Do you judge people by their appearance?

United States
March 12, 2007 6:37pm CST
I'm curious - please be honest. When you see someone you do not know at all, do you judge them based on how they look? If you see a teen with piercings, tattoos or unique hairstyles, do you automatically think they have 'issues' or are 'trouble'? If you see an overweight person, do you assume they are lazy or dirty or have no one that loves them? Are you someone who feels you've been judged based on your looks? Please share your experience too!
8 people like this
62 responses
@ginagee (845)
13 Mar 07
Good god no, never, I would not judge anyone by their looks. I know that sometimes it's hard not to but everyone is an individual and should be seen as one. Piercings, tatts and hairstyles are all amazing and I wish I'd been brave enough do be that way when I was young but I was far too shy - unlike now when I don't give a monkeys what people think of me! But that feeling also comes from ones own self belief and confidence so when I was shy I would feel threatened by someone who looked 'different' now I'm confident in myself I can see that people are just expressing themselves. Not so long ago I went around in a huge purple jumper over psychedelic leggings and purple doc martin boots - it gave me confidence and I'm sure I made some people have a laugh!!! So what, no harm done!
• United States
13 Mar 07
Thank you for your response, it made me smile. :] Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond, I appreciate it. I have rated everyone I just do not have time right now to reply to everyone so hopefully ginagee doesn't mind that I have tagged this on to her post - I just wanted to thank everyone because I am so surprised to see so many people honestly replying to my discussion. THANKS!
@ginagee (845)
14 Mar 07
Well my friend it was obviously worth replying to haha!!!!!
13 Mar 07
If anyone on here says that they don't, then they're lying. Everyone judges people at sometime or another - they might not even realize when they're doing it. We all make assumptions about people based on their appearance, although some of us certainly do it more than others. A lot of time our assumptions are rooted in the way we were raised - some things are so ingrained in us that we don't even consciously think about them. However, making assumptions which you keep to yourself is not the same thing as verbally criticizing or harassing another person. This behavior is unacceptable and I hope that I never do this. Of course, judging people on their looks is not praiseworthy either and we should all strive to have open minds and accept people for who they are, not who they look. However, when you catch yourself thinking judgmental thoughts, don't feel like you are an evil person - everyone does it at some point or another. Just make a note of it and try to change your thought process.
@GardenGerty (93715)
• Marion, Kansas
15 Mar 07
I think having a closed mouth and an open mind are both very good qualities, when we look at other people.
• United States
13 Mar 07
I try very hard not to judge people by their appearance-although I have to admit that I have been guilty of it at times...I've caught myself wondering about that person's home life, possible issues, etc. I think everyone has, at one time or another, been judged based on their looks. You have to have a strong sense of who you are-confidence in yourself-and not let it get to you. In the end, truth always shines through, for better or worse. Blessings
@apky12 (776)
• United States
13 Mar 07
I don't judge what type of person they are by their appearance but I will look at someone who is unconventional and say oh that's interesting so I guess I do judge in a way. I just don't judge what type of person they are and I would still talk to someone, be friends with them, etc.
• Singapore
13 Mar 07
Thank you for starting this discussion. It is really something that is close to my heart. I am someone who gets judged too often by the way I look. It has happened to me on various occasions on the various stages of my life. I do not blame others for the negative judgment that they pass due to my appearance but neither will I change myself so that they will judge me differently. I have learnt not to let the judgements passed by other affect me or what I do. Nonetheless, on many occasions, I have proved many people's judgement wrong at the end of the day. In any case, my experiences has only taught me one thing - Never judge a book by its cover.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Mar 07
I do, but I also try not to....but to some extent I believe it's human nature. With teens it's sometimes different, because many things tend to be a phase. I've also learned that what was considered strange when I was a teen is now more mainstream (tatoos, extra piercings). As for overweight people, I don't judge by weight alone, but by overall appearance.
• United States
12 Mar 07
Thank you for your honest answer as well. I have a reason why I asked - my son is 16 and is on the wrestling team at his school. Alot of the wrestlers have gotten a mohawk haircut during the season. Not the full on punk version with the sides shaved and the top strip really long and spiked but a similar version just a little longer on the sides and not so long on the top. My son just got his cut that way last week and I was a little nervous about it but it actually looks really nice. Then I started thinking this weekend about how people might start to view him and it made me realize how sucky it is that people judge others based on their appearance. My son is a terrific athlete, a really great student and an awesome person with a heart of gold. Not many parents can say that about their 16 year old sons. He would do anything for anyone and he knows how to respect others in the way he wants to be respected. It's sad to think that someone might think he's a hoodlum or a problem child or has 'issues' just because his hair style is a little different than the norm. I hope he doesn't ever see it though, I think at the moment it hasn't even crossed his mind. :] Thanks for your response!
• United States
13 Mar 07
Your son sounds like a great kid! That's really all that matters. Good luck to him!
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (93715)
• Marion, Kansas
15 Mar 07
The team will probably become known for its hairstyle, and all of the little boys in town or in the area will want one, too. At least that is what happened with our high school basketball team. Two of the players had a dad who was a barber, and for solidarity the team shaved the lower part of their heads and left kind of a "lid" of longer hair on top. All of the little boys had to have a "pup cut" (BullPups) too.
• United States
6 Apr 07
I'm going to be completely honest: I do judge people by their appearance. I know I should not, but I do. When I see someone with tatoos and piercings I immediately think, "Wow, that person really needs to find themselves...you've got to be going through some sort of a phase if you're intentionally making yourself look ugly". For all I know they HAVE found themselves and that's who they really are and they're happy, but my VERY FIRST thoughts that go through my head when I see them are that they are confused or lost or have some kind of issue. Same with kids who are punk/goth/thug looking kids. I think, "Hmmm....their parents must be gone alot or never around. No caring parent would let their kid out of the house looking like that!" But again, for all I know, they could've left the house wearing something conservative and changed out of the house. With overwweight people, it depends. I don't think anything of an overweight person who's wearing clothing that is their size and isn't putting their body on display, but when I see one that is showing their body in a revealing way, I get disgusted. For example, I was in a mall and saw this girl, probably around 16 years old, and she had on jeans that were so tight they looked painted on and she was at least 20 pounds overweight. Her stomach and sides were literally hanging out over them. Her shirt was made of spandex and she had a big cleavage going on-it was NOT pretty. And I definitely judge extremely skinny people too. I immediately think, "Bulemic!" or "Anorexic!" but for all I know, they have an overactive thyroid or have been really sick. I know I shouldn't judge others-it's obvious why, but there are things that I can't help that pop into my head when I see people. I do, however, correct myself when I judge. I think about the person and think to myslef, "I don't know them, I can't think that". I think the world would be a much better place if everyone thought twice!
• United States
6 Apr 07
Thanks for your honest reply. I imagine all of us judge in one way or another. I'm very overweight but I still find myself looking at girls like you described and wondering what they are thinking dressing like that. I saw a girl in the mall also, she was about 16 and had a shirt on that revealed her stomach pouch hanging over her jeans. It was obvious she was wearing it that was on purpose but I couldn't understand how she thought that was attractive. I also try to stop myself when I find myself judging that way. I do not feel the same way about people with tattoos and piercings or punk/goth kids. Maybe because I had my tongue pierced and no one in the world would have pegged me as someone to do that but I did. A suburban housewife and mom. Booster Club Secretary.. went and had my tongue pierced just because I wanted to. No one ever saw it, I had it placed further back on my tongue because it was only for me and not for showing off. My sister has a couple of tattoos on her back/shoulder and when it comes up in conversation people are always shocked because you would never expect her to have them. My son has a mohawk now but he's a jock and an A-B student who is well liked by adults and his peers. Good kid with a good heart - would help anyone without being asked. I stay home so that I can be very involved in his life but I imagine people see him at first and think his parents must not be involved enough to care. I'm actually very much involved and took him to get the mohawk myself. :] But you are right, people should think twice. I think outward appearances shouldn't factor when people want to know if someone is a good person or a bad person. I also am one of those who is very much against employers denying someone a job just because they have tattoos, piercings, or different hair. That doesn't mean they can't do the job and I think people are shallow for assuming that. I'm glad my son is planning on getting into a career that embraces creativity and they don't mind if his hair is a mohawk or if he has his ears pierced or whatever .. as long as he can do his job.
• United States
10 Apr 07
Yes, I'm on the same page about thinking twice ;) I did leave something out: Even though it's been about 10 years since I've been in high school, I can still tell fashion trends-like, I think if I were to see your son with a mohawk, I wouldn't think he was disturbed or anything, I'd be able to see that it was just what the "kids were doing today" :D I remember I was wearing these jeans that had holes at the knees and when I got home some of my Dad's work associates were over and he was like, "She normally wears hole-free clothing" and I could tell he was embarrassed. One of the men went, "Oh, you just don't know what the "in things" are today with kids" and laughed at him. It was funny.... And about the tongue piercing, I have a friend who you'd NEVER peg for a piercer and she got her nose pierced! You can't even hide that piercing! She wore it for about a year and it actually looked pretty good on her, but she had to loose it when she began her career. I think that I will always have those random prejudices when I see someone who either looks odd or different from me and my friends, but as long as I can think twice and keep my mind open, that's what will make the difference in the end ;)
@babyreyn (934)
• Philippines
13 Mar 07
Well, honestly, if I see teens wearing lots of earings and colored hairs and tatoos on their body, wearing all black attire, I was disapointed with them because they are as if not a teenagers. Supposed to be they are in the schools or at home helping their families. BUt if I saw a fat guy, I just give a smile, well, maybe they really love to eat and even they don't want, they can't resist. I don't judge people the way they are, unless it is what they want to do.
• United States
13 Mar 07
I'm confused by you saying that when you see teens looking a certain way you are "disappointed in them because it's like they aren't teenagers" and that they need to be "in school or at home helping their families". My son has a punk hairstyle - how does his hair style reflect that he's not in school or helping his family or not a teenager? My son is very much a teenager - he is also in school more than anything else in his life (he is in school from 7am until 3pm and then stays at school until almost 8-9pm at night for his sports). He has all A's and B's for his grades and helps his family with ANYTHING we ask of him. He has chores and he does them every day without being told. He takes care of our 2 dogs and 1 cat. If I ask him to jump, he will ask me "how high".. he is a blessing to our lives and I couldn't imagine a better son. BUT because he has a mohawk, that makes him less of a person? A disappointment? A bad student? A bad son because you ASSUME he isn't helping his family? Sorry, I do not normally do this but your post makes zero sense. You say you don't judge people the way they are but for some reason you feel it's o.k. to judge a teenager because he doesn't look the way you think he should. So, yes you do judge people by their appearance. I can only hope you never know how it feels to be the one being judged - it's not a nice feeling.
@Largecar (56)
• United States
12 Mar 07
I find it wrong to judge people just by there looks alone. It is unnecessary to place labels on those that we do not know. Just because a person looks one way, does not mean that he/she will be a problematic person. We just have to be a more open society and actually get to know these people. One will find that those above mentioned people are truely decent people. I do not know if people have judged me upon my looks alone, and personally I don't really care if one does. It's there loss in not taking the time to get to know the person I am, so it is no skin off my back.
• United States
12 Mar 07
That's a good outlook to have - thank you for sharing!
@Nan110 (470)
• United States
27 Mar 07
I don't judge people. I have been judged by a so called friend cause I'm friends with a Transgendered Pagan Woman. I'm still friends with a Transgendered Pagan Woman and always will be friends with her. HeavenUnaware, Even if I met you in person I wouldn't judge you.
• China
27 Mar 07
we all think it is not right, but I think ,most of people have done this. a good appearance is really give other a good impression .so called loved after first sight maybe is a case.
@omerta (90)
• Philippines
26 Mar 07
no i dont judge people by their appearance. people have their own style and its their right to be trendy,, i judge a person based on the way he/she talk to me.
@ydnac22 (804)
• Philippines
26 Mar 07
Actually when i was still young I judge people right away based on their appearance, the way they dress up theirselves.As I grow up and became matured i realised that appearance didnt last sometimes.Yes beautiful girls and hondsome boys attracts but in the end i see that its not the appearance that counts its the inner beauty of that person.
@lbbaby (489)
• China
23 Mar 07
Yes , I think so . Because all people like beauty or handsome and if you don't show any affection at the sight of him or her, you don't want to make friends with them. I know that soul is more important, however, how many people like ugly people? Probably over a long period of time, you will find their good. It's very practical.
@wildhorse (1293)
• Egypt
22 Mar 07
I know it's wrong but we can't help it but to get a first impression of someone when we first see, I really don't judge people upon this first impression but it makes me either at ease or cautious when dealing with them until I establish if my impression is right or wrong..
@miches (81)
• Philippines
22 Mar 07
I hate to admit it, but yes. I can't help not to. I've been telling myself to get to know the person well first before judging them but to no avail. I always base my first impression on the appearance. and most of the time, my first impression is right. I believe have this innate ability to know the person by plainly looking in his/her eyes. For me, the eye says too much about one's character and about what he is thinking...
@GardenGerty (93715)
• Marion, Kansas
15 Mar 07
I have too many unique people in my family to judge by those criteria. I have people that fit all of those descriptions. How about people who are very skinny as well, while we are making a list of who gets judged. You can also judge positively based on looks, that is why we want our kids to look clean and bright, and "normal". Yes, I think I was judged for my looks, but I was most severely judged by myself, and still am.
@dpk262006 (55919)
• Delhi, India
14 Mar 07
Though it is said, that appearances are deceptive. But appearance of a person, whether a teenager or some one else does count. By seeing the appearance of person, his clothes, hairstyle, shoes (footwears), jewellary, etc. I try to figure out how that fellow would be. If someone is in nice fitted clothes, with lovely haristyle etc. I surely get attracted to that person and he makes a positive impression on me. Some people wear very simple dress, no make-up or special hairstyle. I think those persons are concerned with their business, they do not bother about their appearance, they think about their character and what they actually are (they do not think what others will think about them). If anyone has appearance other than the normal, you tend to guess that he/she is abnormal (may be in positive sense also).
• Lithuania
14 Mar 07
I never judge person according to piercings on the face or fat on body. Piercings and hairstyles are just expression of youth themselfes. They will grow up and get mattured, then will change. Also overweight persons - it's their big problem. But can't accept dirty people too. There is a good proverb: meet by appearance, see off by intelligence
• United States
13 Mar 07
I try not to judge people, but thats not always easy. I think that it is in our nature. We all think that people have problems, but sometimes we don't stop to think about ourselves. Nobody is perfect. I have caught myself judging people, but I make myself stop. I really don't think that we should. Somebody could look like they have a lot of problems, but it could turn out that they are no different they we are. I personally think that people judge me by my looks, but to be honest about the whole thing, I really could care less. I think the only thing that matters is how we see ourselves.