More than meets the eye

Lookism by F. Aisyah.

Lookism is a form of ideology that is solely based on appearance. People form opinions or ideas and make decisions about something or someone based on outer appearance and this brings a lot of negative side-effects. This ideology affects the current society in many different ways from our behavior, social standards and perceptions, lookism is very ‘physical-based’ and extremely shallow.

Firstly, lookism affects society by being prevalent and very common in workplaces. Unfair treatment because of unattractiveness in the workplace can limit workers’ potential that can improve the business. This is shown in a Newsweek Magazine Poll, it says that ‘overweight people have a harder time getting ahead at work’. One other example, in the same magazine is that ‘thirty percent of people knew someone who has been negatively impacted at work due to their looks’.

In addition, it can also influence youth mentally and psychologically, not in a positive way. The reason for this is because the media are always portraying good-looking actors and singers, leading to an unwritten expectation for normal people to be good-looking so that they are successful as well. This mentality can develop dangerous mental illnesses such as; depression, extreme low self-esteem and anorexia.

Furthermore, this point relates to the previous one, because the youth now are so focused on their outer looks, they are losing sight of who they truly are, inside. For example, so many teens lack appropriate manners towards their parents although they are very attractive outside. Lookism distracts, or rather makes us forget what is more important – our actions before our looks. Islam teaches us that God does not look at our face, rather He looks towards our hearts and checks our faith and actions.

In conclusion, lookism is an ideology that can mislead a society in ways such as unfair treatment in workplaces, psychologically affecting young minds and distracting us from what is more important: our actions. Lookism should be recognised more as something that is morally wrong. These are the reasons why lookism has many horrible effects on today’s world.

Written by Fadhilah Aisyah, Year 9 student of Abedeen Secondary School