The Impact Of Physical Appearance Stereotypes And Biases On A Person

The society in which we live in today, is filled with different stereotypes, biases, and prejudice. Whether we like certain things or not there have been convinced ideologies, stereotypes created and normalized in our society hence these ideas are critical in influencing our perceptions of one another, making us criticize individuals based solely on their physical appearances. You may ask in what way one’s body signifies their being in the society. The way our body looks, the way we dress, and the way we move our bodies all create that first impression and are the deciding factor of how you will be treated in the society.

I have personally been impacted by my physical appearance. Back in middle school I used to be overweight thus, it made people make variety of faulty assumptions about me from being unathletic, lazy to unworthy of doing tasks and to being called different names. These negative judgments were shaped due to the portrayal of ads and shows on the mass media displaying overweight people as individuals outside of society’s norms, which forced me to alter the way I look by losing weight and exercising. As I see it, none of the judgments made towards my body were positive at the time. It was extremely ridiculous how the shape of my body made people instantly assume that I was slow, unathletic, and a lazy person who was not as skillful or talented as the individuals who possessed a relatively fit, masculine frame. Being overweight took away many aspects of my life in those days for example, not being able to be a part of my school’s basketball or soccer team, due to the fact that those sports required individuals with high cardiovascular capacity and how this was portrayed in the society was that only fit, masculine individuals could possess such traits. That was “normalized” in the society thus anything outside that norm was depicted as unacceptable.

Society has also illustrated the attractiveness of a person is highly dependent on their body and physical appearance. Furthermore, another aspect of my life that was negatively affected due to being overweight was the fact that I was often categorized as being unattractive, and seem unpleasant to the eyes of females. Not being able to communicate with girls resulted in me having lower self-esteem and confidence. Those experiences left me feeling bashful about my physical appearance making me think to myself I was somewhat guilty of possessing such body. In addition, being judged by the people around me I was compelled to be in an unpleasant mental state constantly, not being able to choose freely what to wear or how I could change the way I look in order to leave a better first impression behind myself. Having experienced all the negative aspects of the image my body displayed I decided to change the way that I looked. In addition, grade eight was the year I decided to make that immense change. Throughout the process of my body changing I was witnessing how all the judgments coming from people around me coming from class mates, friends, and peers were altering. I was gaining gratitude, having made a lot of friends until I reached grade twelve consequently my self-confidence increased, I was able to attain stable mental state.

A lot of aspects of my life changed in that period. I was now somewhat representing the “norm” in the society as mentioned by Patricia Hill Collins I was representing the symbolic definition of what characteristics a male should have, possessing a masculine physique, being strong and intellectual along with being able to communicate with a lot of females due to my new “attractive” appearance, not being associated with that unattractive, lazy, unworthy individual I was once displayed to the ones around me as.

18 March 2020
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