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How Being Attractive Positively Affects Your Life

We live in a society that places a great deal of importance on physical appearance, which is why so many celebrities are celebrated for their good looks and impeccable style. Often, the entertainment industry creates unrealistic expectations for beauty, but being attractive is about more than taking a good selfie, it also influences the way others treat you.

"We assume attractive people have positive qualities that have nothing to do with their physical attractiveness," assistant professor of psychology, Lauren Human, told Vice. The publication notes that these perceived qualities include intelligence and social skills, and attractive individuals are often more successful in their chosen profession, getting paid more and even being promoted faster.

The most surprising thing is that we assume attractive people have these qualities, without actually getting to know their personalities. Psychology Today notes that attractiveness creates a "powerful first impression on the mind" which leads us to make assumptions about that individual and their life—you also tend to be more forgiving of their faults.

The 1994 paper, Why Beauty Matters, explores the way attractive people are treated, compared to their less attractive counterparts. According to The Cut, economists Markus Mobius and Tanya Rosenblat found “more attractive people consistently earned 12 to 14 percent more,” regardless of gender. A later paper, published in 2012, found that real estate brokers who are good-looking outperformed their colleagues, and students felt their professors who are easy on the eye were more helpful and of a higher quality.

But there is a downside to having striking looks, and being treated a certain way based purely on appearance is not always beneficial. There seems to be a fine line between just how good-looking you can be, as research has shown that some bosses feel attractive people are incompetent, Vice reports. And according to The Cut, research has shown that hiring managers or admissions officers are reluctant to hire individuals of the same sex who they deem to be more attractive than they are.

Vice notes that looks can also impact a relationship—too many romantic options can leave people unsatisfied. And a doctoral student in experimental psychology at the University of California, Kristin Donnelly, told the publication that when some individuals lose their looks as they age, this change in appearance could cause psychological distress. "If you've gone your whole life with this reward structure, that you're constantly told you're attractive and so much of your self-worth is tied into your appearance, that can be a dangerous thing," she said.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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