Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Girl. You Better Work.

I had multiple fights/arguments/tiffs with each of my teachers last semester.  They all taught a section on classical conditioning which included a lesson teaching that, "Pretty people get what they want."  The teachers (and literature) explained that people who were pretty had more success in life, they got higher raises more often, they landed the job interviews, they got special treatment at restaurants and doctor's offices.  Pretty people are assumed to be trustworthy, friendly, and helpful.  Pretty people are likable.  This subject is driven home by research studies, psychological journals, statistics, and hours of lecture.

And it just gets under my skin.
I refuse to believe that pretty people get what they want based solely on their looks.

Then this happened:

My mom has a picture of my sisters and I on her desk.  A colleague stopped in, saw the picture, and asked about us.  My mom listed our recent accomplishments:

This one just won a Photoshop Guru Award.

This one ran a marathon this year and is editor of TABLE magazine.

This one has practically started a DIY enterprise with her blog

This one is single-handedly raising her 3 kids and really focuses on meditation and inner peace.

This one is at The University of Utah and just made the Dean's List and she's my favorite.
(That last part was about me and I elaborated on it a little.  Wert.)

She ended with something like, "They are all very successful women."
To which the other teacher responded:
"Well.  That's because they're pretty."


"They're pretty?"  Really?  "They're pretty."  And THAT'S why they're successful?

Pretty's got nothing to do with it.

You want a job?
You kick ASS on your resume.
You prep for your interview.
And you dress the part.

You want a raise?
You put in the hours.
You work harder.
You don't mess up.  Ever.
You be polite.
You don't procrastinate.
You earn it.

You want the big house?  The picket fence?  The pool?
You save your money.

You want a date with someone?
You ask them.

You want people to like you?
Be yourself.
Help out.
Tell the truth.

The way I've built my life was on purpose. 
I chose the man I married.
I asked him out.
I'm at the school I want to attend.
Getting the degree I want.
Getting the grades I want.
I ask questions.
I pick up new hobbies.
I sweat it out.
I push and I push and I push.
But I push.

I have dug in my heels over and over again.
I.  Don't.  Give. Up.

I work for it.

If that's a GPA, a job, or belting out some Cher on karaoke night.
I know I have what it takes.

You have what it takes too.
So, quit selling yourself short.

Quit saying, "They get their way because they're pretty."
That's insulting.
To me.

Because I have substance.

If you put this much more work into it.
If you tried.
You'd be amazed.

There's nothing more annoying than hearing, "I could never do that" and "I don't have the time."
Because 1.  Yes you can.  If someone can, you can.  If no one ever has... you still can.
And 2.  Everyone has the same amount of time. 24 hours.  You have the time.  Quit being lazy.

So the next time you call me pretty... and I say "Thanks"... know it's because I assume you also know that I am wickedly smart.  I am talented.  I've got a lot more to offer than just my billion dollar smile.


On a test last semester the following question was posted:

You are in charge of planning the debate for your political party's campaign this Saturday afternoon.  The topics are heavy and not very interesting.  Based on what you've learned about Classical Conditioning who would you pick to be your speaker?

A.  A non-attractive person who is funny but does not know the material very well.
B.  An non-attractive person who does not know the material very well.
C.  An attractive person who may or may not know the material.
D.  A person who knows the material very very well.

The correct answer was "C."  I put "D."  And wrote under it, "You'd be stupid not to."


4 Peanuts and a Cashew said...

I may have just posted this comment three times by mistake. Sorry. ;). Hi Patty! This is Sandra Flynn. Happy to have found your awesome blog! I totally agree with your post. I also have a question: Do you think that good looks for a woman in particular can work against her in trying to garner intellectual respect? Like, she's way too attractive to also be smart, type of thinking. Also, do you ever feel in pursuing higher education that people think you shouldn't be there and should be home? I've run into this a bit in considering whether to start a Masters program. Anyway, glad I found your blog and I love smart, powerful women like yourself. ;)

Patty said...

Sandra! Hi! Yes. I do think that good looks work against women. People think she's pretty, so must be dumb. She must DEPEND on her good looks to get...well, anywhere. I also think sometimes people won't help attractive people to "make a point." Like, they already have it all... I'm not supporting/helping/encouraging them.
As far as higher education. It's important to me. People have told me all kinds of things and asked me all kinds of questions. It makes me a better person for doing it. That makes me better all around. Wife. Mother. Person. If you want your Masters, get it!

Ginger Bradley said...

This is wonderful, amazing and awesome! Very proud of you. All your hard work pays off.

Poulsen Family said...

Dang girl! You never cease to amaze me with your writing. Well done . . . again.

Juli said...

The "correct" answer is C... and this is why politics in this country are a mess.

While I totally agree with your point here, sadly though, I can say that no matter how hard I work or how driven I am, I get far more respect and notice when I am sporting mascara and heels over sweats and a scrunchy.

It's an unfortunate consequence of the times/country we live in.

Joanne said...

The correct answer was "C?
I chose D....I would be arguing with my teachers too.
Blessings, Joanne

Meagan@Meagan Tells All said...

I'd vote for you if you ran for President. You continue to impress me, Patty!

I would, but I'm Canadian.

Kar said...

You're right; your level of effort leads to your success. Directly. You and all of your sisters are so driven; it's admirable. And now I'm going to go lie on the couch. But not because I'm lazy. Because I rolled on my ankle in the alley and fell HARD. :(