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Physical Attractiveness and Social Status



In this article, we outline the evidence regarding the status effects of physical attractiveness, paying particular attention to outcomes in the areas of jobs, crime, performance evaluations, power, health perceptions, and exchange. The framework of status characteristics theory is used to guide our explication. The role of attractiveness in marketing is also discussed. While the literature generally supports the idea that attractiveness is good for people, we also consider evidence that beauty can be detrimental for some individuals in certain situations. Issues of race and gender are also considered as well as future research directions.