The visible difference

To what degree does our appearance determine our life? Is it a crucial factor when we look for a job?

Euronews visited the Bristol Science Centre and spoke with Nicole Paraskeva from the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England who told us about an interactive exhibit they have developed that challenges appearance stereotypes. The exhibit asks users to match images of people to possible jobs and activities just by looking at their faces, a task which draws attention to our own deep-seated preconceptions.

Nicole Paraskeva explained: “We recently conducted a survey with 77,000 adults in Britain and found that 60 percent of men and women, aged between 18 and 27 years old, feel ashamed about how they look. We find that already children as young as five years old are worried about being fat, or worried about their shape and thinking about going on a diet in order to change the way they look.”

“Children can’t escape the media pressure, the media influence, they’re watching TV programmes at a young age and they see attractive people. The media constantly shows them how they’re expected to look.”

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