Satisfaction Factor

#17 - What's the Deal With Beauty Standards?

January 19, 2022 Naomi Katz & Sadie Simpson
Satisfaction Factor
#17 - What's the Deal With Beauty Standards?
Show Notes Transcript

In this week's episode, Naomi & Sadie are talking about beauty standards: what they are, how they’re harmful, and how we can approach certain beauty rituals in an autonomous way that gives us the freedom to decide what we actually want to be doing vs. what society expects us to do in regards to our appearance. We also cover Hype House, grey hair, and how being told you look younger than you are is a weird compliment to receive. Plus, we’ve shared before that complimenting weight isn’t a great idea because it upholds societal standards that smaller is better (which is inaccurate). But what about complimenting someone’s hair?  Or their clothes? Or their overall attractiveness? Is that okay? You’ll have to listen to hear our thoughts on this!

You can stay up to date on all things Satisfaction Factor by following us on IG @satisfactionfactorpod!

And be sure to check out Shame Free Fitness, Sadie's new training program for fitness professionals who strive to be the change within an industry that is centered around diet culture. Enrollment will reopen in early 2022, but you can click here to get on the waitlist now!

Here's where to find us:
Sadie Simpson: www.sadiesimpson.com or IG @thesadiesimpson
Naomi Katz: www.happyshapes.co or IG @happyshapesnaomi

For this episode's transcript, visit: www.satisfactionfactorpod.com

This episode references:
The Body Is Not An Apology - Sonya Renee Taylor
The Beauty Myth - Naomi Wolf
The Perceptions of Beauty at Work
What’s Wrong With the ‘War on Obesity? A Narrative Review of the Weight-Centered Health Paradigm and Development of the 3C Framework to Build Critical Competency for a Paradigm Shift
Being Pretty Is A Privilege, But We Refuse To Acknowledge It

Naomi Katz:

Welcome to Satisfaction Factor, the podcast where we explore how ditching diet culture makes our whole lives more satisfying. Welcome back to Satisfaction Factor. I'm Naomi Katz, an Intuitive Eating, body image, and self trust coach providing anti diet support to free thinking grownups who want to reclaim their autonomy and consent from diet culture.

Sadie Simpson:

I'm Sadie Simpson, an anti diet group fitness instructor and Intuitive Eating counselor. I help other fitness professionals disengage from diet culture, so they can improve program enrollment, engagement, impact, and retention without shame and manipulation.

Naomi Katz:

Hey, Sadie.

Sadie Simpson:

Hey, Naomi.

Naomi Katz:

Today we are going to be talking about beauty standards- what they are, how they're harmful, and also a little bit about how we can approach certain beauty rituals, or standards, or things like that in an autonomous way, so that we can sort of decide what we actually want to be doing and we enjoy versus what society maybe just expects us to do.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah, I'm excited about this. I think this is going to be yet another nuanced topic that sometimes we don't really consider the depths of how it is, like, just kind of intertwined within our daily lives, and in our beings, and even like how we interact in the world. So I think recognizing some of these beauty standards, and maybe how we have experienced them, either currently or even in the past, is going to be an interesting conversation to have today.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, definitely. I'm excited to to sort of talk about the, you know, the higher level stuff about this, but also to really sort of share how this stuff has impacted each of us as individuals too.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

To start off with, let's talk about what we mean by beauty standards, right? In general, I think when we're talking about beauty standards, we're talking about the expectation to look a certain way in order to be considered valuable in society. And generally, that beauty standard is young, white, thin or smaller bodied, able bodied, lightly toned- these days, and that's something that definitely we'll talk about also, is that these beauty standards aren't always the same- cisgender. I think I would maybe add that there's often an appearance of good health perhaps, depending on what the- what the definition of that is at the time, because, again, those things change. And also, like financial well being- that, very often, there's some part of the beauty standard that's like, you also look like you've got money to spend on beauty. This is something that you might have heard before referred to us things like the patriarchal beauty standard, or the Eurocentric beauty standard. And it is definitely really important to recognize that there are some very big structural systems that are built into what we, at any given time in society, define as beautiful. And also the fact that beauty is somehow used as this like determiner of like, being socially valuable also. Like- like, why is beauty the thing that we base that on? But again, patriarchy and all kinds of other high level structures are definitely why, and we will get way more into that over the course of this episode.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes, yes.

Naomi Katz:

I feel like one of the, like, bibles for this kind of conversation is the book The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf. So this was a book that was first published in 1991. The edition that I have is actually 1992, so it has kind of a really interesting like prologue to it, where she talks about, like how the book was received over the past year, and like rebuts a few criticisms, and I really appreciate that. It's always interesting to see, when something is written that's like somewhat controversial, it's kind of cool to like, get the edition where the author's like, listen, you've misinterpreted everything I've said.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh, my gosh, I know. It- like to have the opportunity to sort of clarify what you mean when people are totally misjudging and misinterpreting everything. Like, yes.

Naomi Katz:

It's especially interesting in this because, you know, part of the whole premise of the book is that beauty standards are meant to hold women- and, now, it's 1991- the discussion of gender in this book is very binary- but you know that the whole thing is basically that these beauty standards are meant to hold women back. And that, you know, it's no mistake that when women start to gain certain freedoms in some places, beauty standards get especially strict and like harder to live up to, so that there's always something that we're chasing and distracted by. And so it's so interesting how this woman writes this book about that- all the criticisms are like, you know, are you telling me that women can't wear lipstick anymore? And it's like, no. Like, you're literally using the same structure to criticize the book that she is criticizing in the book.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes.

Naomi Katz:

It's just- it's very interesting to me. Sort of the whole premise is that there's nothing wrong with taking part in beauty rituals, or routines, or things like that- so wearing makeup, or dressing in certain clothes, or doing certain things with your hair, or like any of those things. Where things go wrong is when there is like- there's guilt for not doing those things, when we feel pressure to do those things, when there is like societal punishment for not doing those things. That's where the problem comes in. You know, to quote her, "The beauty myth is always actually prescribing behavior and not appearance." So it doesn't matter what you look like, it matters whether you look that way because somebody told you you had to look that way.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh, my gosh. I've never read The Beauty Myth, but I feel like I need to now.

Naomi Katz:

I think it's- it really is like a seminal book for these kinds of realizations. Of course, you know, at this point, there's a large body of work about this type of stuff. So that like, you could get to the same place without actually reading this book if you wanted to. But it is really interesting to read.

Sadie Simpson:

Well, I guess social media didn't exist in 1991 or 1992, when all of this stuff first came out too. And now, I'm sure there's been a lot of repetitions, and quotes, and just things from The Beauty Myth repeated over and over again, on Instagram, or Facebook, or TikTok, or whatever.

Naomi Katz:

I mean, that's definitely true. And- just because, you know, like we talked about I think last week, it's really important to know your sources- the other thing about social media is that Naomi Wolf has sort of gone down a little bit of a problematic Twitter rabbit hole as well, I think especially in terms of things like vaccines and whatnot. So, good to take in the source. It doesn't mean that what she says in The Beauty Myth is wrong, or like that we can't learn from it, but it does mean that we should just always know where our information is coming from.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. Speaking of social media and beauty standards, have you watched Hype House on Netflix yet?

Naomi Katz:

I definitely have not. Not only have I not watched it, I have never heard of it. Because I apparently live under a rock.

Sadie Simpson:

It's pretty new. I think it just came out like a week or two ago. And it's on the top 10 shows of the week right now, or something like that. That's probably how I found it. But I'd never even heard of the concept of hype house before. But I saw the trailer for it, or the preview for it, and I was like, ooh, a reality show, I will watch this. Because I love a good reality show. And I love a crappy reality show. I like all reality shows. But just to give you like a quick synopsis, so you can decide whether or not you even want to watch it- and I'm pretty much all the way through whatever's on there, I guess it's just probably one season- but basically, there are like eight to 10-ish TikTok influencers, and they live together in this mansion in California, and they hang out and make content for their TikToks all day. So they're like- actually, the hype house itself is- I think they're sponsored by Bang- like the energy drinks Bang, or whatever- because they always talk about having to make... I know y'all can't see this, but Naomi's over here just like cackling. But, uh, like they get paid like $80,000 a month to produce content for TikTok to promote this drink, and that's how they pay for the house.

Naomi Katz:

Can I just say, as a person who has an online business and creates content for the Internet, this whole concept just makes me want to crawl under a blanket and never ever leave again.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh my gosh, well, same. And apparently, this hype house is the first of many- like other people have replicated this idea of having a content house, or an influencer house, where all these people just come and live together and make money on the internet by doing videos, and getting sponsors, and things like that. They're all really young- like they are pretty much all under 21. Some are like 17, 18, 19 years old. Yeah. It is- and they all kind of came into the scene through TikTok, so it's all really recent- since like, 2019 is when they became these multimillion dollar TikTok influencers. But the first episode, like it really surprised me. I, for one, again, like I didn't even know this was a thing. And that all of the people in the house were, for the most part, like very attractive, young, mostly white people. They were all very- like, they seem really fashionable. They seem like they're the cool kids in high school. And not really like fashionable in like, they're gonna go walk down the runway in New York City Fashion Week or whatever, but like they dress really trendy. And I don't really know a lot of high schoolers, but they wear what I assume high schoolers probably wear right now. But it is interesting in a really weird way.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah. Wow. I- my brain's exploding a little bit just hearing about this. But also not, because of course this is a thing that exists now.

Sadie Simpson:

It's a thing.

Naomi Katz:

But yeah. I mean, I feel like even when I watch fictional TV shows- not that reality show TV isn't fictional, but let's go with scripted fictional TV shows- even there, like it's so interesting when you look at like the actors who portray the high school kids in these teen dramas and stuff. And it's like- I mean, first of all, none of them are teens. Like they're all adults- which, that's been true since forever.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh, yeah. Way back.

Naomi Katz:

Like, I remember 90210, when everybody was like 30, or something like that, playing high schoolers. But it's interesting to think what that does to our concept of, like, age, and, you know, what you're expected to look like at certain ages.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

It's so interesting to think that there's an age at which you're always supposed to look older, but only up until the age when you're always supposed to look younger.

Sadie Simpson:

Well, god, like these teenagers on the show- they just seem so mature. And- which, it makes sense- they've been essentially forced to mature because they're like making all this money at 16, 17 years old. Like it's kind of like child actors. You see all these like documentaries about like what happens to child actors down the road, and why- you know, just all kinds of stuff happens because they they hit this level of fame at such a young age. But it just kind of shocked me, just thinking like, wow, this- like is this what high schoolers look like these days? And they have hundreds of millions of followers on TikTok, and on YouTube, and on Instagram. They are setting the trends for high school fashion. Like what they say is cool- all these other kids that are watching TikTok are going to do exactly what they're doing because they, like, again, they have hundreds of millions of followers. And like, I'm even thinking of other trends that have come up in the last couple of years, like the middle part hair thing, all the crop tops- a lot of this stuff came from that's what these kids look like on Hype House, so other teenagers are mimicking what they look like. And gosh, I even think about, when I'm watching this- we talked a little bit about some of our experiences in middle and high school, but that time is really hard for people in general, and I hadn't really considered how hard it has to be nowadays, with social media, and especially with TikTok, because it really sets a standard for teens and for preteens that this is what they're supposed to look like- that they have to be really trendy, and really made up, and do all these fun, cute things that all these influencers are doing on TikTok. And I just think about this all the time, especially since I've been watching the show. If social media would have existed when I was 15 years old, I would have totally been influenced by what these kids were wearing. Like I would have totally tried to copy and mimic this stuff, and I'm just glad that I'm too old for them.

Naomi Katz:

It's so interesting because I feel like- I mean, I definitely remember looking at, I think, especially like teen fashion magazines when I was in high school. Like Seventeen was like a big one, and magazines like that. And it's not like you weren't seeing these, like highly, like glamorized, like literal fashion models, that like, you know, you felt like you were supposed to live up to, and like, all of that. But putting it on social media is different, because there's something about social media that- like, the whole point is it's supposed to make you feel like these are everyday people. You get this sense of like, well, this is an everyday person doing this, so obviously, I should be able to do it too. And also, this has been the key to their wealth and their success. And so if I want to be wealthy and successful, I need to do these things also. And it's just like, such a weird combination of things- where like, oh, this is anybody, and also, they're wealthy and successful, and you should be too.

Sadie Simpson:

That's a really good point. Because like, even watching the show, they're not producing content for their TikToks, and they look pretty average- like they're not wearing a lot of makeup, for the most part, and they're not- they're just wearing sweat pants, hanging around the house. And, of course, I went down the rabbit hole of researching all of these people on the show on social media, and on their social media pages. It is very made up, very- you know, wearing bikinis, and living the glamorous life in Aruba, and doing all these celebrity type things. But on the show, they just look like regular old people wearing sweatpants. It's just- it's really interesting. It's a weird- I don't know- it's a weird, weird thing.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah. Because I mean, again, like, I remember looking at these fashion magazines and stuff when I was in high school, but like, I knew that these weren't- like these were not just like, you know, kids who might be sitting in high school next to me. These were fashion models, and these were photoshoots, and they were like, made up, and they were dressed by designers, and like all of this stuff. But again, like social media changes that-

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

-and makes it seem like, oh, this is just anybody.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah, this is how life is supposed to be, and how we are supposed to look.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, absolutely. Ultimately, all of this is a conversation about, like, how do we learn beauty standards, right? And like, definitely, one of the main ways we learn beauty standards is through the media, whether that's social media, or magazines, or TV, or like whatever. We learn what's beautiful- like we learn what we're supposed to be like striving for appearance-wise, what's attractive, what's valued- through seeing these things on a regular basis. And it's so interesting how that stuff can like play out. Like I can remember so many different, like, beauty standards that I felt like pressure to live up to at different times in my life. And again- I think it's so important to keep saying- like, these things are not static. Beauty standards change societally, but they also change for us in different stages of our lives. So like, there have been times in my life that I've felt tons of pressure to like wear makeup, and dress a certain way, and appear a certain way to fit in, to look attractive, to look sexy, to look professional, to look like all these different things, depending on where I was at in my life. Weirdly, I've also had periods in my life where I felt pressure not to wear makeup and dress in certain ways, because that would make me look too girly, or high maintenance, or things like that. And so, I mean, just kind of like a great example of how there's just no right way to be a person in the world, basically.

Sadie Simpson:

Ain't that the truth. Like there is just- there's no winning ever, it seems like.

Naomi Katz:

But I mean, honestly, that's kind of the point. Again, like what going back to the whole concept of the beauty myth- like the point is to always keep us chasing these constantly moving goalposts. If it was just one thing, then we wouldn't spend our entire lives chasing it. I don't know- maybe we would- but it would be easier to chase.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes.

Naomi Katz:

Another thing that I just- it's so funny, I actually- Ben and I were talking about this recently. We were watching some show that it came up in, but I cannot remember what it was. But I, for years, shaved my arms as like part of my like beauty routine.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

Because some kid had said something about my hairy arms in like elementary school. And I realized that like- you know, as a, you know, Jewish, Semitic person- that I had like the hairiest arms compared to all of my, like, blonde, white friends.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh my god.

Naomi Katz:

And like, that was just something that I was anxious about for literally- like, I probably am not overstating it when I say decades.

Sadie Simpson:

Wow.

Naomi Katz:

You know, my school, my town was actually pretty diverse, which is nice. But it was also very separated.

Sadie Simpson:

Mm-hmm.

Naomi Katz:

Like, and the popular girls were definitely white girls. And the media I was exposed to was definitely primarily like, thin, white, hairless girls were pretty, and desirable, and whatever. And I just was like chasing that, basically. And so you know, that's interesting. That's another place that we learn these beauty standards, is like from the people that we encounter in our lives. It's also notable because of how the sort of white supremacy factor comes into that like specific thing- which, you know, we've already talked about that part of the beauty standard is whiteness, and Eurocentric, and stuff like that. And like, don't get me wrong, I consider myself to be a white person. And I am also a Jewish person. And there are certain traits that are not necessarily considered to be Eurocentric white traits that I bear. And you can see that in things like body hair, and stuff like that. It also shows up in a ton of other ways for people who don't present as white. But even there, you can see white supremacy sort of coming up in those beauty standards.

Sadie Simpson:

It's interesting how, even growing up, like we were so influenced by magazines, and how teenagers these days are so influenced by social media. But even thinking about other ways, as adults, that we are currently influenced to want to either modify our appearance, or make changes based on what we assume to be acceptable about other people. Like specifically thinking about attracting a partner, or a spouse, or a significant other. I think there's a lot to be said in that aspect of beauty standards, when we're seeking out like a romantic relationship.

Naomi Katz:

Some of that is definitely that we're cultured to believe that, like, we have to look a certain way in order to be desirable. And some of it is that like, the people that we might be interested in attracting sometimes express their own preferences for what they consider to be desirable. We can definitely talk more about that. But I also want to point out that like, what we think of our preferences are also the product of social conditioning. Like most of our preferences are not just like things that we're born preferring. We learn to prefer them.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh, yeah. Well, you know, I used to keep my hair fairly short, like kind of bob-ish, sort of above my shoulders before the pandemic. And then I just gave up on any kind of hairstyle, or regular going to get it cut, and fixed, and things. And I'll never forget. Right after I got my hair cut one time, one of my friends said to me, I really like your hair. Like I would like to get my hair cut shorter like that, but my husband likes it long. And in the moment, you know, I didn't really say anything. I didn't really exactly know what to say to that. But I definitely had some conflicting thoughts about it. Like initially, I was like, well, that's ridiculous. Like, just freakin cut your hair. Like, screw that guy, do whatever you want to with your hair. It's- it's your hair, do what you want. And then, like a part of me still felt like, well, I can kind of understand why you would want to feel attractive to your husband, in this case. And there, again, is just a lot there, like you said, that with the social conditioning of kind of what we are expected to look like, and how we are expected to please other people with our looks, and that kind of thing. And it's just so complex.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, definitely. And you know, it's so interesting, because I think that there's this part of us where we're like, oh, we have a responsibility to ask ourselves why we want to do a certain thing, or why we want to be attractive to a certain person, or whatever. But like, part of that should also be, why are we not asking ourselves why we prefer certain things? Like that why- I feel like there's work on both sides of that equation around like unpacking these beauty standards, and like what we think of as preferences, and stuff like that.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. There's so many societal expectations to unpack here. And I'm sure we'll continue to do that throughout this episode, especially with basing our attractiveness on how we're perceived by other people, whether it is like in a relationship or at work. But I mean, even thinking about personally, on the rare occasion that I actually style my hair, or don't wear a fleece jumpsuit- which is what I'm wearing right now, as we're recording this- and, you know, put on real clothes, and maybe put on a little bit of makeup. Like every single time that happens, Trey, my husband, always compliments or makes a comment on well, you know, you look really nice today. And I don't know for sure- and I have to ask him- like, I don't know for sure if it's necessarily an attractiveness thing, or oh, this is a different thing, because I'm used to seeing you wearing sweatpants basically every day. But like even thinking about this coming into this episode, I totally do the same thing to him, too, if he's wearing something different, like a tux, or suit, or something that has he has to wear for a special work function, or something like that. And I don't know. Again, it's just another whole complex thing to- just to kind of consider.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, that's funny, you've got me thinking, too. Because Ben and I definitely have that dynamic too- of like- again, I am also completely- like, I'm in sweatpants, a sweatshirt, and like slippers right now as we're having this conversation, and that's pretty much what I wear every day. Because what is life anymore? But yeah, you know, Ben and I have a similar dynamic, where when we do go places, and like we get dressed and whatever, that we do both compliment each other on like, oh, you look really nice. I think my sense of it, like my experience of it, is a oh, this is- like this is a change. Like, but also, maybe that's worth spending some time thinking about- is- am I complimenting a beauty standard that I don't necessarily have full awareness of. That's- that's definitely something to think about. Another one is marketing, which is like kind of a subset of the media, but it's also very specific. Like I don't know about you, but I get emails constantly that are like the skin fixes you need.

Sadie Simpson:

Mm-hmm.

Naomi Katz:

And I'm like, I don't actually need any skin fixes. My skin's fine, thank you. Um, but, so I was reading in The Body is Not An Apology. There's- so Sonya Renee Taylor sort of talks about the- the Body Shame Profit Complex, and, you know, that there's so many industries that basically market entirely to your shame about not living up to these beauty standards. In the book, she actually quotes like a Self magazine article from 2017 that said the average American woman spends $15,000 on beauty products over the course of her lifetime.

Sadie Simpson:

Dang.

Naomi Katz:

Right? Well, and especially when you factor in the fact that women also make less money than men, this has like actual economic impact on women- the fact that we feel driven to do that- that's really significant. But it also really indicates how much marketing is directed at us to like uphold these beauty standards, and also how upholding beauty standards is a profitable business in and of itself. That was a 2017 article, and it was $15,000 on beauty products over the course of our lifetime. So beauty products- thinking like mascara, and lipstick, and like- I don't know- maybe lotions, and things like that. That doesn't, obviously, take into account things like cosmetic surgery that people do. That probably doesn't include things like Botox. That probably doesn't include- I mean, we know it doesn't include the diet and like weight loss industry, and stuff like that. And so- which- all of those things are certainly part of this sort of like Body Shame Profit Complex, this like system that's built on upholding these beauty standards. And so, it's just so interesting, if you think about like what the actual finances involved in this are.

Sadie Simpson:

I wonder if that includes stuff like getting your hair colored, and manicures, and stuff, or it's just literally like physical products you buy to like keep at your house?

Naomi Katz:

That's a really good question. Because yeah, if you factor in things like paying somebody to like style your hair, and do your nails, and stuff like that- which, don't get me wrong, I absolutely think we should be paying people for that. And frankly, I think we should probably be paying people more for that than we do.

Sadie Simpson:

Mm-hmm.

Naomi Katz:

But the point is really more, like, what does this industry actually look like financially.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

When we're thinking about how much money this Body Shame Profit Complex, you know, really takes from us, I think it's maybe also worth looking at what we're not paying attention to when we're focusing all of our money, and time, and attention on trying to keep up with beauty standards. I guess this is also kind of timely, because right now there's like the whole social media like 10 year challenge thing going on right now, where people post like a picture of themselves 10 years ago, and a picture of themselves today. And it's always like, either look how much older I look or, oh, isn't it awesome how little I've aged. Which- we'll have a whole other conversation around age and ageism within. But it's funny, because then I actually saw a tweet reposted by somebody on Instagram the other day showing a 10 year challenge of minimum wage and rent. And it was a lot more impactful than these other 10 year challenges. Like just to sort of summarize, they were showing that like minimum wage in 2009 was $7.25. And in 2019, it was also $7.25. Whereas the average rent in 2009 was $886. And in 2019, it was $1,476.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh my gosh.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah. So like, that's notable.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah, it is.

Naomi Katz:

It's such a great example of how keeping us focused on things like how we look, and upholding beauty standards, and spending money on those things, keeps us distracted from this kind of thing that really deserves a whole lot more of our attention. And also, as we're spending all this money on beauty products and stuff like that- which, don't get me wrong, I'm not holding people responsible for the fact that they do that. We do what we do, because we live in the world that we live in, and we're conditioned to do that, and conforming with that stuff brings us safety, and belonging, and stuff like that. So like, I'm not saying we shouldn't- that- that it's our fault that we're doing that. And look at what other stuff is going on financially, that is just like robbing us of power left and right.

Sadie Simpson:

Even talking about the economic impact of all of this stuff, I think it's important that we also discuss beauty standards in the sense of professionalism and attractiveness at work. So there's a thing called beauty bias, especially in a work or a hiring situation, that- it's this underlying thing, this unspoken assumption, that if multiple people are interviewing or are candidates for the same job, the person who is most conventionally attractive is going to be the one who gets hired, regardless of their experience or their qualifications. If they give off like a sense of attractiveness, or they give off attractive vibes, or whatever in their clothes or their appearance, they are more likely to get the job. And right before we got on this call, I was looking at some stats, and people who are perceived as attractive are likely to earn seven to 13% more than co workers who aren't perceived as attractive. So that goes into wages upon hiring, and when you are up for bonuses, or when you have a review from your supervisor. And that, in turn, shows up in a pay increase or something like that. Attractive people are going to make more money. And even in a 2010 Newsweek study, they showed that 64% of hiring managers agree- like they recognize that beauty plays a factor in the hiring process.

Naomi Katz:

That's bananas.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

First of all, seven to 13% more?

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

That's like a huge difference, financially.

Sadie Simpson:

Mm-Hmm.

Naomi Katz:

Like I can't even believe that it's that significant. I have definitely heard and read before that like, this is a thing-

Sadie Simpson:

Yes. Well, I think it's interesting,

Naomi Katz:

-that like attractive people do make more,

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. they get hired more often. And again, it's really important to recognize that when we say conventionally attractive, we are definitely talking about white, and thin, and able bodied, and healthy, and stuff like that. And that's important to keep in mind because that compounds other forms of oppression then. especially since the pandemic, with so many people going remote, and with the great resignation of the last couple of years, and everybody's switching jobs- I'm going to be interested in seeing how this shakes out over the next five or 10 years, because with more awareness that this beauty bias is a thing, with hiring managers recognizing, yeah, we do do this, and just with more options for things like remote work, and phone interviews, and not going into an actual workplace to either interview or to do the job, can these other factors take some of the emphasis off of looks, and off of even dress code, and focus more on someone's actual skills and experience? I don't know. I just- I'm hopeful that that could be a shift. But I just- I guess we'll see what happens.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah. I mean, it would be great if we saw some of those shifts come out of this. Unfortunately, right now, it certainly doesn't look like a lot of that is happening.

Sadie Simpson:

Mm-hmm.

Naomi Katz:

But we can- we can hope, and we can push for it, and we can keep having these conversations about it, too.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. If anybody is listening to this, and you're an HR person, like, let's make some changes people. Let's- let's change this stuff.

Naomi Katz:

Seriously.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

I also think that it's interesting to look at how we're sort of trained for this, and like for these ideas of professionalism and stuff like that, as early as like in school with dress codes.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh, yeah. Well, and even going back to what you That's actually so interesting that you said that it was like said earlier, about how beauty standards keep us distracted from all of the other things that we could be focusing on- I think that is ingrained in us from a really young age, as far as school dress codes. Like I don't know how it was for you- I assume it's probably pretty similar back in the 90s, early 2000s- like spaghetti straps- girls couldn't wear spaghetti strap tank tops, you couldn't show your shoulders, you couldn't show your belly button, you couldn't wear shorts that were shorter than your finger lengths if they were by your hands. And it was always- especially like going to elementary, middle school, and high school in the South- it was always explicitly said that girls can't wear short shorts explicit that it was to keep the boys from being distracted, and spaghetti straps because it's too distracting for the boys in the class. And like, I will never forget hearing that over, and over, and over again. And I never even thought to question it until I was older. It was just the norm growing up. because I definitely remember having dress codes- and like with very similar rules, even- but I never remember hearing that it was specifically to keep boys from being distracted. I actually feel like it was just more about like, oh, that's not appropriate. And I- and I feel like I saw more instances of like, you know, boys having to turn their shirts inside out, or something like that, than anything else. I'm not saying that that's definitely what happened. It's just, you know, whatever, how I experienced it, what my memories and my awareness of it at the time were like. Who knows? But yeah, I feel like in my- like, when I was growing up, it was definitely framed more around, like what's appropriate and like- and I feel like it had much more of a translation into what's quote, unquote, professional. Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah. And that- that was a part of it. But I- like, I can vividly remember specific teachers saying, well, you can't wear tank tops because the boys won't be able to pay attention. I was like, oh, man, that really happened. But yeah, that was how we were all pretty much like socialized, too, of what we're supposed to be wearing upon graduation, when we go to college, and get jobs, and go out into the world, and try to be professional people- that, you know, you can't wear short shorts or tank tops, or you can't have visible piercings, or tattoos, or colored hair. And I know a lot of that has shifted and changed over the years, but there's still- there's still something there, like about professional dress, and just how that is ingrained in us from such a young age too.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, I also think it's interesting- I think, again, in the like, whatever you do, you can't win camp-

Sadie Simpson:

Mm-hmm.

Naomi Katz:

-where like, you have to meet beauty standards- like you have to be attractive to get paid more, and to get the job, and stuff like that, and also, make sure that you're not making yourself too attractive, because then you might be distracting and unprofessional.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes.

Naomi Katz:

So make sure you're exactly the right amount of attractive- not too little, and not too much, whatever that might be.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh gosh.

Naomi Katz:

The other thing that very specifically we can sort of talk about here, is how, you know, fat phobia, anti fat bias, and beauty standards sort of come together, again, especially to have like actual social and economic impact. So just like, you know, attractive workers earn more and are more likely to be hired, there are things that we see where people in larger bodies are almost penalized for not meeting beauty standards. So fat people are less likely to go to college, regardless of their competence. They are less likely to have their college tuition paid for by their parents, which is interesting and probably also intersects with some class and economic issues.

Sadie Simpson:

Mm-hmm.

Naomi Katz:

Fat students are less likely to get letters of recommendation from their teachers. They are shown to receive significantly lower grades in school, despite the fact that there is no statistically significant difference in intelligence or test scores. And then once they get out of school, fat folks also face a ton of discrimination in terms of employment- so hiring, and wages and stuff like that, in terms of housing- so like people rent and like sell to fat people less, and then even in like the- in like legal proceedings. So we see this actually with- with beauty bias, also- that like more attractive defendants tend to get like more lenient sentences and things like that.

Sadie Simpson:

Mm-hmm.

Naomi Katz:

Well, fat defendants tend to be penalized more heavily also- that like people just think they're guilty more often, and are willing to punish them more often. And so it's important to talk about this in the context of beauty standards because, obviously, part of that beauty standard is being in a smaller body. And so anti fat bias is absolutely a, essentially, punishment for straying from that beauty standard. There is an awesome article in Allure magazine from 2017, called "Being pretty is a privilege, but we refuse to acknowledge it" by Janet Mock, which we will link to in the show notes. We'll link to all of the stuff that we've referred to here in the show notes. First of all, this article does a great job of sort of defining pretty privilege, and really giving a good description of how being pretty acts as an unearned privilege. So you know, we're familiar with the concept of thin privilege. We've talked about that here before. And we're- we're familiar with the concept of white privilege. We certainly talk about things like economic privilege, and you know, things like that. So, you know, we're- we're familiar here, within the podcast- we're familiar with the concept of unearned privilege. And Janet Mock does a really great job in this article of sort of framing prettiness as a similar kind of unearned privilege, in that it can help, you know, bring about popularity, higher grades, better work reviews and career advancement, like we've talked about, better legal consequences when necessary. And that- just sort of this this general perception of pretty people as smarter, as healthier, as like, more capable- and they're just sort of generally treated better as they move through the world. She also absolutely points out that there's sort of a flip side to that, also- which is that when you do meet beauty standards, there's this- there's a lot of pressure that goes along with that too- where like you have this sense that your whole worthiness is based on how you look, and that if that changes, your value is going to change. And also that like you find yourself questioning if like when good things happen to you, it's because you earned it or because of how you look. That's definitely an important part to look at here also. My favorite quote from the article though is, "It's unbecoming to acknowledge your attractiveness. So it creates a silence around pretty privilege that only elevates the competitiveness and divisiveness between women who are told we must compare, compete, and measure up in a lookist culture."

Sadie Simpson:

Oh, dang.

Naomi Katz:

It's so true. Right?

Sadie Simpson:

Yes.

Naomi Katz:

Again, it's that, like, be pretty, but not too pretty. And never, ever acknowledge that you know you're pretty. Which- if you can't acknowledge that you're pretty, you also can't acknowledge your privilege as a pretty person. Which, I think, again, we all are sort of at this point now, where we kind of understand that being able to recognize our various intersecting privileges, and oppressions, and marginalization, and stuff like that is really, really important to understand how we move through the world, versus how other people move through the world, and to be able to see each other fully.

Sadie Simpson:

Mm-hmm.

Naomi Katz:

So we have to be able to acknowledge when we benefit from pretty privilege. I think the last thing that is so important about

Sadie Simpson:

Mm-hmm. this article, but just in general, to sort of point out also is that Janet Mock is a mixed race, trans woman. And she, in this article, really speaks very specifically to how this concept of pretty privilege and like meeting beauty standards affects trans women, in that there's safety in meeting those beauty standards, and in being pretty- that like, it's safer to be pretty, because then you're considered to pass. It's literally it's a safer experience as a trans woman to be pretty and meet beauty standards than not. We sort of talked a little bit before about how like, we're not blaming people for doing what they do to meet beauty standards. We're never going to blame individuals for system issues, right?

Naomi Katz:

Like, that's like a founding concept of what we do

Sadie Simpson:

Mm-hmm. here. And so this is a good example of why people might seek out, or like might actively pursue, meeting certain beauty standards- is because their safety in that. Yeah, that's so important to recognize, because, again, like everything that we talk about, a lot of these beliefs, a lot of these feelings, these actions, just all of this stuff- it's not by our own design, it is because of society. It is because of outside expectations that we need to look, or to be, or to act, or to do things a certain way, so, one, that we are safe- like in our bodies, and in our communities, and in our workspaces- and so that we are accepted. So there's- I know, I've said this a million times on this episode- but there's a lot of complexity that goes in to this conversation.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, absolutely. And even the financial ramifications. You know, like, for my financial well being, I might

Sadie Simpson:

Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

So another really specific way that these beauty standards show up, that has certainly been something that I've spent a lot of time contemplating since I celebrated my 40th birthday almost two years ago, is ageism. So, you know, part of that beauty standard is that youth is need to make sure that I'm meeting certain standards of considered synonymous with beauty. You know, it's a compliment when you tell people that they look younger than they are. There's a lot of reasons for why we like have this- almost a value around youth. And I think a lot of it has to do with- I mean, to some extent, I think it's theoretically like fertility and whatever. Which I actually think is kind of bullshit, and hiding behind this idea that like, one, it makes for an unattainable ideal, because we're all going to age, and so- like it's inevitable, you're- like we're definitely all going to age, which means that there's always- they can- you can always be selling us products to try and prevent like beauty, and professionalism, and stuff like aging. And two, people tend to get more confident, and more powerful, and more able to advocate for themselves, and more, you know, aligned with their values, and stuff like that as they age- like, as opposed to when they're in high school, or like in their early 20s, or something like that. And so, devaluing people as they become more powerful and more able to push back against that serves a purpose structurally too. So my parents both look significantly younger than they that, even if it's not something that I particularly want to do, are. Always have. And not surprisingly, I've been told my whole life that I do, too. And it's funny, I used to take that- I used to be like, oh, thank goodness. I used to love getting that compliment. And as I've gotten older, and as I've spent more time contemplating beauty standards, and ageism, and stuff like that, when people say that to me now- which they totally still do- it makes me so uncomfortable.

Sadie Simpson:

Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

I was at the grocery store the other day, and I was buying wine, or beer, or something like that, and the, like, probably high school aged cashier asked me for my- for my date of birth. And I told her, and she was like, 1980, wow. And I was like, um, what? She was very unclear about what the wild because there is a structural benefit to it. was. And she was like, oh, no, I just, you know, I never would have would have guessed you were you were that old. I would have guessed like 90s or something like that. And I was like, okay. And then she was like, not that that's that old. I was like, it's fine, it's okay, everything's fine, thank you. Like, just moved along with my day. But it was so uncomfortable. And like the next time I went to the grocery store, I intentionally avoided her checkout line, because I was like, I don't want to have this conversation again.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh, my gosh, that's awesome.

Naomi Katz:

How do you feel about that? Do you hear that too? Is that- how do you feel about that as a- as a comment?

Sadie Simpson:

I'm very indifferent to it. I feel like when I was younger, I also used to think, oh, yeah, if I look younger than I actually am, that's such a compliment, because it's something that always heard growing up too. Even thinking about you mentioning your parents looking younger than they actually are- I was just having this conversation with Trey- I can remember when I was a teenager thinking my grandparents- they just- they looked like older people to me, like they had features of what I pictured older people to look like. But when I think of my parents, and my in laws, and people that are like my parents age, they just don't look that old to me. And I don't know if it's because I am older, or that things like hair dyeing, and Botox, and just all of these other things exist now to make that generation look a little bit younger, but I just don't feel like people who are from the Boomer generation- they just don't seem as old to me in appearance-wise than the people like my grandparents age. I don't know. Have you ever like had those thoughts?

Naomi Katz:

Hmm, I haven't actually. But part of that is because my parents have always looked kind of young. Like my- for my parents, like I- it's definitely a genes thing. And, like, my brothers also look younger than they are, I look younger than I am, generally. Like, I can't say I ever really thought about it with my grandparents. Which- if it's genetic, I imagine they probably do. But like, I don't know. Like, I just didn't register it, I guess, until- like, by the time I would have registered it, they would have actually been old enough that they looked old, you know?

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Naomi Katz:

But that's really interesting. But, by the way, the genetic part of it is also why I have such a hard time with it as a compliment. And like I will sometimes, if I'm like present enough mentally when if people say something like that to me, I literally will just be like, thanks, I have good genes. Cuz I feel like it's not an accomplishment. I have not done anything here. This is not something I've chosen for myself at all.

Sadie Simpson:

Unearned privilege right there.

Naomi Katz:

Exactly. And, having said that, I actually love the things that do signal age for myself. Like I love my gray hairs. I recently realized that I am like starting to get a noticeable streak of gray hair in one place, and I feel like I have accomplished my lifelong hair goal. Like I'm so psyched about it. Ben calls them my silvers, and it makes me feel like so special and good.

Sadie Simpson:

That is so adorable.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, I just- you know, it's- it's funny how I, personally, have come to like, really embrace that stuff. But then I look at- you know, speaking to kind of what you brought up- I look at people from my parents' generation, and they would never think of not dyeing their hair to cover grays.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh no.

Naomi Katz:

And even going back to like, honoring what our partners prefer, or what they find desirable- like, I know that sometimes even their partners reinforce that by saying things like, why would you want to look old, and stuff like that. Like, it's just- there's definitely a generational thing. Because I know a lot of people from like our generation who are like, yay, gray hair.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. Well, I- like, I feel like that will be me. And maybe down the road, I may change my mind, who knows. But my mom and her siblings, like they were all darker haired people like me, and they didn't really start having gray hairs until- like, I can remember them when I was in like high school- they were like older in life when they started getting gray hairs. And obviously, like most of the women do the whole hair dyeing thing. But I've been thinking about that a lot lately, too, as I'm creeping up on 40. And even now, I don't like devoting a lot of time, or energy, and especially not a lot of money into beauty stuff. And just the thought of the maintenance of going to the salon, and the cost of getting your hair done on a regular basis, to like get your roots done or whatever- like that is just not something that appeals to me. And again, that might change over time, I don't know. But it just seems really stressful, and really time consuming, and just not for me. But that's not to say, you know, maybe other people do like that priority, or that's something that they want to prioritize. But that just doesn't feel like my thing, as of right now anyway.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, totally. Like, I love going to get my hair done. It is one of my favorite things. And part of that is because I love my stylist so, so much. She's amazing. But I like going to the salon for like, fun things. Like the idea of having to go and get my hair done for like maintenance, and like to cover something up- like I don't know- like, that feels very different to me, as opposed to, oh, cool, I'm going to get my haircut and check in with my stylist.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah, you know, it's more of a fun thing versus a chore. Because when like things turn into a chore, that's when it just- things just start to suck.

Naomi Katz:

So that's kind of the perfect segue into sort of what I feel like is the point of all of this, which is that we get to choose what of this stuff we want to participate in or not- that like autonomy over our choices is the most important thing always. And as we've talked about before, having an awareness of the social conditioning, and the systems, and all of that stuff that come into play, when making choices, is the only way to make them truly autonomous. That's that informed consent thing- like does this align with my values, or does it not. But ultimately, we get to choose where we want to participate and where we don't. And it's really not about what beauty trends, or routines, or standards, or whatever we choose to participate in, but why we choose to participate in them, and like whether we can do that with like, just full autonomous knowledge of why we're making these choices. Sonya Renee Taylor, again, in The Body is Not An Apology, when she talks about this, she sort of frames it as, are we buying things because we enrich our lives, or are we doing them because we're trying to fix something? I think she calls it best interest buying and detrimental buying. I'm going to say that that is not a direct quote, because I'm pulling it from memory, but it's- if it's not that, it's something very similar to that. And I really love that framing of like, just really taking the time to figure out why are we doing stuff.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah, not just doing it because we feel like it's what we're expected to do, it's because what everybody else does, but like, are we doing this stuff because we actually enjoy it, it is a value for us, it's something that we choose to prioritize, not something that we're like, okay, I'm 40 years old, I'm getting gray hairs, time to start getting my hair dyed. Like that's not a thing that we have to do unless we want to. And if we want to, that's fine too.

Naomi Katz:

Totally. And again, it's not even about what the end decision is. It's about have we chosen it for ourselves. So makeup, I feel like for me, and like nail stuff, like is a great example of that for me. So like, I love wearing makeup like for my Nourish & Bloom calls once a month, and like sometimes if I'm going out- like back when that was a thing. But I never wear it for my like day to day one to one calls, and I always feel free to skip it for anything if I just don't feel like it. Like it- the point is, it's fun, not an obligation. And even within the context of makeup- like I know, I used to worry like, oh, like I'm just going wherever, this red lipstick is probably too much, or this like bright pink lipstick is- I should probably just go with something like more muted or whatever. And now I'm like, I don't care where I'm going, pink lipstick. Let's make it bold. Let's have fun with it. Because the point is that I'm not trying to fix something. I'm trying to have fun with something. And so like the intent has changed, even though sometimes the outcome is the same. The nails is interesting, too. Like when I used to teach at that Pilates studio- and we've talked before about like how super judgmental and terrible that place was- I spent money that I definitely did not have on weekly manicures- -because like I had to. Like I was so broke when I

Sadie Simpson:

Wow. was a Pilates instructor- like so, so broke- but I still went and got my nails done every week, because I felt like this was a thing that was part of how I was judged, and like it somehow reflected some part of my professionalism. Ditto for like the types of workout clothes I was spending money on and stuff like that. And like just thinking back to like, oh my god, what like a toxic situation that was, as opposed to now- we've talked before- I love doing fun things to my nails now, whether it's painting them, or like ordering things like decals, and like stick on nails, and all kinds of stuff like that. I love it. It's totally part of my self care now, but it is in no way an obligation. So just, again, the outcome's the same, the intent and the way it feels is totally different. That's funny that you say that about putting on makeup before your nourish and bloom calls. And even though I'm not really like a much of a makeup person these days I used to be when I was in middle school, I was like a straight up blue mascara go to Claire's about all the different colors of brightly colored mascara and fingernail polish and glittery eyeshadow like that was my jam when I was 13 years old. And honestly like sometimes I still go back to that. I'm like, Man, if I was still a makeup person, it would totally be glittery eyeshadow, like when I was 30. But um, but yeah, like I was always always made up in middle school and I always had my nails painted a funky color. And that was when like colorful nail polish was just emerging. You know what, just the red or the pinks or whatever. And I'll never forget I would do a sleepover in sixth grade and I have blue nail polish and this girl Amanda said me and my mom would never let me paint my nails blue. She would never let me wear a blue nail polish. And I always remember that and I always thought it was funny that she ended up becoming a hairstylist and a cosmetologist and did makeup for a living. But anyways,

Naomi Katz:

Oh, interesting, though.

Sadie Simpson:

I know. I know. But you know, again, going back to the whole thing, like I'm not much of a makeup person these days. But weirdly enough, I always like to put on just a little bit of like either foundation or mascara or something before I'm going to teach a group exercise class or before a personal training session because it's just for some reason it feels good to me like it feels like it's part of my routine to do like a little bit of something before I'll leave the house and it's weird these days because even like when I teach in person classes, I'm wearing a mask. I like the ritual of doing something but again, it's not an obligation some days I don't wear any makeup at all, but I don't know it's just for me again it's like a routine ritual kind of a thing. Yeah,

Naomi Katz:

I could see that being like the kind of thing that acts as like a delineation or like a buffer between like in the house versus out of out of the house and like, especially these days where in the house basically means You're in a police sweat suit or like sweat pants and a sweatshirt or something like that. And just like, like not seeing anybody I can totally see there being like, something enjoyable about just having a little bit of a routine around leaving the house and like setting that apart from who you are in the house. Yeah, well,

Sadie Simpson:

even right after I had a baby, like it was probably two or three weeks later, my cousin Sarah came by to visit. And she looked at me, she said, Did you put on makeup before I came over? And I looked right back at her. And I was like, Yes, I did. Because this is the only thing that kind of makes me feel a little bit normal during a time, like when I was getting zero sleep. And like things were going crazy with my body and all this stuff. I was like, it feels good and normal to put on a little bit of makeup. So

Naomi Katz:

I love that. I have totally heard that from new moms before. Yeah, that like, there's just, it just makes you feel a little like, Okay, I'm a person that is separate from this baby that is attached to me. Like, I can still do this basically. And yeah, like that's the thing is sometimes as it's important to bring awareness to some of the harms that these like that like beauty standards as a system. And as a requirement can do. That also doesn't mean that individual rituals and routines and like the way we participate in this stuff is in and of itself a bad thing. And then of course, there's also the whole thing about like, sometimes we choose to opt into those things, because there's like a specific benefit to it, like, possibly getting paid more or getting hired or like feeling safe or whatever. So like, yeah, it's always about the why not about the what?

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah, yeah. And I think that's a perfect example, too, of how this all ties back in to the concepts of intuitive eating and disengaging from diet culture, and being able to make choices for ourselves based on our own autonomous decisions. And again, repeating what you said like it's not the what is the why. And we do see this through intuitive eating in how joyful movement works, and how we make our food choices, and our self care practices in literally everything. And I think this conversation about beauty standards, and being able to opt in to what we perceive as valuable as individuals is is important. And just to recognize that we don't have to opt into doing all the things that we assume are expected of us in regards to our appearance.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, absolutely. Beauty is not an obligation any more than health is an obligation or thinness is an obligation or any of that stuff. Yeah.

Sadie Simpson:

Before we wrap up, though, I do want to ask you a question and kind of get your thoughts on this. So we've talked before about complementing weight loss and how it's never okay, to complement weight loss. How do you feel about complimenting appearance? And do you consider complimenting appearance to be the same thing as complementing weight loss? Not to put you on the spot?

Naomi Katz:

I love this question. And I think as usual, it's not a black and white answer. I think that a lot of it has to do with the context and like what we're complementing. So like I said, I'm very uncomfortable with compliments about like, oh, like, you look young, or like you look younger than you are. Um, and I do think that that's kind of a I guess there is harm and compliments like that, like very similar to complementing weight loss, because, one, I'm going to age and what does that mean, as I get older, to its unearned I didn't do anything like this is my genetics, much like body size, and even the success or failure of diets and exercise and stuff like that in terms of like actually losing weight. And so I think that that's not a that's not a good compliment. And it it just it's not I think it's very similar to like a weight loss compliment. And so I think that in general compliments that are based on things that are out of our control, like unearned privilege, but yeah, that's not a petition. Killer really helpful compliment, as opposed to compliments, like about an outfit or like a makeup choice or hairstyle even. Because those are things that like maybe you've chosen and like, you're essentially complimenting my taste, or like the way I've put things together or you know, things like that, that like, I feel like are more of an expression of myself. And my, I don't know, like, I've had more control over those choices that you're complimenting, as opposed to just like, hey, nice jeans, and my jeans, I mean genetics.

Sadie Simpson:

Not like your pants. I love that take on it. Because I've kind of like wrestled with this a little bit, thinking of like, is it the same as complementing weight loss, and I like the perspective of well, you know, on the things that I choose, like my hairstyle, or my lipstick, or whatever, like, that's a little bit different than just saying, Oh, you're just so naturally pretty and young. And that sort of thing. Like it does feel completely different on the receiving end. And I guess one of the reasons why I was thinking about that question, even in the context of this episode, is you hear a lot of stuff, or I've like read a lot of things. And I don't have a specific example to cite. But just anecdotally, in regards to things like self esteem, and how we perceive ourselves, of being able to accept compliments from other people, and whenever you were talking about it earlier, about how when you did get complimented, that you looked so young, and you didn't know how to respond to it, or it's like, okay, like how to respond to this. I think that that's often left out of this conversation. Whenever people are talking about, hey, you need to be able to accept the compliment, but it when it is based on something that's kind of like an unearned privilege, it doesn't feel right to accept that as a compliment. Whereas if somebody says, I like your new hair that feels a little better to receive that as a compliment.

Naomi Katz:

Yes, oh my god. 100%. I love that nuance to this, because I do think it's really important to be able to take compliments, and not everything that's framed as a compliment is really a compliment. Yes. And I think that it's, especially as we get more familiar with our values around this stuff. And as we get more familiar around what some of these norms are upholding systemically, and stuff like that, like it makes sense that some of that stuff might start to be like, This feels gross, not like a compliment. I think there is value in learning to accept compliments, especially when it comes to like accomplishments, you know, accepting compliments around hard work, or, you know, being good at things. And stuff like that is so so important. But I don't know that we need to be able to accept compliments that are actually just expressions of maybe somewhat harmful societal norms that we don't actually have any control over. That's, um, that's really interesting. I'm so glad you brought you asked that question. That is a great question.

Sadie Simpson:

Thanks. Thanks for your compliment. Oh, my question.

Naomi Katz:

Hey, anytime.

Sadie Simpson:

So as we are wrapping up this episode, what satisfying for you right now,

Naomi Katz:

it's funny, I have two things that are satisfying for me right now that are very much related to this episode. The first is I am going to get my bangs trimmed tomorrow. So like a month ago, I got my haircut and it is my favorite haircut I've ever had in my entire life. But it has bangs, which is like a new thing for me. And I have to go one more day before getting them trimmed. I might scream so I'm super super satisfied just thinking about getting them trim tomorrow. Yes, and the other thing is that I found I talked a while back about the the like nails sticker like manicure stickers that I was using and I found a different brand and title of them that like I don't know has some more interesting designs and also is like made a little differently so that I think it's gonna last a little longer. And those are supposed to be delivered like any day now. I'm so excited. And literally check the tracking like every day. So those are my those are my two very, very relevant things about right. Yes. What about you?

Sadie Simpson:

I am satisfied by our weather forecast for this weekend. So we here in Asheville, North Carolina area are supposed to be getting some snow. We'll see what actually happens in a couple of days. But I'm excited because this is really the first snow snow that we've had this year. And also speaking about appearance and some of the things that we've already discussed in this episode. I'm excited to stay in my gray fleece jumpsuit all weekend when it's snowing outside in my cozy, cozy outfit. So that feels very exciting and satisfying.

Naomi Katz:

That's awesome. Yeah, I am. I'm not a winter person. I do not love the winter. But I am starting to be like, can we just get like one snowstorm? Yes,

Sadie Simpson:

like, like, and that's enough like.

Naomi Katz:

And I have to say my favorite thing about Asheville versus Boston, where I lived for a decade is that in Boston, and you get a snowstorm and then that's it. There's snow on the ground for like, three months. And that's it. Here you get a snowstorm and like two days later, you never knew you had a snowstorm. And it's the best

Sadie Simpson:

it is because you can enjoy it and then you can go on with your life is.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah, pretty great. So I'm with you. I'm excited about that.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. So if you enjoyed this podcast, we would love to connect with you over on our Instagram page at satisfaction factor pod. Be sure to comment, let us know what you think about this episode. Share some stuff with us in the DMS or share about our podcast on your stories so you can get the word out to your friends. And another simple thing you can do to support us if you're listening in Apple podcast and in Spotify, leave us a rating and a review because this is what really helps us reach more people.

Naomi Katz:

Awesome. Thanks, everybody, and we will catch you next week.