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‘Beauty’ Brings Special Privileges

Beauty has its privileges. Studies reliably show that the most physically attractive among us tend to get more attention from parents, better grades in school, more money at work, and more satisfaction from life. A study published in the Journal of Economics and Business found that good-looking banking CEOs take in over $1 million more in total compensation, on average, than their lesser-looking peers. “Good looks pay off,” the authors write.

New research from Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance similarly finds that comely managers of mutual funds lure more investments and enjoy more promotions than their counterparts, even though their funds don’t perform as well. The researchers suggest this performance gap may be because handsome managers approach risk with arrogant levels of confidence.

Scientists attribute the human tendency to give attractive people better treatment to something called the halo effect. Basically, we tend to assume that good looks are a sign of intelligence, trustworthiness, and good character and that ugliness is similarly more than skin deep. This may help explain why attractive people are less likely to be arrested or convicted, even after controlling for criminal involvement, according to a 2019 study published in the journal Psychiatry, Psychology and Law.

Possible Preaching Angle:

The gospel works by grace not by beauty—God saves us in Christ not because we are beautiful and worthy. He saves us despite our lack of spiritual and moral beauty. But he saves us to make us truly beautiful in him.

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