Just Your "Average Joe"

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Contrary to the popular belief, people around the world find "average-looking" people to be the most attractive. According to our psychology textbook, these "average" faces have more symmetry, which is a strong indicator for psychical attractiveness.

Although it is hard to go against scientific evidence and the results of experiments, I still am undecided as to whether this information is true or not. To a certain point, I think that many people can agree on who is and who isn't attractive. Specific qualities, such as a good smile, good skin, or muscularity, all help people appear more attractive...and I wouldn't consider any of those as "average" qualities. I also like to think that, for the most part, I do find the unique-looking women more attractive. I have had many debates with my friends on whether or not a certain girl is attractive, and I usually find myself having largely different viewpoints on these women. So, I still lean towards the "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" belief.

What I find most disappointing is the fact that physical attractiveness does have a strong correlation with success (Jobs should hire those who are the best-suited for the job; not the best-looking! ugh..)

In my mind, there are two main reasons backing this correlation.

1) People who think, or know, that they are good-looking will have more confidence. People always prefer those that have confidence over those that don't.
2) People who are attractive will have a better chance at getting hired for jobs that require them to be seen. Media-related jobs will obviously want someone who people want to look at. For example, many professional sports interviewers are young, good-looking females. The head managers know that males are watching and will pay attention more to the interview if the female is good-looking.

These are my personal opinions, and I am no expert. But by the brief research I just did on Google, I would say that scholarly articles agree with me more often than not.

average looking cartoon.jpg

Although I don't think it's fair that people get hired based on their physical attractiveness, I do think it makes sense.

What do you think?

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I think that the people doing the hiring unconsciously judge the applicants based on appearance for several reasons. The interviewer may be attracted to them, which could influence their thoughts on the ability of the applicant and how well they would do at that job. They may also hire them since they admire them for their beauty, and typically when people want to succeed they surround themselves with those they strive to be similar to. I also think it is an unfair practice, but sort of follows the "natural selection" process that is part of life.

I think it is not fair and a form of discrimination is you are not hired for a job because you are unattractive. Society should value who is the best suited and able to do the job, not who turns the most heads. Although if being attractive gets you a little future in life then by all means go head and flaunt it. Being attractive and young does not last forever and if an individual would like to use their "skills" to get ahead in life they are only taking advantage on our societies value on looks. Attractive people only happen to be on the advantage side, but that does not mean employers should reject unattractive people. In the end of the work day real skills not looks will get the job done.

Although this is a horrible form of discrimination, it is, like you said, reality. But I do not think interviewers are consciously aware that they are doing this. I instead think, as harsh as it sounds, that many people are fascinated by attractive looking people; as they tend to stand out in a crowd of "average joe" faces. Hours after the interview, there is a good chance that the person's standout looks are still lingering in the employers brain, making them more likely to hire the person.
Or, the interviewer may simply believe that people may correlate the looks of the employees with the success and popularity of the company. As ridiculous as that sounds, I do believe that underrated people have these types of thoughts. Take for example clothing stores; most of the time attractive young people are working in them, clothed in attire the store most likely sells. If a shopper comes in and envies this employees looks or attire, they are probably more likely to buy from the store.

All very good points. However I'd like to point out that your examples of stand-outish features that are not average do, in fact, back up the whole "averageness" theory. The fact that average faces are more attractive also relates to the fact that average faces are automatically more symmetric. So, a nice smile and nice skin both fit right in line with that, because a nice smile would be a symmetric and even one, and good skin would be devoid of asymmetric blemishes. Being muscular is a whole 'nother thing, as the "averageness" point really talks about the face more, but yeah, muscular people tend to be more attractive to most people.

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This page contains a single entry by hamme443 published on April 7, 2012 4:08 PM.

Do lie detectors...lie? was the previous entry in this blog.

Beauty Standards as Reflection of the Society is the next entry in this blog.

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