I’m Pretty. Therefore I Will Cut You.

A sexist headline today on BBC, “Pretty Women ‘Anger More Easily.” A study done by the University of California found that women that considered themselves to be attractive, also seemed to have a temper, which led to the conclusion that “pretty women” are more likely to be angry. This study makes me angry and it is not because I am pretty.
There is no standard “pretty,” so it is hard to build a study around it, but I do actually see the possibility that if someone thinks that they fit into certain pre-established standards of attractiveness, there sense of entitlement is greater than someone who has internalized the belief that they don’t.
But that is too simplistic, since women of all shapes, sizes and colors suffer from sexist treatment and that affects their behavior in some way. In some ways I almost see these findings as potential hopeful since women that are classified as “pretty women” are often urged to stay quiet and not get angry.
But ultimately, I think the headline is misleading. This study doesn’t prove that women that consider themselves to fall into society’s definition of attractive are more likely to get angry (also remember it is a very very small sample size so hard to draw generalizations). But it shows that they may potentially have a higher sense of self worth and entitlement because our culture rewards women for what they look like, as opposed to what they are about. I bet if they did a study of women that identify as feminists, they would find out that statistically they too get very angry and have a high sense of what they should have access to. Just saying.

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One Comment

  1. Comrade Kevin
    Posted January 19, 2010 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    I suppose the question is if it is a societal taboo for a woman to directly express anger, and if so, whether those who are physically attractive (or think they are physically attractive) believe that open displays of anger will be forgiven more easily because of how they look.
    As for my personal belief, I’ve known many women who openly expressed anger and I always saw it in terms of personality rather than exterior features.

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