Not even the most ardent believers in equality or the notion that a book cannot be judged by its cover can reasonably refute the power of appearances.
We draw several conclusions about others within seconds of first meeting them, conclusions we will find hard to shake in the future, even if we see evidence to disprove them. Yet, when these conclusions are positive ones, when through our appearance we send visual cues that people receive in a positive light, something amazing happens, what researchers term the "halo effect." According to the halo effect, when people pick up positive visual messages and cues from your appearance, they will assume that other aspects about you are equally as positive. This snowball effect has the capacity to transform your life, and you can get it rolling simply by looking your best.
To that end, we've gathered together a top 10 highlighting the benefits of being as attractive as you can be and looking your very best -- benefits that aren't just assumptions or common sense, but ones supported by independent data.
1. Boost Your Salary 5 to 10 Percent
According to "Beauty and the Labor Market," a paper by Daniel Hamermesh and Jeff Biddle that was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, men who are attractive enjoy a premium on salaries, upwards of 10 percent, compared to their less appealing colleagues, a finding largely independent of occupation.
So can looking your best really make an impact on your current salary? There is only one way to find out:Upgrade the way you present yourself at work.
2. Get a Second Interview
A guy can rely on his persistence and on the strength of his resume when landing an initial job interview, but assuming he's qualified, what factor may end up being the tipping point? The thing that either lands that second interview or sinks any chance of it? You guessed it: personal appearance.
According to a study reported on by corporate image consultant Susan Bixler in The New Professional Image, the No. 1 reason given by over 150 employers for rejecting a job applicant following the first interview was poor personal appearance.
3. Land a Higher Starting Salary
A researcher from Fairleigh Dickinson University wanted to know if appearances would have any influence over starting salaries offered by employers. To find out, she sent identical resumes to over 1,000 employers asking what starting salary would be offered. Half of the resumes included a picture of the "applicant" before being made over and given a more professional and polished look, and the other half included a picture showing the person with the polished look.
The applicant with the polished, professional appearance did much better than his mediocre self, receiving starting salary replies upwards of 20 percent higher than his counterpart.
4. Be More Persuasive
You would think that nothing could be more persuasive or succeed in changing the minds of others than an airtight argument presented in a marching, logical fashion. This does not appear to be true; rather, some studies have shown that appearance alone is more than enough. Attractive people, by virtue of their appearance alone, have been found to be more persuasive (especially in the advertising setting) than their unattractive counterparts. Curiously, people tend to confer upon attractive people the quality of being an independent thinker, someone whose opinion is beyond undue influence.
5. Enjoy Greater Credibility
People who are perceived as more attractive than others are also regarded as being more credible and more reliable than their less attractive peers. While this is difficult if not impossible to accurately quantify, studies carried out by researcher A.G. Miller on the formation of impressions in others showed that attractive people are perceived as having a sense of purpose to their lives and act according to their will and conscience, lending them a greater degree of credibility in the eyes of others.
Steve Jobs will long be remembered for his technological innovations that changed millions of lives. But here are some little-known facts about Apple's former CEO.
1. He tried LSD: He reportedly said it was "One of the two or three most important things I have done in my life."
2. He dated Joan Baez: Jobs dated the folk singer when he was in his 20's.
3. He was a vegetarian: PETA praised Jobs for his vegetarianism and his support of animals.
4. He saved Pixar: Jobs purchased the company from George Lucas' LucasFilm for $5M in 1986. The first film produced by Pixar under Jobs was the critically acclaimed "Toy Story."
5. He was Disney's largest shareholder: He became Disney's largest shareholder when the company bought Pixar in 2006.
6. He was offered an internship with Hewlett-Packard ... in eighth grade: As an eighth-grader, he called William Hewlett, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, to inquire about a part missing from a frequency counter he was assembling, the New York Times reports. Hewlett reportedly spoke to Jobs for 20 minutes, then offered him a bag of parts and a summer internship.
7. He and Steve Wozniak originally sold "blue boxes": The duo reportedly built so-called "blue boxes" that could trick phones into allowing users to make free calls to anywhere in the world. They reportedly raised a total of $6,000.
8. He was homeless: “I didn’t have a dorm room,” he said in a commencement address given at Stanford in 2005, “so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned Coke bottles for the 5-cent deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the seven miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple."
9. He patented the glass staircase in the Apple Store: He is listed among the group of inventors for 317 Apple patents.
10. He drove without a license plate for years: Jobs drove his 2007 Mercedes-Benz SL55 for years with no official license plate, just a barcode, according to USA Today.
On this day in 2004, the actor Christopher Reeve, who became famous for his starring role in four Superman films, dies from heart failure at the age of 52 at a hospital near his home in Westchester County, New York. Reeve, who was paralyzed in a 1995 horse-riding accident, was a leading advocate for spinal cord research.
Christopher Reeve was born on September 25, 1952, in New York City, and graduated from Cornell University and the Juilliard School. He made his Broadway debut in 1976 in A Matter of Gravity, starring Katharine Hepburn. The 6’4” actor shot to fame in 1978 when he was selected over some 200 other actors for the lead in Superman. Although he would play the action hero in three more films, Reeve was determined to “escape the cape” and avoid being typecast. As a result, he took on a variety of stage and screen roles. His film credits included Somewhere in Time (1980), Deathtrap (1983), The Remains of the Day (1993) and Village of the Damned (1995).
On May 27, 1995, Reeve, a strong athlete and avid horseman, was left paralyzed from the neck down after being thrown from his horse and breaking his neck during an equestrian competition in Virginia. The actor then became a crusader for people with spinal cord injuries and also lobbied for government funding of embryonic stem-cell research. During a speech at the 1996 Academy Awards, Reeve urged the Hollywood community to make more movies about social issues. In addition to his fundraising and advocacy work, Reeve wrote two books about his life experiences and continued his acting career. In 1997, he made his directorial debut with HBO’s In the Gloaming, which was nominated for five Emmy Awards, and in 1999, he starred in a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller Rear Window. In 2004, Reeve directed A&E’s The Brooke Ellison Story, a movie based on a true story about the first quadriplegic to graduate from Harvard University.
In 2000, Reeve, who maintained an intensive physical therapy regime since the time of his accident, was able to move his index finger. He stated publicly that he was determined to walk again. In Reeve’s New York Times obituary, one of the doctors who treated him said: “Before [Reeve] there was really no hope. If you had a spinal cord injury like his there was not much that could be done, but he’s changed all that, he’s demonstrated that there is hope and that there are things that can be done.”
Hide your wife and hide your kids because the gold bug has bitten—and it’s a worldwide pandemic. People in the preliminary stage are known to ice their necks, wrists, and teeth with the shimmery metal. An insatiable hunger for all things made of gold marks a person in the most advanced stage of the bug. If you or a loved one is infected, feed your appetite by checking out the top ten weirdest things made of gold…
10. Gold Backpack
Are you a trendsetter? Do boring Jansport backpacks cramp your style? Well fear not fashion fiends! This Billionaire Boys Club backpack is sure to put more pep in your step. If its golden rays don’t make everyone turn their heads in awe, make sure to keep the price tag on. At an estimated price of $1650 (roughly the same cost to buy gold bullion), you are guaranteed to get a “DAAAAMN” everywhere you go.
9. Gold Dessert
So, you’ve finished your meal, but you’re still not satisfied. If you’re the “go big or go home” type and can afford to empty your wallet while you fill your stomach¸ then Serendipity 3 has a dessert with your name drizzled all over it. With a godlike name, the $1000 “Grand Opulence Sundae” screams of perfection—and it is. Take a deep breath and read off the dessert’s luscious list of ingredients: five scoops of Tahitian and Madagascar vanilla bean ice cream, an edible 23 karat gold leaf, rare Amedei Porceleana and Chuaco chocolate chunks, Parisian candied fruit, Marzipan cherries, truffles, gold dragets, and a bowl of Grand Passion Caviar. The sundae is served in a baccarat Harcourt crystal goblet with an 18 karat gold spoon and a gold sugar flower to grace the top. Before you rush into the restaurant and shout “Give it to me, baby!” Serendipity kindly asks for a 48-hour notice to handcraft the masterpiece.
8. Gold Shoes
The last pair of shoes that sparkled as much as these bad boys ended up on a girl that had an obsession with clicking her heels together three times. Ken Courtney, designer for Just Another Rich Kid, created these 24-karat gold Nike kicks. Cashing in at $5,405, it is pretty obvious that “Indulgences No. 5” aren’t your average ruby slippers.
7. Gold Sushi
Sushi—a culinary trend of its own is now incorporating a flashy new fad. In the Philippines, a chef based in Manila created an entrée exhibiting five pieces of luxe sushi. Although the sushi does not stray from common ingredients, it is the thin ribbons made of 24-karat gold and African diamonds that dress the dish for success. At $2750 per plate, make sure to bring a big appetite along with that big check.
6. Gold Facial
Wrinkles are normal. They tell the intriguing story of a person’s life through various laugh and stress lines. But in case you don’t want people to read you like a book, try this facial on for size. Originally created in Japan, the notorious gold facial applies a thin layer of 24 karat gold to the client’s face. The grandiose spa treatment is said to firm the skin and reduce wrinkles as well as sun spots. Even though the facial runs for a pricey $500 a pop, the luminescent afterglow is nothing short of celestial. Don’t be surprised if a lot of people ask you if it hurts, because with an angel face like that, you had to have fallen from heaven.
5. Gold Toilet
Tourists from all over the world stop by Hong Kong to see Hang Fung’s solid 24 karat gold toilet. The shiny throne is accompanied by other gold fixtures to complete the over-the-top hot spot. At an approximated 5 million dollars, it’s common for people to feel overjoyed before they back that thang up and take a picture.
4. Gold Vibrator
There’s not much to say here except people can use Lelo Yva’s 18 karat gold gadget as the glittering light at the end of the tunnel. Pay $2580 for a jolly good time.
3. Gold Barbecue Grill
Everyone loves a relaxing 4th of July barbecue—the smoky burgers, the ice cold pool, and the quality time with friends and family. This year, blow everyone’s minds with your new BeefEater gold plated grill. This backyard beaut is smothered in 24 karat gold and sells for $12,500. With this beast of a barbecue on your side, it’s okay to smile for us, Daddy. We see your grill.
2. Gold Coffin
With 2012 just around the corner, people are starting to wonder if an afterlife really exists and if it does, what preparations they should take. Before there’s any chance of a zombie apocalypse, make sure you’re sent off in style with this $381,000 gold coffin complete with a cell phone. Why a dead person needs a cell phone in the beyond is unknown, but hey, better safe than sorry. Purchasing one of these caskets puts you on the same list as other gold coffin sporters such as King Tut, James Brown and Michael Jackson. Remember, just because you’re deceased doesn’t mean you have to stop being chic.
1. Gold Pills
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, someone takes it one step further. Knowing that society is eager to devour all things lavish, Tobias Wong and Just Another Rich Kid’s Ken Courtney wanted to see how far they could push the envelope of the rich and famous. 24 karat gold leaf pills were created for “the man that has everything” in the renowned Indulgences collection. With the $425 price tag stamped on the pills, you’d think that the benefits of swallowing gold would be unlimited. However, the only documented advantage to consuming these capsules is a sparkly grand finale in the toilet bowl.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times