Oh! You Pretty Things
Thanks to THIS sexy man for the title:
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!