The Impact of External Appearance

Aristotel believed that ‘There can be no better presentation of man than his beauty’. Over the course of time, the definition of beauty has considerably changed and in the modern world ‘beauty’ is not simply the physical features of a person. Beauty has gained a wider perspective and today it includes a person’s first appearance, his readiness, confidence and the impression he creates on people’s minds.

Therefore, a lot of it depends on the aspect of external appearance. Earlier, external appearance was as attribute predominantly in the field of performing arts and was synonymous with theatre, acting, scripts, events, sites, roles and props. However, today self-improvement and self-presentation have become imperative in almost every field, and it is considered to be a strategic way of gaining control of one’s life and to increase success. Physiologist Krechmer perceived external appearance as an indicator of the traits of human personality.

First impression counts

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Our first impressions of people we meet for the first time are dependent on their faces. Although we are repeatedly advised not to judge a book by it’s cover, this aspect predominantly fails to work as we invariably rely on people’s first impressions to decide whom we help, date or hire.

In almost all camps of our professional lives, we find the strong impact of external appearance on positive social perception. The first impression which people create on our mind is entirely dependent on their clothes, style, demeanour and mostly every outwardly manifestation. People who can strike the required deal with their external appearance are accepted with more conviction and assurance than the others.

The growing need to look good

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Research conducted in 2003 to assess the impact of good physical appearance as against winning a job led to the establishment of the fact that attractiveness played a considerable role in the evaluation of the applicants. Similarly, numerous research work had established that people who were physically attractive were paid more, they seemed more likely to be employed in managerial positions and work in public offices although there were no official criteria for physical appearance being one of the attributes in the hiring process. Not only that, physically attractive people are charged with smaller fines, get bails easily and are generally given shorter sentences in cases of crime. They are more desirable for romantic relationships as well.

The growing demand for staying in the best of appearance is increasing growing in the USA, owing to the numerous perks which generally accompany along with maintaining such a manifestation. Below are some examples:

  • As per the statistics shared by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 2003, the Americans underwent surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures amounting to a total of $6.9 million which was an increase of 228% from 1997 to 2002 and since then, the number is always on the rise.

  • The cosmetic industry worldwide earns an annual revenue of $20 billion, and eau de cologne and perfume manufacturers sell their products to earn a revenue of $10 billion.

  • The Americans spend about $35 billion every year on weight loss programs, diet food and health club memberships.

  • 5 million Americans hold dental prosthetics, mostly to improve their smile.

  • The world’s most sought after the cosmetic procedure is the injection of Botox.

Apart from this, almost all of us spend considerable time and money for hair doing, buying clothes, manicures and pedicures, getting tattoos and embellishments to camouflage our weaker physical features and enhance the stronger ones. Although, I do not advocate the above cosmetic and dietary procedures as imperative, let me take this opportunity to harp on the importance of physical appearance and explain how important it is always to present the best of you.

Below we list a few reasons why it is imperative to make a strong physical appearance:

  1. One feels good if one looks good. It boosts self-confidence, self-esteem and enhances personality.

  2. It is imperative to look good especially if one deals with the public, especially if someone is in performing arts or holding a sales job. Excellent physical appearance can draw attention and instils trust easily.

  3. A person with an exemplary external appearance attracts lots of people. It is a general human trait to be wanted to be associated with beautiful people.

  4. It helps in building romantic relationships. Men and women who have excellent external appearance are much sought after. Similarly, maintain the physical appearance to their best is mandatory for both the partners in order to sustain their relationship after marriage.

  5. A pleasing face is worthy to be admired. People generally like to relax in the presence of beautiful things.

  6. A person’s dressing style reflects their personal interests and is a strong means of expressing themselves.

  7. External appearance has a wide influence in communication and presentation. A person with a pleasing external appearance finds acceptance amongst his audience much easily, and it is more likely for people to believe in what he says.

  8. It creates a positive perception and perspective about a certain person.

However, as with everything, there are exceptions to this theory. The World famous scientist Albert Einstein seldom dressed well. Napoleon Bonaparte, the legendary French warrior, had a sickly appearance and yet their names have been etched with eternity. Having said this, I would also like to mention that this by no means, interferes with our current ascertains.

The many horizons of External Appearance

External Appearance has a farther reach ahead of the clothes a person wears or the perfect hair and nail he or she maintains. It also includes a person’s body language and his non-verbal communications such as establishing an eye contact, maintaining a pleasant smile, indulging in a firm handshake and looking interested.

Hence, the erstwhile debate on whether looks matter has been battled for ages and it has been duly established in today’s world that external appearance is directly proportional to a person’s personal and professional well-being. A person’s external appearance reflects his enthusiasm, attention to detail, his culture and upbringing, his confidence and his personality.

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