Arnon Grunberg


Social mobility

‘Beauty is unfair: the attractive enjoy privileges and powers gained without merit. As such it can offend egalitarian values. Yet while attractiveness is a quality “awarded” to those who don’t morally deserve it, it can also grant power to those excluded from other systems of privilege. It is a kind of “double negative”: a form of power that is unfairly distributed but which can disturb other unfair hierarchies. For this reason it may have democratic appeal. In poor urban areas beauty often has a similar importance for girls as soccer (or basketball) does for boys: it promises an almost magical attainment of recognition, wealth or power,’ writes Alexander Edmonds on the site of the New York Times.

A friend alerted me to this article and it’s very much worth reading.

Beauty might be the key to upward social mobility; at least for some.