How Does The "Beauty Premium" Affect Your Salary

May 09, 2017

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We have all got that one friend who seems to have it all – conventionally possessing good looks and a well-paying job. Not to mention, the countless romances that come their way. At least in the professional sense, physical appearance is a huge factor.  

Economists have long studied the “beauty premium”, a phenomenon which posits that those who are relatively more attractive are paid more. This is regardless if the physical appearance is irrelevant to their line of work or performance. Nevertheless, looks can only take you so far as specific qualities help to bring a bigger pay check back home. 


To analyse potential workings of the beauty premium, researchers from the London School of Economics and Political Science and the University of Massachusetts in Boston looked at a representative sample from a longitudinal study. Notably, the survey participants’ physical attractiveness had been measured by interviewers on a five-point scale over the last 13 years (i.e., 1= “very unattractive” to 5 = “very attractive”). The respondents were also asked for their gross earnings of the previous years. 

Simply put, the researchers found a significant relationship between salary and levels of attractiveness.


In a study by Dr, Satoshi Kanazawa, he argued that: "Physically more attractive workers may earn more, not necessarily because they are more beautiful, but because they are healthier, more intelligent, and have better personality traits conducive to higher earnings." This doesn’t mean that talent and your actual job performance have no bearing on your salary, but your attitude and personality at work can help your professional pursuits too.

For instance, offices benefit from conscientious employees who are organised and focused on the company's goals despite of the various challenges.


Physical appearance may affect the opportunities you receive at work, but this does not mean that you have to break the bank to fulfill your fitness goals. You’re better off scaling up the salary ladder by upping your skills as a dedicated worker! Well, you shall not completely shut your doors to grooming. 

There’s a reason why we put our best foot forward during job interviews. People make snap judgments at first, even if those may turn out to be invalid as time passes. Make it a point to dress sharply at work, in hopes of securing a good and lasting impression.

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This post appeared first on the BankBazaar blog and was edited by Anna Agoncillo. is an online marketplace in Singapore that helps consumers compare and apply for the best offers across all financial products: personal loans, home loans, credit cards & investments.
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