Pretty Privilege

Sienna Villalobos, Staff Reporter

It is in our nature to judge, however, it is in our control on whether or not we act on our pre-notions. It has grown more prominent in the modern day world to present more opportunities to those who best fit the beauty standards created. Of course, pretty privilege has always been alive, however now it has grown up into a sick mindset that infects much of our day-to-day lives.

By definition, pretty privilege is “the principle that people who are deemed more attractive—based on accepted societal beauty standards—have an upper hand in the world and are afforded many opportunities.” Opportunities that many of us are not offered.

What does this do to our mindset? Our perception of our worth has been altered and adulterated based on this cruel marketing tactic. In reality, as many people already know, what we see isn’t always true, however our perception of ourselves has already changed due to being exposed to the standards at such an early age. With the mindset, we seek out change in our features, and change things that were never wrong to begin with.

In general, the entire concept of pretty privilege has invaded everyone’s lives. People have begun to only focus on looks. Some believe that this is the most important thing in the world, and either envy the looks of others and spiral into a downfall or flaunt their looks and use it to their advantage. Either way, both of these mindsets are toxic (and extreme), and there are, of course, spectrums to these two ways of thinking.

Is pretty privilege bad? Many would say yes. It pollutes our way of thinking, and instead of judging the characteristics of a person, we go based off of the way someone looks. This, in and of itself, is inherently bad. However, pretty privilege also included hygiene, and that aspect of it is something more reasonable. It is important to know if someone takes care of themselves, as that can reveal a characteristic about themselves, but this is probably the only thing someone should care for in this instance.

So, pretty privilege is bad, as most of us can agree. We learn to not appreciate life for what has been given, and rather focus on what we have made. And what we have made typically destroys. Destroys lives as many find themselves unworthy of anything, robs those who need support, and obliterates the chances of perhaps a healthier life.

Chyrstal Tapia, a tenth grader, explains, “Pretty privilege has never affected me, but it hasn’t done anything for me either. I’m average looking based off the standard, but I know that for others it does a lot of harm. In this world, we’ve created a hierarchy.” And in this hierarchy, trying to find where you fit is based on others’ perception of you. Many people have made it so you yourself are not whole without the validation or presence of others, but this is not true. It is you as yourself, your own living being with unique idiosyncrasies, that makes you whole. And in order to wipe out the standard we have made for ourselves and ignite a healthier, happier living, we must promote what is true: work ethic and personality is the base of all success, not looks. And yes, someone can make a great model, but if looks aren’t relative to the job or career, why should looks apply at all? 

Many people have realized the schemes, and many hope and proactively attempt to take down the standard. However, this is difficult when many celebrities we look up to are not open about their surgeries. There lies responsibility on those with more influence to be open about their experiences as this will be one of the most relevant catalysts for change.

It is up to us to determine the future, as redundant as that sounds. We cannot control nature itself, but we can control our actions. If we can speak proudly about ourselves and learn to control our actions, the change in our world will be a sprout of propitiousness.