Proof Beautiful Women Can Get You To Do Whatever They Want
You’re not alone if you’ve felt that the more attractive people around us seem to have magic powers. Doors open when they shouldn’t have otherwise — whether it be in the form of career opportunities, restaurant reservations, or just plain old literal doors — just so long as you have a pretty face. If you found it odd that these things actually do happen for better-looking folks, there’s now some actual science to prove it.
Researchers from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, have published the results of a study that found that yes, people are more likely to give good-looking people whatever they want. Twenty-one men were placed in a trial with female facial images, one more attractive then the other. The females would present the men with an offer, and the men were found to take an offer from the attractive face more often than not — even if it was a bad one.
“The behavioral data demonstrated that the acceptance ratio increased with the fairness level of the offers and, more importantly, the subjects were more likely to accept unfair offers when presented with the attractive-face condition compared with the unattractive-face condition,” the researchers wrote in their findings, published through the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience. “The behavioral data in the current study were consistent with the notion of the ‘beauty premium.”
The “beauty premium” mentioned by the researchers is at the heart of the entire discussion, and is what typically explains why more attractive individuals get their way. It’s been written about and studied extensively, and it has become rather well known (or at least suspected) that the hotter you are, the more opportunities you will be given. Though this delves deep into all kinds of psychological rabbit holes, the important takeaway from the Zhejiang study, particularly for men, should be that they may be under the influence of the age-old spell of beauty, and that might be causing them to act irrationally.
The truth is, we see this very basic element of psychology and biology at work in our everyday lives all the time. You don’t end up watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians for two hours because you find it intellectually stimulating — you do it because it’s chock full of attractive people.
That, right there, is an example of how an individual may end up wasting resources, such as time, on something they would not otherwise have done. Simply because of our affinity toward hotness.
Now, this really isn’t all that big of a deal in most instances. But when it comes to your career, or even things that happen outside of your house, it could be problematic. Perhaps you’ve been spending too much time chatting it up with a cute receptionist, or buying lunch for one of your attractive coworkers? You may not have even realized it, but you could be getting taken for a ride, intentionally or not.
There are a million ways that this could play out and negatively affect your career or personal life through everyday interactions. You can probably name a time that someone close to you (or you yourself) decided to take a job with less pay, or some other economical decision because of a physical attraction. But being aware of that issue, and either deciding to stick with your decisions or change your behavior accordingly, is how to get ahead of mistakes.
Again, you may be okay with letting the attractive bartender talk you into buying extra drinks all night, as long as you know that’s why you’re doing it. But there are those who may not be on board, and feel taken advantage of after a night spent racking up a huge tab.
It all boils down to simple biology and psychology, which is what the researchers from Zhejiang are basically reaffirming. There are entire businesses built on taking advantage of the power of beauty (ever been to Hooters?), and most of the time it’s innocent enough. But what you need to be aware of is how it can be used against you — say in a salary negotiation, or in legal proceedings.
Beauty can be weaponized, gents, so don’t forget to think with your brain.
Follow Sam on Twitter @SliceOfGinger