The Prettier, the Better? What Comes After Attractiveness

Attractiveness

Anyone who is physically attractive catches one’s eyes naturally. It could be a well-styled hair, fashionable and trendy clothes, or a set of perfect teeth. Good-looking people have started to become inspirations that businesses dedicated to improving customers’ appearances are on the rise. Beauty salons, dermatology clinics, and cosmetic institutions continue to be popular because of many people wanting to look more attractive.

Not only that, but even orthodontics took advantage of the beauty trend by offering more aesthetic solutions for misaligned teeth. There are now many varieties of braces, apart from the silver ones we usually see. They can now come in gold braces and brackets, and other more sophisticated types such as Invisalign and lingual braces.

So, if you are more attractive, does that mean you have more advantage at work and social interactions?

What Makes a Person Physically Attractive

Facial and teeth symmetry is found to be a major factor that determines attractiveness. Although no face is perfectly symmetrical, researchers found that the more similar both sides of a face look in terms of symmetry, the more they are seen as attractive.

For teeth, whiter and straighter ones are found to be more appealing. Gums are also noticed; if there’s better symmetry between teeth and gums, the teeth will look just right, not too long or too short. When the teeth are well-aligned to the gums, they’re more attractive.

Attractive Face for an Attractive Pay?

Studies have suggested that an employee with above-average looks who gets paid $20 an hour for a period of 40 years will earn $1.69 million, while their below-average-looking peers will earn $1.46 million only. Moreover, economists have also found that attractive workers earn up to 12% to 14% more than the less attractive ones. This is true especially for real estate brokers, who are found to bring in more money when they’re attractive.

Social psychologists call this the “halo effect” of attractive people. This means that when we see someone visually appealing, we tend to assume that their appearance also reflects their personality or character. The better they look, the better the person we think they must be.

Because of this halo effect, attractive people are considered to be more sociable, dominant, sexually warm, mentally healthy, and smarter. A higher level of confidence is also associated with attractiveness, and with it, employees can be more skilled socially, making them excellent communicators. This leads to employers raising their estimated productivity level, and therefore, pay them higher.

Better Place in Social Interactions

Because attractive people are perceived as more sociable, it earns them an advantage in social settings. The cognitive bias the halo effect brings causes people to have pre-existing beliefs about attractive people. To further understand this, imagine a situation when we are exposed to someone’s positive trait. This one good trait will give us a good impression of this person. Later on, we will get to know this person to confirm their positive trait and maintain the good impression we have on them.

When we see them in a positive light, even their other traits that contradict the positive ones are interpreted in a way that confirms our initial judgment about them. The concept of “love at first sight” has a lot to do with physical attractiveness and the halo effect. A person’s pleasing appearance makes other people believe that they have lovable qualities as well.

The positive judgment that attractive people get generally puts them in a better place at work, school, and other places. The bias affects their bosses’, teachers’, partners’, and even strangers’ perception of them. The better-looking they are, the more opportunities and favorable treatment they could get.

It is important to remember that even if attractive people seem to have a better portion of everything, it is not a reason to hate yourself if you think you aren’t attractive enough. Beauty is not skin-deep; it goes way beyond physical appearance. We should be more than just what our face and body show.

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