Apr 6Liked by Eneasz Brodski

Huh. You are now, to my ear, the most normal-sounding of the three hosts of The Mindkiller, so nice job on the accent assimilation.

I'm pretty sure that it was one of your old posts - https://deathisbadblog.com/exercise-for-introverts/ - that was part of the nudge that got me started weightlifting in the first place, so thanks. I can't say I've noticed a huge transformation in the way people interact with me, but then I was never overweight in the first place (and am prone to long bouts of not doing any exercise when there is a lot to do at work and I end up having to stay late at the office a lot, so progress has not been continuous), but I'm reasonably confident I've got nicer arms and shoulders now for anyone who cares to look :-)

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I lost weight and noticed the same thing. I can even tell the weights at which I shift into a new "tier" in people's minds.

On lying, I'm not sure people mean it as a lie, more as a claim of what the norm should be, and many people hope that if they believe it hard enough it'll come true. But of course the world doesn't work that way, and I think people who know this stop saying that kind of stuff. But lots of people are unaware, or are aware but feel they have to say the mantra to fit in, or whatever. Still not cool that it tricked you (it tricked me, too!).

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Mar 14·edited Mar 14

I recently came to the same conclusion.

I used to frown at "gym people", who are doing exercise "just for the looks". After 27 years in my life, soon I'll set my first foot in a gym, set on getting visibly fit.

Looks matter way beyond intellect. But when you have both, a whole new world opens.

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Mar 6·edited Mar 6

I am confused by the claim that this is impossible to notice unless you've been on both sides of the divide. I have never been conventionally hot, I will probably never be conventionally hot, and my experience as a fat girl and later as a fat woman is that you don't miss the ways that people treat you worse. They don't let you miss it.

I had peers explicitly say to me "I don't care about the opinions of a pimply fatty," yes that is a direct quote. I have had strangers-- almost all of whom were other women; I was not being judged as a sexual prospect but as a peer-- look me up and down on the street and look visibly disgusted. Not wearing makeup was alternately mocked and taken as an offense. Characters in media who looked like me were, at best, after-school specials about how it wasn't okay to treat them terribly; more often they were jokes about how people who look like me are subhuman so treating them however you want is funny and fine, to the point where my school put on a play with an extended song and dance number about how everyone hates fat people so really if you think about it it's doing them a favor to kill them and turn them into fudge. It was not subtle that "being pretty isn't what matters" meant "your worth as a person is not contingent on your physical appearance, despite the way your peers treat you for it," and was not a descriptive statement about how social dynamics work.

I can understand how a person could get to adulthood without noticing any of this; the human experience is vast and wide. What I don't understand is how, after having noticed that people treat attractive and unattractive people very differently, it is possible to look at the world and conclude that nobody who grew up ugly could notice the difference until and unless they become hot.

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Feb 29·edited Feb 29

I think it's probably even more true for women. Not sure. But thank you for speaking truth. There's a shocking recounting of psychology experiments on the impact of looks on others' behavior that I think is in an Eliezer Yudkowsky blog post on Overcoming Bias.

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A few thoughts:

1. I'm not sure I've encountered the idea that looks don't matter except in an aspirational sense--i.e., looks and weight *shouldn't* matter, and hopefully we'll get there someday if we work hard to shut down this form of discrimination. I'd argue that, in general, we subconsciously link attractiveness with social/economic standing, because that correlation does exist and is strong, for myriad reasons. Thus, perhaps what earns attractive people more respect is the perception that they have a higher social/economic status. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy, in a way, since looks beget social standing, opportunities, etc.

2. The idea that attractiveness doesn't/shouldn't matter in western culture is a relatively new one, right? For example, Jane Austen went so far as implying that a woman's beauty could outweigh her financial/social status and she could marry way out of her economic league if she was hot enough. However, imo this was her spin on Cinderella, and not true in practice. Money mattered more for legal arrangements such as marriage. And still does today, to some extent.

3. It's hard to disentangle attractiveness and confidence, and confidence is another thing that inspires respect in others. Don't you think that you might have had a behavior shift (because of your own inherent biases and self-perception), that caused you to carry yourself with more confidence during/after the "glow up"? Could have contributed to some extent.

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1. It's impossible to tell the difference between aspirational beliefs and real beliefs when you trust people :(

2. I think so? Dunno when it started, but it was in force by the time I was a child.

3. Yeah, it's definitely a possible contributing factor, and one I've considered before. This did happen, but I think it's not the bulk of it, because I didn't change *that* much. And because, as Gordon says above (and others who've passed through the veil more than once have also told me) the effects of moving back and forth along the attractiveness spectrum are apparent.

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