Sunday, November 21, 2010

Does the cover matter?

Every single person who has had the fortune of going to a decent school must have been taught (in different language and context of course) that one should never judge a book by its cover. Fact that the exterior doesn’t always represent the interior is the basic premise behind the adage.

Apart from few people who actually read books because they have pretty covers, this saying doesn’t involve books at all. More so importantly it is about people. The cover here symbolises the exterior, the looks of a person and the content of the book, a metaphor for the personality of the person. How much are we influenced by how a person’s looks while making a judgement on them? For pretentious snobs who claim they don’t judge other people, I would say this article is not meant for sublime humanoids who are beyond the humane follies. For others the question persists, how much importance the cover hold when we no longer talk about books?
Living in a world, bombarded by pictures of false perfection, do we put too much judgement on some factors which a person rarely has control? This thought has been generated by a rather unfortunate incident in which I chickened out of a situation just because the other person involved was not that much of a looker (actually it is much more sinister but hardly writable). The fact that I never gave the contents any chance doesn’t make me a very good person. Can it be that when it comes to the matters of the heart, looks are the most important thing and personality something second in line? Is it a person’s fault he/she does not look very good? Yes a person does have some control over the appearance but save plastic surgery I don’t see any drastic steps that can make anyone look significantly better than what they are.
What is making it worse is the control against which we are judged are greatly increasing to unattainable levels. Extremely thin models, exceptionally well built male models are being flashed to our unknowing eyes. Oblivious to the fact that these people have nothing else to do whole day other than work towards looking good, plus airbrushing, makeup and camera tricks are also involved. Sometimes the people shown are just plain unhealthy and they shouldn’t be a model of anything leave alone beauty.
The most one can do to combat this extreme judgement is to start judging others in the same way you would want someone to judge you. You cannot expect you to be treated fairly if you go about calling people fat for having few extra pounds because when you put on those extra pounds you call yourself fat. For me it’s easier said than done as this simple method accidently overlaps many important psychological areas of importance like self esteem, self acceptance and third party validation. For those who can manage, the world will always be a more accepting and less judging place. For the rest it will always be a struggle to reach that unattainable book cover. Oblivious to the fact that someone out there might be interested in opening the book beyond the cover page and reading the contents, we will keep trying to photo shop the bloody heck out of the book cover.
Hopefully a time will come that will free us from the binds of judgement in future but till that time we will always try to loose that fat we put on when we were enjoying our life, a few moments which didn’t care for the judging eyes, few moments represented by a nice chocolate cake which like the cake finish up leaving behind a dirty plate of conscience and two hours on the treadmill.

Readers of course realise that every “we” here is me.