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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 08:53 PM   #1
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The importance of appearances

SINC posted something in another thread that got me thinking. I certainly have my own opinions on this, but I'd like to see some discussion on this. To what extent do we judge others on the basis of their physical appearance (size, shape, tattoos, piercings, hairstyle, clothes, etc.), to what extent can we control this tendency to judge, and to what extent is it fair and reasonable to make such judgements?
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 09:12 PM   #2
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My own opinion on this is that, to some extent we can't control our tendency to judge people on the basis of their appearance, and to some extent it is reasonable. I think this is instinctive, and it has served our species well as a mechanism of maintaining tribal integrity and defending ourselves against potentially threatening outsiders.

However, I also think this instinct is the root of bigotry and intolerance, and that fair and open-minded people ought to exert themselves to resist it as much as possible. The adage "you can't judge a book by it's cover" is fundamentally correct, and while people people have some control over their appearance, it is difficult, if not impossible, to know what the social, psychological and physiological context of their decisions may have been. Therefore the interpretation of appearance is fraught with complexity, and misunderstanding is almost inevitable.

Personally, I have little appreciation for tattoos or piercings, although I have to admit, I've started to get used to it, and it sometimes does provide an excuse for one's gaze to linger on particularly attractive bits of female anatomy ("I wasn't staring; I was trying to figure out what her tattoo is of."). But it is also obviously the case that people getting tattoos aren't getting them to impress me.

Similarly, I make a point of actively trying not to interpret clothing as meaning anything other than what that particular person finds comfortable. The best scientists I have ever met generally wear jeans and t-shirts to work, but I try not to be unfairly skeptical of people wearing suits and ties.

So I think we try to judge on people's words and actions, rather than on their appearance.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 09:34 PM   #3
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Reading SINC's comments, I agree 100% with him (which is rather rare, I think).

I don't understand the people that get visible tattoos, odd piercings, etc, and then lament about their inability to find gainful employment.

Regarding bryanc's comment about judging based on words and actions, rather than appearance - their appearance is a cumulation of their actions.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 09:52 PM   #4
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Never mind- just saw the link.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 09:53 PM   #5
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Never mind- just saw the link.
The post in question was direct linked from the first post in this thread.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 10:28 PM   #6
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Sadly, all I can focus on is the damn tattoos. They are an abomination and will continue to be when today's generation grow up.
Tattoos Sinc, what tattoos?
I went and viewed the link mentioned
and when you scroll down the page a bit you see that what appeared to Sinc as tattoos is really just skin pigmentation variations.
And yes it is the same patient as can been seen by the 2 dark spots on her wrist.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 10:35 PM   #7
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I find some tattooing and piercing aesthetically unappealing. I would similarly tend not to hire someone who dressed badly or wore their hair in a point at the top of their head either.

My one strong objection to tattooing is the whole arm tattoo for foodservice employees. It makes me feel as though their tattoos are masking uncleanliness.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 10:39 PM   #8
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My one strong objection to tattooing is the whole arm tattoo for foodservice employees. It makes me feel as though their tattoos are masking uncleanliness.
As opposed to a balding guy dressed in a shirt and tie, overweight, sweating profusely as he dresses your food?
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 10:47 PM   #9
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As opposed to a balding guy dressed in a shirt and tie, overweight, sweating profusely as he dresses your food?
Not as opposed to at all--I can see that guy is sweating profusely and will take my leave.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 11:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesB View Post
Tattoos Sinc, what tattoos?
I went and viewed the link mentioned and when you scroll down the page a bit you see that what appeared to Sinc as tattoos is really just skin pigmentation variations.
And yes it is the same patient as can been seen by the 2 dark spots on her wrist.
See how much what I thought were tattoos throw me off? That first pic looked like tattoos and I immediately rejected them and looked no further, just like I do on a live person I meet on the street. It is something I cannot fathom.

I know lots of older men who got tattoos in the navy etc., like an anchor or a heart on their forearm. My oldest to my dismay, got a piece of barbed wire around his bicep years ago in a drugged up stupor. He has since had it altered to make it less visible, but he is scarred for life without spending thousands to remove a hundred bucks worth of stupidity.

As for body piercing with studs or other crap sticking out of people's noses or belly buttons or tongues, they need help. It is mutilation and nothing more than walking around looking like they fell face first in a tackle box.
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