M: It’s pageant time and we’re asked this grand, international question: Who do you think has an edge? Someone very beautiful and with average intelligence, or someone very intelligent but with average looks? My answer? It depends on what job or profession we are talking about! If it is a non-speaking role like a runway model, definitely looks will be an advantage. But if the job requires serious brain power, I will definitely choose the very intelligent over the very beautiful. But many women have both intelligence and good looks. And why do I know? Because it takes one to know one! Seriously, a person’s edge can come in many forms. An appealing physical (outer) beauty is an advantage same as an engaging, pleasing personality that comes from an inner beauty or goodness of the heart. On the other hand, one can be very brilliant but lack the initiative to do better than one who is average but driven to succeed.
DJ: The world is now more visual than ever. Research shows that content with illustration gets 94 percent more total views. Ninety percent of information sent to the brain is visual. We also retain 80 percent of what we see, pretty significant compared to 20 percent of what we read or 10 percent of what we hear. So yes, good looks can open doors in my opinion. But I still think it’s intelligence that keeps it open. Besides, haven’t you noticed how people see beauty in a clean-cut look and in someone who is scruffy in style? The concept of beauty is subjective and sometimes contradicting. That’s why I think it’s really confidence that makes a person incredibly attractive. And it has little to do with looks and a lot more about one’s emotional intelligence, in someone’s certainty in himself or herself. And this, to me, is the spark that makes me want to get to know a person.
M: We have to admit though that having a beautiful visage can initially garner more interest and attract the attention that can open doors and opportunities compared to one who is of average looks. But then again, it depends on what industry one belongs to. And now that employers are looking for more than IQ or EQ, it is really grit that can spell the difference between having the edge of falling off the ledge. A beautiful face cannot save a mediocre performance at work, especially when the competition is tough. Women are breaking glass ceilings and men are adapting to the changes of the times. I would rather that someone who wants to gain or advance more in life.
DJ: I’ve heard people say beauty is skin deep, but ugly goes all the way to the bone. I disagree. Appreciating the self is way more important in achieving confidence. Being comfortable in our own mind and skin shifts our focus from being overly self-conscious to being genuinely interested in the people we are with. And who is not drawn to people who see greatness in others? Believe me, I am not saying these to make my far-from-handsome-self feel better. Besides, intelligence improves lives too. It invents gadgets like smart phones, makes internet speed faster and creates a cure for Covid-19. Isn’t that intriguing and attractive?
M: Be confident. Don’t let your behavior be influenced by others who do not share your values; hold yourself to a much higher standard—your conscience. Do what’s right. Make good choices. Care not only about where life is taking you, but about how you’re getting there as well. Be honest and transparent. Honor your word. Be prepared to accept the consequences of your actions. Knowing what’s right isn’t as important as doing what’s right. Be resilient. Hard work and sacrifice build character, contribute to success, and promote happiness. Make a difference. Be a positive force in people’s lives. Live for a cause greater than yourself. Find your life’s purpose. It will inspire you, keep you grounded, and provide stability regardless of the turbulence in your life. And you will find out that at the end, you will be more beautiful—inside and out.
DJ: Yup. Women love confidence. Men love confidence. Everybody loves confidence. Thus, in a battle between brains and beauty, confidence takes the gold.