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October 05, 2009


Luis Enrique

I suppose it's not too different from saying it makes sense to vote for eloquent politicians who are pleasing to the ear, which people certainly to say. You can justify that by saying eloquent politicians are more persuasive, just as you can say good looking politicians are more persuasive.

As far as I'm concerned the world would be a better place if people paid no attention to looks in this context, so I'd do my best to ignore looks and encourage others to do the same, on the basis of trying to make the world a better place.

(everything has it's limits though. Brown is just too painful to listen to.)

Chris Bertram

from exams, in which better lookers do better.

As dsquared suggested at CT the other day, this could well be because teachers are more attentive to the better-looking kids, who, in turn are encouraged, whereas the ugly ones are correspondingly discouraged.


They are our representatives. Unless they are good looking, they cannot represent me very well.


How about people who've had plastic surgery to improve their looks? Do they score like their new attractiveness category or their old one for career prospects? Does it matter when the plastic surgery is done? Do you need to have the looks-enhancing plastic surgery before school age to fully benefit? Or (unlikely as this may seem) are looks simply an external representation of internal qualities that can't be changed - so people who've been made more or less attractive by plastic surgery still have career prospects that match their original appearance? And does it matter if the prospective employer or voter knows the candidate has had plastic surgery?


Laura - I've not seen any research on this issue. My hunch is that plastic surgery could be earnings-enhancing, insofar as it raises one's self-confidence.
There is evidence that spending on makeup and the like makes a difference:


Two comments.

1. (And this more of a question really) - Is it really that electoral results suggest that people want politicians to be attractive, or is it that the averages are skewed by them NOT voting for very ugly people? Is it the case that people don't mind as long as you're not a *total* minger?

2. I'd suggest that selection processes also favour people who are more attractive in the flesh than they are on TV as the 'selectorate' is at least as important as the electorate within political parties. In my occasional meetings with senior politicians, on a few occasions (including one where the politician concerned often gets adverse comments appearance-wise) I've remarked that they look a great deal more attractive in the flesh than they do on camera. By contrast, I used to work next door to a modelling studio and we often used to get fashion models knocking on our door by mistake. There's no question that they looked a great deal better on camera without any perspective behind them (the reason why photographers often choose short men - they look a lot better as long as there isn't anyone standing next to them). A few photographers told me that very skinny tall women look better in pics than they do in the flesh.

Julian Ware-Lane

I sorted of have this covered (I hope) ... http://warelane.wordpress.com/2009/07/29/vote-for-the-ugly-guy/

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