Why Being "Pretty" Is An Actual Advantage

Boston College is ranked among top colleges not only for academics, but also for looks. While BC students are at times referred to as belonging in a J. Crew catalog, there is evidence that being seen as attractive leads to material advantages later in life.

Beauty also suggests Photoshop. Image courtesy of Adobe Systems/Wikimedia Commons.

Beauty also suggests Photoshop.
Image courtesy of Adobe Systems/Wikimedia Commons.

Beauty suggests health, intelligence and success. Overall, the world rewards beauty. So, what is the material advantage of being pretty? What are the benefits of being a pretty college student?

Prettier people are proven to be more persuasive and achieve leadership positions. Beautiful students are more likely to get a job or an interview. A study from Harvard University shows that beautiful people are perceived as more trustworthy. The researchers found out that wearing makeup and good-taste clothes can boost up individuals’ likeability and trustworthiness.

Being pretty can also mean more money in the bank. In his new book, Beauty Pays, Princeton professor Daniel Hamermesh writes that a handsome man can earn an income 13 percent higher than a less appealing man. An attractive individual is also more likely to get hired during a recession.

However, there is also evidence that beauty may have disadvantages. People expect less from those that are less attractive. Pretty people may receive a“beauty penalty” if they fail to meet these expectations, according to a Rice University study.

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Image via J. Crew/Facebook.

While natural beauty plays a factor, makeup and outfits are also central to one’s physical presentation. A look around BC's campus seems to indicate that students pay a substantial amount of money on their personal appearance. “The typical brands on campus include Uggs, Sperrys, J. Crew, Northface, Longchamp, etc.” according to Business Insider.

Susannah Cai, CSOM ’15, thinks BC students are pretty and dress classically. “[Students] have a good sense of fashion and dress nicely. I think the benefit of being pretty is self-confidence,” she said. “I like BC's dress style.”

It remains unknown which is prettier on campus: students or Gasson. Photo courtesy of Boston College/Facebook.

It remains unknown which is more attractive on campus: students or Gasson.
Photo courtesy of Boston College/Facebook.

However, there are some complaints about the Boston College unofficial “dress code” that so many students ascribe to. “The typical dress style of Boston College is preppy. There is no surprise,” says Amy Lin, CSOM ’16.

For Lin, the BC "uniform" is indicative of a lack of creativity. “At other schools, I saw people wearing hippie clothes and dressing differently. Even though their clothes are not fancy, they are interesting."

Whether or not the typical BC style is attractive is in the eyes of the beholder. For the moment, it appears society continues to advantage those who are deemed attractive, something to consider for sociology and business majors alike.

Featured photo courtesy of Banana Republic/Facebook.

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