How to Achieve Success – Most assume that they keys to success are dedication, good social skills, and intelligence. Sorry, folks. Unfortunately, or fortunately if you’re model-turned-politician Mara Cafagna, humans are much more shallow than that. Science indicates that appearance is among the most influential factors of how the world responds to someone. The next time someone nags you about spending less time shopping, send them here…. We’ve got the inside scoop on how to achieve success: it depends largely on your look.
At long last there is a reason to drop dollars on the elusive Birkin bag. Those articles widely known to be of designer make increase the odds that people will react favorably to the wearer. A number of respected experiements on costly signaling theory have demonstrated its validity. Evolution and Human Behavior’s September 2011 issue contains a study in which scientists evaluate how those wearing designer logo’s versus how those without logos are treated. The study found that those with recognizable designer labels were more likely to be met with cooperative attitudes, to succesfully solicit charitable donations, and even to be reccommended for job openings.
Social status alluded to by apparel is not the only factor that comes into play, but don’t return that bag just yet. Studies indicate that if a woman dresses more provacatively she is assumed to be less efficient. To some this may seem like common knowledge, but how, exactly, does one define how much leg is too much? The study in question did not have drastic differences between the women who were provocative and those who where more covered up. The “provacative” women wore skirts that were hemmed only slightly above the knee and had one more measely button of their blouse undone. The devil is in the details. Even more astounding is the amount of time in which these judgements of efficience were made: it took only three seconds.
For women, one’s percieved level of beauty has profound implications on how to achieve success. It signals your genetic quality, overall health, and reproductive potential. Even more shocking is that evolutionary psychologists confirm that this a reliable means of assesing such things. They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and to a degree this comforting thought is true. For example, while thinness is idealized in the United States, impoverished countries are prone to lust after curvy women. However, there are certain traits that are judged as more beautiful to the world at large, such as symmetry. For reasons not yet understood, genetic quality is reflected only by facial features. All the more reason to master your makeup technique. (Fashionmedz.com is a great place to start.)
Why then, are we so hung up on thinness? A lower body weight is associated with elevated economic standing. This occurs because those who stay slim are assumed to be able to afford a more costly diet that will not lead to weight gain. Furthermore, we tend to assume that the obese are uneducated and therefore unsuccesful. This brings us back to the link between percieved social standing and how we are treated. Body dissatisfaction is on the rise in this country due to a number of factors, so something has got to give. Dove’s campaign for real beauty is on our side. Their newest ad is a must see!
How to end this vicious cycle? More to come on that. Stay tuned.
Dress classy and sassy,