There is a tale from Indian Mythology that tells us about the concept of “Lookism” . Lookism means the discrimination between people on the basis of their looks and external personality.
It was the time when Lord Vishnu(Lord of Perseverance) was to marry Goddess Lakshmi(Goddess of Wealth). According to the Hindu ritual, the groom and his side of family takes a marriage procession all the way from his place to the brides home.
Every God was busy with the preparations for their wedding. On that particular day, Lord Ganesha(Lord of auspiciousness), also arrived to participate in the procession. Now, Lord Ganesh has the head of an elephant, and his body is fat too. His stomach was bulging out and he looked kind of deformed. Gods thought that among the handsome Gods like the God of Sun, the God of Fire etc. Lord Ganesha with his weird looks, would spoil the aesthetics of the procession.
The Gods did not want to take Ganesh along with them, so they somehow tricked Ganesh to stay behind at the heaven to take care of the place. Ganesh, although sad about not being able to become the part of such a grand wedding, agreed.
The Gods left, and only Ganesh was left behind. Sage Narad, also known for his mischevious nature, disclosed the entire matter to Ganesh. The vehicle of Ganesh is Mooshak - The mouse. He is the head of the mices. This news hurt Ganesh, and he commanded Mooshak to take his team of mices and dig the depths of the road on which the procession was about to pass shortly.
The mices did accordingly, and the plan succeeded. The weight of Gods’ chariots was too much for the hollowed out road that the wheels sank into the ground. The Gods were now stuck there, unable to pull out the wheels from the Earth.
Meanwhile, a farmer was passing by that road. He felt pity for the Gods and offered them his help. Gods, reluctant to take help from human, agreed to give him a chance.
The farmer, with a very loud shout of ‘Jai Ganesha’, managed to pull out the wheels in the very first attempt. The Gods were shocked. They asked him how did he do that so easily. To which, the farmer replied, “Lord Ganesha is the God of the Beginnings, he is the Remover of Obstacles. His name can even shake mountains then what were the chances of these wheels to stand against him?”
This reply by the farmer worked as a slap for the Gods. They realized their mistake and apologized to Ganesh.
It is very common for everyone to judge people and behave with them on the basis of what they look and what they wear. A person who has good looks automatically becomes worth respecting, despite of his/her nature, qualities, and attitude.
Among the various causes of the psychological disorder called inferiority complex, this discrimination based on looks is also one of the major ones. And the worst part is, people think of it as normal.
From this tale, we get to know how we should not prioritize looks over everything else, this story also shows how damaging it could be if we underestimate a person only because he/she cannot fit our criteria of ‘good looking’ .