Sunday, August 15, 2004

Pretty please!

Today, my sister refused to go swimming with me in the afternoon reasoning that it’s not good for her complexion. I taunted her – “how shallow can you be?” and she retorted, “I’m twenty and go to college so I need to look good.” But then I got thinking -- how important are looks?

On most days I just wear jeans and a sweatshirt with no make-up; then there are days when I feel like wearing a skirt or tank top and putting some make up on. It’s a whole different experience on the days when I do dress up – people smile at me more (not only men, but women too), open the door for me more often, everyone is politer than usual and I generally find it easier to get things done. It makes me wonder about the significance of looks in our society today.

When it comes to interviewing for jobs, looks make a huge difference. The other day I was talking to a friend whose company I had applied at and he said I had a good chance of getting the job as long as I looked good to them. The reason was that it was more of a customer-facing job than pure development. He told me that they were discussing a prospective employee they had interviewed and thought he was a good candidate because he had dressed well with a shirt/tie, and had the latest hairstyle. Another friend of mine was lamenting the other day that her sister is unable to find a job because she is fat. I didn’t believe her and said that it makes no difference, but she insisted that people equate obesity with laziness.

At a party- which consisted of mainly single girls in their mid to late twenties - the topic, invariably, shifted to men. We started discussing our dating experiences and how hard it was to find the “right” guy. And one girl commented – beautiful women don’t have any dearth of men to date.

The importance of looking good does not only pertain to the U. S. but I felt the same applied in India too, if not more so. Not that I’m complaining – I got my way easily when I got stuck at the airport in Delhi. My travel agent had messed up and somehow my booking for the flight got cancelled. The person attending to the issue wouldn’t give me a seat reasoning the flight was almost fully booked; so, I asked for the manager. The manager took one look at me and said, “Yeah, give her a seat on the flight”.

My male friends have no compunctions about taking advantage of this phenomenon and always send me off to interact with people whenever we’re stuck in a dicey situation. Not that I’m gorgeous or anything, but I have an inherent advantage being an Indian girl with a dark complexion in California. In India however, I lose the edge and am just an average looking woman. I need to make more effort towards looking good. I find myself applying make-up almost everyday and wearing the clothes I would only wear when going out here in U.S.

I ran out of contact lenses and cannot order new ones because I'm uninsured. I don't have a job right now and am too lazy to get my own health insurance so I'll be wearing glasses for a while now. It is going to be a different experience; hopefully it won't ruin my chances of getting a new job.

have been reading your old blog entries(coz I feel that's the way a blog should be read. like a novel!), and find it absolutely charming that you narrate it all as if on a phone conversation to a long lost friend!
How long does it take you normally on one such big post?

I wish i could write like this, everyday. But I just can't..unless I get impassioned about something so bad that I just cannot sleep!

About this post, I absolutely hate it when that happens. The face taking precedence over the mind, when it shouldn't do! Right from college, when pretty girls had longer vivas(and the questions absolutely stupid) and much higher marks, up to job interviews and selections today, bus seats, conversations....blah blah and blah!

And then they say it's a man's world!
can't say I mind the special attention ;) i started this when I wasn't working so had all the time in world. it's a huge drain on time now. i have a lot more on my mind than i am able to write about (probably have as many unfinished drafts as posts )
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