By Ned Polsky
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Additional resources for Hustlers, Beats, and Others
THE VISUAL PREPROGRAMMING FAC T O R Bob Bylak is a tall, lanky man with a thin, angular face, short curly hair, and large, round eyes set beneath thick, heavy eyebrows. He’s worked at the same company; lived in the same small, close-knit Colorado town; and has had the same friends and business colleagues for the past eight years. Yet a couple of times each month—either while in a meeting with colleagues, or at a business networking event, or buying something from the local hardware store or the car dealer— someone will mistakenly call him by another name.
She was, after all, a redhead like me. ) This producer welcomed me to the station, said how glad she was that I was there, and then told me I almost didn’t get the job because the news director thought I was too professional in the job interview and that made the boss nervous. ) Apparently I owe my ﬁrst television news anchor job to the station’s general manager and to the producer, who both liked my interview and audition and eventually convinced the news director to hire me, even though she thought I was ‘‘too professional’’ and, therefore, apparently, too much of a threat to work with.
37 Even with these highly publicized negative events, millions continue to place their trust in the TV host. That’s partly because his baldness and large, round features make him seem vulnerable, lovable, and trustworthy to us—even when we’re presented with information that seems to the contrary. Physical ﬂaws— and the image of vulnerability they project—override reason in many cases. B E AU T Y G E T S T H E B O O T It’s no wonder why we want to protect our ducklings and punish the pretty. Our primal conditioning to equate beauty with oppression— Ducklings, Defects, and Devotion 37 coupled with the documented pain and suffering that beauty can evoke—makes us want to knock the beautiful people right off their pedestal, much as the Christian commoners in the third century knocked statues representing ‘‘perfect beauty’’ off their marble pedestals.