Susan Sawyers, former Director/Curator of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation and current Huffington Post contributor, reviews last month’s “Why Smart Women Still Care About Their Looks” talk with Dr. Gail Saltz, Alex Kuczynski, Caroline Weber, Jami Bernard and Toni Bentley:
Read the whole piece and make sure to catch cosmetics CEO Bobbi Brown’s talk on “Redefining Beauty” in March.
Dr. Saltz kicked off the discussion by informing us that studies show that beautiful people move ahead (presumably in their careers) faster and that attractive individuals who keep a picture in their wallet are more likely than unattractive people to have their wallets returned when lost. Funny Jami suggested everyone put someone else’s picture, an attractive someone else, in their wallet, thereby ensuring they’d have their wallet returned if lost. And as for preferential treatment, I recently overheard a man who admitted that he only hires “pretty” babysitters because he believes that his children will be treated favorably when/if they are out with the good-looking care-giver. In the babysitter case, the good looker got the job over the not good-looking one and he or she gets better service. Never mind a parent having someone attractive to ogle over.
And whether, as the panel subsequently discussed, looks matter for biological reasons in order to attract a mate and procreate (Jami and Toni), or historically as evidenced via Marie Antoinette’s “unqueenly” glamorous attire which had an impact on France as a nation (Caroline), or driven, (Alex), by the plastic surgery industry where, for a fee, our skin’s surface and body’s shape can be tweaked and made to resemble the look of the day, there was consensus. The media, the fashion and the beauty industries fuel our hunger to look and therefore, “feel” good.