Social Question

jca's avatar

In what ways and how much has your personal appearance helped or hindered where you are now in life?

Asked by jca (35976points) January 26th, 2012

Your weight, your hair, your teeth, your looks: In what ways has your personal appearance helped or hindered with your lifestyle: the mate/spouse you have, the job you have (does it help you to have certain hair styles, for example), your circle of friends?

Do you try to look a certain way for your job, or for your significant other? Do you need to have a “professional looking” hair style, for example?

Do you think you would or would not be in the same situation if your personal appearance were different?

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28 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@jca I’m 6’1” so I get to see over other people at parades. That’s helped.

john65pennington's avatar

Well, last night my wife told me that I looked like I was 55 years old, instead of 68. That made my day!

EverRose11's avatar

I will be 60 soon and I get told all the time I do not look my age, personally I think they are just being polite or they get a kick outta telling lies to old women, Actually I have always no matter what kept myself in check as far as having not neat bu a semi neat appearance. I just feel t s being fair to those that have to see me, I have from as far back as I can remeber as a child ..even when told by my parents to get dressed.. I would say ok I know I gotta go look human,

JLeslie's avatar

I think I am, or at least in my youth I was, about a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 in beauty, and probably closer to a 9 with my figure (which now has gone to pot a little). I think it helped me get my first job, which gave me a lot of confidence, and I think it helped me attract men. More than the looks I was born with, was pulling it all together with fashion, make-up, grace and confidence. I used to get complimented on my walk, posture, and long neck (which comes from good posture) all the time. I think I had an air of confidence about me. I credit my mom for putting me in ballet classes and letting me at fairly young ages change my hair and expirement with style and shave my legs and tweeze my eyebrows.

thorninmud's avatar

It hasn’t mattered much. Almost everything I’ve done for a living thus far has involved shoving me off into some sequestered workspace where I’m just asked to competently get the job done.

My current day job involves working with people who have significant developmental disabilities. They, refreshingly enough, couldn’t care less what I look like, as long as I return the consideration.

There are a few appearance rules that come with being a priest: buzz cut, clothing restrictions. Those rules weren’t put into place to make us have a certain visual impact on others, though. They’re intended to remove the concern for impressing others with appearance.

marinelife's avatar

It has not been an issue.

Blackberry's avatar

I have to look professional because I’m in the military, but I wouldn’t want to grow my hair or have facial hair, anyway. I do think that I’m more “accepted” by society this way. We tend to favor clean looking people, of course. If I was a hairy guy in a trench coat, I may not get the same response.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

When I pursued fashion photography for fifteen years, my appearance was more marketable as eccentric. Shooting business portraits for executives requires my appearance to be more professional, shorter hair, jacket, clean shaven. Pursuing art photography, my appearance is a bit rougher around the edges, not so clean shaven, wearing a t-shirt from four days ago, with wood stain from the frame shop on my fingernails, haven’t used a comb in months.

I dress appropriately for the client at hand.

zensky's avatar

I’ve been lucky.

Coloma's avatar

I’ve enjoyed being a pretty woman over the years, not drop dead gorgeous by any stretch of the imagination but “cute” in a cute, perky, girl next door kinda way. I can dress up or down, have a lot of creative flair in my clothing choices, but the “real” me is a pretty earthy type, all in all.
Other than being attractive to men it has never crossed my mind to exploit anything about myself for personal gain.
Infact, I abhore women that play the looks card to further themselves in work or relationship.

I have an ex female friend who was stunningly beautiful but so insecure and neurotic, I couldn’t stand to watch her go into her “helpless woman” act. Gag!
I don’t respect anyone that capitalizes on their body, looks or sexuality in manipulative ways. You won’t ever catch me flashing my cleavage, doe eyes and “oooh, I’m sooo innocent” crap if I get pulled over for speeding. I hate manipulation of all kinds and it is one of my biggest pet peeves….just stop it! lol

gailcalled's avatar

Being tall and thin and having had good dentistry, I managed not to scare the horses. Once I learned how to smile and stop my teen-aged whining, I fared even better out in the world.

(One very useful skill was speaking in a modulated voice and eliminating most of the verbal tics, like “like.”)

jca's avatar

@gailcalled: How has his appearance helped Milo over the years?

gailcalled's avatar

@jca: It has made him the best in everything, including being unbearably insufferable. But, hey, when you look like this, what choice does he have?


janbb's avatar

I think my appearance is significantly undistinguished so that it has not helped or hindered me. The only limitation I have from it professionally is that I cannot reach the books on the top shelves.

Jude's avatar

I look younger than my age. Always have. When I was graduating high school, I looked 14.

Now, at 39, I have been told by almost everyone that I meet, I don’t look my age. I usually get 25. The only give away is that I have a bit of grey at the temples.

When I was trying to find a (professional) job in my 20’s, people didn’t take me seriously.

jazmina88's avatar

50 and folks dont think I look over 40. but i have no self esteem. My family was good at taking that away.

Akua's avatar

I’ve been told that I look “innocent” whatever that means. When I tell people how old I am they think I’m lying (i’m 42 but look much younger), so I stopped telling people how old I am. Apparently a woman over 40 is supposed to look like hell. And like @jazmina88 my family made every effort to undermine my self esteem beginning at a very early age, so although I know I am “okay” in the looks department (after several years in therapy), I have never used it to my advantage (don’t know how). I think my looks have been somewhat a disadvantage for me. People underestimate me and assume by looking at me I’m not intelligent or they think I’ve led a charmed life. Like things have come easy for me because I’m decent looking? Oh PUHleeze! Women don’t want me as their friend because they assume they will have to compete against me and most of the men I have known in my life just wanted sex. I fell in love with my husband because we met online and he loved me before he knew what I looked like and he always tells people how smart I am. Looks are really unimpressing to me, I mean really who cares, looks fade eventually.

MilkyWay's avatar

I tend to have a ‘mature’ look about me and that has helped me get alcohol and movies when I was underage. Also, my flexibility and long legs help very much in my Tae Kwon Do classes.

laineybug's avatar

Well I’m short, so I can’t reach things on higher shelves. I can’t reach the trash bags at all because they’re on the top shelf. I’ve determined to never have things where I can’t reach unless there’s someone else to reach them for me. That’s always going to hinder me. I also look younger than I am pretty often, so people always treat me like I’m younger. At the moment that’s not pretty good.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’ve always been teased a little for “looking like a school teacher” in my dress for work but I’ve also been told no one ever has to worry about me not looking appropriate, polished or up to par if the business wants to look good to drop ins. My current job is the probably the most casual I’ve had and often I wonder if I’m either over or under dressed.

AshLeigh's avatar

Boys will do just about anything for a pretty girl…

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@AshLeigh Oh crap. You figured that out fast. There’s one other piece to the puzzle though. We’ll do it once or twice, but we don’t like being used.

AshLeigh's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I don’t utilize it. Haha. I just notice the offers.

philosopher's avatar

Life experience has taught me how to survive.
I believe that a big problem with American Society today is a lack of hands on practical training.
A Degree alone is not enough. You know little until you actually do the work.
I see this problem in all Fields with Doctors, Teachers, Accountants and more. Actually experiencing anything or doing it is the most effective way to learn.
LOL that is why experience counts and Adolescents need to be taught.

philosopher's avatar

My appearance I believe has attracted people to me but sometimes not the people I wish to attract.
People often assume that young attractive women are weak, naive and vulnerable.

lonelydragon's avatar

Well, I’m short with child-like features, which can be nice because I look younger than I am. But it also means that people are often dismissive of me and don’t listen to my ideas.

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