When did it become unattractive to be short?

Lookism : The preference of the beautiful

Those who are attractive are more likely to get credit from the bank. He can hope for a milder verdict in court. Is assigned a better table by the waiter in the restaurant. Scientists have proven that.

Those who are attractive have it easier in their studies. Has advantages in the job interview, gets promoted faster, gets more wages. More likely to be heard when asking strangers for help in an emergency situation. Friendships can also be made easier this way. Scientists have proven all of this, always compared to someone who is less attractive but otherwise does not differ in any way.

There are now hundreds of such studies, the discipline is called “attractiveness research”. Preference for the beautiful and thus disadvantage for the rest can be found in practically all areas of life; injustice can be declined. Attractive politicians are more likely to be elected, bosses are more popular with their subordinates, footballers have a higher market value and earn higher transfer fees when changing clubs.

The more studies emerge and the more precisely the effects are proven, the more surprising it is that no one is bothered by it. The topic is suitable as a topic of conversation at parties, category Fun Fact. Or for fleeting excitement about it. Popular reflex: That's the way it is. There is nothing you can do but accept. Life is just not fair.

Anyone who briefly overcomes this laziness will admit that this is a form of discrimination. And when it comes to discrimination, it has never been a good idea to say: That's the way it is.

Who are those affected? Who is beautiful and who is not?

There is a word for it in English-speaking countries. Lookism. In Germany they also say lookism. Oh no, not another ism! Don't we have enough to do with all the minorities and otherwise disadvantaged, with transgender toilets and politically correct salutations? Can anyone who constantly has to please everyone and is not allowed to step on anyone's feet still move at all in the end?

Attractive waiters get more tips, professors get more listeners, and choir musicians get more of a solo. Lookism is more than just another form of discrimination. It is probably the most underestimated of all forms of discrimination today.
There is already a problem with the attempt to narrow down the group of those affected. Who is beautiful now and who is ugly? For a long time, attractiveness researchers were dominated by the so-called average hypothesis, according to which someone who corresponds to the mathematical average of a population is considered desirable. Supporters of the theory put the portrait photos of different people digitally on top of each other as proof, the more pictures there are, the more attractive the unified face appears. Critics say this is due to artifacts, i.e. methodological errors. The more faces are piled on top of each other, the more contours are lost. The face looks more even, skin imperfections disappear.


There is also the symmetry hypothesis. The more similar both halves of the face are, they say, the more beautiful the person who belongs to them. There are also concerns about this theory; in a series of tests, test subjects do not even manage to distinguish symmetrical from less symmetrical faces. A third approach, the “sex hormone markers theory”, claims roughly: the more feminine it appears, the more attractive a woman's face is. A man's face, on the other hand, is considered to be all the more attractive the more masculine it looks. Measurement criteria include the dimensions of the cheekbones, forehead, eyes and nose. At least for men, the theory only applies to a limited extent. Extremely masculine types do not look extremely attractive.

It is also controversial whether beauty and its perception are genetically determined or culturally learned. Evolutionary biologists on the one hand and psychologists on the other have good arguments for their respective point of view, and again the most likely answer is: it is a mixture of both.

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