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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Brandeis goggles just aren’t necessary

Published: October 26, 2012
Section: Opinions

Do you wear Brandeis goggles? There’s a pretty strong consensus that if you attend Brandeis, you wear them, whether you realize it or not.

I remember around this time last year someone first mentioned Brandeis goggles to me and I was beyond confused. Then they explained that Brandeis goggles is a phenomenon that occurs when you attend Brandeis. The general idea is that based on the perspective shift you experience, the level of attractiveness decreases so much that you, unknowingly, put on “goggles” that make everyone seem more attractive .

If you haven’t heard of this idea of Brandeis goggles until now, it may seem like an accurate description of trying to assess physical beauty on this campus. And if you have heard of Brandeis goggles before, you may be like so many people I know that actually go through the trouble of rating Brandeisians on a “real world” scale. They decide whether or not they would find someone from Brandeis attractive if they saw them on the streets back home. I personally don’t agree with this practice; if I think you’re attractive, then I think you’re attractive and it doesn’t matter what the setting is.

Clearly, attractiveness is an important factor. Our society places a huge emphasis on beauty and how someone looks is the first thing you notice, even if you only notice it subconsciously. But is that all that matters? We all notice the physical and it plays a part in whether or not we find someone appealing. But I believe, though attractiveness is important, that other factors are more important.

So what do Brandeis goggles mean for us Brandeisians? It means that we’re well aware of the slightly shallow desires we all have in wanting to be surrounded with extremely good-looking people. But most of us can count on one hand the amount of times we’ve been to events, schools, or just anywhere that seemed to contain an un-earthly amount of beautiful people in one place.

I actually do believe that there are more attractive people at Brandeis than most students let on. The main reason people don’t recognize this is the result of the overarching conclusion I’ve reached in my Brandeis dating theory. My theory contains a growing list of concepts that attempts to explain the difficulty of dating at Brandeis, many of which will come up in subsequent articles. But the overarching conclusion of my theory is that Brandeis is extremely small. The university’s size plays a part in social relationships in ways most people don’t even think about. When you get used to seeing the same people on a consistent basis, unless it’s Beyoncé, Channing Tatum, or people with an unmistakable level of beauty, you pay less and less attention to how attractive they are because you see them so frequently. So it’s easy for a majority of us Brandeis students to write off some of the attractive people we see constantly. We also write off some attractive people because we’ve placed them in the friend zone or the brother/sister quality they hold with us that we don’t acknowledge their attractiveness.
I understand that it’s always nice to have a good amount of eye candy around. I also get that the suggestion of looking at someone’s personality is only given when said someone is unattractive, but I truly mean it. In addition to intelligent students at Brandeis, there are musicians, athletes, poets, dancers, socially conscious individuals and so much more. And while I do understand wanting to be with someone that is gorgeous, there are more factors that play a role.

So, no maybe Brandeis doesn’t have a student body that reaches a level of physical perfection only rivaled by the cast of 90210, but what school does? No, the admissions committee doesn’t accept headshots as a way to take attractiveness into account when making decisions on who will attend Brandeis. But one thing I have noticed on Brandeis’ campus is that there’s an underrated amount of attractive people as well as a multitude of individuals with captivating personalities. And I know, personally, that I’m more attracted to someone that can captivate me intellectually and emotionally than someone that solely captivates me physically. But it truly is a personal preference.

Maybe Brandeis goggles exist in the way we limit our options based on worrying about being with or around outstandingly beautiful people. I implore you all to take off your “goggles” and let yourself see all the attractive people, all the talented individuals, all the powerful people and all the people that fall in these and more categories.