Costhetics wants to talk to you about pulchronomics. This funny sounding word describes the serious subject of the economics of beauty. Research shows that physically attractive people have an advantage when it comes to employability and earnings.

When our team looked more deeply into this topic, we were surprised to learn that the researchers may have it wrong.

Blondes Have More Fun…And More Money

As reported in Ireland’s The Journal,

“In 2010, Queensland University studied 15,000 Caucasian women and found that blondes earn 7% more than women with any other hair colour. The difference in pay remained the same, even when other factors such as height, weight and education were removed.”

The University of Messina sent out more than 11,000 CVs for 1,542 jobs across Italy using the same resume. The only differences were the first-name, last-name and address (to make the resumes appear unique) and the photo. The results were eye opening:

The overall callback rate was 30%, but the researchers found that good looking women had a callback rate of 54% and handsome men 47%.

It’s clear that being attractive has its benefits, but how you look can only take you so far.

Confidence: More Powerful than Beauty

Many experts warn against assigning too much value to beauty in the workplace. The truth is that even if your good looks get you in the door, they may not get you much farther up the corporate ladder.

Would you like to know what will accelerate your rise? Confidence.

CNN reports that HR executives find confidence attractive, not physical beauty. The hiring pros also contend that attractiveness has more to do with how you carry yourself and the energy you exude – rather than perfect features or a great physique.

Harvard researchers Markus Mobius and Tanya Rosenblat found that confidence makes up 20% of a person’s perceived attractiveness. The search for that confidence leads many people, especially baby boomers, to seek cosmetic enhancement. Their choice has less to do with a desire to look beautiful and more to do with finding a personal best that they feel good about.

Ways to Become More Attractive Without Surgery

Gordon Wainright, author of “Teach Yourself Body Language“, says that anyone can increase their attractiveness to others. The secrets:

  • Maintain good eye contact.
  • Practice good posture.
  • Act upbeat.
  • Dress well.
  • Listen well.
  • Smile (in a genuine, not crocodile way).

Costhetics wants to remind everyone that looks may be the first thing a prospective employer notices about a candidate. In the long run, however, good looks can’t trump such attributes as education, competency, and interpersonal skills. Don’t forget: the world is filled with successful, influential ugly ducklings. Consider Mick Jagger, Rosie O’Donnell, and Bill Gates.

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