It is a well-known fact and one of the most difficult thing to understand for a traditional Indian that, looks do matter! Actually, they know that but they don’t agree. I am no different.
In fact, it is everything. Be it a mobile, a car or a TV or a dish served in a restaurant or a nice handwriting. We all try to look our best and whatever we do must look good. We have a different convenient word for it. Neat and clean.
Studies have proved that taller people make more money than shorter people, in general.(There are exceptions of course, in every comparison). It is called ‘Height Premium’ it seems. Then there is the other type, Good looking people. They stand a better chance than a normal looking people with same or slightly higher qualifications at a workplace.
Heads turn when good looking people enter a room where there are many gathered. Many doors open for a good looking tall person. (What they do next with that is a different topic). But what we call that initial push, good looking people stand a better chance than others.
Yes, one can argue about the inner beauty, depth and breadth of the heart and medulla oblongata. But they all come much later. Where is time to explore all that while opening the door for a stranger or in the first meeting?
If looks don’t matter, then what is this thing they teach about the importance of the first impression?
At times, we argue unnecessarily on matters of looks and after the argument, some apply lipstick and go to work, some go and do a facial or some buy a fairness cream. It is also funny to see when someone who has dyed their hair arguing, saying that looks don’t matter.
India is one place where they sell so much of ‘Black’ or ‘Dark brown’ colour hair dye and fairness creams. There is so much pressure put on people to look young beautiful. But we still argue looks don’t matter.
I remember when I was in my mid 30’s my parents telling me to dye my hair or else I look like an old man. My Dad used to dye his hair till he was 70 years old. My mom still dyes her hair. She is a grandmother in her 60’s!
And me? I am following the family tradition. I dye my hair. I really don’t know why I am doing it. Even after dying my hair, every kid calls me ‘Uncle’. And all others call me ‘Sir’ because I am a teacher. I really don’t know who I am trying to impress with this black hair. The whole world knows I am the father of two girls. My elder daughter would start dating soon. Am I trying to impress her boyfriend or her prospective in-laws? I don’t know!
I always set goals. I promised myself that I would stop dying my hair when I turn 40. It did not happen. I tried. But my daughter and wife did not approve. (What a nice excuse for not stopping :)).
Cool. Now I am 42 and I have set a new goal. I will stop applying dye at 48.
Well, the truth is, even if I don’t stop, there won’t be much hair left to colour anyway. Already getting bald. Started from both sides and in the middle, it is too thin.
Again I ask myself why I dye my hair? After reading this one interesting study, I have started to dye very regularly. It says ‘ Women are lot more likely to put up with the behavior in a man if is he is attractive’. Woman’s view of a man is influenced by how handsome and law-abiding he is. Women are willing to forgive handsome man readily!!!
Now here I am, neither handsome nor law-abiding and my wife already told me many times that she is not going to give me the divorce. I am a teacher and self-employed. I don’t have to look young. I don’t have to attend any interviews or impress the customers. Still I am trying my best to look good.
Long time back, someone told me I how hollow I am when I was talking about good looks. She gave me a class about how important it is to be a good person and looks don’t matter. Lately, she told me she is trying hard to reduce weight and look good.
I told one other friend of mine that her daughter, who is same age of my daughter is looking good in the photos she had posted on facebook. Immediately she asked me “What about her mother?”. Now, what can I say? Same thing …. “Oh, you are evergreen. Your daughter never got your good looks” etc.
Again, I go and dye my hair, once in every two-week. Not only that, after seeing some young guys in magazines and after reading that woman don’t like very hairy men, I trimmed all the hair on my chest too, last week.
Who am I exactly trying to impress? I don’t know. And when everyone is sleeping, I go to the gym thinking I will also have a flat stomach one day. When no one is watching, I read all kinds of magazines to learn about latest trends!
Still, I also argue and preach that looks don’t matter. Otherwise, they will think I am hollow! (Or, at least, they won’t know I am jealous…….)