Friday, October 31, 2014

Good Character Makes You Better Looking

I’m not sure that this means that everyone should dispense with beauty treatments or proper dress.

Yet, we now learn, from an academic journal, that people will think you are better looking if they think you are a good person.

Good character makes you better looking.

Who knew?

Melissa Dahl reported in New York Magazine on research conducted at a Chinese university.

Researchers showed students a series of pictures of faces and asked the students to rate their relative attractiveness. Two weeks later they showed the students the same pictures, only then they described the people pictured as either decent and honorable or mean and evil.

The result, Dahl writes:

The students who thought they were looking at the faces of kind, decent women ended up rating those faces as more attractive than the students who’d been told they were judging a bunch of jerkfaces.

You might ask yourself whether our culture encourages people to be kind and decent, respectful to others and generally nice. Or you might ask whether the culture encourages people to do whatever they need to do to get ahead, to express their feelings no matter who they offend.

I agree that “nice” is more attractive than “mean,” but how many people today—beyond your grandparents—still encourage you to be nice?

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