Friday, June 09, 2006

Eye of the Beholder?

The classic Twilight Zone Episode, "Eye of the Beholder", profiles a young woman, desperate to belong. Desperate to be included as just normal, in a society that views her face as non aesthetically pleasing. She has endured, at that point, several operations to remove what she sees as her facial deformities. She has been isolated accordingly in the society and yearns just to belong. Her most recent (and according to the doctor, her LAST) surgery, is the last ditch attempt to finally belong. Anyone who is a twilight zone fan, knows the outcome of this story. In short, the woman is drop dead gorgeous, and in fact, the people who are treating her, as well as everyone else in this futuristic society, look absolutely horrendous (according to us).

That leads me to the question. Does size matter? Oh, um, we're not talking about that, wrong subject and wrong blogger - I must be near my cycle. Now normally, I don't segway into these philosophicizing culturally sensitive topics - I generally leave that to the two experts designed to handle those types of requests. But sometimes, in the pipeline, the owners of K-PAT FM have to interrupt regularly scheduled programming and discuss the elephant in the room topics that others speak on so well.

Does.Beauty.Matter? To THEM? To US?

We take great pride in taking care of our bodies, our faces, and our minds. Yes, that is to be expected. Most people in this world try to do two things: Look good, and avoid looking bad - both personally and professionally. They are NOT one and the same. So, we take the appropriate measures to ensure that we, often times, look head and shoulders above the rest. This can include

- Waxing (Or Threading) Hair, Nails, Facials, Gym Memberships, Exfoliating, Toning, Keeping up with Trends, Carb Crunching, Fat Counting, Gloss Buying, Tanning (well, for our melanin - challenged readers), and a partridge in a pear tree. And any other cosmo-lucky mag, vibe vixen, inspired technique to get purty.

Brother's I have not left you out. In this metro-sexual driven culture where men's grooming styles are no shorter than any cast member of Queer Eye, you, too, are expected to aesthetically please on both the physical, and the financial front.

Before I go into my spiel, I want to say that there are always exceptions to the rule; however, exceptions prove the rule. With that said, aren't receptionists generally attractive? Are the people that work in marketing, or business to business sales physically appealing, if not in face, in dress, body style? Are the retail employees that work at Bloomingdales, Charlotte Russe, and a You-Name-It store on Rodeo Drive attractive? All the girls at hot dog on a stick have a great ass to waist ratio? Do all the men that work at Fed-X, UPS, have nice legs, abs, and bodies (Lawd, thank you, YES).

Are the employees that work in customer care, finance, quality assurance, and other non customer facing jobs more likely to be, (as society deems it) less physically pleasing those in the other categories mentioned above? That doesn't mean that you don't come across your residential foxes, but likka said - always exceptions to the rule.

Us included. Men and women are attracted initially by the physical possibilities. But are the physicalities subject to the interpretation of the interpreter, or not? Yes, I know we all have types, and I know that there are universal pretties and fineness, like MY MAN Isaiah Washington, Aishwarya Rai and the like. But, are we too, not only subject to beauty being in the eye of the beholder, but also perpetrators of such behavior?

We used to teach a class at the company that I work for called behavioral interviewing. In, it we used to provide them with the measuring criteria on how to rate someone on whether or not they were a suitable candidate for employment. Time after time, we received pushback on how they looked (piercings, tattoos, height and weight, etc), as opposed to their general qualifications.

"Now the question comes to mind...where is this place and when is it, what kind of world where ugliness is the norm and beauty the deviation from that norm? The answer is: it doesn't make any difference. Because the old saying happens to be true. Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder, in this year or a hundred years hence, on this planet or wherever there is human life, perhaps out among the stars. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. A lesson to be the Twilight Zone." - Rod Serling

So - IS beauty in the eye of the beholder? Subject to the interpretation of the interpreter? Of just a social construct designed to eradicate where true love lies - where life lies - at the soul.

I think everyone has done it, and everyone has been susceptible to it. So with that, K-PAT would like to open up the airwaves to the audience. Open Forum.

What other jobs do you think that "Attractive" people get, versus "Non Attractive". Have you perpetrated this on a regular basis? Have you used your manly/feminine wiles to get something you want because you knew it was admired? Do you think this is an active practice - from a hiring and personal perspective - Anything goes!


The Phoenix aka ThatGirlTam said...

Damn, you ask too many questions...I'll come back later when I FEEL like answering...

"N" Search of Ecstasy said...

LOL @ the Phoenix.

I know quite a few metros!

I think that people (both men and women) use their sex appeal ALL THE TIME to get things they want, from jobs to products/merchandise to services and everything else in between.

I wanna have Isaiah Washington’s babies. Yummy!

P said...

@ The Phoenix:

I don't know why this is so hard for you to answer, or feel like answering. I've seen you in action using your feminine wiles.

@ Superstar Nic:

Um, Your mac infused lipstick, coupled with your highlighted hair, and your ying yang twins sound like discounts to me on the horizon.

Unruly Brown said...

LOL @ does size matter!! hahahaha

As for the other question--are there jobs I get by using the looks...well, yeah. It's not that I step out there intending to use my looks to make contacts to get contracts, but I guess my appearance captures some people's attention, then they are introduced to the intellect (and the southern charm...hehehe) and if that's appealing to them as well, then it is what it is. I very rarely walk up and introduce myself to people I don't know. I generally don't have to. They come to me. Case in point: Last month I sat alone in the middle of a looooong couch in a bar at the Anatole Hotel looking as plain as possible. Had my hair pulled back in a bun, wore no makeup but eyeliner and lip gloss, and avoided making eye contact with anyone, yet people (male and female) STILL gravitated toward me and introduced themselves. By the time I left an hour and a half later I had to have met at least a dozen people without even trying.

But that aside, what I hate is when brothers try to play the role like they need me to consult on some type of project and then the first thing they do is take advantage of any opportunity to try to come on to me. Or they'll get my number for so-called business purposes, then call me all the time just to chat, ask me how was my day and blahsay blahsay. Had three do that last month that I met at the Black Enterprise thing. I'm not trying to sit up on the phone with any of them unless it's about business, and even then we best get to the point and clear the line. Damn, I hate that.

P said...

@ Storm

I doubt that you were sitting up there with the plain bun, with the lip gloss applied ever so slightly, and a little eyeliner.

Don't you know that this is the classic teacher-whore studious look that people love (men), and the non-threatening "she's cute" look that women gravitate, too.

Puhleeze. You.Ain't Fooling.No-body - Tawlking bout "I was LQQKIN plain. . .

Whateva. :P

chele said...

Have I used my feminine wiles? Hell yeah. We have to use what we have. However, I am well aware that my "attractive" face may get me in the door of some places but if I don't know sh*t I won't be able to stay long? Feel me? I had a job once where I had to keep reminding MFs that I wasn't just a pretty face ... it seems that everytime I accomplished a task on time or ahead of schedule they would act all surprised: "Wow ... you finished that already?" I would always shoot back with, "Uh yeah ... I'm not an idiot!"

In some cases, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some people are classically beautiful (insert name of classically beautiful person here) but others like Isaiah Washington and Denzel, you really have to look to see their beauty ... and I see it.

The Cocoa Lounge said...

Sometimes a man or woman isn't even 'trying' to use their attractiveness to get them anywhere--people just respond to it.

It's good and bad because you're naturally drawn to things that are attractive to you, furniture, cars, houses...people. But attractiveness can have the opposite affect when you're being interviewed by someone who feels threatened by you and doesn't want a PYT in THEIR office, lol.

The Phoenix aka ThatGirlTam said...

Now since I gotta be called the damn "elephant in the room" (hehehe because today's post on my page WAS elephant-like) - I noticed how you haven't mentioned using YOUR ASSETS to get shit...I know I always tease you bout it, but I know you (and all the other sistas with tig-o-bitties {A'hem @ Nic}) wear those low cut tops and shake ya tiddies in people's face to get ya way...don't front!!

SO WHAT if I'm charming! HAHAHAHA!! I haven't ALWAYS been - this is something new for me. I noticed it was easier to get my way with being pleasant than NOT. Not to mention that I haven't always been a GIRLY GIRL...I went thru a tomboy phase and went YEARS actin all hard (and dressing the role). I softened up my look several times over the years to conform more to what society expected from me...who knew the shit would really work???

Unruly Brown said...

I damn sure was. But you're joking, right?

Well, damn. Tell ME sumn! No wonder they kept coming over there sitting by me!! I was trying to figure out wtf!

Organized Noise said...

As much as I wish it weren't true, looks make a big difference in this society. Anywhere from Human Resources all the way down to common courtesy. As any guy you know. If he was sitting on a crowded train, and an attractive woman got on, would he give up his seat? Then ask him if he would do the same thing for a woman he did not find attractive. Unless that unattractive woman was pregnant, I'm pretty sure she'd still be standing.

P said...

@ Chele:

I understand your position - BUT I also understand that ao lot of good looking women do.not.use.their.smarts. They just don't. They get themselves in a position where they marry (or co-habitate) well and do whatever the fizzuck they want to do for the rest of their lives.

Just a fact. Now, there are always exceptions to the rule, and I'm just glad that I can call y'all (and the WCBHotties) sexy ass bitches.

But men use their money to get women.

Women use their looks to get money.

It's an actual, factual.

What are my feminine wiles called when I am in action. Well, it's called "The Show". That's what my friends have named it.


I don't use it around the Phoenix and any of the WCBH. I usually take a hiatus and enjoy the show.

Um. Can we get back to the lecture at hand.

Do looks and sex appeal COUNT?!?

The Phoenix aka ThatGirlTam said...

See...she tells yall about the show, but she won't TELL US ABOUT THE SHOW...heffa...wanna know all our damn business but won't share - secretive ass heffa!! You ain't right!!!

She got a "SHOW", but tells me that I'm cuttin up all the time! Even got the nerve to make Middle Little say "You cuttin up" - shut up P...

Miss Ahmad said...

well i think looks and sex appeal a matter of fact I think they count double!

I worked with a guy years ago, who called himself keeping it real! White guy, pretty handsome, but he was going for that Seattle Grunge look, which read "Dirty White Boy" to the average passer by, not Power Agent.

Our boss told him something I'll never ever forget, he said "if you want to look like you make five dollars an hour, I can pay you five dollars an hour...the choice is yours!"

P said...


But Looks and sex appeal according to whom?

You know I'm playing devil's advocate, right?


Paula D. said...

I agree with organized noise. Looks do matter in our society. I'm in HR & hire people every day. I honestly base my decsion on skills b/c I am talking to engineers & scientists most of the time, but I do find that the more attratctive they are the 'more' I like them.

NegroPino™ said...

i THINK they do work....cuz i aint never seen an UNATTRACTIVE bar tender in a nice club..maybe some hole in the wall spot...but I know the better u look, the more tips u make.....But he saying is true, use what u got, to get what u want?

T. Cas said...

you made a good point about the type of jobs that so called unattractive people get. I do interviews for call center positions and I can say that it doesnt really matter what they look like as long as they look halfway presentable in the interview. But some of these candidates, I wouldnt hire if they had to have face to face interaction.

P said...

Y'all wrong.

What happened to beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Where is the measuring stick.

Ooh, why y'all talking bout unattractive folks - according to WHOM?

Y'all wrong. :P

Supa said...

Wait. ISAIAH is MY mf'n man. Thought we straightened that out last week??


I'll be back when I gather my thoughts on this one...

For now - shout out to all Twilight Zone fans!!!

Msnhim said...

Unfortunately looks are a big deal and I am guilty of using my feminine wiles. What can I say? It doesn’t hurt to be attractive and if it can get your foot in the door I say go for it as long as you’re able to back your shit up. Sadly who doesn’t want to look at someone attractive be it at work or home but to answer your question I would say beauty IS in the eyes of the beholder cause I know some people who are down right scary and others find them cute {shrug}

By they way that is my favorite episode.

Miss Ahmad said...

it seems to me that in the work force the eye of the beholder is he or she who beholds the most power!

i mean it's good to be the king/queen isn't it?

I know that I hire the most attractive people I can find who can do the job the best, it goes hand in hand. If I have to look at somebody all damn day, I would prefer that they were nice to look at .

People can't change their genes but they can work what they have! said...

I will have to think about these questions. I know apperance does matter and your first impression is the most important.

P said...

Miss Ahmad:

You hire the most attractive people. Is that what you're doing, returning the favor, cuz somebody hired your fine ass?

You guys are all a Hot Ass Mess.

Um. Would you hire me with all my gold teefus and all?

Jaimie said...

Good topic, P.

I work in a school setting, so there are all types of people there. Looks don't seem to matter so much, but I have noticed a trend in Inglewood to hire young, white female teachers. Hmm...

I rarely looked at myself in the mirror until I was in 9th grade and started hearing, "You're pretty." Funny, but I never thought so. Even now. One time I said I was average, and the guy laughed at me. "You're anything but average," he said. So in his beholding, I was beautiful; in mine, I am not.

Do you hear on the radio stations all of the ads for plastic surgery? "2995 breast augmentations!" They act as if they are selling a car. I don't believe I would ever alter my physical appearance (I'm scared to be put under anyway), and I think its a little odd that we are constantly pushed to change who we are.

My parents are pretty normal looking people (although I must admit my mother was really cute when she was a young hottie: loved the black, up- to-your-knee-boots ma!), and I must thank them for allowing me to be a decent mixture of the both of them.

Beauty is both within the eye of the beholder, and based on society.

The Sarccastik Variable Why said... sports bar where fine waitresses are...good post

The Phoenix aka ThatGirlTam said...

Ok heffa,you STILL AIN'T talked about "the show" - nor have you discussed how you use your TIG-O-BITTIES to get shit from the managers at the Lakewood Cingular store...I'm puttin you on BLAST for not responding to my demands DAMMIT!!!

P said...


I don't believe I got put on blast by the Phoenix.


The fifth amendment protects my rights to self-incrimination.


I haven't done anything wrong.

The Phoenix aka ThatGirlTam said... just lucky I can't figure out a way to type that sound I always make...YOU know the one! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

P said...



The Phoenix aka ThatGirlTam said... come your IMz ain't on heffa?

African girl, American world said...

go see my girl Nikki @ or check my blogroll for infinite ink - she's got some sick men folk lists!!!

jen said...

Well, I have sat in on interviews before and yes, appearance definitely has influence on whether you're gonna get hired or not. Beyond the clean vs. dirty thing, if you're a man with long hair, I think it looks unprofessional. If you're a woman with your big old saggy titties hanging out, it's unprofessional. BAM - you are not getting hired if I don't think you look good.
Now, you don't have to be good looking, you just have to be clean and professional in appearance.
But, good looking would help.
I know for a fact that I got my last job and this job because of the way I look. But, I was able to back it up with brains too.
If a girl who is reasonably cute comes through, is funny, and smart, why wouldn't you hire her over the less attractive one?
So, I have used my looks, and you bet your ass I'll use them again!!
And reading your list of treatments make me kind of disgusted at all the shit I do to myself!!!

P said...

@ Jen:

If a girl who is reasonably cute comes through, is funny, and smart, why wouldn't you hire her over the less attractive one?

DANG!! You a cold piece?!?!

P said...

My niece just used her feminine wiles with this man to get some extra tickets to her little brother's eight grade graduation.