I saw a graph on Twitter this week that was an interesting approach to how most people see the dichotomy of rich vs poor and then a new graph showing the reality of it. Here’s what it looked like.
I loved this because it helped take the morality or immorality out of wealth. There are good poor people, good rich people, bad poor people, and bad reach people. Rather than choosing to avoid the rich or the poor, we should be choosing to avoid the bad of both.
It’s obviously a super simple concept but it helps break down the constant messaging that pursuing wealth is somehow greedy, immoral, selfish, or any other negative character trait you want to associate with it.
As I was going through this I realized we do the exact same thing when it comes to appearance – especially for men.
We create a false dichotomy where caring about how you look is shallow, vain, effeminate, gay or whatever negative term you want to use.
And not caring about it is stoic, manly, practical, or any positive term you want to use.
But once again, the reality is a little different. Let’s just focus in on the shallow aspect.
You have shallow people who want to look good, wear nice things, and status signal with their appearance, and then you have shallow people who don’t – shallow people who would rather turn their noses up at anyone who DOES wear nice things, or put some energy into getting dressed in the morning, or doesn’t have to be dragged kicking and screaming to buy clothes.
Just like you have good, profound people who really don’t put too much effort or energy into their appearance and good, profound people who have learned that the way they look is both a tool and an external expression of internal value.
Caring how you look isn’t shallow any more or less than being rich is bad – both can be taken from a healthy level to a dangerous extreme, but neither is inherently good or bad.
Anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is not seeing the whole picture and is likely trying to reconcile any cognitive dissonance they’re experiencing because they choose to see things through that false binary.