Beauty and Success: University of Nairobi Lecturer, Edwin Nyutho (who recently retired) told us that to succeed as a news anchor, one needed to have reasonable looks. He was being modest. Television is about performance and therefore being ‘easy on the eye’ puts you at a significant advantage over everyone else.
But it is not just in television where good looks matter. Years ago, we visited the rural home of former Cabinet Minister, Jeremiah Nyaga. He was retired but kept an active lifestyle around his lovely home. After addressing us generally, he singled out a tall, light-skinned, easy-on-the-eye chap for a one-on-one conversation.
“Whose son is this,” he asked with a broad smile.” We acted like that single act didn’t matter, but we all knew it meant something. Quite unsurprisingly, that chap has had a very rewarding career that has taken him abroad and back.
Baggio and Moretti (2018) in their paper, ‘Beauty as a factor of economic and social development’ found that beauty, creativity and innovation are connected in a chain that leads to socio-economic well-being. When we work around good looking people and in a good looking environment, we become more creative and therefore more innovative.
Good looks is a much sought after commodity. Women go out of their way to sire children with good-looking men. Some black women deliberately look for white men to sire their children. These women know that good looks can give children an upper hand in the search for jobs. They also know that ‘white’ people enjoy certain advantages in a world deeply divided along racial lines.
There is a caveat, however. Just like good papers can open doors but cannot keep them open, good looks should be accompanied by a measure of competence and/or character. Good looks worn over an awful character can actually look ugly. Similarly, average looks dressed with grace and character can actually look beautiful.
I see good looks as a gift from God to be used for his glory, not for self exaltation. And to those not so easy on the eye, don’t worry. As long you are happy.
According to many studies, good looks and success go hand in hand. Attractive people tend to get ahead faster and earn more money – which in turn makes them more appearance-conscious, according to dw.com.
Berlin’s celebrity hairdresser Udo Walz says beauty provides an extra boost in the job world. When you look good, she says, “people want to communicate with you.”
Although it cannot be determined whether many celebrities owe their success to their looks, numerous studies have found a connection between good looks and job success. In other words: the more beautiful the person, the easier their climb up the career ladder.
Meanwhile, Economist Daniel Hamermesh from the University of Texas even found that attractive employees earn more money than their “aesthetically less appealing colleagues”.
In his study, Hamermesh asked participants to rate the attractiveness of people on a series of photographs. He then compared the ranking with the salary figures of the test subjects. The result was clear: the persons considered unattractive earned on average up to 10% less than their averagely attractive counterparts.
Hamermesh euphemistically describes this appearance-based financial disadvantage as a “plainness penalty.” The most attractive subjects were found to earn up to 5% more than the average – what he called “beauty premium.”