The Advantages Of Attractiveness And How It Impacts Success

Medically reviewed by Julie Dodson, MA
Updated May 4, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

If you’ve ever observed an attractive person and wondered how their looks might be shaping their experiences, you’re not alone—researchers, too, are interested in how physical attractiveness impacts various aspects of life, from social interactions and personal relationships to career prospects and other opportunities. This curiosity drives studies exploring the "beauty premium" and how societal perceptions of beauty affect both opportunities and challenges individuals face.

Here, we’ll explore the advantages of attractiveness, its impact on success, and even some personality traits that can influence perceived attractiveness levels. We’ll also identify some ways of enhancing your own attractiveness through personal development and self-care practices, so you can unlock the full potential of your appeal, both inside and out.

A group sits in a meeting listening to one presenting coworker.

Is your self-image holding you back?

Advantages of attractiveness

Attractiveness, often perceived through the lens of societal standards, can wield significant influence on various aspects of an individual's life. While physical attractiveness is by definition superficial, research has found that it offers distinct advantages in personal, social, and professional realms. 

Higher confidence

According to research, attractive people are more likely to feel confident, which can benefit many areas of life. For instance, they may be more likely to try a new activity or apply for a promotion at work, and the confidence derived from their success may inspire them to continue taking on new challenges.

Enhanced first impressions

Those who are considered attractive are often perceived more positively, a phenomenon known as the “halo effect”. This psychological bias leads people to assume that physically attractive people possess other desirable traits such as intelligence, kindness, and competency.

More opportunities

Whether due to confidence or the halo effect, good-looking people may find it easier to build friendships, find romantic partners, and succeed in the professional world

Persuasion power

We are often more easily persuaded by people we consider to be attractive, and the confidence that often accompanies attractiveness may make people more persuasive. This can facilitate social interactions, professional negotiations, and marketing or sales efforts.


There is some evidence to suggest that those who are considered physically attractive benefit from better health outcomes. However, this could also be due to the fact that certain indicators of good health, such as BMI, can influence perceptions of attractiveness, while the social and personal benefits of attractiveness can also positively influence health.

How attractiveness impacts personal lives

A person’s level of attractiveness can play a major role in their personal life. Physical appearance can impact someone’s first impression and how they are perceived by others; as mentioned, those who feel confident in their physical appearance have higher self-esteem and feel more confident in social interactions. These traits can be helpful when forming relationships and bonding. 

In social situations, attractive people may have an easier time connecting with those around them. Because their self-confidence is high, they feel comfortable socializing and receiving attention. That can lead to increased confidence, creating a positive loop. Conversely, individuals who are not confident in their appearance may feel insecure and less likely to socialize openly. A lack of connections may lead to isolation or negative self-talk, creating a negative loop.

While physical appearance can play a significant role in personal dynamics, it is only one aspect. Small steps to increase attractiveness and self-confidence can have a long-lasting impact on personal lives and relationships.

A woman discusses attraction with her therapist through online virtual communication. She wears a button down grey shirt.

How attractiveness impacts work

Some studies have shown that attractive people are more likely to find professional success and are often offered more jobs, higher salaries, and promotions. 

Forbes references a study that followed the career progression of 752 economists between 2002 and 2006,  finding that those perceived as more physically attractive not only fared better in job hunts post-graduation but also enjoyed sustained career success and higher research paper citations up to 15 years later, suggesting a strong link between attractiveness and professional achievement.

Attractiveness can influence career trajectories starting from the interview process, where presentation can impact first impressions. In professional settings, attractive individuals may benefit from positive perceptions of confidence, competence, and efficiency, enhancing interpersonal relationships and performance over time. While not the only factor, physical appeal, complemented by lifestyle habits, skill development, and networking, can serve as an advantage in maximizing professional opportunities.

Can personality influence whether we are perceived as attractive?

While being attractive can make life easier, it is important to note that attractiveness is both subjective and abstract—in other words, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 

Each of us may have different notions of what makes a person attractive, and personal characteristics can significantly impact how we perceive a person’s attractiveness. You can probably recall someone from your life whose humor, charm, or warmth drew you to them, whether romantically or platonically.

Personal qualities that may influence perceptions of attractiveness include:

How to become more attractive

For individuals who don’t feel confident in their image, there are small changes that could increase their confidence and therefore their attractiveness.

  1. Invest time in grooming and personal hygiene

Individuals who prioritize their grooming and hygiene habits are more likely to be perceived as attractive. Daily practices like showering, dental hygiene, smelling good, moisturizing, taking care of hair and nails, and generally keeping clean can all play a considerable part in attractiveness. Small efforts can cumulate into big differences in an individual’s look.

  1. Prioritize a healthy lifestyle

Eating a healthy diet and working out can help increase attractiveness. Others are more likely to perceive someone making healthy lifestyle choices as attractive because they are taking care of themselves. Eating nutritious food and exercising are linked to mental and physical health benefits over time.

  1. Develop your personal style

Dressing well can undoubtedly impact how an individual is perceived, but developing a personal sense of style can be equally important. People who prioritize clean and well-fitting clothes are usually regarded as more attractive, but that doesn’t mean that clothes have to be boring. Incorporating pieces into a wardrobe that represent the owner’s personality can be a great way to increase overall attractiveness.

  1. Work towards self-acceptance

Confidence is key to attractiveness, and practicing self-acceptance can be crucial. People who are confident in themselves often appear attractive to those around them, even if their appearance doesn’t meet traditional beauty standards. Embracing unique physical, emotional, and intellectual qualities is often the most attractive trait of all.

  1. Cultivate attractive personal qualities

Remember that physical appearance is only one facet of attractiveness, and focusing on becoming the kind of person with whom others want to spend time can be pivotal in building deep, lasting connections with others. As you seek to become more attractive physically, consider ways you might also cultivate the same empathy, humor, intelligence, and confidence that you look for in others.

Work towards self-improvement in therapy 

If you’re looking for ways to become more appealing to others, it may be worth considering therapy. A therapist can help you recognize areas for growth and self-improvement, whether it’s your day-to-day habits or the way you interface with others. 

Therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) have been found to be an effective way to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues stemming from negative thought patterns.

Online therapy through platforms like BetterHelp are considered to be just as effective as in-person therapy, and may offer some advantages over traditional modalities—cost-effectiveness, flexible scheduling, and greater accessibility, for example, are commonly cited reasons that people often prefer attending therapy online. With BetterHelp, you can also benefit from added features like journaling prompts, daily messaging with your therapist, and weekly group therapy at no extra cost.

A man sits at his computer and sips an espresso in a coffee shop. He wears a black button down collared shirt.

Is your self-image holding you back?

Counselor reviews

Do you prefer to correspond in writing? Or does a video conference better suit you? You decide when and how to connect with your therapist. Read these reviews from patients like you working through similar issues with BetterHelp counselors:

“Mr. Hunt has opened my eyes and mind to understand what is deep in my heart. He encourages me to dig deep. He also makes me feel good about myself and how I am trying so hard to get what I need to heal.”

“Great experience so far, Brad is a compassionate listener and very understanding. I am learning new things about myself and challenging old limiting beliefs. Also learning how to cope with certain difficulties by applying new techniques.”

Brad Rzepniewski, LCSW


Physical attractiveness has clear advantages and can play a significant role in an individual’s personal and professional life. It can majorly impact self-esteem, help foster social connections, and lead to professional opportunities. However, physical attractiveness is only one aspect; individuals who focus on good lifestyle habits can improve their perceived level of attractiveness. It is also important to remember that societal and cultural beauty standards are constantly in flux, and there is no universal standard to meet. Prioritizing self-acceptance can lead to feeling more attractive and safer in all aspects of life.
Seeking to improve your mental health?
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet started