First impressions are based almost entirely on appearance. When we first meet someone we take a kind of inventory of them. What clothes are they wearing? How well kept are they? How straight up are they standing? How comfortable do they look with their surroundings? The answers to all these questions determine our initial opinion of someone and sometimes, even the long term one. Sometimes, most times, how we look determines how others treat us, view us, and speak to us. For reasons unbeknownst to me, the world is incapable of distinguishing the difference between how someone looks and how they think. The difference between how they present themselves to the world with their appearance and how they would like the world to see them.
The world is so completely wonderful in that no two people see the world the exact same way. We may sometimes see eye to eye, but each of us has our own unique perspective of the world, which I absolutely ache to hear. Though unfortunately people are so often silenced by a lack of interest in their voice based on superficial things. No one has ever wanted to listen to them so why would I? If you don’t look like you might have anything to say, no one might ever ask you what you think. You can’t look too disheveled or too put together, because then you don’t care enough, or you don’t have enough room left in your brain to think about anything but how you look.
Too often in the beginning of my time in a classroom I can see teachers unsure when I walk in, eyeing me with uncertainty like I already can’t be trusted. Unconsciously speaking slower during lessons after they have looked in my, or someone like me’s, direction Someone who looks like their morning makeup routine takes at least forty-five minutes, and they can’t get anywhere very quickly in their shoes of choice. They have no clue that I will edit all my papers five times before I turn them in, just to make sure that it represents my skill well enough. That I won’t take a test and score lower than an eighty without feeling like absolute garbage. Their assumptions that I am academically incapable, do not at all reflect my work ethic, or my actual performance. Somehow, magically, my eyeliner does not glue my eyes shut and render me incapable of understanding intellectual concepts.
We all claim to know that appearance isn’t everything. That beauty is only skin deep and any other cliché about not judging a book by its cover. There is a large contrast between what we preach and what we practice. We cannot make claims about people before they have been given a fair chance, because we do them a great injustice. We do not give them the opportunity to let us into their minds and show us new ways of thinking we may have never even considered. We silence their voices before they have a chance to give us the insight we didn’t know we were waiting for. The tragic result of the first impression.