2009 December 16 Wednesday
Ugliness More Costly In Urban Areas

If you are ugly and want to feel good about yourself move out to the country where you won't have to compete so much for friends.

Do good-looking people really benefit from their looks, and in what ways? A team of researchers from the University of Georgia and the University of Kansas found that yes; attractive people do tend to have more social relationships and therefore an increased sense of psychological well-being. This seems like common sense, and might be why we spend billions of dollars each year trying to become more attractive. However, the study, published in this month’s issue of Personal Relationships, also determines that the importance of attractiveness is not universal; rather, it is determined by where we live.

The importance of attractiveness in everyday life is not fixed, or simply a matter of human nature. Instead, the impact of our attractiveness on our social lives depends on the social environment where we live. Attractiveness does matter in more socially mobile, urban areas (and from a woman’s point of view actually indicates psychological well-being), but it is far less relevant in rural areas. In urban areas individuals experience a high level of social choice, and associating with attractive people is one of those choices. In other words, in urban areas, a free market of relationships makes attractiveness more important for securing social connections and consequently for feeling good. In rural areas, relationships are less about choice and more about who is already living in the community. Therefore, attractiveness is less likely to be associated with making friends and feeling good.

The ability to genetically engineer children to be better looking will help enable more urban living.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2009 December 16 07:51 PM  Economics Human Weakness

kurt9 said at December 17, 2009 9:23 AM:

Need to have better education and career options for the less attractive women. Attractive women can make their way in the world by manipulating men. The less attractive women have to make their way on their own cognitive and other merits. A society that makes for more choices and career options for such women can benefit them enormously.

flenser said at December 19, 2009 1:11 PM:

The ability to genetically engineer children to be better looking will help enable more urban living.

A lose/lose solution if I've ever heard one.

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