If Inner Beauty Exudes Feel-Good, Why Does Ugly Feel So Awful?

[ Note from NoelMiss you so much Ganda and Bunso, thanks for the belated Fathers Day greeting to Wilma “Mimi” Chua of Newmarket, Auckland, and belated and advance birthday greetings to Archie Mallari (15th Sept), JB Baylon (25th) and Ms Pilar Ang-Si, Mr Amado Cobankiat and Mr Jose Evangelista, all on the lucky 26th of September ! Last but not the least, kudos to kabatch Mr Dennis Sy on copping the Outstanding Artist Award from the Filipino-American National Historical Society (FANHS) Metro New York Chapter! Proud to be SJCS Batch 82! ]

PART OF THE REALITY of an accidental migrant is reducing your intake of news from home to Yahoo! Philippines and informal updates from friends and relatives.  Sidebars to interesting news-of-the-day sometimes evolve into urban legends and take on lives of their own.

Which was why we accepted as gospel of truth, beholding the magic and Cinderalla ride of Shamcey Supsup to the 2011 Ms Universe Finals, the following : (1) that kabayan judge Ms Lea Salonga, she of Ms Saigon and Tony Awards fame, didn’t give the same Ms Supsup her due owing to reverse favoritism; (2) that Oprah Winfrey, the richest African-American woman in history, felt that if the title should’ve gone to the finalist who aced the interview portion, then interpreters and unintended precious extra time to answers aside, Ms Supsup rightfully deserved to win the Ms U tiara, and finally (3) our bet herself let go a sigh of frustration-cum-regret (rather than accept whatever decision the judges arrived at) the split-second after her 3rd-runner-up finish was announced.

To this day we haven’t confirmed to ourselves if any of these are true, only that Lea couldn’t have influenced the results even if she wanted to (that we realized was from common sense), and that the Oprah item is highly unlikely, as none of her official communications channels (her website, for one, and her spokesperson, for another) confirmed said urban legend.  And we invite any of our esteemed readers to find sources to confirm the third.

Almost forgotten amid the brouhaha regarding our predictable outrage whenever we perceive one of our own is  robbed of international fame and glory, and by osmosis robbing us of said reflected glory, was the common-sense question : Who could say with unassailable authority that our bet indeed deserved the title any better than Ms Angola, or for that matter, Ms Ukraine, Ms China, or Ms Brazil?

In other words, how can anyone in a room full of beauties from all over the world say who is fairest, not-so-fair, less than fair and plain-Jane-homely (with apologies to anyone named Jane) ?

The answer is : with growing accuracy and ruthlessness.

By a lightning-strike stroke of luck, I came across a recent article while having merienda (morning tea to my workmates) last week, and while there are quite a lot of revelations the article provides, the most important (to me) are below :

First, that a surprisingly solid majority of people agree as to what is pretty, and moreover define almost homogenously what is superlatively pretty, moderately pretty and pasang-awa pretty.  This is of course contrary to the politically correct view that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

The unspoken truth here, based on the article’s findings, is that most people are in agreement as to what is ugly, or homely.  I don’t mean to make any judgments here, just stating what the story says.

Second, that as you and I have probably known since childhood, those perceived prettier and handsomer in any social, professional, community or other group, are more successful, get chosen first for promotions / advancement and obtain higher rewards than anyone else (which are of course, the less handsome, less pretty or not handsome and/or not pretty at all).

I wish to qualify here that in case you don’t click on to the link above, that the article’s writer doesn’t conjure any opinions out of thin air or the deep recesses of his mind and memories, he cites at least two scientific / academic studies that have collated data over a period of years, if not decades.

Third, and probably the most interestingly of all, that businesses, employers and evaluators of all sorts have incorporated the idea of “pogi points” and “ganda points”, for lack of a better term, into how they assess candidates for hiring, promotion, advancement and yes, wage increases.

I hate to admit it, but a lot of what the writer sez, I’ve known intuitively at the back of my mind, like something that I should’ve digested hours ago but my ego couldn’t completely swallow as edible.

I’ve harbored secret and not-so-secret crushes since I stopped wetting my pants (and even shortly thereafter), and abandoned them moments afterwards when colleagues and kababata told me matter-of-factly “off limits na sya Emmanuel.  dami nang nauna sa yo kay Classmate X ! ”  Deep sigh.

Yup, as much as half the male population in class saw themselves as Prince Charming for the same Princess-in-Distress.  What a crowded throne that would’ve made.  Funny thing was, as soon as my bee flitted off to another flower, there they were, the same hive of bees that I left trying to pollenate the previous blossom.

Later in my mediocre elementary and high school career, whether it was recitation, team leadership for projects, extra credit for helping the teacher, or whatever extra feathers in the cap that didn’t depend on pure merit and performance, it was more often than not the fairest in the land (or classroom) that found favor in the Almighty’s eyes (which at the time were eyes that belonged to the teacher).  Would you blame the teacher if among a class population of 50, his/her eyes usually rested on the faces that were the nearest thing to eye candy?

At work, and I’ve worked across two countries in diverse industries, if it boiled down to the boss choosing between Brad Pitt and Rob Schneider for a job opening, both Brad and Rob equally proficient as explained by their CVs and references, who do you think would get the job?

Even for promotions and selecting the acting team leaders in sales-related jobs, there would be lots of ways to justify selecting the fairer aspirant.  This would be especially true if peers were there to influence the decision, and of course we all know that there are always “x factors” that come into play in situations like these.  Well now we know.  X factors are usually the higher cheekbones, the double eyelids, the narrower nose, and no flared nostrils please.

As I implied earlier, I’m not accusing anyone in my past of subjective astigmatism.  Actually, I’m stating it as an obvious truth for the future, the way employers blatantly choose better-looking and sexually engaging prospects for employment.  By sexually engaging, I don’t mean promiscuous or lascivious individuals, rather those who have no qualms about using their sexuality or sexual attractiveness, overtly or covertly, as aids to better chances for employment.

Which brings me back to Ms Supsup, the jilted finalist who will however find no dearth of consolers back home.  I would bet my bottom OFW peso if upon returning home she will not find at least 50 offers of employment on her desk, at least half of which providing for remuneration at least 10 times her expected salary as an Architect, the trade she will undoubtedly excel at but which she will never need to practice the rest of her life.

All because she came within three pretty faces short of becoming, arguably, the Most Beautiful Single Woman In The World.

Thanks for reading !