I had a thought today while watching this co-worker (whom I may have a slight crush on) interact with a girl today. I know him well enough to understand what type of girl he finds attractive, and have worked with him long enough to know how he usually interacts with customers, and this girl was attractive and his interaction with her was atypical.

She was looking for tuna salad, a simple enough request, yet we had no tuna salad where she was accustomed to finding it. He told her that she could find the same tuna salad on the salad bar, and that since the price was per-pound there it was actually a slightly better deal. This was a nice thing to do for her... but why would he give this stranger that kind of information when he would normally just politely apologize for the inconvenience and direct them to the salad bar with no further explanation?

Most people are aware of the phenomenon where humans tend to favor, grant privileges, and otherwise elevate, beautiful people above normal and/or unattractive people...

From a social standpoint this seems like a cruel thing. Why is that guy going out of his way to tell that pretty girl how to save a few extra dollars at the grocery store when he would just greet the plain looking girl with polite silence? It makes little logical sense and seems to hint at some sort of subconscious prejudice.

This is the part where everyone rolls their eyes at the tired trope of the single guy swooning over the hotty while he makes a fool of himself.

But... as my thoughts lead me today... what if this is actually an instinctual and deeply ingrained reaction within the human animal it's self?

Humans are strange creatures evolutionary. Our species opted for social evolution over physical evolution (this is probably connected to our long gestation and childhoods), and this has allowed our species to dominate the planet. But what did we do before then?

Well. For the vast majority of human pre-history, humans had to choose mates in the same way all the other fauna on this planet did. It didn't matter how good of a personality you had, you needed to have good skin to indicate that you were parasite free, attractive curves to prove that you would be good breeding stock (hips for females, shoulders for men), and you needed a symmetrical face (which is statistically the most attractive human face as preferred by other humans) and body to show that you were genetically superior (no diseases or parasites here) and that your family knew how to take care of it's own (you didn't get your pretty face bashed in because of a silly argument you had over who got which serving of banana pulp).

So, essentially, the reason why we find pretty people... well... pretty, is that waaaay back when, before plastic surgery, modern medicine, dentists, physicians, dermatologists, healthcare, or anything else that helps make our modern life cushy... is that we were more likely to have our genetic legacy be passed on by mating with the genitals attached to that pretty face. It's the human equivalent (we're visual animals after all) of a male dog smelling a female dog in heat (seriously, that shit is funny to watch, they act so stupid).

Imagine a consciousness being plopped into the mind of a dog, and having them act civilized in all the fine and lovely ways we think civil people... or dogs... should be... then have them smell another dog in heat. They may be thinking one thing, but the primal signals they will be receiving from their body will be really fucking difficult to get around and may quite literally be impossible to ignore.

Ultimately, these behaviors are now vestigial in our species, silently putting pressure on the intelligent mind inhabiting the animal body.

Perhaps as the march of progress continues, these traits will eventually be lost to us forever, either via natural selection, or by choice after we've fully taken our genetic destiny into our own hands.