Our natural drive toward the aesthetically pleasing indicates beauty is inarguably one of the most gratifying features of the human experience. From things as commercialized as fine art to popular culture, beauty practically always takes first place. Needless to say, countless people owe their professional and financial success to their charmingly good looks – it’s a well known fact that being attractive gets you through the door in most social settings.
But how do we define what or who is beautiful? From philosophers to sociologists, great minds have tried to tackle the tough question, but the only universal conclusion is the obvious reality that beauty is attention-grabbing when we see it. In people, a symmetrical face most often defines beauty. For women specifically, the fertility indicators like youth, full lips, wide eyes, and healthy skin are among the definitive factors of a beautiful face. It makes sense that fertility and vitality should be the more attractive features for humans given our drive to procreate.
Many studies find that most women believe that beauty is an inherent priority – that is to say, caring about seeing yourself as beautiful is a natural part of being a woman. The problem with this lies in the fact that only 2 percent of women actually consider themselves to be beautiful.
Higher happiness levels, more job opportunities, greater financial security—each are the benefits of bearing a beautiful visage and none of this comes as a shock. What’s considerable is how wide spread this truth actually is. In fact, an entire economical study has been developed to explore the correlations between being beautiful and being professionally successful, called pulchronomics.
Fortunately though, intelligence is still usually the most prized attribute in a person, personally, professionally, or otherwise. A beautiful face and body won’t secure a company’s or a nation’s well being, although it may make a nice addition.
To show the reality of the advantages of being beautiful (and trust us, it’s more than getting your drinks paid for) we’ve listed five facts on what being beautiful means for a person’s success rates. Looks aren’t everything but, as the information gathered here shows, they definitely help.
5. Attractive people have a higher chance of getting a job interview
While it’s generally unsurprising that attractive people have a higher chance of pleasing an interviewer, it’s may be upsetting to learn of just how common this really is. A study conducted by the University of Messina and the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy makes for a fascinating examination of the real advantages of being beautiful.
For their study, over 10,000 resumes were sent out to prospective employers, with the same employment background but each differing in name and in the photo included on the resume. Across the board, the resumes received a 30 percent call back rate. But the call back rate was well above average for resumes with attractive photos – 54 percent for attractive women and 47 percent for attractive men. Less attractive women received by far the lowest call back rate at 7 percent, with unattractive men receiving a considerably higher rate at 26 percent.
With a higher chance of getting a call back after an interview, attractive people thus secure more job opportunities. In countries where including a headshot on a resume isn’t standard procedure, one could argue that a person’s qualifications secure the job interview. But in our digital age, online profiles that include a photo, like LinkedIn – which is commonly used in job applications – it’s easy to see how a person can very well be chosen for their looks. If not that, than being attractive at the very least it boosts a person’s chances of getting a job.
4. The more beautiful you are, the more money you’re likely to make
Along this same vein of beauty as a marker for higher success rates, another study finds that CEOs who are considered attractive are heads of more successful companies than CEOs who are not.
StatisticBrain, an online statistics research service, notes that attractive workers earn 10 percent more than individuals considered to be unattractive and if that number is applied to a person’s lifetime in the long run, it’s a considerable amount indeed. The stats also points out that the average salary for a person with low self-esteem is $50,000 and for a highly confident person it’s $78, 927. That’s not to say one must be attractive in order to be confident, but of course there is a strong correlation between looking good and feeling good.
3. Attractive people are happier than the less attractive
According to a study on the economics of beauty, researchers determined that being beautiful raises a person’s happiness levels. The financial benefits of being beautiful, as we have explored, help to make a beautiful person happy. This, along with the higher chance of marrying an attractive and successful person, makes for an overall pretty package.
The economists who conducted the study analyzed 5 surveys in the US, Canada, Germany, and the UK, asking more than 25,000 participants to describe their happiness levels. The participants were also evaluated on levels of attractiveness. The people in the top 15 most attractive percentile were 10 percent happier than the individuals in the least attractive percentile.
2. Beauty marries beauty
Beautiful people have a higher likelihood of marrying a just as beautiful counterpart (duh). Research suggests that what matters most to a beautiful person in a potential partner is most commonly the quality of their physical appearance.
Of course, that’s not to say less-than-beautiful people must forever long for what they can’t have. Studies show that people considered less attractive more commonly look past the physical in a potential mate, prioritising factors such as their intelligence, sense of humor, or hobbies and passions.
1. Beauty is the most prized commodity
Physical beauty is a commodity in the sense that it’s hyper-commercialized and easily marketable, and it’s something mostly everyone wants.
The cosmetic surgery industry is an example of how highly sought after beauty is for both sexes. Billions are spent on products and procedures in the quest to achieve the perfect body or the best face. As we’ve learned, beauty is precious – success is made more attainable when we’ve got the looks to get noticed.