Do pretty people earn more?

2008

Do good-looking people earn more money than average and below average-looking people? You would like to think that it's just hard work and doing your job well that can help you move up the ladder. Sadly, as this article on CareerBuilder.com explains, your looks may have more to do with your job than you realize.

Take this example. A manager told a cosmetic dentist, "[he] wanted his assistant to get veneers, and was even willing to pay for the dental work - as long as the assistant asked for it. He said this was a woman who was really good at her job and he was moving up (within the organization), but he couldn't take her with him because her teeth were so bad. The assistant never came in for the dental work, and [the dentist] said he didn't know what became of her career."

The question is, are pretty people actually better workers? That remains to be seen and studies are being conducted. However, it has been proven that students will give professors with good looks higher marks than those more average or below. At the same time, some experts say that lack of talent will eventually show no matter how good-looking the person is and that will affect their job and their pay at some point.

The sad part is that companies can still discriminate against workers because of looks. Often it is done carefully and other reasons are used, but there really aren't laws on the books for the ugly or less attractive. So, if you want to get noticed, it may pay off to spend a little extra getting that makeover or buying the fancy new clothes.

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Older Comments

I think it's easy to look at the surface of this argument and largely misinterpret the end result. Of course attractive people get paid more, but attractiveness is not an accident. The people who are motivated to ensure that they are seen as attractive are the same people that are motivated to be thought of as successful; they're intrinsically motivated. So the 'X' factor shouldn't be the end result, it should be the modifier in the puzzle.

Brit Denver