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What’s The Price of Pretty Privilege

YouTube thumbnails illustrating pretty privilege arguments are shown in a column to the (left) and a model with the search bar query underneath is shown (right).
Source: YouTube/Canva

Does pretty privilege exist? The jury is still out. However, many women sharing their experiences on #prettyprivilege seem to think so. The hashtag has garnered over 245+ million views on TikTok alone — so what is the official answer, and how do women overcome this experience in their daily lives?

Some may think that pretty privilege is either self-depreciation or some form of insecurity, suggesting that women have deep-seated insecurities that cause them to believe that they are being unfairly judged.

Others may feel that they have it easier as someone who is conventionally pretty by dynamic societal standards, especially if they have had the opportunity to be on both sides of the beauty “spectrum,” according to Glamour.

Many creators on TikTok agree that #prettyprivilege is a spectrum of its own, affecting women in ways that can range from superficial to life-threatening.

While it may sound severe to say that simple public perception can be life-threatening, it’s the unfortunate truth. Many chronic illness patients have spoken out on pretty privilege and their diagnostic experiences, with many noting that they could have been believed, helped, or healed sooner had they just fit the “right” look at their appointment.

Additionally, bopo (body positive) advocate Emily Lauren Dick spoke with Glamour about pretty privilege, noting its power over millions’ quality of life.

“Pretty people are perceived to be happier, healthier, more confident and successful. It’s a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy for many…an attractive person is more likely to be confident because of their socially accepted looks,” Dick noted.

Per Glamour, The expert went on to acknowledge that this privilege, like any perceived “good thing,” can be disastrous in excessive amounts — noting that the effects can directly impact those who are underserved or who are not conventionally considered attractive by societal standards.

Other experts have noted that pretty privilege can lead to narcissistic tendencies in many, especially if it goes unaddressed or unacknowledged for too long.

Dick continued on with the interview, noting that influencer marketing and PR packages could be underscoring the pretty privilege problem — especially with such intense involvement from some of the biggest brands and names across industries.

“When companies provide free products to ONLY attractive people…to amplify their brand, they actively exclude (many) who support them. Marketers must stop indirectly and directly telling their customers that they should be like pretty people to get them to buy their products,” Dick confirmed to Glamour.

When asked what the average everyday person could do to combat the negative effects of society-wide pretty privilege, Dick affirmed that the responsibility lies on everyone’s shoulders; encouraging people to begin with tackling what’s in front of them.

“It’s up to us to challenge internalized biases about privileged people, especially if we are one of the privileged. We must actively challenge our inner thoughts about how unattractive people are less worthy…we must ensure everyone is on a level playing field, especially when they are not. This is inclusion!”


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