Looks are still important

As I was walking home from Coleman Library, a guy approached me. He was the type of guy most girls wish to have – tall, dark and handsome. We exchanged numbers and indulged ourselves in hours of conversation that night. As I continued to talk to him, I realized that he had too many “ain’t-gots.”

He didn’t have an apartment, a job or a car. But he was still fine, I thought. Then I wondered to myself, are good looks still the main factor in mate selection?

When speaking about selecting a mate, many tend to repeat the same old clichés.

“Looks do count. But, when I first meet somebody, it is not that important.”

“Yeah, looks matter; but they are not everything.”

But let’s get real!

When it comes to first impressions, looks become the only factor as to whether one wants to advance the introduction to a date.

Now, I am not talking about getting to know somebody. What I am talking about is the first time people see one another and how people tend to discriminate simply based on looks.

Everyone, at some time, is guilty of choosing their mates simply based on physical attractiveness. Just think about it. When you first meet an ugly person, you tend to not want to give your number to him or her.

When it comes to first impressions, no one goes around saying, “WOW, Look at the personality on that guy!”

As much as society wants to be just and fair when it comes to meet and greet, reality is just not that nice.

We live in a world where people are judged even before they speak their first words, due to their physical appearance. Moreover, we live in a country where plastic surgery is on the rise. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the nation’s leading organization for cosmetic surgery education and research, 8.3 million people received surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures in 2003 – a 20 percent increase from 2002.

Looks are not only important to men, but women as well. Although men seem to receive most of the negative stigma when it comes to only wanting a beautiful girl, beauty is also ranked high on the dating scale for women.

In his book “Being a Man in a Woman’s World,” relationship expert Dennis W. Neder wrote everyone would like to be with someone they find attractive.

“If you are well below average in looks or even malformed, you may have more difficulty attracting very beautiful women.”

According to Neder, this is something that is programmed into us by nature and we are designed to avoid those that look unhealthy as a way to prevent passing on bad genes to future generations.

There should be no doubt in any mind when it comes to the significance of physical attractiveness. No matter how much a person tries to say, “No I don’t judge people on their looks, I look at their personality,” remember, first impressions last.

No, I am not saying that it is a requirement to be drop-dead gorgeous. But I am saying most people who say looks don’t matter are lying. Looks contribute greatly to the first invitation into a person’s life.

Although beauty is in the eye of the beholder, unattractive people just have to understand they will not get the top pick when it comes to choosing a mate.

As a contrast to the old cliché, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” my response is, judging a book by its cover is the way of the world whether you it want it to be or not.

Katrelle Simmons is a first-year magazine production student from Orlando. She is the assistant sports editor. She can be reached at simmons_katrelle@yahoo.com