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How important do you think looks really are?

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Dr. Phil's son, Jay, goes out in disguise to see if people really do judge a book by its cover. You won't believe the results, nor the response that surprised him the most! Plus, Debi favors her older daughter because she's "beautiful" and treats her youngest like "dirt" because she's "fat and unattractive." Can Dr. Phil help her love both girls equally? And, Michelle only lets her daughter play with pretty kids on the playground because she equates beauty with success in life. Will she learn to re-evaluate her standards? Find out what happened on the show.

Favoring One Child

Debi admits she spoils her older daughter because she is "beautiful," while her younger daughter gets treated poorly because she is "annoying, fat and unattractive." "I show more favoritism to Hunner than Victoria, admits Debi, about how she treats her 8-and 7-year-old daughters. "I'm always telling Hunner, �€˜You're so pretty. You look just like Mommy's. She's just a loveable child. While she treats Hunner with love and respect, she picks on Victoria for her looks and the way she eats. "I'm embarrassed to be seen with Victoria. She's got her skin disease where she's polka-dotted and she's gained 50 pounds in a year," Debi explains. "When Victoria gets out of the shower I get upset because you can see her fat rolls and her big giant belly. It makes me sick �€� I've never wanted to be the ugly mom. I never wanted ugly kids.�€�

Victoria realizes that she is being treated differently. "Victoria tells me all the time that I love Hunner more and I do more stuff for Hunner,�€� Debi says, acknowledging that it is the truth. "Last year I signed Hunner up for cheerleading, not Victoria 'because Victoria was chubby.'�€�

Debi also spent $600 on a birthday party for Hunner while Victoria didn't get one at all; buys Hunner designer clothes and shoes, while Victoria's clothes come from Wal Mart. Hunner has her own room that Debi has put a lot of care into decorating, and Victoria sleeps on the floor in there because her room was given to her stepbrother. According to Debi, Victoria is "a slob and never kept it clean.�€�

"Hunner's always loving. She's just my princess,�€� says Debi. "When we go shopping, people will say, �€˜She is so beautiful.' �€˜How did she get so cute?' and no one ever says anything about Victoria.�€� She turns to Dr. Phil for help. "Please help me understand why my daughter's weight and appearance bother me so much.�€�

"What's your reaction to hearing yourself and watching yourself?" Dr. Phil asks Debi.

"I feel bad," Debi admits. "It makes me feel like a horrible mom."

Dr. Phil lists additional ways Debi treats Hunner better than Victoria. Hunner lives with Debi, while Victoria is sent to live with her dad; she gives Hunner hugs and kisses and paints her nails, while Victoria gets "no daily love;" she helps Hunner with her homework and Victoria has to do hers on her own; and Debi goes to all of Hunner's activities but only goes to Victoria's if she has time. "You're ashamed to be seen with your daughter," Dr. Phil makes clear.

"I never wanted an overweight child. I've always wanted pretty children," Debi explains. "I've always tried to be that perfect mom. I just think she should be that kid too."

"Well lady, children aren't jewelry, they're human beings," Dr. Phil tells her, pointing out that Victoria didn't choose to have her skin condition.

Debi defends herself. "It didn't start getting where I didn't want to be with her until she started gaining all her weight. She sneaks food. Constantly,�€� Debi says.

Dr. Phil is in shock. "You buy the food, present the food, prepare the food and she's overweight and you're telling me that's her fault?�€� he questions. "Is it possible that she comforts herself with food because her mother treats her like a second-class citizen?" he asks. "Is it possible that she companions herself with food, loves herself with food, medicates herself with food because a hamburger never rejects her? A bowl of ice cream never rejects her like her mother does so she comforts herself in the one way that she knows how.�€�

"Yes. It could be," Debi resigns.

Dr. Phil asks, "What is your criteria?�€�

"She needs to lose weight. She needs to start caring about what she looks like herself,�€� Debi says.

Reminding Debi that Victoria is only 7 years old, Dr. Phil tells her, "The most important relationship in any child's life is the same-sex parent.�€� He asks her what she does to impact Victoria's self-esteem and self-worth. "Would you say that what you're doing is positive or would you say it's negative?�€�

"It's negative,�€� Debi admits.

Dr. Phil tells Debi, "When you look at your daughter, you have a choice. You can either say, �€˜This is a young girl who has an involuntary skin disease and I either judge her and am ashamed of her for that, or I have compassion for her and I want to be her soft place to fall. I want to teach her that she is more than what she looks like on the outside. I want to teach her to take pride and exercise and love herself.' Do those things ever occur to you?�€�

"Yeah those things occur to me, but it's a choice too,�€� says Debi. "You choose to be fat or you choose to be skinny.�€�

"She's 7 years old!�€� Dr. Phil interrupts.

"But she still knows it makes her fat when you just eat constantly,�€� Debi refutes.

"You know that what you're doing scars her self-esteem, her self-worth, her being, correct? And you continue to do it yet you judge her because she continues to eat when she, at 7 years old, should know better? You know better and you're a full-grown adult and you can't do it. Why do you hold her to the standard that you can't meet yourself?�€�

"Because she should want to do it for herself,�€� Debi replies.

"You should want to do it for yourself,�€� Dr. Phil tells her and the audience applauds. "Do you not get the total hypocrisy in what you're saying?�€� Dr. Phil points out that the issue is her role as a mother. "What job in this world do you have that's more important than being a mother?�€�

"Nothing,�€� Debi says, and Dr. Phil asks her how she's doing at it. "Not so good on Victoria,�€� she admits. "She needs to think, �€˜OK, I'm not going to have friends if I eat this way. I'm not going to have anything if I act this way.' But she chooses to do it.�€�

Dr. Phil can't believe what he is hearing. "Do you have first a responsibility to look at your daughter Victoria and find in her the God-given gifts, traits, qualities and characteristics that make her uniquely who she is?�€� he asks.

"I do care about Victoria. I give her baths. I take her places. I fix her dinner. I tell her I love her. I show her love, but not the same way I show Hunner,�€� Debi explains.

"Would it surprise you if I told you that the way you are dealing with Victoria is scarring Hunner as much as it is scarring Victoria,�€� he asks.

"Yeah, it would surprise me,�€� Debi replies.

"Hunner has said to us, �€˜Mommy loves me better because I'm prettier,'�€� Dr. Phil tells Debi. "Do you think that scars Hunner? To be taught that because you look better than this person, you are superior in some way.�€�

"Hunner's not snobby,�€� Debi says. "Hunner knows that to be someone in life you have to be pretty. You have to hold yourself high. You can't just let yourself be scum.�€�

Dr. Phil asks Debi if she looks at Victoria as scum, and she answers, "No, but if she doesn't change the way she is, she's going to be.�€�

"If you don't change what you're doing, she's going to be,�€� Dr. Phil corrects Debi, and the audience applauds. "You are teaching her to be incredibly superficial.�€�

Dr. Phil digs deeper and finds out that Victoria reminds Debi of her ex-husband, whom she says she hates. "Is it just possible that she is vicariously paying the price for your hatred of him because she reminds you of him in so many traits and characteristics?�€� Dr. Phil probes. "Is it possible that she has become your dumping ground for all of the hatred and bitterness that you have toward him?�€�

"I never thought of it like that,�€� Debi concedes.

"Do you get the fact that you have an incredibly shallow and superficial focus?�€� Dr. Phil asks Debi, pointing out that Hunner may grow up and not be as cute as she is now. "What's going to happen to her if she hits that awkward stage and all of a sudden thinks, �€˜I'm not so cute anymore'?�€�

"I'll fix it,�€� Debi replies, and the audience gasps.

Dr. Phil offers Debi advice. "How about you teach yourself and these girls to look beyond the superficial and learn to appreciate, love and accept themselves for who they truly are inside?�€� he says. He suggests that Victoria acts the way she does because Debi does not teach her self-pride or to love and accept herself and hold herself to a high standard. "She needs to know that every time she walks out that door that there is at least one person in this world that loves her and thinks she is so special that she is just queen of the world.�€� Especially because other kids may be giving her a hard time about her skin disease, Debi must be her daughter's soft place to fall. "You are joining the gang that's putting her down, and you have to change that,�€� Dr. Phil warns. "I don't think there's a damn thing wrong with Victoria. I think what's wrong with her is that she has been invalidated by you. I think that's why she eats. That's why she's sloppy.�€�

He offers to arrange professional help for Debi, Hunner and Victoria, noting, "You have two daughters, both in serious danger.�€�

Does Beauty Equal Success?

Michelle equates beauty with success and will only let her daughter play with attractive kids.

"I like to be seen with the most attractive people in the room,�€� admits Michelle. "I do feel that I'm superficial. In my mind, I will be one of the beautiful people by association.�€� She's told complete strangers that they have beautiful hair, but she also is not afraid to point out when someone is not up to her standards, calling them "unfortunate�€� or "disgusting.�€�

Michelle may be passing her superficial ways onto her daughter. "When I take my daughter to the park, I will scope out one of the best-looking children there and just kind of direct my daughter there,�€� she explains. She points out the kids that are dressed cute, and checks in with her daughter to see if she has played with them. One time her daughter wanted to play with a child that was "undesirable�€� to Michelle because she says the girl was very messy and they came in a "disgusting�€� car. "I don't want my daughter to grow up with friends like that,�€� Michelle says.

Michelle even judges Dr. Phil on his looks. She says that he is an "OK looking man," but she likes him because Robin is his wife. "The fact that he is married to a beautiful woman, that validates him in my eyes. It makes him more credible as a doctor, because Robin finds him worthy,�€� she explains.

Dr. Phil asks Michelle if she meets her own standards.

"No. Absolutely not,�€� Michelle admits. "I would be the person that I would avoid at the park or a social function.�€�

Dr. Phil wants to understand Michelle's viewpoint. "You're telling your daughter, �€˜You can't play with ugly people.'�€�

Michelle clarifies, "In my own head I will steer my daughter, but she doesn't know my intention behind it.�€� But she admits that she has pulled her daughter away from a playmate that she thought was ugly.

"Does that just not seem incredibly superficial to you?�€� a shocked Dr. Phil asks.

"Absolutely,�€� Michelle agrees. "I don't want to be that way. I don't want my children to be that way. I just am that way.�€�

Dr. Phil suggests a way for Michelle to change. "Stop doing that!�€� he tells her. "You're smart enough, you're old enough, you're mature enough to know that that is incredibly superficial and is also incredibly wrong.�€�

Michelle defends herself. "I've done it for so many years, I don't know how to stop,�€� she says.

"Stop doing it," Dr. Phil tells her. "This is a conscious choice that a free-thinking adult is making."

Michelle admits to Dr. Phil, "Everything that I am scared of is everything that I am. I am the mother that people avoid at the park.�€�

"Then don't you know the sting to that?�€� Dr. Phil asks.

"Absolutely,�€� Michelle replies.

"But you told your daughter she could not play with a kid because her mom was fat, and you said, 'She's just not our kind,'" Dr. Phil points out.

"You didn't see her though,�€� Michelle says and the audience gasps.

"I can see you and I know you can make a choice about this,�€� Dr. Phil tells her. "This is not hard. You need to behave your way out of this. You need to walk your way out of this history.�€�

Jay Goes Undercover

After hours of makeup application to transform his looks, Jay McGraw went in public with a hidden camera to see how he would be treated. He then repeated the experiments as himself.

Dr. Phil's son Jay volunteered to do an experiment testing the theory that more attractive people get better treatment. He changed his appearance with the help of Ed French, an award-winning special effects makeup artist. He applied a fake nose on Jay, bags under his eyes, a hairpiece and acne scars on his cheeks. Jay then donned a pair of glasses and a chest piece that gave him a bigger stomach. He was wired with two hidden cameras: one in his shirt button and the other in his glasses. With his new look, Jay went to a mall to see how people would react to him.

"I stood in the middle of a mall and asked everybody that went by if they had just one second to answer one question,�€� Jay explains. "Not one person would stop.�€�

When he went to a store to buy a bathing suit, he walked around for about 10 minutes before the saleswoman offered him help. "Once she did [offer help], it was like, �€˜maybe if I help this guy, he'll leave,'�€� Jays says, explaining the sales woman's attitude toward him. "When I was in all of the makeup, the only thing that was the same was my eyes, but nobody would ever know that because not one person looked me in the eyes,�€� Jay says.

Jay applied for a job at a store that was hiring. When he asked for an application, the sales people looked at him oddly, and then it took about three minutes of them searching through a small desk before they could find an application for him.

When Jay was at lunch, he asked his waiter to send a drink to a woman sitting at a nearby table, and the waiter tried to talk him out of it. Unbeknownst to the waiter, this woman is Jay's fiancée. He ended up sending the drink and she refused it as part of the plan. Then the manager of the restaurant told Jay that she was married, even though she never said anything along those lines. As Jay ate his lunch, he could see people staring and hear people talking about him.

Jay shares his thoughts about the day. "It was a really weird,�€� he says. "There was one reaction that just blew me away, and it was my own, because I personally didn't think that I would be treated any differently.�€� He explains that he felt different, acted different and had a different personality. "I was worn out and exhausted emotionally, physically, everything at the end of the day. I hated it.�€�

Dr. Phil asks Jay, "How do you suppose Victoria feels being treated that way every day by her own mother?�€�

Jay explains that if his parents treated him the same as he was treated during the experiment, he would feel awful. "If one of my parents treated me differently because I looked different, I would start believing it at that point and then I would start feeling like I'm not worth anything," he says. "It would be devastating. It was devastating to me to have strangers treat me differently and I knew that I wasn't different.�€�

Jay's fiancée Erica joins him onstage. She explains that Jay's personality changed during the time he was in disguise. "I would look at him and all I would see is sad,�€� she says. "He wouldn't smile �€� he walked around and looked down.�€�

"Did this change the way that you look at people that are not stereotypically attractive by media standards?�€� Dr. Phil asks Jay.

Jay explains that as he walked through the casino, no one made eye contact with him. "I didn't notice that people made eye contact with me until they stopped doing it," he says.

When Jay became himself again and went out to the casino, things were totally different. "When everybody is happy and friendly and excited, it's fun to be out there. It's fun to be talking to these people," he says. "In the makeup and the suit, nobody wanted to start talking to me. As myself, it felt like nobody wanted to stop talking."

When he went into the bathing suit store, the saleswoman quit what she was doing and helped him immdediately. In the chocolate store, all the woman were talking and joking with, even commenting how cute he is.

Jay reflects, "I told everybody, with a guy there's not that much disperity in treatment based on how you look, and I was absolutely dead wrong."

Dr. Phil repeated the experiment with Ari, a female viewer. After her looks were changed with the help of special effects makeup, she went to apply for a job at a lingerie store and a car dealership. She sums up her experience as a heavier person: "Overall, I did notice people make a lot less eye contact with you. They treat you like you're an annoyance, kind of bothering them. I felt like I was lacking even though my resume was very good,�€� she explains.

After shedding her makeup, Ari went back to the car dealership. "This time it was completely different,�€� she explains. "They made eye contact with me. They talked to me more. They gave me more applications to fill out.�€�

Dr. Phil introduces Ari and asks her if she was affected the way Jay was. She explains that at first she wasn't bothered, but things changed when people treated her differently. "Then it's starts to affect your character,�€� she says.

Jay adds, "It's unbelievable the difference in the way you're treated."

"We'll, you looked pretty creepy,�€� Dr. Phil points out. "You were kind of perverted looking for sure.�€�

SEE PICTURES OF THE SHOW http://www.drphil.com/shows/show/568/

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That woman is unbelievable and a horrible person. Does she have any idea what kind of psychological issues she's giving her daughters, not to mention bad values. BTW, she looks ridiculous with that long bushy hair and thick blunt bangs. Someone needs to tell her it's not 1970 and that she should get a new stylist.

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She really is horrible.

But before anyone jumps on the bandwagon and starts in on how this article is a message of truth - I want to re-iterate that people like the above mentioned are in the minority.

That's WHY they manage to land on talk shows.

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i didnt read the whole article(too long) but does it make anyone else mad that people like paris hilton get a show and a record deal because she is hot(well people think she is, i think shes ugly imo)? that bitch has no talent and shouldnt be supported at all(shes already fucking rich, why the hell she wanna be in the publics eye all the time?). also to tell your kids to only be around attractive kids is fucked up. i wrote in another post that people are shallow but we really shouldnt try to push that on our kids, we should teach them better then that. look at child actors, they were liked cause they were cute but when they grew up no one cares anymore. thats the sad state of affair our world is in. elsewhere is right. :clap:

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She really is horrible.

But before anyone jumps on the bandwagon and starts in on how this article is a message of truth - I want to re-iterate that people like the above mentioned are in the minority.

That's WHY they manage to land on talk shows.

Taken to that extreme is uncommon, but I have known quite a few average Janes that position themselves in the shadows of a 'blonde hot beauty'. They might not realize that they are even doing it, but they do. When I'm skinny and dressed to the nines it is women who are more friendly and want to be my friend. Guys usually want a nice looking, but happy and natural person.

Maybe there's some ancestral cave man reason behind it. If a woman befriends a 'hot' friend, then maybe she can get more guys because the hot friend will attract them. It is more advantageous to hang with the pretty folk.

Too bad for me I only like to hang with nerds (because they are more interesting). Most nerds are not gorgeous- partly because they aren't into all the tanning, working out, maintenance required to be 'hot' in this society. Most 'hotness' is totally artificial anyhow. Most 'hot' moms are only that way from maintenance and have average looking kids. Then you see overweight sloppy moms and they usually have the beautiful children- those moms are probably depressed or just not superficial enough to spend hours on their beauty.

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My looks are everything to me. MY looks.

But I don't care what other people look like. I never judge another person by their appearance. And I never treat anyone differently based on their appearance.

Both those women are horrible.

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My looks are everything to me. MY looks.

But I don't care what other people look like. I never judge another person by their appearance. And I never treat anyone differently based on their appearance.

Both those women are horrible.

I agree MY looks i obsess over but i think everyone around me is beautiful in their own unique way. I don't easily see flaws in others unless its personality. I can't stand when people attack other people. It makes me SO ANGRY

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She couldnt love the 8 year old that much if she named her Hunner.

While those mothers are demented extremists, parents are going through what i call 'the dumbening.' You can see it in the woodworks, the first mother will be her daughter's best friend when she gets to crack smoking age. I'm sure they'll have lots of fun with their matching outfits and large hair. The goofy daughter will blossom of course, revenge likes doing that. The mother will go into atomic asskissing mode. The weird named daughter will dropkick the mother, amazonian shout and all. Both daughters will disown her, the mother will become an out of work prostitute.

The second mother is retarded. She can't see that she's setting herself up for happy days in a mental institute. What's she gonna do when her daughter becomes the person she wants her to be and drops her mother cause she's ugly? She's already insane, and her daughter certainly wont want to be burdened with the bitch.

How people interact with each other has always intrigued me. The mean ol bastard grandparents spawned today's Let's-be-bff's parents who spawned today's unstable superficial kids. I'm just really curious to see what hellspawn today's generation of youngins produce.

Those mothers both need to be post birth aborted.

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Dr Phil is kinda ugly

I looked at the pictures from the show, and what's shocking is that the people weren't even that ugly when they "transformed" their look - just normal-looking.

"ugly" people lack style and presentation. I've seen plenty of bad-looking people who have great style and personality, and others love to be around them.

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The stories about the mothers were horrible. But what was worse were the stories about people who changed their looks for the worse and how they were treated BY OTHER PEOPLE. That said, alot of what people can find attractive in a person is their personal confidence / demeanour. Therefore, even if you have acne, it is important to still do your best to not let that adversely affect your personality.

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looks are everything and in a fucked up way i believe THAT MOTHER IS RIGHT. beauty does mean sucess, u can acheive anything with good-looks especially if your full on beautiful. she was a bitch to tell her kids all that stuff. "ok" looking cow! I feel sick. she is right. when i come off accutane i'll still be as low as i am now because there's a very rare amount of ppl who are beautiful, what fucking chance have i at winning the lottery? i feel like victoria, there are standards met for me and i cant reach them, im not good enough. my older sister is beautiful but im not. my mum does tell me i am but i think she's just trying to fool herself. she wants another beautiful girl like herself and her oldest daughter. nobody can cope like that, i realy sympathise for victoria.

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Didnt read that long post but can say that MY looks are very important. I dont really care how someone looks but I have to be sexually attracted to them and I am not attracted at all to ugly people.

With people being attractive and others not, lots of people would say your bad to not like them and that nobody should view them any differently...that is just bull. I dont dig fat or ugly girls and could not possibly be happy with one as my partner. This doesnt make me bad just not attracted to fat or homely girls. There are plenty of fat and homely guys though that would be happy to have a fat or homely girlfriend and thats the human sexual league system.

I would definately be friends with homely or fat girls, just would not ever feel an attraction to them in any way.

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Beauty only means success if you wish to become a film actor... and have no talent, or for modelling. (But if you're an actor known for your beauty... your're not exactly successful, you're mediocre). People tend to forget that there's more to success than being a famous hottie. You don't have to be drop dead gorgeous to be a successful professional, sportsman, familyman, charity worker... or whatever your idea of success is. You could be some hairy, dirty backpacker roaming through Spain and consider yourself successful.

Keithr23... the mother is saying more than that. Of course we all want someone we're physically attracted to, that's just human nature. But the mother is telling her kids you must be beautiful to get ahead in life, which is false. Basically, she's grooming her daughter to be a whore.

Sure, beauty means an easier ride, but presentation is more important. You gotta look the part through your attitude and clothes, and work ethic. Your boss doesnt give a crap about your nose or perfect cheek structure. They want a workhorse, not something that gives them a boner. Boners dont bring in the dollars... unless you're in porn. Donald Trump wants to hire someone who looks sharp and can get the job done. Not some boybander in ripped jeans and a tight ass T-shirt with questionable testicle size.

Beauty wont give you brains, or get you through college, or make you the ultimate athlete, or make your boss give you an extra hundred a week... cause you do it for him. The one thing beauty has going for it... besides being hot... is that it makes people more receptive towards you initially. When you open that mouth it could go any way depending on what comes out. If it were a sprint, beauty will give you that head start off the block, but personality is ultimately what's gonna get you to the finish.

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