An unfortunate reality of life is that people are continuously judged for the way they look. The first time someone connected my worth with my appearance, I became paranoid about looking less than perfect.
When you are in your early teens, you should be focusing on doing well at school and having fun with your friends and family, and, whilst I was doing these things, I had a pocket mirror and a makeup bag on my person the entire time.
Things got so bad that I would obsessively check how my make up looked between classes out of fear that I would be judged if I had an eyelash out of place. My friends with were equally obsessed with their looks, and this further perpetuated the cycle.
Now that I’m older and wiser, I can see how ridiculous this was, but the experience taught me that judging anybody based entirely on their appearances is dangerous. If they are insecure, it can have a devastating effect on their mental health.
Thankfully, I grew out of my obsession with my appearance. I still like to make an effort, but it hasn’t occupied an unhealthy amount of space in my mind for years – unlike other members of my peer group ended up developing eating disorders.
This is why I was perturbed when I saw a video of President Trump comparing his love of beautiful women to “alcoholism” and bragging about hiring a “beautiful” teenager with “world-class” looks, even though she had no experience. And unsurprisingly, unearthed footage of this has sent many people into an uproar.
Admittedly, this video was recorded long before Trump was president, being filmed ten years ago in 2007, and, although not everyone who saw has become outraged, the footage has divided opinion since it was posted on Twitter this month.
The video opens with Trump addressing a crowd. It then focuses in on a young woman who has a question for him abut a potential job, “My name is Juliette,” she says. “How many jets do you have and how to I apply to become a flight attendant?”
Instead of answering Juliette from the stage, Trump invites her to join him so that he can get a closer look at her. “I think she’s hired,” Trump says, having judged Juliette’s potential as a flight attendant based entirely on what she looks like.
When she gets up onstage she is catcalled by the audience, and, after giving her a brief and handsy embrace, Trump says, “You’re hired.”
Trump then decides that it is an appropriate time to tell the audience an anecdote about a teenage girl who wanted to work for him.
He described the girl as “a world-class beauty”, but said that those who were involved in the hiring process were reluctant to give her an interview because she had no experience. Trump, however, decided to give her a chance because she was “so pretty”.
At the interview, Trump reveals that he asked about her experience, and she told him that she had none, but because she was beautiful he said, “When can you start?”
The now president then turned to the woman standing by his side on the stage and commented on her appearance again:
“Now if she worked on my plane, that’s like a death wish for me, right? That’s like an alcoholic — I have plenty of friends, they’re wonderful people, but they’re alcoholics. You put a scotch in front of him… This would be my form of alcoholism.”
The footage was shared on Twitter by @nowthisnews on October 15, although it had previously been shared by the Daily Mail in late 2016, and it received an incredibly mixed response on the social media website.
Whilst Trump supporters were quick to praise the president for simply existing, others were not so positive about the footage:
Instead of criticizing the president, this Twitter user decided to condemn those who were praising his behavior:
It doesn’t mater whether you believe that Presidents Trump’s comments about women in this video are offensive or not, I think we can all agree that it is wrong to base a person’s worth solely on their physical appearance.
We live in a world where looks are valued more than ever, and I can only imagine the detrimental effect that social media would have had on me as a teen if it had been around whilst I was going through my image insecurity.
That is why it’s understandable that many people have condemned the president – the most powerful man in the world – for making comments in this video which could lead to many people to developing insecurities about the way they look.
The best candidate for the job should be hired, regardless of whether they are deemed beautiful or not.