While I'm aware of the fact that appearances make a big difference in initial judgments (I'm as judgy of appearances as the next person, believe me), and I'm more than sure that some of the
And then I read this article on "How to Talk to Little Girls" that said, basically, you shouldn't tell little girls they're pretty, because it gives them a complex and makes them less likely to want to win the Nobel Peace Prize than America's Next Top Model. Instead, you should ask them what their favorite book is. Now, don't get me wrong--as a little girl, I loved to read and be read to. I really did. I still do. And I would gladly talk your ear off about the books I was reading then (and now). But that doesn't mean I don't still want you to think I'm pretty. And just because you think I'm pretty doesn't mean you can't ask me what my favorite book is. I think denying that appearance is a large part of a person's (especially a little girl's) self-identity and instead focusing on only part of who she is (namely, intelligence) can be just as damaging. Little girls ask you to watch them twirl in their pretty dresses because they want to show you that they're beautiful. They want to hear that they are stunning, because they are. And they also want to hear how smart they are. That's why they tell you things that they've learned and read to you. Telling her she's pretty doesn't mean you don't care what her favorite book is. And asking her favorite book doesn't mean you can't tell her she's pretty.
The thing is, I think it would be awesome to win the Nobel Prize. I love doing science, and I really hope that one day my research will make an impact on how we view moral behavior and character and the world in general. But I also think it would be really cool to win ANTM. Bestie and I even auditioned once, on a lark. I also love wearing pretty clothes and having my hair and makeup look nice. I just really don't like the idea that I have to choose--ugly purses to seem smarter, or pretty purses that make me seem flaky and flighty. Pretty or smart? I'm both. And I want to have both aspects of myself acknowledged equally. And I don't think my intelligence makes me less attractive, or that my looks and sense of style make me any less intelligent.
The whole thing is great, but the relevant part starts at 3:25..