Judging People by Their Appearances. The Physical Appearance Essay Example

  • Category: Society, Sociology,
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 934
  • Published: 14 April 2021
  • Copied: 156


In unit two, my classmates and I discussed interesting questions. The questions were “How does our society encourage us to judge others through looking at surfaces and appearance?” and, “How does looking beyond appearance lead to self-awareness?” The answer to these questions was that our society can encourage us to judge others through looking at surfaces and appearance by a lot of factors. Social media, friends, race, faith, and community are some of the influences that cause people to judge others by gazing at surfaces. These external and cultural influences can be superficial and looking past all these appearances can help lead to self-awareness; by not caring about individuals from only the outer perspective, people can learn to appreciate each other and not treat each other poorly.

By reading essays like those of Brent Staples and Jean Kilbourne, we can realize that judging others through looking at surfaces and appearance may be by many factors like religion, race, and skin color. A long time ago, as we went through our lives, these thoughts moved on with us as well. Our society put negative thoughts into people's minds about looking at people from the outside. Right now, everything is different. People don’t value each other, and they don’t care about each other’s feelings. Judging others through looking at surfaces and appearances used to be the noble thing to do, but right now people should think in different ways about each other. People should evolve and not look at meaningless things, such as judging people from their outward appearance. In both Staples’ and Kilbourne’s essays, we discovered new things about judging others through looking at surfaces and appearance. Every one of the essays we read have different stories and meanings and all these stories lead us to think about how our society encourages us to judge others through looking at surfaces and appearances.

Readers of Brent Staples’s essay “Black Men and Public Space '' can realize that people judge others through looking at surfaces and appearance like skin color. Brent Staples mentions that our society encourages us to judge others through looking surfaces by factors like social media, people around them, or the ideas they got from a long time ago about black men. He understands that women are facing more dangers in the streets, and this danger sometimes comes from young black men, so that’s why they think all black men are bad. All these people who are judging others by just the outside look should start to think positively about people of color and to not look at just the outside. In that way, people will look beyond appearance and that will lead to self- awareness. One passage that can support my claim is, "I understand, of course, that the danger they perceive is not a hallucination. Women are particularly vulnerable to street violence, and young black males are drastically overrepresented among the perpetrators of that violence. Yet these truths are no solace against the kind of alienation that comes from being ever the suspect, a fearsome entity with whom pedestrians avoid making eye contact" (Staples 180). Brent Staples understood that some of the young black men were doing bad things to women, but he also wants people to know that not all black people are bad. Brent Staples wants people to stop judging others through looking at surfaces and appearance. 

Similarly, readers of Jean Kilbourne’s essay, “’Two Ways a Woman Can Get Hurt’: Advertising and Violence,” can realize that our society encourages us to judge others through looking at the surface because advertising affects men and women in different ways. For example, it affected women to be attracted to men, and it encouraged boys to be these men. One passage that supports my claim is, "Advertising often encourages women to be attracted to hostile and indifferent men while encouraging boys to become these men." (Kilbourne 4). These ads also are the reason for all the sexual cases to lead women and men to drink alcohol and do bad things. One passage that supports my claim is, "These ads are particularly troublesome, given that between one-third and three-quarters of all cases of sexual assault involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator, the victim, or both" (Kilbourne 7). These ads are not the only reason that affects women and men, but it helps to contribute to these cases because the author wrote that, "Many boys grow up feeling that they are unmanly if they are not always 'ready for action,' capable of and interested in sex with any available woman. Advertising doesn't cause this attitude, of course, but it contributes to it" (Kilbourne 22). Jean Kilbourne mentions that the advertising was contributing boys to not be satisfied with themselves, and to think that they’re not ready to take actions and be responsible about themselves like grown men. 

In conclusion, our society can lead us to judge others through looking at surfaces and appearances by a lot of factors like social media, friends, race, religion, and culture. Our society taught us to look at each other and treat each other differently based just on how we look from outside. Where we are from, what religion we are following, and what our culture is all affect the way someone is viewed. We shouldn’t think like that about each other because that hurts people's feelings and makes them depressed and sad. We should look beyond appearance to lead us to self-awareness because looking beyond all these appearances will help us to love each other no matter how we look, treat each other nicely, and make each other feel like we’re equal. I think we should start solving the minor problem between each other first, and then start solving the major problems such as religion, race, color of the skin, and history. This would be the best thing we can do to settle any misunderstandings with each other. Learning to love each other is the best way for all of us to help each other to look beyond appearance and lead each other to become more self-aware.