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The Economics of Pretty -- Writer's Poke #325

Being pretty matters. How much? About $230,000 over the average lifetime.

Yep. Pretty people have it made, economically speaking. Not only do they make more money than those with average looks, but they are able to secure loans easier – looks are more valuable than credit scores. And, for that matter, good looking folks are able to secure richer spouses. Any way you look at it, it pays to be a pretty face.

Researchers indicate that even good-looking NFL quarterbacks make more money than the more homely ones. I’m not sure where Peyton Manning falls in this analysis...

Should it matter? Are we upset with the human bias for good looks? 

Think about your own preferences. Would you rather look at someone pretty, pretty average, or pretty awful? Do you feel better when you are having a conversation with a looker? Have you ever been friends, or not, simply because of the way someone looked?

And what is the connection between looks and intelligence? Is it true that people either get looks or brains, or do the better-lookers, on average, also receive better brains?

Susan Boyle became a worldwide sensation, but her singing talent was only part of it. Her voice couldn’t be denied, no matter what physical package it was housed in. But if she had the body of a diva, would her voice be that much sweeter?

How do you define pretty?

“No one ever told me I was pretty when I was a little girl. All little girls should be told they're pretty, even if they aren't.” – Marilyn Monroe


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