3 Definitions of: Appearance and Reality

Road Map to Metaphysics
A STATEMENT OF MY INTENTION HERE: From the road-map above on the far right of the chart; as part of Metaphysics from the branch of ‘Appearance and Reality’, the below comments are meant sincerely to clarify that any woman can be attractive regardless, with the examples given from the female celebrities mentioned as the ideals for each category.
As stated by Edmund Burke as a question: “Variation, why beautiful?”  as he mentions “…nothing very suddenly varied can be beautiful; because both are opposite to that agreeable relaxation, which is the characteristic effect of beauty. It is thus in all the senses.” (page 140) whereas I somewhat disagree, as variation is beautiful in that it is sensitive in its affects upon how things are perceived, so invoking empathy from another, so no other context is attributed to the comments below.

And to be absolutely perspicuous, just as men are judged in facial features, so that this is a fair comparison, that is as to be like-for-like in proposition, there are only three categories of women: ugly, plain, and certain females born au naturel, they combine both to be: plain-ugly.


However, this changes with a fresh outlook regarding facial features, when looked upon realistically and made use of: with cosmetic make-up and a clothes fashion sense, that is, for well being and self-esteem. As for me, the definition of beauty is linked to the sensitivity that gives life to form. For example:

THE DEEMED UGLY FEMALE (varied beauty):

For example when those women in society deemed ugly, such as Keira Knightley (an actress), Estelle (a singer), and Meera Syal (a comic actress), can do a diligent stroke, or a chic style, a regal look, wispy or the je ne sais quoi with ease, making such a female look appealing, as in interesting, because they are differentiable.

THE PLAIN-LOOKING FEMALE (sensual beauty): 

Whilst the plain women, such as Isla Fisher (an actress), Leona Lewis (a singer), and Parminder Nagra (an actress), doing a glamorous look, the sexy look, a very elegant style, plus the sophisticated or cute look with panache, making their facial features impressive, as in magnetic, because they can be demystified, that is, they can be transformed readily for expression rather than as a statement, most tellingly. 

THE PLAIN-UGLY FEMALE (intricate beauty):

And plain-ugly females due to having bold and striking facial features, such as Jenni Falconer (a GMTV presenter), Tyra Banks (a TV talk-show host), and Saira Chaudhry (an actress), could do a themed look taken from their interests; such as character actresses in TV and film movies, or from their favourite music genre such as punk rock, hip-hop, reggae, pop music et al., and also they could do a retro look; iconism or futuristic look; avant garde, making such a female look unconventional, as in noticable, because they already have an image brand that can be made use of. 

Which all in all, is going to be either flamboyant or under-stated.  And above all, looking completely feminine in manner and utterly effortless with an air of poise.  In short, this ‘rite of passage’ for females doesn’t stop once the initial information is given, by whatever means it is channelled through, its practiced daily throughout ones lifetime, both in the realm of mental growth and the domain of physical beautification, nothing fake, mythical or unreal about it, and categorically it hasn’t disappeared — only changed to suit another era of time.

Blog Related Posting: Definition of Self-Esteem.

Weblink to: Edmund Burke (1729–1797). On the Sublime and Beautiful: Variation, Why Beautiful?

Modelled Reality



Wearing make-up definitely adds to perceived credibility, especially for women in business.  To demonstrate this we conducted a simple experiment.  We hired four similar looking female assistants to help sell our training products at a seminar.  Each woman was given her own separate merchandise table, and all were dressed in similar clothing.  One assistant wore glasses and make-up, the second wore glasses and no make-up, and third had make-up but no glasses and the fourth had neither make-up nor glasses.  Customers would approach the table and talk with the assistants about the programs, spending an average discussion time of between four and six minutes. When the customers left the tables they were asked to recall information about each woman’s personality and appearance and to choose adjectives from a list that best described each woman.

The woman wearing both make-up and glasses was described as confident, intelligent, sophisticated and the most outgoing.  Some female customers saw her as confident but also cold, arrogant and/or conceited – indicating they may have seen her as a possible competitor, because the men never saw her this way.  The assistant who wore make-up and no glasses received good ratings on appearance and personal presentation but lower on personal skills such as listening and building rapport. The assistants who wore no make-up were rated worst on personal skills and personal presentation, and wearing glasses without makeup made little difference to the customers’ attitudes and recall.  Most female customers had noted when makeup was not being worn by the assistant, while most men could not recall whether she wore it or not.  Interestingly, both women who wore makeup were thought to be wearing shorter skirts than those without makeup, demonstrating that makeup also presents a sexier image than wearing none.

The bottom line here is clear – makeup gives a woman a more intelligent, confident and sexier image and the combination of glasses and makeup in business has the most positive and memorable impact on observers, so having a pair of [non-]correctable glasses could be an excellent strategy for business meetings.

(pp.276-277, ‘The Definitive Book of Body Language’, by Allan & Barbara Pease, published by Orion Books, 2004)


Whilst the wearing of spectacles has the obvious implication that the person has poor eyesight, this is not the only inference made by a perceiver.  Thornton (1944) found that a person wearing glasses was seen as more intelligent, dependable and industrious than when not wearing them; and Hamid (1972) found that spectacles made a person less attractive. Bartolini et al (1988) found that glasses gave a person a greater perceived authority, and sunglasses less authority, than no glasses at all.  They also found that women appeared more honest wearing glasses and men appeared less honest in sunglasses.  But they did not find a difference in perceived attractiveness with different types of eyewear.

An important point to note here is that usually in these studies subjects rate a person in a photograph on a variety of characteristics.  In some photographs the person is wearing glasses, in others not, and the ratings are compared across these categories.  Thus, the subjects have only the static image from which to make their judgements.  In an interesting experiment by Argyle and McHenry (1971), subjects, on viewing an individual wearing glasses for fifteen seconds doing nothing, rated them 14 points higher in IQ than when they were not, in support of Thornton’s findings.  However, this effect disappeared when the person was seen taking part in a conversation for five minutes.  This result indicated that the effect of spectacles, like a number of the effects of nonverbal information, needs to be considered carefully in the context of other factors: wearing glasses may influence only initial or fleeting impressions.

Why should spectacles be viewed as conferring intelligence and authority on the wearer?  It may be due to a false inference on the basis of the functional quality of glasses (Secord, 1958).  Spectacles imply reading and reading implies knowledge.  From the inference of knowledgeability one might assume high status and thence authority.  Advertisers will often use an actor wearing glasses to give the impression of a scientist or expert talking about their product.  The inferred knowledgeability, however, might be lost if the inference is not supported by additional information, such as what they say [and/or their educational background].

Another aspect of spectacle wearing is the inference that the wearer is conventional, unimaginative and shy (Hamid, 1968).  Our stereotyped image of a bank clerk is of a timid spectacle wearer.  We see this aspect of wearing glasses most dramatically in the Superman character, where mild-mannered Clark Kent throws off his glasses (and his clothes!) before flying off as Superman.

One outcome of this research is that if you are sending a photograph to a prospective employer whom you want to impress with your intelligence it might be worth-while putting on your glasses, whereas if the photograph is destined for an explorers’ expedition or a dating agency, contact lenses may be better!

(pp.18-19, ‘The Psychology of Interpersonal Perception’ by Perry R. Hinton, published by Routledge, 1993) 

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