Does looking good help you get ahead?
It’s a blunt question in a fast-paced, insensitive world. But multiple studies have addressed it and their conclusion is simple: yes, good-looking people tend to get unfair, beneficial treatment. The world rewards beauty, be it in business, school or simple social interactions.
Let’s face it – being beautiful is a matter of genetics and chance. Being naturally gorgeous requires as much effort as being naturally gifted. Some things you just can’t control… but others you can.
The advantages of being beautiful are a cross-culture phenomenon. No matter where in the world you’re from, there are some features that are universally considered to be conventionally attractive – and those conventions are here to stay.
In men, a strong jaw; in women, high cheekbones. For both genders, smooth skin, facial symmetry and shiny hair are the most praised features.
Beautiful people are perceived as being healthier, wealthier, more socially dominant and more trustworthy.
According to a study developed by the University of New Mexico, beauty and symmetry are related to intelligence. The developed social skills that often derive from being good looking are also perceived as a sign of being more intelligent. This usually guarantees a better chance of negotiating promotions, having a higher income, and being overall more persuasive and able to achieve goals.
There are several tricks that can help you improve your appearance and gain the advantages of beauty in everyday life. One of the best known is simple make-up. The cosmetics industry plays a huge role in correcting and disguising skin imperfections – increasing the attractiveness of make-up wearers and providing them with the resultant benefits.
Another trick is to change what can be changed instead of focusing on things over which we have no power. Sculpting a beautiful body can be perceived as a trait of a hard-working person. Improving your fitness level can boost a person’s self-esteem and alter the way they move and interact with others. A more confident, self-assured person is more likely to come across as successful – and this can have a positive snowball effect.
Exercise is also related to increasing overall beauty. It’s not just the body’s muscles that benefit from shaping and toning workouts. Stress hormones and acne are fought off through pore-cleansing sweating and endorphin-releasing exercise. The increased blood circulation will deliver more oxygen to the entire body, skin included, creating a rejuvenating effect and a healthy glow.
Nature might have been generous to you – or it might not. But the ability to fight for what we want can be found (and nurtured) in everyone. Better yet: reaching your goals and doing something you love – that’s the real beauty in living well.