Despite the fact that we have all been taught that beauty is only skin deep, ongoing research shows that looks can be beneficial and even make you happier. The research shows that looks are extremely beneficial for both men and women across many areas: job opportunities, monetary earnings, dating. Being attractive can give people an edge because many quick decisions are based on appearance and first impressions. People are often drawn to the attractive people around and the “pretty people” tend to have greater influence overall. Beauty can provide greater wealth, as pretty people earn more and then marry attractive people who also earn more. Based on this, one can deduce that attractive people are generally happier, as they have greater opportunities, greater influence and greater economic benefit.
More specifically, there are specific physical attributes that give people an innate advantage: beauty, height, hair color and vocal tone. Beauty leads to higher salaries and higher-earning and more attractive spouses. Height is another physical advantage — according to research, being tall means bigger paychecks, possibly $800 more a year. Researchers think it may be because of higher self-esteem. Hair color is another factor — research has shown that blondes do actually have more fun, and according to one British study, more money as a result. Vocal tone can give you an advantage in dating. Research has shown when both sexes used a lower-pitch voice, there were higher levels of arousal.
Once again, though external beauty is a bigger issue for women’s happiness than men’s. Unfortunately for women, they focus a great deal more on appearance then men do. Men can find happiness in other areas of their life along with appearance. Women, and this is certainly supported by the media’s ideal, spend a great deal of time and effort on looking their best, appearing their best. As a result, the internal or other external things get lost. Women are always working and striving to meet an ideal, that may not be able to be met. Thus, the focus is much more on just being pretty, which on its own can influence happiness.
Not everyone is born beautiful, as we know. And if beauty determines happiness, one could assume that changing one’s appearance would be the answer. In truth, altering yourself through plastic surgery does not make you happier. Although the cosmetics, clothing and plastic surgery industries would disagree, changing your appearance isn’t going to necessarily boost your happiness. We do know that chasing happiness can actually make you unhappy, which is what all of these changes would be…chasing happiness. Plastic surgery can also be a slippery slope — for some, it can tempt you to do more and more, which can be unsatisfying in the long run.
And, if beauty is supposed to be only skin deep, shouldn’t brains and personality account for something? Although being smart will get you far, being smart and pretty will get you farther. Intelligence alone isn’t enough. Unfortunately, people can’t see intelligence on first glance. They can see attractiveness. That said, you may become more attractive the smarter you are, which can only help you in the long run. More good news for those who aren”t born beautiful, there has been some research that personality can go a long way in changing people’s perception of your looks … If you are honest, funny or intelligent, it can enhance your looks.
So, what can you do to turn it around? Happiness really can be elusive, so find opportunities to build long term happiness. Finding things that will make you happy in the short term are just that, short. Happiness and contentment toward the long-term is the way to go.
- Play up your positives — you may not be the most beautiful, but you have the personality, musical abilities … What do you bring to the table?
- Find acceptance within yourself about what you have to offer and who you are. This can help build happiness in the long term as well.
Although some of the cosmetic or clothing changes cannot make you feel better in the long term, addressing some of things that can make you happier (and healthier) are good things: get fit, eat right. These things will also boost your endorphins and your mood.
- Happiness Surround yourself with happy people. They will rub off on you.
- Be in the moment … Enjoy the now.
Here’s the clip from the show: