To clearly define the concept of physical characteristics, we must clarify in advance the meaning of the two terms that form it.
We call characteristic each of the qualities that a person or thing possesses and that serves to identify it with respect to others. All people and objects have authentic aspects that differentiate them from others and from other things.
According to DigoPaul, physical, on the other hand, is a term with several meanings. In this case we are interested in this term as an adjective, indicating what belongs to or relating to the corporeal constitution (as opposed to moral) or referring to the exterior of a person.
Made this parenthesis, we can affirm that the physical characteristics are those external qualities of a human or non-human animal, which serve to differentiate it from the rest of its peers. The concept could also be used to name the appearance of a plant or a thing, although this use is little used since the physical is generally linked to the corporal and it is not usually said that a plant or an object has a body.
If we want to list the physical characteristics of a person, we will refer to their height, their build, their hair and eye color, their skin, etc. For example: “Ramón is a fat blond boy who lives downstairs”, “Do you see that lady with gray hair and light eyes? She is the owner of the bar on the corner ”, “ The last time I spoke with Daniela she was a girl with freckles and curly hair: now she is a woman who is 6 feet tall and is the mother of two children ”. All these expressions, therefore, include mentions of physical characteristics (Ramón’s fatness and his blond condition; the gray hair and light eyes of the owner of the bar; freckles, hair and Daniela’s height).
The pejorative use of certain adjectives
‘Physical characteristics don’t really define us; our actions do.
In recent years, a new form of discrimination has emerged, based on the appearance or physical characteristics of individuals.
Due to the multiple attacks that many people have suffered, legislators from different countries have launched draft laws for Equal Treatment, the main objective of which is to avoid marginalizing anyone whose physical characteristics leave them outside the socially determined stereotype of beauty. It would be, broadly speaking, a project that definitely fights against all those types of social discrimination in which the physical characteristics of a person are taken to the fore to judge and diminish the person who brings them together.
We often see in job advertisements the requirement that candidates have a “good appearance”; There is nothing more outrageous than this since we do not choose how we look, but neither does our physical aspects make us one person or another: this means that our professional capacity is not limited by our physical appearance but by our intellectual characteristics that make us in a professional more or less gifted for the task he performs.
On the other hand, many groups that defend the rights of individuals work for the resignification of certain words. Terms like “fat”, “big ear”, “petiso”, “etc” in themselves do not have a negative connotation; it appears when they are used with such emphasis.
If we get people to seize the words and that they do not harm us, we will be able to ensure that these qualifiers never again destroy social harmony and deprive us of living a happy life, this is what these types of projects propose and launch multiple campaigns characteristics that seek to collaborate with balance through the empowerment of bodies.