Over and over, it's "what you appear to be is not the important thing". Over and over we are told that appearances aren't important, that we should judge people instead on how they actually are, and all of that.
I'm not saying that this is a bad thing.
In fact, I would prefer it if people judged on what is on the inside, most of the time. Of course, the best would be if no one judged at all, but the chances of that are zero.
However, I do not agree with this "appearances don't matter" crap. It's true. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Just being pretty isn't going to get you far. You shouldn't aim to be just like those people you see on TV advertisements.
Think about the people you admire for their intelligence. Chances are they do not give off an appearance of being stupid, unintelligent, or anything along those lines. Chances are, they appear to be smart when they start talking. They look polished, or at least they talk that way.
Believe it or not, that's an outward appearance.
It's true that the history of "appearances aren't the most important thing" dates back for quite a time. However, the earlier stories of these seemed to be somewhat more realistic than they are today.
Think about King Arthur and his knights.
First of all, they were honorable. Intelligent, brave, honorable, willing to do anything to protect their kingdom... And yet... They were also polished, polite, and handsome. They knew that although it would be nice to be treated the way you deserve due to your personality, that's not always going to happen.
Or take the Grimm's fairy tales.
Over and over again in these stories you see intelligent, honorable princes and princesses. Fairies, elves, dwarves... The good guys are always selfless, kind, willing to forgive, willing to admit that they were wrong. The bad guys are evil, selfish, unwilling to share power, and greedy.
But, again, you see that the good people- or at least the people with potential to be good- are beautiful, while the evil- or with the potential to be evil- are ugly.
This is enforced in the ideas of the warty old hag, beautiful princess, and the handsome prince. This is even more enforced in the stories where, through her good heart, the heroine becomes more beautiful every day, while the ugly stepsister, through her cruelty, becomes more ugly every day.
Appearances and goodness go hand in hand in these stories.
Now, I'm not saying that a more unattractive person can't be good, or that a beautiful person cannot be cruel. In fact, that can often occurr. However, the idea that appearances aren't important at all is, in my humble opinion, utter crap.
Think about the people you admire.
They probably are not the rude, callous, sexist, and racist who look like they just rolled out of bed and put on whatever clothes stuck to them. They're probably the polite, more polished, kind, fair people who have a fashion style that you would either like to have, or admire them for having.
These are all outward appearances.
Like I said earlier, I do not believe that you should focus so much on what someone appears to be that you don't notice who they actually are. As I said, I'd prefer it if people would judge only on who someone actually is, if they judge at all... However, this does not mean that you shouldn't try to put some effort into how you look, or how you act. Appearances can take a lot of forms. This can include making sure that your pants are pulled up all the way, or that you've brushed your hair. This can include being polite, or smiling at someone- NOT in a creepy way.
If that post made any sense to you at all, good. It's mostly just food for thought, in my opinion, but whatever.
And here is the video I promised! :D
This is me playing the Sonata in G Major, Op. 49, No. 2, by Beethoven... It's just the first... 3 pages... :P I'm supposed to be playing this is in the Sonata festival in February...
It is memorized, by the way... Just thought it wiser to play with the music. ;)