Our Opinion: Skin deep

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Canadian researchers made reported the findings of a study this week that should make every parent step back and reassess their values.

According to the researchers at the University of Alberta who claim to have carefully observed parents interacting with their children at a supermarket, parents take better care of attractive children than they do ugly ones. Among their findings,

attractive children are more likely than ugly siblings to be belted in a car seat, kept from roaming too far from their parents and less likely to be permitted to engage in potentially dangerous activities like standing in a shopping cart.

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What does all this mean? We’re not really sure, but we can’t help but be skeptical of the findings. It’s been our experience that when it comes to parents and their children, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. To most parents, their child is the most beautiful creature to ever walk the planet, despite how many freight trains slam their breaks when he or she wanders too close to the railroad tracks.

But if the research is valid, the results are hardly surprising when one considers the premium placed on physical attractiveness by the mass media, which makes one feel like a freak if they aren’t as slim as Paris Hilton or as beautiful as Angelina Jolie. There are even television shows that encourage people to undergo surgery to look more like the aforementioned celebrities.

But beauty is only skin deep. Despite the study’s findings, we’d encourage parents to love all their children to same. Frankly, the rest of us are unimpressed by your child’s beauty. All we’re concerned with is that they are well-mannered and well-behaved. We’ve seen many bratty kids we wouldn’t pull from an out-of-control shopping cart no matter how pretty they are.