In Defence Of Being Beautiful

In Defence Of Being Beautiful

31/03/22 / Keyword: Beautiful

Do good-looking people really have easier lives than everyone else? Maybe being beautiful isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. ECP coach Darren investigates.

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Useful vocabulary

not all it is cracked up to be: used to say that something is not as good as people say it is

wherein: in which, in what, in what way

trait: a distinguishing quality or characteristic, typically one belonging to a person

encounter: an unexpected or casual meeting with someone or something

needless to say: a remark giving information that is expected and not surprising; as you would expect

to give off: to emit

scant: barely sufficient or adequate, insufficient amounts

to offset: to serve as a counterbalance, to compensate

Listen to the audio and read the text.

Do good-looking people really have easier lives than everyone else? Maybe being beautiful isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. ECP coach Darren investigates.

It has been well-documented that people who are physically attractive, both men and women, enjoy a plethora of benefits and privileges in life. From getting higher marks in school for handing in the same quality work to receiving more help when needed, and from having an easier time job hunting to getting higher salaries, they have an advantage. Here, we look specifically at the other side of the coin, which is often neglected—are there aspects in life wherein physically attractive people struggle more?

Envy-Related Hostility

While it is true that better-looking people are often more liked by the opposite sex, the reverse is also true for others of the same sex. For instance, good-looking students are more likely to be socially excluded or bullied by those of the same sex than their less attractive counterparts, presumably as a result of envy. A similar dynamic can be observed in workplace settings where good-looking employees face a greater level of hostility from colleagues and superiors of the same sex. Furthermore, physically attractive candidates are typically less successful in job interviews with interviewers of the same sex, and this is believed to be because they are seen as a threat.

Negative First Impressions

People often make positive trait inferences upon initial encounters with good-looking people, such as assuming good-looking people to be more intelligent, healthy, and kind. However, there are also many undesirable traits that are automatically assumed to accompany physical attractiveness and needless to say, these negative impressions could then detrimentally affect interpersonal relationship development and progression. For example, good-looking people often give off the initial impression of being self-centred, entitled, incompetent, and promiscuous. Being too attractive can also make people seem unapproachable and intimidating. Interestingly, even positive trait assumptions can have undesirable consequences, such as doctors not taking symptoms seriously due to assumptions of better health in the physically attractive.

So, Do Attractive People Really Have It Easy In Life?

Although research has largely identified the positives associated with being good-looking—and research on the dark side of being good-looking is admittedly scant in comparison—this does not mean that the struggles of the physically attractive are insignificant. For instance, approximately 50 percent of our co-workers in the average workplace are expected to be those of the same sex. Therefore, the advantage of being good-looking may be more or less offset by the accompanying disadvantages. 

It follows then that the beauty premium could really only be experienced in the workplace setting by the minority of people who are both good-looking and work in an environment dominated by co-workers of the opposite sex, making the commonly held anecdote “good-looking people have life on easy mode” a bit of an overstatement perhaps…

Adapted from this article by ECP coach Darren Lynch

Let’s chat about being beautiful!

1.Would you agree that there are advantages to being good-looking or is it overrated? Give reasons for you answer.

2.What traits do you find attractive in a person?

3.Do you think people act differently around a good looking person? In what way? 

4.Do you think the advantages and disadvantages of being good-looking are the same for both sexes or do you believe there are differences?

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