Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Why is being called "beautiful" considered a complement? Watch

    • #1
    • Thread Starter
    #1

    I'm a handsome guy. It's a fact. I know it to be true. However, do I hold any sense of pride, happiness or self-worth because of it? Absolutely not. In fact, it does absolutely nothing for me when girls randomly give me the 'eye' when walking past. I didn't help my looks; it's purely genetic, so why should I feel happy every time I get complemented on it?

    I am also known to have a 'charming' personality, and have a way with words. Again, this is an ability I was born with, so whenever I get comments to this order, it does absolutely nothing for me either.

    I feel like everything I have achieved in life has been a result of my inherited looks or intelligence. I feel some people have more of a chance of failure than others. Is there really ANYTHING about ourselves that we can truly feel proud of?

    Discuss.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    If you're at university I'm pretty sure you didn't secure a place with your good looks. Be proud of how you worked hard and achieved what was necessary.

    No one says you have to feel happy every time you get complemented. You're just modest I guess.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I'm a handsome guy. It's a fact. I know it to be true. However, do I hold any sense of pride, happiness or self-worth because of it? Absolutely not. In fact, it does absolutely nothing for me when girls randomly give me the 'eye' when walking past. I didn't help my looks; it's purely genetic, so why should I feel happy every time I get complemented on it?

    I am also known to have a 'charming' personality, and have a way with words. Again, this is an ability I was born with, so whenever I get comments to this order, it does absolutely nothing for me either.

    I feel like everything I have achieved in life has been a result of my inherited looks or intelligence. I feel some people have more of a chance of failure than others. Is there really ANYTHING about ourselves that we can truly feel proud of?

    Discuss.
    Seems more suited to the philosophy forums but whatever:

    People aren't usually like you. I.e. they don't know their good qualities as fact, and tend to doubt if they really have these qualities at all. When someone says something like 'you look beautiful', it makes them doubt their previous doubts and believe that they do in fact look good, which obviously is quite a pick me up - to go from not thinking much of yourself to then being told others think a lot of you.

    It's pretty ingrained into human nature and the fact that ego and self worth have such huge effects on people's general happiness.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    I'd imagine we're programmed to want to be attractive to the opposite sex so that they'll want to make babies with us, hence it makes us "happy".
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Well in all honesty, you can claim that everything in the world is just a result of causality. To the perfect, unbiased observer, there shouldn't really be any 'pride' or credit for anything that happens to anyone, because everything about people is determined by chance. You could say having a kind personality is just as 'fortunate' as having good looks or brains, because it's just a result of your environment and circumstances, nothing you determined. Similar arguments can be applied to the concepts of beauty or morality, they can't really be defined or argued because they have no objective basis in reality.

    The way to resolve the paradox is to acknowledge that we are not perfect, unbiased observers. The perfectly rational mind concludes all pride is unwarranted, yes, you are completely right. But we do not have perfectly rational minds. We cannot function with perfectly rational minds. We have brains geared to survival, run by chemicals, fashioned to our own desires. Concepts like pride, beauty and morality have no grounding in the grand, universal sense, but we adopt them out of practicality. We adopt them as they are beneficial to our own survival. Without pride, humans would have little drive to achieve all the things that have improved our life for the last several thousand years. It is a fallacy, yes, but a useful fallacy.

    Honestly, the secret is just not to think so deeply about it. Pride in your appearance is, at the end of the day, just a instinctive emotion to get us to try to look better to attract a mate. There's no deeper or more logical reason for it. You might have been born without that instinct or (as sounds more likely) you just over-reasoned your way out of it, but that's why its there.
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: March 26, 2013
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Brussels sprouts
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.