I judge people based on how they look. I don't often want to, and I don't think I do this in all circumstances, but I think looks are not entirely unimportant as the pure-hearted inspirational books make them out to be. I mean only that there is much you can infer about a person based on their physical appearance-especially in the parts of that appearance that are within their control.

Parts of physical appearance NOT within a person's control include how big their nose is, whether they have long eyelashes, pimples (I will fight to the death to say that pimples are not within human control), their height.

But the parts within their control include what they wear and whether they have abs or not-you don't get these by not trying. These latter ones speak volumes. (Actually, an effort to change the former ones also says a lot.) My friends and I generally agree that a good-looking man with a six-pack is twice as likely to be dumb: he probably spends so much time doing sit-ups he no longer has room for Tolstoy.

One observation I've made is that good-looking people get away with more things. People are predisposed to liking them because we all want to be around them. We like it when they smile. We think well of them long before they open their mouths. So when they say something dumb, they are tolerated at best, patronized at worst.

All of us have let them get away with something at some point. They don't normally develop the self-awareness that comes with dealing with the consequences of their mistakes (even if these are merely grammatical mistakes)-any other person would be laughed at, bullied or corrected; good-looking people charm their way through life, into exclusive parties and out of speeding tickets. It's the same hazard that comes with too much fame or power or money.

Like it or not, looks influence much of the politics of day-to-day interaction. One of my more fashionable friends says that how well you should dress is inversely proportional to how good-looking you are: good-looking people can wear fifty-peso shirts and make them look like 5,000-peso shirts; mere mortals, however, must make an effort to buy nice clothes to look equally "sosyal" or sophisticated.

This is part of the reason I would never date a good-looking man with a six-pack (though who hasn't wanted to at some point?) For one, it's unlikely he'd be able to engage me in conversation. But also, my beer belly and his abs just wouldn't look good walking hand-in-hand into dinners together. He would look like he was dating his aunt. I believe there are incredible movie-star levels of good-looking (think Michael Fassbender) which you are supposed to regard from afar and sigh. (Occasionally, this also occurs in people who aren't movie stars.) The good news is, there is also a less ambitious good-looking, the one you could happily marry and not feel insecure about-what I like to call "abot-kayang pogi/maganda."

Psychological studies have proven that people tend to go for people whose level of attractiveness is akin to theirs, or within their "range." That's why we (or at least I, since I'm the only judgmental person here) cringe when we see public displays of affection between a severely good-looking person and a partner whose attractiveness is disproportionate to his own.

Or maybe it's the world that's all wrong. It's unfair, of course, that the world's standards of beauty are dictated by movie stars and supermodels-they can invest their whole lives in exercise and diets, while the rest of us have other things to worry about, like jobs and bills and rush hour traffic. I often pray that if God will not make me beautiful, he should at least change the convention beauty-make short, fat and pango more fashionable than it currently is.

Who doesn't want to look good? It feels good. We all have our ugly duckling phase, that season during pimples and before braces. I didn't have a single photo taken in those years, and to this day I still haven't learned to smile properly. It's great to be past those years, the same way it's a relief to realize you're past puberty.

But I don't want to try too hard either-I figure I will never be the most beautiful girl, so might as well invest in other more profitable ventures. I do make a modest effort to brush my teeth and wear nice shoes. Nice shoes are important.

I didn't exactly turn into a swan, but at least I'm a duck.


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • US missile cruiser docks at Subic
    US missile cruiser docks at Subic

    A US Navy missile cruiser has dropped anchor in Subic Bay as part of “routine port call,” amid rising tension in the West Philippine Sea stirred by China’s island building activities and other threatening moves by its forces. The arrival of the Ticonderoga-class missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG-67) at the Subic Bay Freeport in Olongapo City yesterday was “just a routine port visit for ship replenishment and routine maintenance of shipboard system,” said Philippine Navy Public Affairs Office …

  • Agri, power sectors should brace for El Niño
    Agri, power sectors should brace for El Niño

    The agriculture and power sectors, as well as the general public should brace for a prolonged El Niño phenomenon that could further reduce water supply for electricity and irrigation, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warned yesterday. Flaviana Hilario, acting deputy administrator for research and development of PAGASA, said the El Niño condition is expected to intensify from weak to moderate by August this year. Anthony Lucero, …

  • China to US: Help cool down Phl on sea row
    China to US: Help cool down Phl on sea row

    The US should help “cool down” the Philippines and realize that its meddling in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) dispute would only stir tensions, a Chinese newspaper reported. “Washington should know its meddling in the South China Sea has been destabilizing the region. The US has vowed not to take sides in the territorial dispute, which involves China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. …

  • No stopping K to 12 despite SC case, protests
    No stopping K to 12 despite SC case, protests

    K to 12 is the fruit of years of comprehensive consultations involving different sectors in education,” Aquino said during the launching of the program at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City. Organized by the Department of Education (DepEd), the launch was attended by teachers, students and representatives from different stakeholders supportive of the K to 12 program. It was held two years after the signing of Republic Act 10533, or the Enhanced Basic Education …

  • MNLF pushes review of peace pact with gov’t
    MNLF pushes review of peace pact with gov’t

    The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) maintained its bid for completion of the tripartite review of the implementation of the peace agreement with the Philippine government in 1996. The MNLF’s desire to put consensual closure to the tripartite effort was relayed by its leaders to Sayed El-Masry, the special envoy of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), during the annual foreign ministers conference in Kuwait last Thursday. The MNLF peace agreement with the government in Sept. 2, …

  • Noy to raise sea dispute issue with Abe
    Noy to raise sea dispute issue with Abe

    President Aquino is expected to raise the West Philippine Sea dispute during his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Japan next week. However, there is no word yet if the Philippines will specifically ask Tokyo to join calls for China to stop its massive reclamation activities in disputed waters. Aquino will leave for Tokyo on June 2 for a state visit until June 5. …

  • CHED releases wrong data on tuition hike
    CHED releases wrong data on tuition hike

    The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) appears to have released erroneous data on the allowed tuition and other fee increases in Metro Manila for the incoming academic year. On the list of the 51 approved higher education institutions (HEI) allowed to impose hikes, CHED pegged the average increase in tuition at P32.34 per unit and the average increase in other fees at P34.79. However, a Philippine STAR re-computation showed that the actual average approved tuition increases in Metro Manila …

  • Leni Robredo may run for senator
    Leni Robredo may run for senator

    The widow of the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo admitted that running for higher office in 2016 had crossed her mind. Camarines Sur Third District Rep. Leni Robredo said she is focused on her re-election, but there is always the possibility that she would seek higher office. “There is always that possibility… because the filing (of certificate of candidacy) is in October yet,” Robredo said in an interview after her speech during the 23rd Girl Scouts of the Philippines Council …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options