Throughout our days, in fact, throughout our lives we are constantly making snap judgments and labeling people based solely on first impressions about their outside appearance. If someone is pretty/handsome, we typically assume many positive things about them. If they are homely and/or fat, we assume many negative things. And if they are unusual or strange looking, we become uncomfortable, afraid, and may discount them completely as a person. This all happens in an instant....all the time...day in and day out.
What do these snap judgments and first impressions say about us?
Well...one thing it makes us is an enormous mob of people and media who find it absolutely incredible that Susan Boyle, a pudgy, homely woman, can sing well. The incredible part is not that she can sing a beautiful song, it is how amazed we are - and that is only because of her physical appearance...her outsides. What a sad statement about us!
Isn't it amazing that tens of millions of us are at a point where we think that talent only comes in "attractive packages." Should we be so surprised that homely, pudgy, weird looking people have talent, smarts, humor, character, love....all the things that people have inside.
Our entire Connecticut Forum, for 17 years, has been based on seeing beyond the labels, the outside appearance, the first impression, the fast judgment. Our Youth Forum is also about breaking through the labels and mis-impressions kids have of each other, and adults have of kids, to explore and discover the real person, the whole person, the "outsides and insides" of people through authentic connection and relationships.
Apparently we still have much work to do and we will keep working at it....day in and day out.
In the mean time as you go through the day, look for an unattractive stranger, at work, in a store, on the street... pause for a moment... say hello... if you are very brave ask a question... and see what happens from there. Enjoy the discovery.