Beauty Brings Economic Success

Topics: Physical attractiveness, Beauty, Physical Appearance Pages: 4 (1226 words) Published: May 6, 2014
Aristotle once said, “Personal beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of reference.” After thousands of years, this concept of beauty and its forthcoming advantages continues to hold. But first, what makes someone enjoyable to look at? There are some obvious and universal traits of beauty. According to Dina Spector, “High cheekbones, fuller lips, big eyes, and a thin chin are associated with sexiness in women, whereas a big jaw and broad chin are preferred in men. Smooth skin, shiny hair, and facial symmetry are also key aspects of beauty.”(3) Despite what many believe, beauty is not in fact in the eye of the beholder. In 1971, researchers at the University of Michigan created the first rating system in an attempt to quantify beauty. Participants were asked to rate others beauty on a 5-1 scale, whereas 5 equates strikingly beautiful or handsome, 4 - good-looking, 3 - average looks, 2 - quite plain, and 1 - homely. While the majority of people were ranked as average, all of the ratings held a surprisingly strong consistency within and across cultures. Daniel Hamermesh, Professor of Economics at the University of Texas and author of Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful used this system along with many others to further his study of “pulchronomics”, or beauty’s relationship with economics. In his book, Hamermesh explains, “I was not the first to look at the relationship between beauty and economic outcomes, that’s an old topic. I was however, the first to examine it using a nationally representative sample of adults and to do so in the context of economic models of the determination of earnings.”(4) He found that attractive people are typically hired sooner, get promotions more quickly, and are paid more than their less-attractive coworkers. Studies have shown that beautiful people have the advantage when it comes to landing job interviews. Recently, Italian researchers from the University of Messina set out to see if...
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