Life is better if you are beautiful. Totally unfair but somewhat true. A recent article in The Economist explored the economics (fittingly) of this timeless truism.
[W]hen all other things are taken into account, ugly people earn less than average incomes, while beautiful people earn more than the average. The ugliness “penalty” for men was -9% while the beauty premium was +5%. For women, perhaps surprisingly considering popular prejudices about the sexes, the effect was less: the ugliness penalty was -6% while the beauty premium was +4%.
There might be some biologic basis to our attraction for attractive people:
[Certain] aspects of beauty … are indicators of health. Skin and hair condition, in particular, are sensitive to illness, malnutrition and so on (or, perhaps it would be better to say that people’s perceptions are exquisitely tuned to detect perfection and flaws in such things).
Is it any wonder that cosmetics is a $250 billion dollar industry?
Photo of Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen from www.celebspin.com.