Pretty privilege is one of those things that is hard to measure. However, based on the amount of people who have admitted to enjoying it as well as the very obvious fact that as humans we tend to treat people we consider good-looking better than those we consider not as good-looking, it isn’t a reach to state that pretty privilege is a thing. As someone who is personally fascinated by the concept of pretty-privilege, I was excited to read the replies and experiences of people who responded to my call on Twitter with their experiences of being favored because of how they look.
It’s small things really, especially when I worked in legal practice. I usually always got picked for certain higher-profile cases, even when it wasn’t my area. Because clients liked how I looked and I fit the firm’s “brand” more. It definitely led to some resentment from my co-workers. For starters, someone “accidentally” poured water on my MacBook.n But yeah, even in court it helped. It’s amazing how far you can get by flirting with registrars.
Okay. So when I was younger, teachers wouldn’t punish me, even when it was a general punishment. I easily get attended to when I go to the bank or any public space. They even walk up to me and I hardly stand in a queue. I easily get cash gifts from strangers for no reason (well, pretty privilege). People have paid for my stuff, shopping, flights and so on. Someone paid and upgraded my flight on the spot, a total stranger. I’ve generally made things easy for me in my everyday life and I know it wouldn’t be possible if I didn’t look like this. A lecturer one time saw my face during the examination and asked for my registration number and he immediately wrote it down on a piece of paper, turned out he gave me an A even before I finished the examination.
Last year when I just got to university, I was made deputy governor of my department literally on my first day because of my looks. To be honest, I’m not very qualified for the role and I barely do any work. The governor of my department, people in my department and I all know this, but I’m the deputy governor regardless. I believe the governor appointed me as his deputy simply because of how I look. This has been a reoccurring thing for me, I’ve always been given important posts in school even though I wasn’t qualified for them. I was made head girl, class prefect, assistant class prefect, chapel prefect, assembly prefect etc all because of my looks.
About pretty privilege, I don’t remember a lot of it because I turn them down as they usually lead up to me being sexualized and sexually harassed so I’m usually very wary of things/offers I get because of how I look. Two scenarios come to mind, however. Once, I went for a job interview and there was a panel of four men who just kept gawking at me; they were speechless the whole twenty minutes the “interview” lasted and I was uncomfortable because one was starting to have an erection. They didn’t ask me any questions relating to the job I came for or any meaningful questions. They just took my CV and said they would contact me. They contacted me that same evening with a mouthwatering marketing job offer to resume immediately. I applied for a Human Resource and Welfare job. I did not acknowledge the offer.
Some months ago, I had issues with my name not reflecting on the graduation list my school put out and I had fulfilled all my requirements, so I had to go to my faculty to complain. I was asked to re-submit my project and since I had my soft copy, I went to reprint. When I got back to the office, the Dean was just arriving and immediately she saw my face, she just lit up. When she noticed I was in distress, she invited me to her office – this is someone we all dread in my Faculty and other students were waiting to see her. She gave me water and asked what the problem was. When I explained to her, she called everybody in charge to ask about my project and why my name wasn’t on the list. She even gave me her number and email address so I could remind her and follow up. When a new graduation list came out two days later, she sent me a screenshot with the part that had my name. That’s the best thing pretty privilege has done for me.
There was this time in 2018 or so. I wanted to get my PVC done. So I went with a friend and got there early but the queue was still massive, I was like number 140. Then this man walks past me and asks if I’ve been answered. I said no. He said okay and left. The queue was moving real slow so I made up my mind I was going to leave at midnight. Then 45 minutes later, the man came for me and took me into the office with my friend. Fifteen minutes later, we were done. He didn’t even ask for my contact. He said he just didn’t want a fine girl like me stressing.
I’ve gotten a lot of pretty girl privileges, when I was in my 2nd year of Uni, a politician that was asking me out to be his official side chick paid my rent of 200k, random people on Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter that I’ve never met send me money just because I’m pretty, I think the highest amount I’ve ever gotten online is 150k. I barely go clubbing but the few times I’ve gone people I do not know pay for my drinks and spray me money. People randomly send me gifts just because I’m pretty. One time, I went grocery shopping and one Alhaji in Abuja paid for everything I bought on the spot which was about N58,000. I had never met him before.
Pretty privilege is funny because it is the little things. You gain followers faster on social media, people are nicer – even the ones that don’t want to sleep with you. Last year, I went for an interview with this tech company and once the guy doing the interview saw me it’s like he just breathed out. The interview was very smooth, he even asked me for beard tips. I got the job. I also got a promotion in six months to head of marketing for the whole company, my salary jumped from N350,000 to N600,000. I’m good at what I do but I know that my looks made that possible.
- Names have been changed for the sake of anonymity.