Thursday, July 17, 2008
Things I don't understand #54
...How people usually look how they sound.
Really, how is it that somehow our vocal cords tend to find a way to match up with our faces? I’m not saying that you can distinguish the eye color of the guy taking your order in the drive-thru or the shapeliness of the girl’s legs who took your reservation, but you can get a general idea of attractiveness. This struck me recently as I began working in this new locale(Birmingham…keep up, already). I walked into an office where cubicles were in use, and after a while I heard a female voice. I was horrified. I almost made a face, but my superior ability to appear emotionless under any circumstance kicked in. I was sure I did not want to see the face (or body) whose voice that belonged to. I later found out I was absolutely right. Not to be mean(which is exactly what I’m being, sorry Mom) but the word ogre was the only thing that came to mind. Yeesh.
“But Farky,” you might be saying, “I sometimes hear someone’s voice and imagine them attractive and later meet them only to find them…well, ogre-ish. How do you explain that?” Well, I think this is exactly one of those cases where the exception proves the rule. (Yes, I know most of the time that phrase makes absolutely no sense, but stick with me. What else do you have to do, really?) I would submit that on those occasions where you physically encounter someone after verbally meeting them and find their voice to be incongruent with their visage, you’re surprised. And why would you be surprised if not for the lifetime of previous experience which affirmed your ability to rate attractiveness by sound? You see, we only notice the ones that don’t match, and take the ones that do as status quo…the order of things…normative…expected(really, how can you expect to argue with that many synonyms?).
In any case, it just seems odd that it could be so. And I begin to wonder if our voices start out matching our face or if we somehow affect our voice by our beliefs on how attractive we are. If, unconsciously, we allow our self-image to revise the way we sound? Hmm, I don’t know. You figure it out. I’ve got to go figure out how to sound like Johnny Depp (except when he’s a pirate…ok, maybe when he’s a pirate, too).