This weekend I stayed at my mother’s house in New York for Greek Easter and I was unlucky enough to take a walk down memory lane.
When I was a teenager I had a horrible case of acne. This reality was made even more unbearable by the fact that I had two beautiful sisters with perfect skin.
I was reminded of this episode of my life when my sister Mary found her yearbook Saturday and we all went through it; my sister, me, and our two daughters. She came to the page with her head shot and there was this gorgeous teenager. She told my daughter and her daughter about all the guys that had crushes on her and the girls that hated her, and I sat there nodding.
You see, my youth was very different from hers, and there was no high school year book for me at my mom’s house because I threw it out, or maybe burned it many years ago.
I hated the way I looked and it will always be a raw piece of my history.
I thought about this last week, when Susan Boyle, the British singing show phenomenon was making the rounds on the nation’s talk shows.
You know, the only reason she’s become so famous is because people think she’s ugly. Come on, we all know that. How could such a homely woman sing so beautifully? We were all shocked.
This mentality also finds its way into the workplace, unfortunately.
What do you think happens to the Susan Boyles of the world when they apply for a gig?
An ugly person can’t file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission if they’re told they didn’t get a job because they’re not attractive enough.
Looks are everything, especially now. I write today about the importance of your appearance in this tough economy on MSNBC.com.
I know, it’s disheartening to hear that you won’t be judged solely on experience and background but also by the way you look.
Unfortunately, that’s just part of human nature, and the tough economy is only making image more important, said David Sarwer, associate professor of psychology for the Center for Human Appearance at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
“For hiring managers, it’s clearly a buyer’s market,” he said. “They can be more selective … not only hold out for the most qualified but the person who’s the most physically attractive.”
It’s a harsh reality.
Yeah, yeah, I know all the bull about how beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But sorry folks, I lived through some of the harshest behavior as a young girl because of the way I looked. So I’m not naive enough to think the world has suddenly changed.
Coincidentally, Miss USA was crowned over the weekend.
“It feels really natural,” said Miss North Carolina USA Kristen Dalton, who was crowned Miss USA 2009, beating out 50 other beauty queens.
Nature can be cruel. But people can be even crueler.
I’m just saying.