Ugly Children

“He’s got a face made for radio.” That used to be a commonly heard statement in the media business. Of course, it was a satirical way of saying someone did not have the physical attributes to be accepted by television viewers.

The study by University of Alberta researchers that finds parents are less attentive to children considered unattractive takes that putdown to even more tragic levels.

It’s the story of the ugly duckling without the swan at the end. It makes me wonder about how we are conditioned by media perceptions of beauty. It’s also said today that “the camera loves” this person. We mean the person’s physical attributes are suited for display in an electronic box.

There has been a ton of writing about young girls and body image. The diagnosis of bulimia has been associated with self-image and perceptions of beauty. This is a cultural distortion that is taking a toll on impressionable young lives.

Maureen Dowd is correct when she writes that the thought of being cared for less by those who are supposed to give us unconditional love is a sad commentary if it’s true. Let’s hope the study is an abberation.

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