Why does that large house in a suburb sport a manicured lawn?
Why does a management consultant go to work in a starched blouse, high heels and impeccable trousers?
And what do they have in common with a peacock’s extravagant tail?
A peacock’s tail is a burden and a liability. Growing such a tail requires enormous resources. Further, it slows the peacock down when it is ambushed by a predator. Yet, peacocks with the largest tails are favoured by their mates. Their tails are a signal. They indicate to potential mates how the peacock is able to thrive in the jungle and add to its beauty despite having to lug such a tail around.
A lawn is a signal that despite space being scarce, the owner of that suburban house has enough land and resources to grow and maintain a patch of grass that is otherwise pointless.
Management consultants, through their impeccable dressing, signal how despite working 16-hour days, they are able to dress better than most of their colleauges at the client’s firm.
Certain parts of our culture serve no other purpose than to put somebody on a pedestal that says they are better than you are.