Perhaps an immodest observation, but I've grown up in a world where I've had many positive interactions based on my looks. I remember visiting New York when I was around 10 with my dad. In the middle of Times Square, I alone was selected to have my photo taken and displayed on the massive screens over-hanging the buildings. Later that afternoon, I sought lunch in a cafe capping the Square, and my Hispanic server shouted to his co-worker, "ella es bella" grinning and gesturing his chin toward me. These are but 2 of many stochastic experiences dotting my youth. The dots connect via my self-esteem in looks; I am happy with my appearance.
Veering from a personal standpoint brings me to reflect on beauty in a macroscopic, human level. Why is beauty so important?
Many sociologists and modern anthropologists debate this question. But a biological perspective offers unique insight that is perhaps less fickle.
Common biological tabloids refer to the golden ratio (symmetrical features) indicating health and baby-like characteristics indicating fertility. The reverse applies as some less common and less preferred features divulge negative qualities like disease or poor health.
Jill Helms, Professor of Surgery at Stanford introduces the idea that beauty is so exclusively warped up in one singular body part: your face. Your face is inextricably tied to your identity, and that places a lot of weight on the aesthetic of that part. Therein lies the injustice. Fortunately, the world in which I surround myself, and the world I believe in demonstrates that the attractiveness of one's face (a look) isn't all that matters.