In school we are taught that those who work the hardest will become the most successful, yet some sociologists suggest that a person’s physical beauty can influence how far they get in life. Over the years, many researchers have studied the correlation between beauty and evolution, and how populations perpetuate the most beautiful and desirable genes that increase reproductive success. However, I want to take this a step further by investigating how genetics can effect economics and predetermine certain outcomes. I want to study what sociologists consider “beautiful” and to define what we categorize as “successful.” I will then analyze how people determine which candidates to elect into leadership positions and how certain media stars in Hollywood have achieved worldwide fame.
To accomplish the first part of this study, I will analyze the book “Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful” by Daniel S. Hamermesh. Hamermesh is a well-respected economics professor at the University of Texas-Austin, and has spent twenty years studying how physical appearances affect economic standing. I will determine if there is enough solid evidence to support the idea that those who are more attractive earn more.
Then, I will tie this into how people vote for our politicians and organization leaders. With the presidential elections looming around the corner, we would like to think that we will elect the person who is most qualified to lead our country. However, I will do a critical reading of the literary article, “The Looks of a Winner: Beauty and Electoral Success” to see if that is truly the case. I am curious to know if I can determine the winner based on how humans tend to vote in the polls.
Finally, I will look into the Hollywood industry, which famously shuns the perfectly normal woman and praises unattainable beauty. I will draw from Mindy Kailing’s memoir, “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me and Other Concerns,” which details the impossibly funny life of a not-so-typical actress who makes it big in the TV industry. From humble beginnings, to international fame, I will see if looks are the main quality that makes humans attractive
Hamermesh, Daniel S. Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2011. Web.
Berggren, Niclas, Henrik Jordahl, and Panu Poutvaara. “The Looks of a Winner: Beauty and Electoral Success.” Journal of Public Economics 94.1-2 (2010): 8-15. Web.
Kaling, Mindy. Is Everyone Hanging out without Me?: (and Other Concerns). N.p.: Ebury, 2013. Print.