Oh! You Pretty Things

Thanks to THIS  sexy man for the title:

Ziggy Stardust

  The song was written a good 40 years ago, by this brilliantly talented, sexy man named David Bowie, and it’s still so perfectly pertinent to not just the world as a whole, but, on a very, very personal level, to every single being on earth.

There have been several issues recently regarding people being discriminated on the basis of what they look like – with one article by a women’s magazine going so far as to say ‘Lookism is the new racism‘. While I would never equate the discrimination people face as a direct result of their race to being what I’d like to call ‘aesthetically challenged’, the fact remains that it is an issue nonetheless.

Unfortunately, however, while this issue has recently been brought to light as a result of lawsuits, it has been a failing of society for centuries, and only seems to be getting worse with ‘evolution’ – the evolution of bodies, minds, technologies, medicine, products, advertisements and every single thing that surrounds us.

The recent lawsuit, which happened in Washington, was put into motion by a woman named Shirley Ivey, who was told by her supervisor that she would be better, and liked more, if she were prettier.

While despicable, beyond a shadow of a doubt, what her supervisor said was what the majority of the world’s population does, whether consciously or subconsciously.

Looks are the most visible advantage here, and the whole idea of beauty being subjective has now been reduced to just that – an  ‘idea’. With the media bombarding us with images of supermodels and celebrities and people famous just for being famous, beauty has ceased to be something that differs from person to person – while they are still very slightly fuzzy, the guidelines for the definition of ‘beauty’ and ‘beautiful’ fit within some semblance of a mould.

This in itself is a terrible thing – those of us unfortunate enough to be considered aesthetically challenged face all sorts of discrimination, both personally and professionally.

Since I’ve only been part of two internships in my twenty years of existence, I can’t really comment on discrimination in the workplace, but I’m certain looks play a vital role in deciding who gets a job in the first place – the intelligent, talented, diligent woman, or the one whose breasts look great in that tight green sweater.

The entire emphasis on looks has, in my opinion, led to the dumbing down of humanity as a whole, and over time and generations, IQs are steadily dropping, as evinced by various people and items that have become part of today’s pop culture, none of which are even quasi-intelligent in nature- for instance, song lyrics devoted entirely to sexual euphemism. While what is now considered ‘retro’, ‘old’ music by many, had its fair share of euphemisms, the songs weren’t based solely on drugs, and more importantly, they were played by real people- which is far more than I can say for the music of today.

…but as usual, I digress.

In today’s day and age, consumer products like books have taken a massive backseat to cosmetics, clothing, and appearance-related items, and we’re at a stage people would much rather dress to the nines for no reason at all than read a book.

It’s a very real possibility, even in the recent future, that children will grow up not knowing what books are – I can vouch for the fact that many of my peers have barely even read a handful of books in their entire lives so far, but could rattle off the entire product list at MAC or the newest ‘fall line’ at the various high-brow fashion houses of the world, like what’s ‘in’ and flying off the rack at Gucci or Versace.

A few people close to me, myself included, have had to suffer the implications of not ‘measuring up’ to that ideal of beauty, or femininity, or ‘dressing up’ the way the world thinks we ought to.

What ARE these implications? Being labelled a bitch, a dyke, an uggo, a weirdo, a nerd. Honestly, I am ashamed of none of these, I’d even go so far as to say I’m proud of them. I know many people that are ashamed of being outcasts, feel isolated, and are afraid of being alone, navigating through this sometimes-fucked-up, arduous maze we call life. I’ve been there myself, and sure, it’s not easy, not at all, especially when you realise it’s just you, and you alone, all your life – not your family, or anybody else in this world.

But to all of you out there who choose to remain intellectual ‘in spite of the social ramifications’, I salute you- for refusing to be part of a growing race of people who feel the constant need to conform, and for ensuring that we don’t completely reach the point where ‘the books were found by the chosen ones’.

Well, at least I hope so..

Gotta make way for the homo superior!

About abohemiansrhapsody

Writer, reader, musician, crossword puzzle addict, social scientist, funnywoman, traveller and Beatlemaniac extraordinaire, I enjoy the first of those things the most. Editor and writer at Sportskeeda.com, loving what I do and doing what I love. Formula One, tennis and running editor, Ayrton Senna fan. I write about society, culture, feminism, politics, economics, film, advertising, of things that affect the world at large. I love to sing, and play the piano and a bit of guitar. I also love taking photos. Of anything and everything. My food, a dog on the street, a panhandler, a piece of trash. If I likes, I strikes. Whenever and wherever the inspiration strikes. When I'm not writing news articles, blogs and essays, I like working on a bit of fiction. You can find my short stories and other general musings at: www.anuthebeatlegirl.blogspot.com or http://anuthebeatlegirl.wordpress.com My photography and poetry at: http://www.schizoiddeviant.deviantart.com And my music at: http://www.youtube.com/anu2601

8 responses to “Oh! You Pretty Things”

  1. sudo apt-get says :

    You know, my time in the corporate world has has taught me a fundamental rule of life – the overwhelming majority of humans are dumb, horny, egotistical, self-centered morons who are motivated primarily by sex, greed and petty personal ambitions. That’s not a good recipe for a bright future. That’s not what a species called Homo SAPIENS should be like. But that’s how the world is. One can never overestimate the sheer asshole-ness of the human race. It’s like counting to infinity – show me the biggest asshole you’ve ever seen and I can always find you a bigger one. This supervisor is merely one of the billions of his kind, the kind which quantifies people according to looks because going a bit deeper into the person’s abilities and talents is like work.

    As for society dumbing down, the fact is that it was never particularly intelligent in the first place. At least we don’t burn people at the stake these days if they don’t agree with our favorite nonsensical interpretation of the physical universe as described in our favority Holy Book. We now have laws against that sort of thing and that’s progress, make no mistake.

    I studied computer science at uni myself, and back then, “nerd” was almost like a compliment. Nerds don’t do that badly in popular culture, actually. Here’s a popular kid joke about them:

    Q. What do you call a nerd ten years from now?
    A. Boss

    I’m personally pretty happy with my nerdy, bespectacled, intellectual girlfriend. Labels? Who gives a flying bleep? Live your life, yeah!
    Screw society.

    • abohemiansrhapsody says :

      As usual, (extrapolating, of course from your previous one) LOVE your comments!

      I suppose you’re right, about society never having been particularly intelligent in the first place – even if you were to examine the IPC, they’re still using some laws from way back in the British Raj, which is ridiculous, we still don’t have a standard legal system, sharia still exists, I could go on and on.
      Oh, I’ve always found being a nerd the biggest compliment ever. It wasn’t easy during the early formative years of school though, when you’re 9 and studying how to program computers and everyone else is playing with dolls and rubbish.. meh. LOVE the joke, by the way!

      I personally have, and have had, zilch in the way of a romantic life, so I have NO idea what that feels like 😛

      Screw society, indeed 🙂

      • sudo apt-get says :

        Lol, I’m glad SOMEONE enjoys my ramblings. 😀 Nah, I like the way you write. Lots of fire and energy and dynamism there, which is good in a writer (or blogger).

        I’m hardly an expert on the Indian Penal Code (presumably, that’s the “IPC” you refer to), but I do know that India has quite a few pieces of legislation that are…um…medieval. It’s ridiculous, yeah. It’s completely screwed up too, yeah. I’m not exactly jumping for joy though, because the US has it’s own share of dumb/screwed up laws and I have to live with them. I have to put up with being fondled by the TSA folks because they think that might stop terrorists. I have to put up with breath tests because cops mistake my standard had-a-long-day-and-now-heading-home sleepiness for drunken driving. Then they let me off because I’m not drunk and am therefore not a hazard, regardless of how badly I drive when I’m sleepy. I have to put up with taxes because everyone loves Keynesian economics.

        I also have to put up with one of my best friends going on and on about “her nerd” who she met at DEF CON (which is kind of like Woodstock for all the free-spirited hippies of the software world). So, life is dumb, but yeah. And nerds do well in romance.

        It’s tough to be a nerd as a kid, of course, but it’s worth it in the end. Gotta love nerdish culture, heh.

      • abohemiansrhapsody says :

        haha, so three months from 21 is still a kid, eh? 😛

  2. Safiya says :

    Found my way here from IHM’s site. Love this post! 🙂

    If being seen as ugly is bad in our screwed up society, fitting someone else’s perverted definition of “pretty” is probably just as bad. Anyone who’s ever used Delhi buses on a regular basis can attest to this fact. During my student days, I’ve been brought to the point of tears more than once by the constant groping and jostling and animal-like behavior that the Indian police euphemistically calls “eve-teasing”.

    I so wish more men started looking at women as PEOPLE rather than potential bed-partners. Things are a lot better where I live right now (Norway), but the Nordic countries are really the exception rather than the norm even in the West. India, by comparison, is a sexist hell-hole and it’s going to take a long, long time for that to change. Maybe we should just don our burqas and cover ourselves in shapeless garments so that all those sexually-repressed animals at least look at our performance rather than our figure.

    I honestly feel no affection for my homeland and that in itself is sad. 😦

    • abohemiansrhapsody says :

      First off, Safiya, I’m glad to have a new reader, and also that you enjoyed the post 🙂

      Well I suppose being conventioanlly ‘pretty’ probably has its drawbacks, but about the men on the buses, I’d like to disagree. They more or less belong to the breed of men that will ogle and letch at anything that has breasts, or shows even the tiniest bit of skin – like you said, we might as well cover ourselves in baggy, shapeless rubbish just so these (insert profanity of choice here) don’t stare and creep around.

      Ah, ‘eve-teasing’. Tomorrow, I plan to take the bus and ‘accidentally’ kick a guy in the crotch..or accidentally strangle his testicles. Wonder if they’ll call that ‘adam-teasing’? Someone should try this.
      In our lovely India, and possibly everywhere else, people don’t look at women as part of the same human species with just a different set of reproductive organs, we’re treated like a whole new genus of being that needs to be ‘handled with care’ and given ‘less taxing’ (IN WHAT WAY??!) jobs :\

      I envy you, I wish I lived in Scandinavia, beautiful sights, weather, lovely people, and most importantly, equality.
      Honestly, India doesn’t need to be compared to anything to know that it’s a sexist hell-hole, you put it perfectly. Once I leave next year, I have absolutely no plans to return, I honestly do NOT like it here, one bit.
      I love the bit about having to cover up just so they won’t look, I’ve had the same problem while wearing even knee-length, or thigh length, baggy,men’s shorts and travelling in public transport. Honestly, there’s nothing really exciting about legs, all these creepy men have their own pair to look at- it’s just the fact that it’s a female, and there’s some form of bare skin on display -it doesn’t matter where it is. They’re THAT sexually repressed.
      I don’t know if I blame you for feeling no affection for your homeland. I still live here, and I don’t, either!
      Love your comments, keep them going, please 😀

  3. Bhairav Godse says :

    For me It would be very harsh commenting on one’s intelligence without knowing the person, but it is a fact that today society is losing the ability to think.
    In my opinion it would be due to the exposure an average individual faces due to technology,media,etc,etc.. This makes it really easy for their minds to be cultivated for gains. Also the image of society is being created.
    Although one has access to media and technology, these must be used to promote free thinking. Im not saying that people are free from the influences of media and the resultant prejudices but being aware always helps.
    And I could not agree more that discrimination exists at every level.. which by far is the most dangerous threat to moral thought.


    • abohemiansrhapsody says :

      Yup, Bhairav. It’s like they’re using prejudices that already exist, that we are attempting to eradicate, and spreading them further. It’s some form of lack of social responsibility, in my opinion. I do agree that being aware helps, but I’m not so sure how ‘aware’ people can be when these ads are shoved in their faces all day and hammered into their minds.

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