Beauty vs. Brains by Noor-ul-Huda

We live in a society where people are judged on the basis of their physical appearances. Where looking beautiful is more important than knowing how to survive in this world. This is ironic in a world where the mantra of ‘the survival of the fittest’ rules supreme. However, in the case of women, it seems to be the survival of the most beautiful.

The fact that being blonde is considered as one of the Holy Grails in the religion of beauty, the same term is also used to describe being dumb or unintelligent. This raises several questions in my mind. On top which is that is it impossible to be both?

Well, in today’s world, it sure does seem to be the case. An intelligent, successful or career oriented woman is assumed to be masculine, or unnatural. In some cases, it is assumed that if a woman has advanced in her career, it is only because of her physical attributes and not her hard work, competence or intelligence.

This is not a new phenomenon. For centuries, this mentality has been the norm. Mothers drilled into their daughters’ heads to keep their wit in check, or appear ignorant when in the company of men. This was done to appeal to the ego of men or to make them feel superior. It was believed, that this, in turn, would cause the man to shower his affections on that woman.

Beauty pageants are another example of how much value we put into the physical appearances of women. These pageants judge the women on the basis of beauty, grace and charm. However, none of these take into account what is, in my opinion, the most important factor-her brain.

Lately, women have attempted to break free from this categorization that puts them in either of one the two boxes- beauty or brainy. Now, we see more and more women being described as ‘beauty with brains’. While it is a step up from the previous labels, there is a still a long way to go.


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