Why Looks are important

The Distortion of Beauty

Ive been doing research on the concept of beauty & attractiveness and how differently it is defined around the world. In his book “Rethinking the Color Line”, Chuck Gallagher defined beauty by those physical characteristics that are deemed more essential to survival in the environment the individual was born. I prefer this definition because it seems to be one of the more natural and realistic definitions for why a culture would perceive a certain set of physical traits as attractive or Beautiful. Under this definition if a child were born in an environment with a warm climate and high exposure to the sun, the more favorable features in the culture would be darker skin and thicker hair. This skin being more abundant in melanin and hair coarse to assist in absorbing the sun and its nutrients while protecting the infant from the harsh rays of the sun.

Now, fast forward to me finding out that 77% of South Africa’s popular Men’s health and fashion magazines have white male models on the cover. This seemed peculiar to me because the population of south Africa is 80% black and with only 10% or the population being white. How is this possible?

I was confused because in America we are often told “oh the reason we show more whites on TV, magazines and in movies is because they represent the majority of the population and its a more realistic representation”. I’m paraphrasing of course but as you can see (probably without the numerical data) black Africans out number white Africans by a landslide in south Africa.

Then I started to think because this couldn’t have been the first time this happened. And it wasn’t!! I started counting in my mind the numerous times I’ve seen this portrayed in America. For example, mostly all big blockbuster Egyptian movies features all white casts. There are TV shows with black women and men openly preferring relationships with people of different ethnicity over their own. Have you noticed how some aspects of black culture are viewed as ghetto and unprofessional but are constantly being exploited by capitalist under new names I.e urban? Let’s not forget the shaming of woman of color and their curves, banning of natural hairstyles, etc.

Why do looks matter?

Whether you notice or not the perception of beauty holds a lot of power in regards to decision making. There have been several studies conducted that attempt to predict the type of jobs, amount of money, social relationships, and legal troubles that a person is likely to encounter based on ones perceived level of attractiveness.

A study done by Daniel Hammerish in his book “beauty pays” found that men who are perceived to be handsome are poised to make 13% more than their less attractive counterparts. This study also states that people who are perceived as attractive are more likely to be hired during a recession than those viewed as less attractive.

A study done at Cornell University by Justin j. Cornell and Stephen J. Ceci found that the more attractive defendants were, the less likely they’d be found guilty. Those viewed as unattractive received on average 22 more months than their counterparts. This study also showed that in cases where monetary damage is involved, attractive people tend to get the highest rewards.

A study conducted by Feingold (1988) discovered that when all else is equal, most people show a substantial preference for attractive individuals over unattractive others. Furthermore, people are much more likely to want to form friendships with attractive people compared to less attractive people.

Fact?

The question is, does the media send subliminal messages that encourage the majority of its citizens to view Black people as less attractive than White Americans? And if so does this play a role in how Blacks are treated in America? I think yes but that may be debatable depending on who you’re talking to. However, the facts show Blacks are more likely to get paid less than there white counterparts, less likely to get hired during a recession, more likely to be found guilty and serve more time on the same charges as their white counterparts. Blacks are more likely to receive higher fines,pay out higher rewards and are less likely to be befriended by a group of White Americans (with the exception of the token black friend). 

My Opinion

Although America uses the terms attractive and beautiful interchangeably, I don’t agree with the countries usage of the two words. In my eyes someone attractive is someone I have a physical interest in and someone beautiful is someone I have a spiritual interest in. For example I’m attracted to darker skinned woman with strong African features but what I find beautiful is a women with intellect, integrity, and virtue. Every once in a while I get lucky and find a woman that possess both qualities. 

Love Spells

For the longest time I’ve been wondering what the ” butterflies” feeling is all about. Why do some people make you feel like you have butterflies in your stomach and why do some just make you flat out sick to your stomach? More importantly how and why do we fall in love?   I’ve recently done a little research on this topic and would like  to share what I’ve found with you guys.

Scientist  have credited the feeling we all know as “love” to a number of  naturally produced hormones that are systematically secreted in the human body during different types of interactions between two individuals.

The Encounter

Studies by Psychologist have shown that it takes between 90 seconds to 4 minutes for two people to decide whether or not they have chemistry.  During this encounter it’s not actually what’s being said between the two people involved but how it is being said.

55% of this communication is done through body language, 38% is tone and speed of voice and merely  7% of this communication accounts for what the two people are actually saying.

The ” 3 stages of love”  were proposed by Researcher Helen Fisher of Rutgers University

Stage 1: Lust

Lust or very strong sexual desire is driven by the male and female hormones Testosterone and estrogen

Testosterone and estrogen: influence  physical attraction and sexual arousal in both men and woman.

Stage  2: Attraction

Attraction or as I like to call it “Infatuation” is the time in a relationship when you become so wrapped up in a person  that you can’t think of anyone else (Sometimes not even yourself. yikes!).  The hormones responsible for this stage are  adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin.

Adrenaline:

The initial stages of “falling” for someone activates your stress response, increasing your blood levels of Adrenalin and Cortisol. This is why we often sweat, our  hearts race, and our mouths go dry when we encounter our new love interest.

Dopamine:

Dopamine is the hormone responsible for feelings of euphoria. When this hormone is activated it secretes an intense rush of pleasure.

Fisher suggests “couples often show the signs of surging dopamine: increased energy, less need for sleep or food, focused attention and exquisite delight in smallest details of this novel relationship” .

These characteristics are very similar (if not the same) to those of individuals with addictive behaviors like drug addicts and heavy gamblers.This can be seen as evidence that one can in fact be addicted to love or loving someone no matter how destructive the relationship is to the persons well being.

Serotonin:

Serotonin is believed by many researchers to be responsible for the feelings of  happiness and well being in a person. Studies show low levels of serotonin to be associated with depression.

Stage 3: Attachment

Attachment is the bond that keeps couples together long enough to reproduce and/or build lives together. Scientist associate the two major hormones Oxytocin and Vasopressin with this feeling.

Oxytocin:

Oxytocin is responsible for creating the feelings of deep connection leading to attachment and commitment. Oxytocin  is secreted during childbirth, breast feeding, and during an orgasm. A popular theory is that the more sex a couple has the stronger there bond becomes.

Vasopressin:

Vasopressin is also a hormone that contributes to strong bonds between couples.This hormone is secreted after sex. This conclusion was made after A study done by scientist using Praires Voles showed that the presence (or lack thereof) of Vasopressin played a significant role in the amount of devotion (or lack thereof) the subjects had toward there partners. Praire Voles relationship are similar to human relationship in that they have  far more sex than is required for reproduction and also form fairly stable pair bonds.

The love spell

If you’re  planning on going on a date with someone you’re interested in this exercise created by Psychologist and University Professor Arthur Arun should be interesting and fun to try:

  • Find a complete stranger. (doesn’t have to be a stranger could be someone you feel you don’t know well enough.)

  • Reveal to each other intimate details about your lives for half an hour.

  • Then, stare deeply into each others eyes without talking for four minutes.

Many of the subjects involved in this study reported to feel deeply attractive to one another after 36 minutes. Two of the couples in this experiment later got married.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who you with?

By now I’m pretty sure everyone’s familiar with the show “Power” and the dynamics surrounding the main character’s (Ghost) contrasting relationship between his wife (Tasha) and his girlfriend (Angela). Just in case you’re not, here’s a brief description: Ghost is married to Tasha whom he has 3 children with and has maybe the biggest drug operation New York has ever seen. Tasha earned Ghosts trust (which lead to her becoming his wife and the mother of his children) during a routine stop by the police which could have landed him in jail for quite some time had she not had his back. When it comes to protecting Ghost, Tasha would do anything. She even lied to Angela to cover for him. However, she made one fatal mistake. Tasha had an affair with someone who worked for ghost and ended up being apart of a conspiracy to kill him. Does that one mistake cancel out all of her other acts of loyalty or is she still considered loyal?

On the other hand we have Angela. Ghost has known Angela since he was 15. Angela knew ghost before he became a drug lord; Her Jamie, always smart with a knack for business. She loves Jamie but hates ghost. Angela will do anything to protect Jamie from ghosts mistakes. she cleans up what he does to protect her fantasy of her and Jamie living together happily ever after like they planned to when they were both teenagers. Although she always seems to come through in a clutch, she leaves a suspense that’s makes the viewers a little weary and uncomfortable. Does her hesitancy make her less loyal or is she more loyal because she has Jamie’s best interest at hand and always pulls through no matter how hesitant she initially is under pressure?

So I guess the real question here is what type of people do you consider more loyal to you? The type of people who invest in what you are or the people that invest in who you are?

 

Bamboozled

They tricked us. They told us to “go to school” and “get good grades” and for what? To get out and make minimum wage? So they could use our college debt to make us the new slaves?, while giving away this same opportunity away for free to inmates up state. I remember My math teacher use to always ask me “do you wanna go to penn state or state pen” and every time I get my monthly statement I’m finding out how his logic didn’t make since. 

It’s like this degree is just for bragging rights.a reason for me to correct everyones grammar and get accused of acting white. 

I did not take over a hundred hours worth of credits, max out all my account swiping debit, and build an unhealthy tolerance for morning hangoversJust to live a lifestyle any less than epic. 

So give me liberty or give me death. Because I’m willing to die to regain back my self respect. 

School’s In 

It was all my fault. I was lacking confidence. I was scared of the unknown and most of all I was afraid of what they thought. I over analyzed every situation which in turn altered my destination. Forced to take these scenic routes because the original path had road blocks made up of my own doubt. I chose to hide from my problems instead of using my gift of understanding to solve them. I didn’t want to choose because I didn’t want to lose. Lose apart of me that I might not ever get back, but I gotta pick a path soon and get back on track. Time to starve my weaknesses and feed my strengths. Time to take on my role as the star player and get up off the bench.

#freespirit #freedom #poetry

Meet the Owner:

I started this blog because I love writing and sharing my ideas and thoughts with anyone willing to listen( in this case read). What first drew me to writing is that I could become who ever I wanted and travel where ever my imagination dared to take me. Growing up I would always find myself wishing I was somewhere else, being someone different. Writing helped to take my mind off everything around me and ultimately helped me to become the free spirit I am, it freed me. Through my writing I realized I could imagine being whoever or wherever I wanted. Growing, learning and living helped me to understand that there’s no one I’d rather be other than myself; there’s no place I’d rather be than right here, living in this moment.

I hope you enjoy my writing and will follow me as I share my world and my words with you. I guess you can call this my Memoirs of a free spirit.