Read the following article:
(Some of the videos used as examples include crude language – apologies in advance.)

+1. Find one example of each of the following traits below from the article descriptions. Please first define and source each term in your explanation and then be explicit with the example you offer – using both D2L material and the textbook):

* Particular Other: Direct Definition (how sources from the article talk about being directly defined)
* Particular Other: Life Scripts
* Particular Other: Attachment Styles
* Generalized Other

+2. Identify one example that the struggle that the messaging provides could pose between your “I” and “me.” Justify your response.

+3. Using your textbook chapter, what are two concepts relevant to these images and descriptions that you have not discussed in Questions 1 and 2? These could include “default assumptions,” “minding,” “taking the role of other,” “looking-glass self,” “ethical echo,” “meaning,” “language,” and/or “thinking” (within the context of symbolic interactionism). Justify your response by first defining and sourcing the concept from your textbook.

Sample Answer

Sample Answer


The Power of Pretty: Exploring the Effects of Attractiveness


In the article titled “Psychology of Pretty: The Privilege of Attractive People,” Vice explores the concept of “pretty privilege” and its impact on different aspects of life. The article delves into how being attractive can influence how individuals are perceived, treated, and even rewarded in society. Through various examples and anecdotes, the article highlights the existence and consequences of pretty privilege.

Particular Other: Direct Definition

According to the textbook “Interplay: The Process of Interpersonal Communication,” a particular other refers to specific individuals who significantly influence our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors (Adler et al., 2021, p. 139). In the context of the article, direct definitions are the labels or judgments assigned to individuals based on their attractiveness.

An example of direct definition can be seen in the article when it discusses how attractive people are often perceived as more competent, trustworthy, and likable than their less attractive counterparts. The article cites multiple studies that have shown a correlation between physical attractiveness and positive attributes such as intelligence and success. This direct definition affects how attractive people are perceived by others and can lead to advantages in various domains of life.

Particular Other: Life Scripts

Life scripts refer to the behavioral patterns and roles that individuals adopt based on societal expectations and personal experiences (Adler et al., 2021, p. 185). In the context of attractiveness, life scripts can be influenced by societal norms and expectations regarding beauty standards.

The article provides an example of life scripts when it discusses how attractive people may develop certain personality traits or behaviors to align with societal expectations. For instance, attractive individuals may feel pressured to present themselves as confident, outgoing, or socially adept due to the positive stereotypes associated with attractiveness. This conformity to societal expectations can shape their self-perception and interactions with others.

Particular Other: Attachment Styles

Attachment styles refer to the emotional bond individuals form with others based on their early experiences with caregivers (Adler et al., 2021, p. 232). Attachment styles can influence how individuals perceive and approach relationships throughout their lives.

While the article does not explicitly mention attachment styles, it hints at the potential influence of attachment styles on attractiveness. For example, individuals with secure attachment styles, who have experienced consistent care and support in their early years, may feel more confident and comfortable in social situations. This confidence can contribute to their perceived attractiveness and subsequently affect their interactions with others.

Generalized Other

The term “generalized other” refers to the collective societal norms, values, and expectations that influence individuals’ behaviors and self-perceptions (Adler et al., 2021, p. 139). It represents the broader social context within which individuals operate.

The article explores the concept of generalized other by discussing how society’s emphasis on physical beauty shapes our perceptions and treatment of attractive individuals. It highlights how attractive people often receive preferential treatment or special privileges merely based on their appearance. This privileging by the generalized other reinforces the idea that beauty holds significant social currency.

Struggle between “I” and “Me”

The messaging provided in the article can pose a struggle between one’s “I” and “me” by creating a tension between personal identity and societal expectations. According to symbolic interactionism theory, “I” represents the spontaneous and unique aspects of self, while “me” refers to the socially constructed and conforming aspects of self (Adler et al., 2021, p. 135).

The article portrays how attractive individuals may feel pressured to conform to societal beauty standards and adopt certain behaviors to maintain their privileged status. This pressure can create an internal conflict between their authentic selves (“I”) and the societal expectations placed upon them (“me”). They may struggle with maintaining a genuine sense of self while fulfilling society’s demands for attractiveness.

Concepts from the Textbook

Two additional concepts from the textbook that are relevant to the images and descriptions in the article include “looking-glass self” and “meaning.”

Looking-Glass Self: The looking-glass self refers to the process through which individuals develop their self-concepts based on how they believe others perceive them (Adler et al., 2021, p. 145). In the context of attractiveness, individuals’ self-perception can be heavily influenced by the feedback they receive from others regarding their physical appearance. This perception can shape their beliefs about themselves and impact their overall self-esteem and confidence.

Meaning: According to symbolic interactionism, meaning is created through social interaction and shared understanding (Adler et al., 2021, p. 158). In relation to attractiveness, meaning is constructed through society’s collective agreement on what constitutes beauty and attractiveness. This shared meaning influences how individuals perceive themselves and others based on physical appearance.

Both these concepts contribute to our understanding of how attractiveness operates as a social construct that shapes individuals’ self-perception, interactions, and societal treatment.


The article sheds light on the psychology behind pretty privilege by exploring various interpersonal communication concepts such as direct definitions, life scripts, attachment styles, and the generalized other. It also highlights the struggle between personal identity and societal expectations faced by attractive individuals. By examining additional concepts such as looking-glass self and meaning from the textbook, we gain a deeper understanding of how attractiveness influences self-perception and social interactions within a symbolic interactionism framework.


Adler, R. B., Rosenfeld, L. B., & Proctor II, R. F. (2021). Interplay: The Process of Interpersonal Communication (15th ed.). Oxford University Press.

Vice Media Group. (n.d.). Psychology of Pretty: The Privilege of Attractive People. Retrieved from



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