Gloria Winters

I enjoy reading the obituaries in the New York Times.  It’s how I start the day.  It’s, by far, my favorite part of the newspaper.  Each obit is like a mini-biography.  From the famous to the infamous, if you’re somebody, the NY Times will include you in its obit column.  I find the obits of obscure people to be the most fascinating.

For example, I recently read the obit of Gloria Winters.  She was not a household name, but worthy enough to be included in the NY Times.  She played the role of Penny in the 1950s TV show “Sky King.”  I never saw the show, but was nevertheless intrigued by her obit.

After the TV series ended, Ms. Winters wrote an etiquette book for young girls, “Penny’s Guide to Teenage Charm and Personality.”  In the book, Ms. Winters declared, “Being attractive is the most important thing there is.”  Wow, how refreshing and what a truly honest look at reality.

As children, we’re told that it’s the inside that counts, not the outside.  We are reminded at home, school, and church that qualities such as honesty, sincerity, tact, and loyalty are what count in life.  Well, those qualities are important, but being attractive trumps them all.  Ms. Winters had it right, and she wasn’t afraid to say it.

Let’s face it, attractive people have an advantage over the rest of us.  Research has shown that attractive people get more attention in school, tend to get higher paying jobs, get promoted more often, receive more attention from the opposite sex, and are more likely to be viewed in a positive light.  Moreover, to add insult to injury, attractive people tend to score higher on scales measuring happiness.  Life isn’t fair.