Yes, appearance does matter. Just not in the way you think. I am very well aware of the feminist movement now of how women are exploited and overly objectified by the media, thus creating insecure women. I am aware that it is not right for women to feel the need to be overly concerned with vanity due to the pressures of our superficial society. However, there is truth in needing to look good for your well-being, as well as the perception of other people. Again, it's just not in the way you think.
Beauty is NOT evil. Here's why.
Beauty is not bad nor is it unimportant, despite what others may say. Concern for aesthetics, to a certain degree, is vital in our lives. One of the reasons why is because caring for aesthetics start with caring for internal health. Daily exercise and good nutrition (not dieting) are important factors in having healthier looking bodies and skin. And likewise, having healthy, glowing skin, and fit (not skinny) bodies are signs of good health. Some people with certain conditions may need external help. For instance, those with dry skin will use moisturizer. That's okay. It's not just about the appearance of dry skin; the danger in dehydrated skin is the development of microscopic cracks that allow bacteria to get in the skin, increasing the chances of infection. There are so many other aesthetic conditions out there we should treat, not just for beauty but also health. Now you're probably wondering what the point is. The point is, beauty is not evil, because it is very intertwined with health and wellness. In the same way that money is not evil. The people who abuse it or let it take over their lives are what make it so.
Your appearance dictates how you are treated.
Don't hate on me just yet. Yes, appearance matters. That is a fact of life. But I'm not talking about you needing to look like a supermodel to be liked. What I'm talking about is how you are perceived by others is based on how you present yourself. For instance, a person in a well-fitted and wrinkle-free outfit, clean fingernails, neat hair, and a little color from makeup is generally taken more seriously by prospective employers. Compare this to a person who is unkempt in baggy sweatpants, a tattered shirt, dirty nails, and messy hair, or a woman in an extremely short and tight dress, with a very low neckline. Remember that this is still a part of non-verbal communication. Being neat and tidy expresses that you have your act together, while looking disheveled or vulgar automatically tags all sorts of negative (though, not necessarily true) traits to you. You don't have to be scantily clad or be in in designer clothing or done by professional stylists 24/7 to be taken seriously. But being presentable, as opposed to being raunchy or untidy, indirectly tells people that you respect yourself and that you should be respected.
Real life examples
Let's say you have an interview over Skype. Surely, you will fix your hair, wear a nice (but decent) top, and maybe even a blazer. This is because, just as in a face-to-face interview, you want your prospective employer to view you as someone professional. You don't want to be viewed as someone who isn't even responsible enough to iron a shirt or someone who gets ahead by being scantily dressed. It's the same for being out on a date. You want to look sexy and confident, not raunchy and easy. So you wear an LBD that hides what needs to be hidden but accentuates your God-given, feminine curves tastefully. You want to be the girl who is treated like a queen, not the "wham-bam,thank you ma'am" kind of girl.
The bottom line is, you should look presentable (not vulgar) always. It's all a matter of proper grooming, and well-fitting clothes. This applies to men too. In fact, it doesn't matter what gender, race, height, weight, sexual orientation, or belief you have/are. No matter who or what you are, appearance and presentability matter.