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Better looking children are easier to forgive/care for etc

(145 Posts)
SandyBabyToes Fri 12-Jan-18 10:09:45

More of a "Is she being unreasonable" than an unreasonable one.

A close friend of mine insists a child that isn't particularly nice is easier to look after if they have a saving grace of being good looking. If a child of equal naughtiness isn't good looking, she insists it's harder to look after them in terms of if being emotionally draining to a point of no return.

Of course, she says, if a somewhat ugly child is a little darling then that's fine and they're lovely in their own sort of way, their behaviour even makes you believe somewhat that they have their own unique look.

She has been a Nanny in her time but is also a mother and said she felt the same way about her 3 children. She admits they aren't as equally as beautiful as the other but prefers to concentrate on their good parts and says her "least pleasing to the eye" DS has the most academic potential but also observed that teachers seem to like her other sons more.

I have to admit that I do understand where she's coming from. I have a 12 year age gap between me and my sisters. Both were equally as naughty and badly behaved but I preferred to look after one over the other because one was very pretty and I found it easier to forgive her (no harsh judgment please, I was only 15 at the time)blush

Can't comment as an adult because my own DC is stunning and of course I'm completely biased grin

What do you think?

Disclaimer: DFriend is very unusual in a sense that she doesn't hold fire when she thinks something and knows it won't cause offence to you personally.

victoire1208 Fri 12-Jan-18 10:17:01

This definitely happens. I have observed much less tolerance toward less the genetically blessed children misbehaving at a play group I run. I have noticed people smile at and engage with the cute attractive ones much much more. It's quite depressing. I wonder if there is any anthropological theory behind it?

SandyBabyToes Fri 12-Jan-18 10:19:27

vict I have noticed it too in social situations! It's odd, isn't it?

And yes, I do feel sad about it, even though I've done it myself as mentioned in my OP sad

People seem to put up with a lot more crap from beautiful people too.

Perhaps it's a survival of the fittest type of thing? Who knows - not me, that's for sure.

LyraPotter Fri 12-Jan-18 10:21:16

It's not fair or nice but unfortunately I think it is true. And I think even worse than that, unattractive children can become difficult and unpleasant because they are aware that their more attractive peers are preferred because of their looks. It's our job as adults to moderate our own behaviour and make sure that our natural instinct as humans to prefer attractive faces isn't interfering with the way we interact with children (or other adults).

LyraPotter Fri 12-Jan-18 10:22:10

My post sounds a bit judgy, it's totally not meant to! Sorry for the tone!

LetsSplashMummy Fri 12-Jan-18 10:22:29

I don't think it is pretty that makes a difference so much as a sort of charming thing some kids have. My eldest is much more photogenic and conventionally pretty but socially awkward and people have definitely found them harder than my youngest (4) who has always caught people's eye, smiled when they're talking, listened, sort of engaged with them - if that makes sense. He's fairly normal looking but really charming. DC2 gets away with more mischief with grandparents, nursery and probably us if I'm honest. He's invited on lots more play dates and has way more friends. My friends child the same age always looks grumpy and people just don't take to him. If the two of them get up to something, he always gets blamed as he looks ready for a fight over it - I'm often having to grass mine up to make it fair. A smiley child is seen as misbehaving in a fun way, where I think a more surly child is seen as being badly behaved for the same thing. I'm hoping it'll even out a bit as they learn about manners, smiling etc. but it is so obvious when they are wee.

DriggleDraggle Fri 12-Jan-18 10:22:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Randomlywondering Fri 12-Jan-18 10:24:58

I can see a childcare worker acting in this way but would be surprised to see it from some children's mother.

SparklyLights Fri 12-Jan-18 10:33:50

I don't know. I think before you meet the children face to face, just watching them running around, you could see which are genetically blessed and which ones lesser so, but to me, it's when you speak to them - some kids are absoutely charming or funny or charismatic and to me, that outweighs the looks, it really does.

What IS more of a sticking point is if you get a child who is beautiful AND funny AND charming AND charismatic. They probably do get more attention because they are good looking to start with and then hold the attention with a lovely personality.

But that's probably again mainly if they have an engaging personality more than the looks. People usually like children who respond to them positively. Both beautiful or less so children can be sulky, grumpy, or awkward by personality.

LemonShark Fri 12-Jan-18 10:34:03

Yep it's probably true. Attractive people get more attention and forgiveness and are thought well of compared to unattractive people, across all age groups.

mobile.nytimes.com/2005/05/03/health/ugly-children-may-get-parental-short-shrift.html?referer=https://www.google.co.uk/

It's a difficult one to discuss as it understandably upsets people who can't imagine they'd treat their kids differently based on looks, but it's likely even if subtle. And we're not always a good judge of our own actions or motivations! I think it also understandably upsets people who have kids they worry aren't as attractive as maybe it makes them fear for the child's future due to something they can't help. Maybe some guilt in there too (if you had a very unattractive child you may blame yourself I guess).

It's a fascinating topic. We're very superficial animals.

ZoopDragon Fri 12-Jan-18 10:34:17

People pretend it doesn't happen but I think it does. We are predisposed to favour beauty. Studies have shown beautiful people are perceived as having more positive personality traits.

With children though, I think part of it is how they're dressed, how clean they are. A child who is unwashed/wearing stained clothes/has food or snot on their face and unruly hair in their eyes will be perceived differently to one wearing a clean, well fitting outfit, freshly bathed and hair brushed. The latter will be more appealing to caregivers, on an unconscious level?

My friend has a very beautiful child (huge green eyes, long lashes, olive skin and silky black curls). He is so striking it's hard to be cross with him!

JellyBellies Fri 12-Jan-18 10:38:46

I agree thanks not about good looks,it's all about charm. Charming kids who smile readily, engage well always get away with more and people want to interact with them. It's human nature, isn't it?

ThisLittleKitty Fri 12-Jan-18 10:42:03

Yeh I see where she's coming. My sister kept talking about her neighbours child who was really "horrible" and "badly behaved" when I seen the little boy he was such a beautiful little boy that I was like really?! For some reason I expected an ugly child confused just being honest.

eenymeenymaccaracca Fri 12-Jan-18 10:52:20

I find it easier to forgive my children when they're wearing cute outfits and generally looking nice. To the extent that it's practically worth making the effort to make them look cute just so that parenting them feels less stressful.

AnachronisticCorpse Fri 12-Jan-18 10:52:45

I wouldn’t say my daughter is easy (far from it) but she was an angelic child and is now a beautiful teenager and I’ve often said it’s only her cuteness that stopped me chucking her out the nearest window.

victoire1208 Fri 12-Jan-18 10:56:47

eeny I do this. On crappy hormonal days I force myself to dress them in their Little Bird Sunday best. That way I am less likely to take it out on themconfused We are a strange species.

KayaG Fri 12-Jan-18 10:58:59

I agree, it's true. Not nice, but true.

Oldraver Fri 12-Jan-18 11:03:20

When DS was younger (and prettier) people (teachers etc) always did warm to him and go almost goo-ey eyed iyswim. Its an extension of OH saying...with his eyes he will always win people over.

He's growing out of the cuteness now though

Aria2015 Fri 12-Jan-18 11:03:24

I think there is some truth in this. I suppose in a way if a child is 'cute' to look at, then no matter what they are doing or how they are behaving, they always have a redeeming quality on display (their cute looks) whereas a less cute child doesn't. Does that make sense? I think my lo is very cute (obvs biased but others say it too) and when lo is being tricky, I'll often feel annoyed but in parallel be thinking about how cute they look lol! That surely has to lessen my annoyance and make it easier to tolerate?

wisterialanes Fri 12-Jan-18 11:03:58

I remember in primary school a very beautiful classmate with blonde hair/blue eyes always got a lot of attention/praise and was the teacher's pet throughout the years. She was child model like and even when in trouble the teacher would try to blame another child for "making" her do the act, or "leading her astray" hmm

FluffyWuffy100 Fri 12-Jan-18 11:06:51

I think it is true.

A seriously challenging toddler who is being a total nightmare, who then turns to you and gives you a blinding smile with a super cute angelic face.... easier to forgive.

Same as you get older - more conventional 'beautiful' people tend to do better in life. People warm to them more, more stressful in job interviews etc

Pebbles574 Fri 12-Jan-18 11:07:02

Sadly I think it's true. A friend of mine who is a dentist has also said something along the same lines. Some people have 'inverted smiles' where their teeth make them look permanently grumpy/ unhappy and there was some research which showed that in photos, people perceived them to be less reliable, a less popular co-worker, less trustworthy etc.
DS1 had a similar smile and had orthodontic work to change it (alongside sorting out some wonky teeth etc). He says it was the best thing he ever did, and he feels like people changed their reaction to him - they (and we!) always used to say 'what's wrong? what's the matter?' when he was fine!

FluffyWuffy100 Fri 12-Jan-18 11:07:05

*successful

not stressful

Glintysea Fri 12-Jan-18 11:07:07

It’s often the case I think. I’ve seen it so many times working in lots of schools as a supply TA. One little boy in particular was spectacularly difficult to teach and nurture. He looked adorable though and got away with murder.

BertrandRussell Fri 12-Jan-18 11:08:48

My ds was an extraordinarily pretty baby, toddler and young child. He sailed through life in a way I found quite astonishing! Fortunately he's turned into quite a nice young man, so I don't think it did him any harm......

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