wear “smaller” sizes because it boosts their self-esteem, as shown in a study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

Esquire blogger Abram Sauer compared dress pants from various brands and found that the labels averaged about 2-3 inches smaller than actual waistline measurement.

Sure, you can blame clothing companies for lying to you, but they’re just marketing. It’s the people who are unintentionally encouraging it by purchasing the “smaller” items.

According to the Social Issues Research Centre, attractive people make it further in life.

The website says, “Attractive children are more popular, both with classmates and teachers. Teachers give higher evaluations to the work of attractive children…”

It is also mentioned that attractive people land better jobs and make more money.  A Journal of Applied Psychology article finds that taller-than-average people make $789 more every year than their shorter counterparts.

Also, the physically appealing are found guilty less often in court and don’t receive as harsh of sentences.

The fairytales we grew up with enforced this way of thinking – ever realized that the villain is typically portrayed as ugly, and the hero or heroine as a dazzling beauty? No coincidence there.

Other studies suggest physical beauty is more valued in urban environments than rural. Is it because big cities are filled with billboards of photoshopped high-glamour models?

A study shows that maybe judging others by appearance isn’t as bad as mommy and daddy always told you

The Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin research by a University of California affiliate and others asked participants to look at photos of strangers and guess how likable, religious, lonely and liberal they were, along with estimating their self-esteem levels.

These ratings were then compared with those of people who actually knew the photographed subjects. The results showed that strangers correctly assessed self-esteem, extrovertedness and religiosity.

Jeremy Meeks, a 30-year-old criminal living in California whose face started out on the Stockton Police Department Facebook page and ended up plastered everywhere, has in short become kind of a celebrity.

People are not responding to his arrest on June 18, 2014 for a serious weapons charge, oh no, these posts are about what a pretty face he has, many saying that he looks like a model. There’s no discussion about his dangerous behavior.

Dubbed “Hot Mugshot Guy” by admirers, Meeks previously served two years for theft and was recorded to have pummeled a teenage boy in 2002.

Seems like looking good is pretty beneficial – the convict has been offered modeling jobs and a Facebook fan page has been set up in hopes of getting help to make his expensive bail.

Although choices like falling for vanity sizing may be subconscious decisions, letting a convict’s good looks shadow his record or favoring cuter kids over their peers is a little over the line. Some insight to a stranger’s personality may be gleaned from a glance at their appearance, but not all. Maybe it’s better to not let looks count for everything and to stop stressing about the numbers on your clothes.