Saturday, May 14, 2005

:: skin deep with aGentX ::

:: harajuku girls, tokyo april 2001::

like it or not, people are judging us every single day (even without us knowing it).

and the first thing of that judging criteria will be based on your looks, perhaps followed by (not in any order), gender, race, marital status, sexual orientation, smell and perhaps taste...hahah.

anita roddick, the founder of the body shop, was disguised as an obese, a frail elderly and a homeless for a discovery uk documentary series called "skin deep" in this series, it explores society's prejudices to people who do not 'fit' into the so-called mainstream beings (if there is such a thing). anita also shares with us about her experience of being judged here, and in one series, even a plastic surgery did not believe her when she told him who she was really, despite her fact of handing out her name card and her credit card to proof that she is indeed a big-shot entrepreneur.

anyhow, arts central is now showing it every wednesday - watch it if you can to see what i mean.

i am somewhat guilty of judging people from the way their appearance, even though i have always reminded myself never to judge others as you have never been in their shoes. i have been lucky so far, because i am someone who has been described as a 'pleasant' bloke. once, in a seminar about self-image and grooming, i have been singled out by the trainer to illustrate the concept of harmony in colour scheme and good fashion sense (well, i was in boring executive wear at that time, not in some sharp suit and chic jeans combo :P). being pleasant and smiley most of the time has made breaking the ice tad easier for me, asking for directions quicker and being indecently proposed (very rare occasion though)

i have to agree that having good appearance could open doors to other people or perhaps even opportunities. just recently, a customer has requested that they would rather deal with me as a point of contact rather than my co-worker as they claimed that with my co-worker, they have numerous miscommunication and have difficulty to understand what my co-worker was saying for most of the time. however, the real reason that i found out was that they did not like my co-worker's accent as well as his unpleasant body odour and rather obnoxious sense of humour, and it did not help that he is not pleasant-looking at, being ugly, smelly and rubbing people in the wrong way is definitely a lose-lose pair of shoes to be in.

when i was a hr practitioner who had interview many people before, some of my business managers have specifically requested that only good looking people are deservedly to be interviewed for the position of account managers and the know, the sales people kinda of job.

being a trained hr professional who insisted on job and profile matching and competencies, i had vetoed some of their demands. i have interviewed former cabin crew people (note, non-gender specifics) who are no doubt, good looking/beautiful, but really could not even speak well enough without any prepared scripts, and have not done enough research to apply for the job that they were seeking, while some not-so-beautiful/handsome candidates are remarkable impressive in their credentials, experience and should be deservingly be offered the position.

sad to say, sometimes, no matter how 'scientific' and transparent the selection process came about, at the end of the day, the candidate with the best look do get the job, not all the time of the simpleton rationale that those managers gave was that, we need them to 'open doors' to get the sales/accounts...blah blah.

of course there are other prejudices regarding to gender, race, marital status, sexual orientation...etc etc, which i am not going to write about it as it may lead to a boring academic self-gratifying post.

what i am trying to say is, yes, there are always be prejudices against or for you, but as long as you are contented with who you are, nothing else matters. last night after midnight, i had my 'nasi lemak' at fong seng clementi road wearing my sarong and v-neck sleeveless shirt and my leather sandals, i knew that many roving undergrads eyes were judging me (either as a ethnic freak or some artsy-fartsy weirdo or whatever other name-calling). but i will never be bothered because hey, sarong is comfortable (but i had to put on a belt to be doubly sure that it will not drop and exposed myself as my sarong-wrap skills are very lousy..haha) and it's part of our identity as asians.

i am lucky that it has been easier for me to say that, considering that i am a 'pleasant' bloke, but i have also been judged to be a male slut many a times, simply because i am too sexy for my if.


Wabbit said...

Ah, of mankind's injustices..I do believe everyone judges to a certain extent, whether they wanna admit it or not, it's probably just human nature. Then again, who are we to judge rite?

SooHK said...

The photo gives me chills...

echa said...

I try not to judge the others from the way their appearances as I don't know whether they judge my appearance or not, but when someone's so stink stink stinky *heheh* I can't sit beside that one, so someone can notice it directly from my behaviour (judging in the indirect way i guess lol)

Cowboy Caleb said...

thou hast been tomorroweth

aGent X said...

wabbit - that was what anita roddick said when she thought fat people could never feel good about themselves because of all the pressure and prejudices :))

soohk - you should see them in person, this gothic look is still big in harajuku on weekends.

echa - i am guilty as charged too :)

cowboy - methinks thanks :)i am paiseh now...somewhat.

Ah 9 said...

the nasi lemak nice meh? i think now overrated...

last time i add one small piece of teriyaki chicken....5cm by's $2...sheesh!

aGent X said...

ah9 - not only over-rated by over-priced liao, the original ones are those that is wrapped in banana leave and cost only $1.00.

Miss Mumble said...

u ate nasi lemak with WHAT???!!
pakai sarong jer..??
*faints* !!
ooohhh..what a sigh tt must've been..
pray tell, why DID u wear the sarong in the 1st place..??
panas eh??;D

psst: next time u malan wear sarong, holler, k??!
then i quickly make my hubby drive me out to SEE u in action...and then prolly coax him to do that just as well! hahhh!!

Miss Mumble said...

malan = makan...
excited dahh...
until got typo error....:D

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