Sadly, appearances matter.
Numerous research projects have pointed out how people are treated differently based on their appearance. Studies show that tall, thin, and athletically-built people are paid more than those who aren’t. If you’re female, dye your hair blonde and wear makeup and you’ll make extra money as well. Income is one thing, but what about asking for a favor? Shouldn’t people be nicer to those in need than those who appear affluent? According to the video above, nope.
In a video recorded last year, a man dressed in a tuxedo attempts to board a bus without having the proper fare, claiming he has lost his ticket or forgot his wallet. Every time he attempts to board a bus, the driver kindly lets him on without question. Later, the same man dressed in roughed up clothes attempts to board the bus with the same excuses, and is emphatically denied. Even when he approached the same bus driver who was charitable to him while wearing a tuxedo, he was told to take a walk. “I remember the bus driver,” the man in the video says. “He was nice to me when I had nice clothes.”
The video illustrates a disturbing fact that people will often kowtow to others just because they appear to be powerful or affluent. What were the bus driver’s motivations? Was it to gain favor with the rich guy? Did he believe the lost-wallet story because the man was dressed nicely? Does the driver harbor resentment towards the poor? Ironically, a study from Stanford found that poor people are more generous, trusting, and nicer than those with a lot of money. But, in the end, wouldn’t we all benefit if human kindess was spread around equally?