We all have heard about how “looks can be deceiving”, but what does it really mean? What are a few examples that can display and showcase how looks can deceive? And, what are examples of when people indirectly make others believe or assume things that are not necessarily true?
It is never a good idea to rely on looks or appearances to judge anything at all. A prime example of this is the famous reality-inspired program “Inventing Anna” on Netflix, which demonstrates how a scammer has used looks, rumors, appearances, and other means to make big banks and important financial organizations believe that she’s a german multi-millionaire heiress and lend her money.
Another good example is another famous reality-inspired program or docu-series entitled “the Tinder swindler“, again on Netflix, and that follows the story of three or more victims. These victims fell into the trap of one man, who is a scammer, that used appearances to make them believe he belonged to a billionaire family; in order to scam them out of millions of dollars.
In brief, never believe appearances and only make decisions based on tangible and real-life proof and evidence. No assumptions should ever be made regarding anything at all, especially in this day and age where it’s easy to create a fake internet page or social media profile that matches the fake image or persona someone could be displaying.
Here are a few examples of how appearances can be deceitful:
1. How you look doesn’t reflect your intelligence:
We all like to get a first impression of the people we meet because it helps us get to know what kind of person they are. That’s why, when are going to a job interview, for example, some of our efforts to prepare for the interview go to the clothes we are going to wear.
We want to be seen as professional and presentable as we can, even though that may not be our style or we may feel very uncomfortable in these types of clothes we feel obligated to play the game and pretend. And, that’s because we fear being perceived as less intelligent or less serious if we wear something more casual.
First impressions matter, yes, but the first impressions people should focus on when deciding if someone is fit for a professional role or position are: how they formulate their opinions, and how acknowledgeable they are. It takes more time to assess these traits, but they prove to give a more reliable image of the person in question, instead of just assessing what they were wearing.
2. Looks only reflect your sense of fashion or style at most:
If you love fashion and care a bit too much about what you wear, believe it or not, not everyone is like you. Many people don’t care much about what they wear. Not because their lifestyle doesn’t allow them much freedom to wear flashy or more expensive outfits, but because most people’s only concern about the clothes they wear is that they should make them look presentable.
Sometimes, people choose unappealing outfits, simply because they care more about other aspects of their lives, and they’re focused on these instead. It doesn’t mean that their approach to life is lazy or invalid, it just means that they don’t care much.
On the other hand, people who spend more time planning their outfits, try to reflect their taste in clothes more overtly. They may even judge others based on what they’re wearing and that would be wrong, because again: not everyone gives as much importance to their wardrobe and that’s regardless of their social status or financial means.
Also, just because someone likes to spend more time in front of a mirror in the mornings, doesn’t mean that they’re egocentric or that they can’t make time for other people. It means they found their way of showing their taste to the world.
3. Looks don’t always represent your social status:
Let’s admit that there was once a time when better clothes were harder to find and less available to a bigger number of people. Some people had no choice but to choose pieces of clothing with less style with poor quality fabrics and dull colors.
However, that has long changed since the arrival of fast fashion and the dissemination of clothing brands with prices that are adequate to a bigger number of pockets. This means that the clothes someone wears don’t reflect how much money they have in their bank accounts. In fact, it never ever did accurately! That’s because even today that stylish clothes are available and common, you may find many jokes online about the sense of fashion of some billionaire couples like Mark Zuckerberg and his wife. There are even jokes about what Bill gates wear and other important and richest people alive, and they still just cannot be bothered.
It’s a matter of personal choice. Some people, who have a bigger power of purchase, may still not give much importance to how many pieces of clothing they own and they just buy clothes when they need them. On the other hand, some people earn less but choose to invest in a bigger collection of clothes or choose on purpose to spend all their money on clothing to make-believe.
4. Looks can be misleading if we rely on them to make important decisions:
As it was mentioned in the first point, we shouldn’t assess someone’s style to try to see if they are going to be a reliable person. Sometimes, we are right about it, but other times, it’s the people who put more effort into the clothes they wear that don’t have much to show beyond that.
Other times, people use clothing to try to pass as someone who they aren’t and to manipulate you to do what they want. There are even times when we don’t give a chance to someone who is dressed in what we deem as a “lazy” outfit. This could cost us because that person might have had great potential.
5. Looks aren’t an indicator of your problems:
There’s a generalized idea that, when we see someone that didn’t put a big effort in their outfit, they have their heads in the clouds or have a too-busy life to worry about their appearance.
We also tend to judge someone who always looks composed, and appears to have thought about every detail of their outfit, because we think that they don’t have anything better to do with their lives and theirs are much easier than ours.
The truth is, some people care about their style and take it as a distraction from their life problems or even because they feel it’s the only thing that they have control over. Maybe they have many serious problems in their lives, that they can’t fix to that extent, so the only way to feel in control of anything at all or sane is to indulge in self-care.
6. Looks don’t have to reflect your sexual orientation:
Fortunately, this notion is starting to stay in the past. Nowadays, people feel freer to express their personality through their unique sense of style.
And, for those who still feel entitled to judge, they luckily don’t assume anymore a sexual orientation based on the clothing but resort to other absurd assumptions.
People just want to take care of themselves and practice self-love, so what they wear doesn’t necessarily reflect the gender of the people they’re into. If in doubt or if interested, ask the person in question in a kind and genuine way about their sexual orientation and they will share that information with you if they feel like it.