Every person would like to be more beautiful, and it is evident with the current multi-billion dollar cosmetic industry. Though it is counter-intuitive, being beautiful has its downsides according to science. A study by the online dating OK Cupid has shown that beautiful people who post extremely beautiful profile pictures tend to receive fewer dates than those who have down to earth looks.
Dr. Tonya Frevert, who studies the various ways how extreme physical beauty is perceived in social settings, says that attractiveness can convey more power over visible space. This, in turn, can make some people appear less approachable.
Other studies that have been reviewed by social psychologists at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte appear to be consistent with these findings. Researchers from this institution demonstrated that people tend to move out of the way when extremely attractive women walk through the public space.
Dr. Michio Kaku, a popular science author, and theoretical physicist explains that this doesn’t appear to be consistent with the evolutionary context of beauty. We all search for healthy mates and beauty is a way that we judge the health of another person. In reference to evolutionary psychology, the beauty and physical health shown in the body are marked by hormones. Examples of estrogen markers include large eyes, thick lips, and small chin. The same applies to testosterone. Large necks, low voice, and strong jaws are markers of testosterone. Dr. Kaku says that these are some examples of markers that we use to judge that a person is fit and healthy.
When receiving professional health evaluations, being judged as healthy from a potential mate is a double-edged sword. This is because strong physical attributes are associated with health. However, medical professionals are observed to give more attention and care to patients whereas they actually don’t display such characteristics. In fact, research shows that doctors tend to take the illness of an attractive person less seriously.
In addition, studies show pretty women are often passed over for promotions credit to sexists’ perceptions. However, they are less likely to get hired for high-level jobs that require authority. Jealousy can as well hold both genders back. For instance, you are less likely to get hired if you are interviewed by someone who thinks that you are prettier than they are.
Our reactions to beauty are determined by biology and the way our society understands that biology. The social status that we give to the most beautiful people is the one that makes most people feel too nervous when approaching them. We tend to think that they are above our class, but that class’s charter is socially built.
Put in a different way, being aware that the status of beauty is determined socially can help us in dealing with our biases. This will help in ensuring a level playing field when it comes to personal and professional arenas irrespective of inherited physical characteristics. If your goal is to look good, go for it by all means. Fashion and makeup can be fun ways to make you feel good. But you shouldn’t think that you have to be beautiful and don’t let anyone tell that you should be. Because being beautiful doesn’t mean you are perfect.