What Friends Do We Choose and Why?

In this day and age, people base their relationships on status and appearance more than ever. Would you still be friends with the same people if they were geeks, athletes, bookworms or models? As a species, we humans tend to pick and choose certain individuals based on superficial social norms like levels of wealth and attractiveness. Apparently, if someone isn’t cool, skinny, pretty, or wealthy enough, you shouldn’t waste your time on them. People fail to realize that just because someone doesn’t meet their standards doesn’t mean that they don’t have feelings.

All around the world, the supposed “superiors” of society reject people because they don’t live up to unrealistic, stereotypical expectations. For instance, Keeping Up with The Kardashians is a famous reality show that follows the Kardashian/Jenner family for entertainment. Now, yes, some of them do have talent. Caitlyn Jenner is an Olympic gold medalist. However, what is the most famous Kardashian, Kim, famous for? Her sex tape, which built the Kardashian’s wealth and popularity. We don’t care, though, because they are entertaining, wealthy, and, of course, attractive. People would never watch a show with the same premise if it starred poor, ugly people, even if one of them was a genius.

And who are the most popular and well-liked people in this microcosm we call “school?” The pretty girls and athletes. Gee, who saw that coming? People are more likely to be popular if they are thin, athletic or wealthy. All of the “geeks,” underprivileged and so-called “ugly people” are constantly excluded by people that society considers to be superior to them.

Everywhere you look, privileged and attractive people are constantly being idolized and given opportunities because of their appearance or status. In an article from businessinsider.com, economics professor and author Daniel Hamermesh states, “Attractive people earn an average of three or four percent more than people with below-average looks.” Attractive people have an unfair advantage, which can make them more successful than people deemed unattractive by society.

Now, onto the wealthy. There’s nothing wrong with being financially secure, but have you ever noticed that some people just seem to coast through life on a trust fund rather than work hard like everyone else? Wealthy people can get into amazing colleges and have very successful careers, even if their grades aren’t that impressive, because they can fund the schools. They are even more likely to become famous. This means that even if you get straight A’s, involve yourself in sports and community service, but don’t have much money, someone with a higher status and lower work ethic could thwart you.

Wealthy and attractive people are constantly stepping on average Joe’s because of the superficial nature of our society. Whether it be in relationships, education or careers, those who can buy their way through life or slide through on good looks are more likely to form relationships and get into better jobs and colleges. Where is the fairness in that?