[Hwang Bo’s FUNFUN LIFE] First Impression isn’t everything
My father work as a steel shash wielder. Because of his work, there are many times where he is seen wearing oil stained clothes. One time, he forgot all about his friend’s wedding; in the middle of working he suddenly remembered his prior engagement. So he immediately dropped his work and ran out to his friend’s wedding only to have been kicked out at the front door. Because of his oil stained clothes, they thought he was a beggar. He resented the people who judged based on outer appearance.
Of course, I too have had such experiences. Especially during my school years, whenever I would move up a level I would hear things like “she looks like a bit**” from a lot from my seniors. When I became a celebrity I was surprised how many people thought I smoked based on only my looks. When I would tell others I don’t smoke, they would ask so surely, “when did you quit smoking?” However, since my voice is huskier than the average female, I do understand where they are coming from. But I do feel very frustrated seeing these rumors going around only based on my appearances.
On the other hand, I too have found myself being bias toward people because of their looks.
For example, when I first met one of my best gagman friend kim young cheul. About 8 years ago, it was when I was in the middle the Chakra days. When our group first met him at K broadcast station, we greeted him politely only to receive a disgruntled look back. Before meeting us, he was in a serious conversation with someone. Because of this kind of first meeting, I thought that Kim Young Cheul was a gagman who was dirty and doesn’t like to greet others. However, the people around me told me “Kim Young Cheul is a very bright person who always tries to bring laughter for others.” At first I was doubtful, but when I got to know him, he was just like how others told me he was. After this, I apologized to him and I want to tell him now that I decided to throw away my biases towards others based on only appearances.
When I think about it, I too have had many instances where I would be biased based on first impression. For me especially, I have a thing of avoiding girls who are an only child. The reason for this is, when I was young the people I always ended up fighting with were girls who were an only child. I didn’t bicker with them all the time because they were girls who were an only child, but when I thought about it afterwards they all had something in common which was being an only child. Whether we were playing rubber jump rope, jacks, or any other we were always fighting. I think the fights started because they were all egoistic. Because of all these experiences in my life, I can’t help but think all only child girls are egotistical and selfish. The few people that I ‘ve met in my life have magnified these thoughts of mine. To this day, the first thing I ask people who are an only child, whether they are a girl or a boy, is “you grew up very loved didn’t you?”
We the people of Korea also has a tendency, when meeting someone for the first time, to ask: age, name, family ties, location of living, and even blood type. And based in the studies made in England we judge that, “Type A people are timid, Type O people have a great personality, type AB are capricious, and Type B people are cold.” When we see a man with quirly hair we judge “that person looks like someone who doesn’t have much confidence.”
After seeing all that I have written so far, I really want to reflect and reconsider my many biases. However, as we all age, we learn that first impressions aren’t everything. Of course there are many people who we meet with bad first impressions and bad last impressions. But in life we find out that people who we thought were bad are actually very good people. There are also those who we think are very kind at first but find out that in truth, they are very mean.
Even if we don’t go as far as being prejudice, judging people based on their image is also wrong. Celebrities are amongst the top of the list where they are judged based on their image. There are people who are angles but end up acting in only evil roles and end up with a bit**y image. There are also those who are two faces but everyone thinks she/he is an angel. Sometimes unexpectedly, the things we see with our eyes will trick us. Now that I’m done, I’ve realised I’ve written in the “hobby” column something totally unrelated to hobbies… biases. My thoughts are just this. Don’t you think if we prevent even just one bias, life will be a little more fun and comfortable?
Translated by iseuli