Effects on society

Researchers have found that good-looking students get higher grades from their teachers than students with an ordinary appearance.[76] Some studies using mock criminal trials have shown that physically attractive "defendants" are less likely to be convicted—and if convicted are likely to receive lighter sentences—than less attractive ones (although the opposite effect was observed when the alleged crime was swindling, perhaps because jurors perceived the defendant's attractiveness as facilitating the crime).[77] Studies among teens and young adults, such as those of psychiatrist and self-help author Eva Ritvo show that skin conditions have a profound effect on social behavior and opportunity.[78]

How much money a person earns may also be influenced by physical beauty. One study found that pe

How much money a person earns may also be influenced by physical beauty. One study found that people low in physical attractiveness earn 5 to 10 percent less than ordinary-looking people, who in turn earn 3 to 8 percent less than those who are considered good-looking.[79] In the market for loans, the least attractive people are less likely to get approvals, although they are less likely to default. In the marriage market, women's looks are at a premium, but men's looks do not matter much.[80]

Conversely, being very unattractive increases the individual's propensity for criminal activity for a number of crimes ranging from burglary to theft to selling illicit drugs.[81]

Discrimination against others based on their appearance is known as lookism.[82]

St. Augustine said of beauty "Beauty is indeed a good gift of God; but that the good may not think it a great good, God dispenses it even to the wicked."[83]

Philosopher and novelist Umberto Eco wrote Umberto Eco wrote On Beauty: A History of a Western Idea (2004)[84] and On Ugliness (2007).[85] The narrator of his novel The Name of the Rose follows Aquinas in declaring: "three things concur in creating beauty: first of all integrity or perfection, and for this reason we consider ugly all incomplete things; then proper proportion or consonance; and finally clarity and light", before going on to say "the sight of the beautiful implies peace".[86][87]