The Irony

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I’ve been thinking about the saying “First Impressions Are Important” and “Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover” lately and just couldn’t help but wonder about the irony of it. Okay, so the first one isn’t a saying, but still, we’ve all heard it before.

Thing is, it’s not nice to judge anyone based on their appearance and assume you know them just from your interpretation of their outlook. But still, we all do it. Yes, you, me, your neighbour, the police. Why? I don’t know, it’s just part of our nature, I guess? We like seeing nice things, we want nice things, like a nice mug or a nice car ’cause it makes us happy, so maybe it somehow relates to being attracted to nice-looking people? Don’t tell me you wouldn’t gawk at a tall, good looking guy when he walks by, or a slim, curvy lady when she clogs on her high heels. Take this for example:

Situation A: There’s this guy with overgrown scruffy hair, wearing baggy clothes from top to bottom and slippers to finish off his look. So he basically looks like a hobo. Let’s just call him that–Hobo. One day, Hobo is lost in a shopping mall and he walks up to you and asks for direction. First thought: Oh my GOD what is he wearing? Second thought: What is a person like him doing in a shopping mall like this? Is he even eligible? Your response: you either wave him off saying you don’t know where the place is and prance off, continually judging him in your head, or you vaguely tell him where to go, thinking he couldn’t possibly understand what you’re saying, and then you skedaddle off, still judging him in your head.

Situation B: A tall guy dressed casually–but still stylish–resembling your favourite celebrity is lost because he isn’t too familiar with the shopping mall he’s in and asks you for direction. First thought: Oh my GOD he looks just like Johnny Depp! Second thought: Remember to smile and talk as politely as possible. I hope my hair looks good. Your response: you tell him the direction in detail so you would impress him. And then, he smiles and thanks you for your help. But you couldn’t let him go, you just feel like you’re letting an opportunity slip by, so instead of going your separate ways, you tell him that you could lead him there.

See?

I’m using guys as examples mainly ’cause I’m a girl, but you get the picture.

Of course, real life situations aren’t as exaggerated, but you see, whether we like it or not, outer appearance, how we represent ourselves in public is important. It makes sense considering how strangers didn’t have the time to get to know the real you have no other choice but to assume you are what you look like. It’s unfair, sure, but how many of you can say you’ve never made a snap judgement before? I honestly don’t like judging people according to their outlook, but I know subconsciously I still do. Sometimes, in certain situations, certain people you can tell part of their personality through how they present themselves. But when you get to know them, you’ll find interesting quirks here and there that you’ve never expected. But between a Honda and a Ferrari, I would still go for a Honda. Hondas may look average but at least I could drive them every day, to wherever I want. As for a Ferrari, I would have to splurge large sums of my hard earned money just to show off once in a while. I don’t know why, but Ferraris aren’t built for driving, they’re built to show off. Weird.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, people judge all the time despite the quote “Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover” floating around everywhere, people still do. Once I’ve accepted that, I try not to be mindful as to how people thought of me… much. Yes, much. It’s like a self-control thing, like forcing myself not to put too much attention on how others thought of me. Of course I still do ‘cause I guess I naturally have an over-analytical mind.

I do try to keep in mind that: Even though first impressions are important, they don’t last. Besides, strangers will remain strangers, so who cares. Unless you’re trying to impress your boss or snag a client, then I suggest you put more effort into how you look. Otherwise, let people judge and don’t take it personally.

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