Life is better when you’re beautiful

Glenna Herbert, Staff Member

Life is better if you’re beautiful.

Sadly, it’s not a “finding-your-inner-chakras” spiritual kind of beauty that makes life a breeze.

It’s being physically attractive that can significantly aid in your success in a number of ways.

A number of scientists and psychologists have proved that being physically attractive comes with countless advantages. These advantages can range from having an easier time finding a job, getting paid more, all the way to making more friends and climbing higher on the social ladder.

According to an article published by “Psychology Today,” Dr. Gordon Patzer, researcher and writer studying the power and perplexity of physical attractiveness said, “Good-looking men and women are generally regarded to be more talented, kind, honest and intelligent than their less attractive counterparts.”

Humans are hardwired to respond more favorably to attractiveness.

Dr. Patzer has conducted controlled studies which have shown that people are more willing to go out of their way to help attractive people, mainly because they want to be accepted by other good looking people.

Ethically speaking, this would be a gross violation of human rights if attractive people were treated significantly better than unattractive people.

Yet it happens every day, and we don’t do anything about it.

This idea seems contrary to popular thought, but Catherine Hakim, a professor of sociology at the London School of Economics, suggests that professional women can and should use their beauty, sex appeal, charm, and fitness to get ahead in work.

Personally, it’s unbearably unnerving to think that my physical attractiveness could literally shape my success in life. However, some women do use their sex appeal to get where they want.

It appears unfair that attractive women have a paramount advantage and can use it to manipulate people to get what they want. But in a competitive business environment, corruption and manipulation are not foreign in the corporate world.

If attractiveness really is a vital contributor to success, what happens if you aren’t attractive?

Daniel Hamermesh, author of, “Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful,” argues that unattractive individuals are at a social “disadvantage,” in the same way of those who are physically disabled or lacking intelligence. 

Beauty has always been said to be in the eye of the beholder, and although it is a beloved, long-standing belief, it is quite far from the truth.

Most people actually see beauty in the same way: symmetry of facial features.

This way of viewing beauty isn’t a conscious choice. As humans, our brains are more attracted to symmetry and view a symmetrical face as more pleasing than one that is asymmetrical.  More often than not, the world rewards beauty.

I have personally seen this in action when I was pulled over for speeding and managed to talk my way out of getting a ticket.

An extensive study conducted by Northwestern University on the correlation between attractiveness and cosmetics found that attractive people are perceived as more likable and trustworthy than their unattractive counterparts. 

I now wonder, if the officer thought I was unattractive, would I have gotten a ticket?

In no way is being able to evade the law because of looks ethical. Yet physical attractiveness has so much power in our culture.

I think that culturally, our obsession with attractiveness is perpetuated by our biased media coverage of “beautiful” people which is a hilariously poor representation of our population.