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We all know that gorgeous people get preferential treatment. It’s a not-too-pretty fact of life long attributed to the halo effect, a type of cognitive bias or judgment discrepancy in which our impression of a person dictates the assumptions we make about that individual. For example, people will more readily blame an unattractive person for a crime than an attractive one. Now there’s evidence that beauty, intelligence, and other positive characteristics may go hand in hand.

The Truth About Beauty

Evolutionary psychologists have opened a line of inquiry into other age-old questions about beauty, observing that both men and women alike appear more concerned than ever with both attractiveness and perceived physical imperfections. It’s no surprise that a pretty woman will tend to be favored over others for a desired job opening. And there are some universal standards of beauty across the world--symmetry in the face and the body are preferred traits, for example, as are clear skin and youthfulness.

Is it important to be beautiful?

Unfortunately, yes. We like to say that kindness and looks matter more, and that we appreciate what's on the inside most. But that is not exactly the case, we live by the notion that beautiful is best. In fact, even children are drawn to aesthetically pleasing faces, as opposed to unattractive and asymmetric ones.

Is life easier when you are attractive?

Truthfully, attractive people are afforded higher pay, more opportunities, special treatment, a free pass so to speak. In fact, the more attractive you are the higher chance of getting to the head of the line. Plus, the better-looking student is considered more competent and enjoys higher grades, as well.

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How to Be More Attractive
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While a new haircut, a little powder, and knowing what others find attractive might help you put on a good face, there are inner factors at play. A better foundation to build on is being confident, positive, and engaged with life. Feeling good about who you are will change the way you feel, move your body, and relate to others.

What makes a person attractive?

This is a cliche, but beauty is often in the eyes of the beholder. What is deemed attractive to one person may not be so for another. However, a conventional and symmetric face is generally considered appealing. Also, people are often drawn to what is familiar. For example, people who grew up in the same neighborhood are commonly attracted to each other.

I'm not attractive enough. How can I feel better about my looks?

Most people are far too critical of their own physical appearance, especially those who engage in self-downing or negative self-talk, which can and should be challenged. It is important to also focus on non-physical aspects of one's desirability, such as warmth, character and personality. When evaluating your attractiveness to potential partners, recognize that most individuals weigh all these factors and more in seeking relationships. 

The Signs of Beauty
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What men and women tend to prefer when it comes to beauty may seem mysterious, but science does explain a lot of it. For example, we are drawn to symmetry, a skinny waist in women, and height in men.

Why is symmetry considered attractive?

Perfect symmetry, such as the distance between the eyes or the distance from eyes to mouth, is considered beautiful. Essentially, it is easier for us to process symmetry than asymmetry. This also signals health and the ability to produce healthy offspring.

Why is waist-to-hip ratio important?

A skinny waist and curvy hips in women is preferred, this shape indicates a good environment for future child-bearing and a higher likelihood of giving birth to healthy children. And the smaller the waist is, the more attractive the woman.

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