Learning to be one of the beautiful people
I always knew, deep down inside, it was true, but I guess sometimes we all lie to ourselves, and I’m no exception. Still, you’d think after looking at myself in the mirror every day for 39 years I would have been able to figure it out.
There are times, however, when our perceptions are stronger than even reality, but now I have proof that I’m one handsome devil.
I could have spent the rest of my life denying my good looks if it wasn’t for a recent coincidence that tossed my good looks, literally, right in my face.
It all started with ABC’s “20/20” anchor John Stossel’s report on the preferential treatment beautiful people receive over plain or ugly people. If you don’t know Stossel, he’s the guy that does the segment called “Give Me a Break,” where he puts government agencies on the hot seat for everything from the war on drugs to our disappearing personal freedoms.
During the show, Stossel filmed a series of tests to see if attractive people were treated – either blatantly or subconsciously – better than their less-attractive counterparts. He hired four actors, two women and two men, to play the roles of perspective job applicants, stranded motorists and nonprofit personnel attempting to raise money in a shopping mall. One of the men and one of the women fell into the unattractive category and the other two were simply gorgeous.
At one point in the program, the women, dressed exactly the same, were playing the part of stranded motorists. During their time on the side of the road, the attractive woman was mobbed by a crowd of guys offering her assistance. Six even went to get her gas. The other woman – how can I put this delicately – was $%#% out of luck.
The coincidence occurred when a friend told my wife and I the story of how she had a blow out on Highway 9 between Alma and Fairplay in Park County.
Now this friend falls into the “attractive female” category, but even so, while she was emptying the stuff out of her car, wrestling with her spare tire, working like hell to get the lug nuts off the flat, jacking up her car and changing the tire, she watched hundreds of cars drive by and not one person stopped.
A few months ago, I too broke down on this stretch of highway. Within three minutes of my hood going up and my flashers blinking, at least three people stopped to offer assistance. Since I know a little bit about cars, I turned down the offers of help. As I looked deeper into the engine, however, I realized that I could not fix it, but that wasn’t a problem because several more people came to my aid. The Good Samaritans offered to drive me into town and one even offered me a ride home.
So what are you to make of all this? Well, I think it should be obvious by now. Yes, it might have been luck that so many people stopped to help me while my attractive friend was forgotten on the side of the road, but I think it was more than that. People stopped for me because I’m so darn handsome. It would appear I’m even better looking than my friend, and I’m a guy.
Let me, however, be one of the first of the beautiful people to stand up and say that this is wrong. I feel every man, woman and child should be treated equally – no matter what their appearance, and I’ll shout my beliefs through my perfect teeth and chiseled jaw until everyone is treated fairly. After all, when you are as attractive as I am, you also have to show you’re a person of substance.
Andrew Gmerek is a weekly columnist for the Summit Daily News.
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