TED Conversations

Casey Kitchel


This conversation is closed.

Lottery vs. "The Lottery"

In Cameron's TED talk, she roughly equates being beautiful to "winning a genetic lottery".

Most times when I listen to this talk and I hear the word "lottery", I think of the Powerball and winning it is something good.

However, there are other times when I listen to this talk and I hear the word "lottery", and I think of "The Lottery", the short story by Shirley Jackson.

Are beautiful people (those that win the genetic lottery) as fortunate as we perceive them to be?

and perhaps I should add:

Are "successful" (success within a profession) people as fortunate as we perceive them to be?

Note: we don't chose our own appearance, and also, we alone don't chose our own "success" (success within a profession).
Ex: A fashion model does not chose their appearance, and the fashion industry, not the fashion model, chooses who they, the fashion and "beauty" industry, view as "beautiful" or good "modeling material".

IMO, if everything really is"okay", then why is a woman who is intelligent and pretty, honestly admitting that she feels vulnerable, when she should arguably be one of the more confident and secure people in society?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Apr 26 2013: Just ask the question would I be better off if I had much better looking features. Clearly most people would say yes. I would be interested in hearing the nay sayers opinion.
    • thumb
      Apr 27 2013: Brian,

      Hearing the "nay sayers" opinions would be interesting. However, I think it would be just as interesting to understand WHY most people say "yes" to the question. Assuming that most of the people who answer "yes" don't know from experience what it is like to be a person with "good looking" features, then HOW is it they are arriving at such a conclusion, maybe even assumption, and from what basis of knowledge do they get it from?
    • thumb
      Apr 28 2013: Perhaps more importantly would be to understand why so many people think they aren't "good looking".

      And interestingly, some people that are "pretty", don't consider themselves to be "good looking" enough.
      • Apr 29 2013: I think everyone does the comparison game. I may be beating some in looks but feel envious of other people's features. Would you agree that people constantly judge one another?
        • thumb
          Apr 30 2013: I would agree that people constantly judge one another.

          Do you think it does anyone any good?

          Making judgments of ourselves and others doesn't change the way we look. But, it does change how we think and feel, and depending on which end we're on can make us feel "better" or "worse". Again, I would come back to the purpose of it all. It seems to me that a "better or worse mentality" does more harm than it does good.
      • Apr 30 2013: Probably not. Maybe this is why the Amish and other religious sects make an effort to keep everyone's attire as plain and not revealing as possible.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.