Should Good Looks Matter?

by Maggie Gallagher

A nice USA Today column by Katrina Trinko, but it made me wonder about our contemporary combination of obsession with beauty and denial of its legitimacy. 

After citing research that shows that voters prefer good looking female candidates, Trinko sarcastically asks: “That makes complete sense, as obviously a woman’s looks play a significant role in her ability to govern and to promote and pass legislation, right?”

Well, yes, maybe. We can overestimate the value of beauty, but it (like intelligence, physical strength, a gift with words) affects how effective people are in getting things done and working with other people.

Kamala Harris no doubt works hard to look as good as she does. Why shouldn’t she be proud of it?  

Yes, it’s unfair. Not everyone is born with the capacity to be beautiful. Or smart. Or a great athlete. Why single out beauty as the one inborn gift (developed through hard work) which we all notice, but never speak of?

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