The world is full of diverse looking people. Some people are beautiful and others are referred to as unattractive. Many people are envious of those fortunate enough to be attractive. This line has been used to ease their distress for ages: “It is what is on the inside that counts”. So this poses an age old question: is that statement factual or do the unattractive have more to envy than just the looks? Are the better looking more likely to be successful too?
Three scientists from the University of Florida, Timothy Judge, Charlice Hurst and Lance Simon, conducted an experiment to try and answer those questions. One hundred and ninety-one volunteers, both male and female, participated in the study. These individuals were rated, on a scale from one to ten, based on their facial attractiveness. Then they answered a series of questions to determine if they were content with their lives and how many years of post-secondary education they had received, and each participant completed a basic psychoanalytical evaluation to determine if they were in a healthy mental state. Once those steps were completed, the authors compared the amount of money each individual made to how they were rated. The results proved the somewhat unwanted assumption that yes, the more attractive made more money.
Though this is a disheartening revelation for those who are not considered physically attractive, here are a few arguments as to why that may be and why it is not always accurate. It is obvious that one cannot succeed simply by the way he or she looks on the outside. It has been suggested that better looking people are more successful because they are treated differently than the average looking person. As children they are given more attention because they are “cute”. As they mature, they are encouraged more by their peers and teachers to pursue a college education. Looking in the mirror every morning and being content with what they see, and receiving extra support from those around them creates, at least for most attractive people, an air of confidence.
Judge, Hurst, and Simon, uncovered this idea that the attractive were more successful, but they also discovered a correlation between being successful and being confident. As I have said, the beautiful are usually confident and therefore successful, but the unattractive that scored high in personal worth and confidence where also more successful financially than the average person.
Along with beauty and confidence, the volunteers in the study that had received some type of post-secondary education where privileged with elevated incomes as well. Regardless of whether or not they were good looking or considered confident, they still made more money.
Along with furthering the idea that beauty makes one successful, this research has also shown that education and confidence are correlated with success, too. Individuals cannot change their outer appearance, but they can change how they view themselves and they can chose whether or not they are going to pursue a college degree. So yes, the beautiful are more likely to be financially successful, but when it actually comes down to it, everyone else has that option, too!