It’s no shock that the portrayal of women in the media – young, sexy, skinny, tall – makes the rest of us feel flawed. When we look at the 40,000 or so ads that the average American is exposed to each year, it’s no wonder women are feeling inadequate. The average female model weighs up to 25% less than the typical woman and maintains a weight at about 15 to 20% below what is considered healthy for her age and height. It leaves us wondering how much importance is placed on pretty in this mixed up world we live in.
Well, as it turns out, pretty counts for a lot. As much as we want to believe we are not judged on how we look, that’s the very thing that opens so many doors for us. A pretty woman gets more opportunities and lots more help when she needs it. Just try getting any kind of assistance on a day when you are looking particularly frumpy – no makeup, stringy hair, sweatsuit and sneakers. If you don’t believe me get all dolled and see if you are treated any differently. The more attractive version of you will always win out – it’s just the way it is.
Actually, there are a whole set of different rules for the pretty woman. She can slip past velvet ropes, get preferential seating in restaurants, and even smile their way out of traffic tickets…and that’s just for starters.
People assume that if a woman is attractive, she possesses other positive traits, such as kindness and intelligence,” says behavioral psychologist Stephen Josephson, Ph.D., of Weill Cornell Medical College. So it’s not surprising that a study conducted by Daniel Hamermesh, Ph.D., and Jeff Biddle, Ph.D., economics professors at the University of Texas and Michigan State University, respectively, revealed that “plain” people earn 1 to 15 percent less than people with average looks, who in turn earn 1 to 13 percent less than those deemed good-looking.
Job recruiters have come to learn that sending out attractive women will get a much better reaction from their clients. Whether they admit it or not, many employers feel that having pretty female employees will reflect well on their firm. And, let’s face it, men want to be surrounded by pretty women.
Here’s the rub. “Occasionally being pretty can backfire”, says Stephen Josephson. “It’s the bimbo effect. “If a beautiful woman succeeds, she often finds herself fielding insinuations that her accomplishments are based solely on her looks.” And although a 2009 Journal of Applied Psychology report found that handsome people do have an edge over their less comely counterparts with regard to salaries, it turns out that intelligence trumps all.
So ladies, all is not lost – intelligence is still our most important asset. Nevertheless, I’m not ready to give up my highlights or lip gloss anytime soon.
The Real Cougar Woman is a 5-carat diamond who knows the importance of taking care of her health, beauty, relationships, finances and spirituality. Linda Franklin says,” there is no stopping a woman who has a strong belief system and a dream. All things are possible”. Linda’s book, Don’t Ever Call Me Ma’am helps women of all ages tap into their power and live life to the fullest