I want you to more observant and aware next time you are clicking a selfie; how you position your face in a perfect angle to make it look long and pointed instead of flat or round, smartly avoiding double chins and trying to reveal that masculine jawline, and not to forget the filters you apply to improve texture and skin tone.
The point I’m trying to stress upon here is – This is how we are judgmental of our own looks and features, subconsciously we are constantly judging and making the perceptions of our own self-image; constantly rating us Good-Ok-Bad every time we see our reflection in the mirror. Probably that is the reason your brain feeds you with sub conscious decisions to adjust your face at a particular angle to the selfie camera or a specific side of your face.
Do not believe me? Just go to Facebook, Instagram or whatever social media platform and observe how you have been positioning your face for in old selfies, or how your friends do it, you’ll understand what I mean and you’ll see repetitive patterns in their behavior. The origin of this pattern or behavior has deep roots in our subconscious to judge people including ourselves based on looks, followed by perceptions and finally concluding by categorizing attractive or not attractive.
We are designed to Judge,
with an ability of conscious choice to not Judge
Personally, I think there is nothing wrong in judging someone on looks and their appearance, in fact, this judgment, perception and decision making has helped us to live through the rough years of evolution as a species. Specifics we find physically attractive is hard coded in our brains as a part of evolving for millions of years so that we can choose a healthy partner and reproduce healthy offsprings with better genetical structures to pass to the future generations and spiking the chances to survive as a species.
I know I’m attracting hatred by writing this piece, but I have been giving a lot of thought to this and now I have a strong belief we are biologically designed to judge humans and other species and make a perception about them, either for reproduction or mere survival. Luckily we are also equipped with a superior logical ability to think, re-think and come to a conclusion that may deviate from our biological guidance system, which is good and fair enough! and that’s what makes Homo-sapiens different.
In spite of being conditioned at a social and inter-personal level, with hatred upon judging someone’s physical appearance, there are high chances you’ll be attracted to a person with sharp facial features or proportionate body measurements, primarily because – this is how we are designed and studies prove that subconsciously we tend to choose healthy genetics hidden behind attractive features. Just to clear, attractive neither mean chiseled abdominal muscles, huge biceps; nor it means to disgrace anyone on basis of skin color, nationality, and race. All I mean is a healthy individual who maintains his/her personal hygiene and the definition changes from person to person.
Fat/huge may be a norm for polar bears so that they can survive harsh weather conditions with accumulated fat during the hibernation and they may be a better prospect to mate for survival compared to a weak and skinny bear who has high chances to not survive the winters; but we are not polar bears and accumulating lot of body fat, looking lazy or overstressed is not a sign of healthy habits, and good genetics to be passed to future generations, which makes not so good prospect for reproduction, may be that is why our brain sub consciously process more than dozen (or hundreds) of such parameters to judge a person as attractive or less attractive.
In males, Strong Jawline is a sign of masculinity and higher testosterone levels, while in contrast to this female sex hormone estrogen prevents the growth of facial bone, which male find attractive. Scientists believe that finding someone attractive is more than just facial clues – large eyes, small nose, large lips and so on – to check that their prospective mate has high “fitness” and can efficiently pass their genes to the next generation. A study, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences is the first to demonstrate that facial appearance is linked to their well-being because of hormonal impacts on a person’s reproductive health and fertility. While biologically designed Judgment and guidance on basis of physical appearances has not only kept us safe from scary looking animals with hostile body language and sharp teeth, but it has also helped us survive as a species by passing a better genetics to the future generation, while many other species who co-lived on this planet during years of evolution are extinct now.
Apart from biology, we are bombarded with information and clues every day in form of perfect looking Instagram models, bodybuilders, costly clothes, accessories and shiny cars from advertisements to social media, which have also adulterated how we choose a partner in this century. The brain is conditioned and sadly expectations are huge and far away from just passing healthy genes; in fact, just another strategy by fitness industry and corporations to propagate consumerism which is successful to make us believe that low body fat, muscular physique and leading a lavish lifestyle is attractive, causing our obvious inclination towards consuming fitness, beauty and food products.
We were never designed to be like this, but we are constantly conditioned subconsciously to become one, who knows if this is also part of our evolution or extinction. By the way, the idea of consumerism is not new, in fact after the industrial revolution which brought assembly lines, factories and surplus supplies of food, finished products, and a very limited consumption. So we were strategically conditioned to believe in things like we need 3 proper meals a day to lead a healthy life to increase consumption, whereas the truth is humans have not evolved to eat 3 times a day or have 16 inches of arm muscle and we can survive easily on a single meal a day. Don’t believe me do a fact check, you’ll understand.
Personally, I will not feel good about myself if a girl thinks I’m not fair or muscular enough or do not possess any other feature which she finds attractive, even though it seems unfair and wrong up to some extent, but I can’t blame her 🙂 because this is how we are designed, right? finding better genetics to pass to our future generation at a subconscious level. Similarly, I may find a girl beautiful over another, and technically I may look judgemental about her looks and it may not look good from a perspective of a third person; But, the question is who is not? at a conscious or unconscious level, every human makes those choices and we are evolved at various physical, verbal and psychological fronts adding more parameters and criteria’s as a box to tick when making those choices, like – smartness, confidence, speech, or intelligence etc.
Conclusion: No matter how much we are conditioned not to judge the book by its cover, we will end up judging and making perceptions, but that doesn’t mean you body shame people and make them feel any lesser of them. Instead, you should be more supportive and sensitive to people who don’t feel good about themselves, because I have not met a single person till date who doesn’t want to look great, and honestly they were not given a choice to look in a certain way when they were born and since we can’t evade judging them, so all we can be is bit more sensitive because the spectrum of good and bad is immense, and it would be small of you to think you fall more towards the good side.
Thanks for reading my random mumblings, signing off…