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Looks-ism Revisited

Please don’t take this the wrong way, but "LOOKS" matter to me.  Ever since the Susan Boyle phenomenon and the untimely death of Michael Jackson, I’ve been looking at the world differently. Oftentimes wondering, have we - as a race of people - erased the idea of looks, mattering?  09angier 600 Looks ism RevisitedWhat would the world be like if we just didn’t care about the L-word?  Then I reflect on my school year and my mind wanders back to the conversations I’ve overheard from our young people. "Janey, your hair is awesome!" And "OMG! Sally, if I only had your shape." And, "Are you SURE this looks okay? lol"

Children are not born to be shallow, so how can we teach them that who they are  is okay? My dad’s famous line, "Amy, I don’t care what they say about you. You’re OKAY with me."  Was he referring to my looks?

That said, I saw this article in the NYT, Brainy Echidna Proves Looks Aren’t Everything, which is what prompted me to revisit the "looks" issue. 

"Echidnas keep their cool, all right. “They’re one of the most pacifistic mammals,” Dr. Rismiller said. “Nobody bothers them; they don’t bother anybody. There’s a lot we could learn from them.” And in that level head sits a mighty brain. Among humans, the neocortex that allows us to reason and remember accounts for 30 percent of the brain; in echidnas, that figure is 50 percent." (By NATALIE ANGIER, NYT, Brainy Echidna Proves Looks Aren’t Everything)

Most people looking at the Echidnas would take one look at them and probably turn away. However, there’s more to this adorable critter than meets the eye.

(Image is from Auscape International @NYT)

Tomorrow I will be writing about the late, Michael Jackson’s looks. It’s important for young people to have clarity as to why Michael’s looks mattered to him.