Tag Archives: sociology

The Halo Effect

19 Oct

The idea in psychology/sociology that attractive people are seen as angelic and are therefore stereotyped with having angelic qualities and treated with positive enforcement of these “qualities.”

Studies have shown that attractive people achieve more in life, are generally happier, and have more self-confidence.

Quick Personal Story

About 2 years ago, I was dating this really good looking, smart guy and I really liked him.  And I let him treat me… not so nice.  On July 4th, after not returning multiple phone calls, I was out with my friends downtown, when we ran into each other.  Essentially he broke up with me on a pole outside of Dillon’s (a bar).  With glitter on his face.  Probably from making out with some girl.  His response:  “I was going to break up with you on Monday.”  Devastation.

Fast Forward 9 months.    I run into this boy again.  This time I have just had my lips done.  He kindly bought me drinks all night, and at the end of the night I said thank you, and good bye.

Did he feel bad?  Was it because I was hot?  Who knows, and who cares.  The fact of the matter was, I felt hot.  And confident.  AND best of all, I felt retribution for the way I was treated by this boy less than a year prior.

The Attractiveness Co-Effecient

Did I treat him better because he was good looking?  Probably.  Did he treat me better when I was better looking?  Definitely.  Was there some self-fulfilling prophecy factor involved?  Probably.  But like I said, I feel justified and that’s what counts.  We’re on a semi-friendship level to this day.

Beauty is not always advantageous though.  I have many experience where I’ve been perceived as mean, stupid, materialistic (ok this one is kind of true), and vain.  I have had people question my expertise and my skills in both medicine and business.  It is a difficult experience for me, as I have always excelled academically and am constantly reading and researching topics that inspire me.  I can only take these experience and use them to make me better as a person, and in my field of work.

The Hairdresser Effect

If the Halo Effect is the idea that good looking people are treated differently day to day, I would like to introduce my theory of the Hairdresser Effect.  When you look good, you feel good, and you reflect this confidence to others.  Every woman’s favorite place is the beauty salon.  FACT.  Why?  Because when you leave, you are at the height of feeling attractrive.  My hairdresser is the first person I go to when I’m sad (I would like to credit Lauren Cence, of Sylvestre Franc–thank you for making me the best blonde I can be! … and for all the free therapy sessions).  I aspire to have this effect on people, to bring physical beauty to aide a person to have the confidence to be themselves.  And be HAPPY with who they are.

Bottom Line

The bottom line here, beauty matters.  It effects how we feel about ourselves and how other treat us.  Whether it is self-fulfilling, whether it’s this Halo Effect, whether it’s right or wrong.  It doesn’t matter.  What matters is how YOU feel about yourself.  Striving for physical attractiveness is not a vain endeavor, but an expression of confidence and reflection of inner beauty.  Being attractive will lead you into a happier more successful life.

Beauty Defined

28 Sep

What makes a person beautiful?

It is a combination of inner beauty (psychological factors) and outer beauty (physical attractiveness).  Beauty is defined with individual, cultural and universal standards which every single person desires to achieve.

Universally Beautiful

Throughout time and across cultures, there are several characteristics of physical attractiveness.  Boston or not, beauty is:

Boston Culture

Although we are ranked as one of the countries most intelligent cities, we don’t fare so well in the areas of physical attractiveness (or friendliness for that matter!).  It’s 2011 Boston!  You can be both smart AND beautiful.

Individual Ideals

We look in the mirror over 30 times a day focusing on “flaws” that do not fit our individual standard of beauty.  It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks – not your best friend, not your husband, not your mother – if something bothers you, it is significant.  Our conservative culture makes it difficult to attain our individual goals in beauty.  We have questions, but don’t know where to seek answers.  So, we rely on our best feature – our intelligence – and go on the internet, or read magazines.

The Beauty Industry

We spend half our paychecks trying to look good, we invest so much hope and money in the “next best thing” to fix our appearance, and continuously feel let down.  Companies and products capitalizing off a basic human need is a 14.5 billion dollar industry, and as a nurse, reminds me of our healthcare system!  The best of contemporary science and medicine offers the ability for us to achieve outer beauty.  As a provider of both healthcare and aesthetics, and as a woman who idolizes Barbie (not just because she’s blonde) it is my individual goal to help educate about aesthetics in a way our culture Boston culture understands – through science! 

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