Beauty of a Woman: Don’t judge us by our covers!

boaw-2013It’s long been said that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but you know what? We do. Everyone does.

Sometimes, it’s reasonable–if a publisher or independent author didn’t care enough about the book to give it a decent, professional cover, how good can it be? But the fact is, plenty a wonderful book has been published with a plain, poorly-executed, or inappropriate cover.

What’s really sad is we do this with people – especially women. Yes, we do. Everyone does.

There are men in my life who, as much as I love them, are really bad about this. Every story, every incident related, if it concerns a female, begins with an assessment of her looks:

“This little girl came into the bar–she was as cute as a button, just turned eighteen–her friends left her and she needed a ride home.”

See how that worked? The first thing he focused on was her appearance. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the man in question got a female friend and the two of them drove the girl home. But still… what did her looks have to do with her plight?

It isn’t just men, either. By the time we’ve spent more than a couple decades on this earth, we figure out that the guys don’t really care that much what we wear, how our hair’s styled, or if our makeup is perfect. We dress to impress other women. How many times have you heard one say, “Oh God, I can’t believe she’s wearing that.” Or “Why doesn’t she do something about her teeth?” Or make a disparaging comment about someone’s weight?

Women in the public eye have it even worse. Sure, the appearance, clothing and polish of Hollywood personalities at awards ceremonies are analyzed to death whether they’re men or women. But the women are analyzed a lot more, and come under a lot more criticism, whether their outfit was too dowdy or too skanky, how much she’s showing her age, and oh noes, does she have a bit of a belly bulge??? Even women who are famous for something completely unrelated to looks are judged by them: “She’s a fat cow, but she’s a good golfer.” The men in my family don’t dis Hillary Clinton for her policies, but for her looks.

Stop judging us by our covers!

Stop judging us by our covers!

Well, I say it’s time to stop the madness. Stop judging us on looks!

That heavyset woman you’re making fat jokes about? May be the kindest and most generous person you’ll ever meet–and one of the most beautiful.

That homely chick at the office with the frumpy clothes may be the person who knows everything that’s going on and keeps the place organized and moving forward. She’s beautiful because she pulls everyone together and helps them all to succeed.

The mentally-challenged girl who’s socially awkward and can’t speak clearly? Probably knows more about unconditional love than most of us will learn in a lifetime.

That middle-aged woman in jeans and a sweatshirt who doesn’t bother with makeup may be developing software that will save the government millions of dollars (we can hope, right? 😀 ). That “old hag” may be the person who gives your children a lifelong love of learning, and turns them onto a path of success or serving others. That ugly-tired soccer mom is tired because she’s raising the next generation, and teaching them to be responsible adults. They’re beautiful in their passion for what they do, and what they do for others.

And Hillary Clinton? Hate her policies if you don’t agree with them, but for heaven’s sake, give the woman a break. She’s in her mid-sixties and spent four years as the United States’ Secretary of State, what has to be one of the most stressful jobs on the planet. Like her or not, she’s strong and tough, and beautiful for that.

What do you think? Do notice people judging others on appearance? Do you ever catch yourself doing the same? Please share – I’d love to hear from you! It’s something I have to work on, too.

This blog is part of the Beauty of a Woman Blogfest 2013, sponsored by August McLaughlin. Be sure to check out her site and visit other blogs celebrating all of the beauty that is a woman! Even better, get a chance to win a Kindle fire with each comment here and on other participating blogs!

Photo credit: Microsoft Office Clipart
Note: the beautiful women described above are just examples; none are meant to be anyone I know. Well, except maybe the software developer. 😀

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.