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Do you think good looking people are automatically happier?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Destin, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. Destin

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    I'm taking a college class about developmental biology and psychology, which is basically the physical and mental parts of how children grow up and adjust to their environment.

    Today in class the professor brought up something interesting that I'd never considered. He said it's already known that genes for things like depression, alcoholism, drug addiction and other mental issues can be activated by the environment a person is in, so if they were in a different environment that gene wouldn't have activated and it would never have happened to them.

    Then he used twins as an example, which interests me because I am a twin. He said a study was done on identical twins (100% the same DNA) who were raised in different environments to compare them to each other. In one environment the twin was considered really attractive and good looking, while the other one was considered very ugly by the cultural standards of where they lived.

    Despite having 100% the same DNA, the bad genes like depression and issues were activated for the ugly twin but not the attractive one in a substantial amount of the examples they studied. They're theorizing that it's because since birth the attractive one has been given more affection, included in more things, automatically got more friends just for looking nice etc. so grew up to be much more well adjusted and happy than the one who didn't get those benefits and felt ugly, had less friends, probably got bullied in school etc. and developed their issues because of it.

    I thought that was really interesting that people who are 100% the same can have such drastically different health outcomes just because society considered one hot and the other one ugly.

    What are your thoughts on this, do you think attractive people tend to be happier?
     
  2. beenthrdonetht

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    Yes, but. They are in for a fall when they discover that other people's affection for them is paper-thin. Then they will feel that everyone is smooth-talking them. Like being rich, you can't really have friends any more. In short, the sword is sharp on both edges.
     
  3. Silveroot

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    It depends on what you mean by being 'happier'. Sure, they can get more attention for their looks, they can receive more compliments, or be treated more favorably at first than someone who's considered average. It can also mean as @beenthrdonetht said, that people also seek to get something out them, usually they want to sleep with them.

    I don't think we should forget how fragile that type of attention is, since a 'beautiful girl' turns immediately into ' a stuck up bitch' as soon as she doesn't seek that sort of thing. Not that it's wrong if she does. Let's just say that not everyone thrives on that kind of attention.
     
  4. Biguyjosh

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    Is it activation of genes or is it that those issues come about because the "ugly" twin develops the problems to cope?
     
  5. redplanet1

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    i'm not sure if they're happier, but they do have one more ammo in their arsenal that they can use in their daily lives, good looks. well, that's at least one more than what us- common peasants have.
     
  6. OGS

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    It would vey much surprise me if statistically (I don't know exactly how you would quantify that) people generally seen as attractive wouldn't be significantly happier. My understanding is that the privilege that comes with being attractive is pervasive and very strong. Attractive people are viewed as healthier, more honest, more persuasive, more capable in general. And I don't think the advantage is as thin or short-lived as people like to think. Attractive people will be noticed more, when noticed remembered more; when there's a slight or error they are more likely to have it overlooked, if it is not overlooked generally it will be forgiven faster. Sure everyone knows some really attractive, awful people, but the world's also chock full of people you never noticed at all...
     
  7. Destin

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    Activation of the genes, it's visible on advanced genetic testing. There's a gene for literally everything, from hair color to things like medical problems. However if the gene is never activated it's the same as not having it other than passing it on to your children (those people are called carriers). For example if your mom has brown hair and your dad has blonde hair, you have the genes for both brown and blonde hair. The only difference is one is activated and one isn't, which is what determines your hair color. Genes can switch on and off throughout life too, which is why sometimes little kids originally have blonde hair and then it randomly changes to another color for no apparent reason, the gene causing the blonde turned off and the new one turned on.

    Stress is one of the largest things that can cause gene activation. So the theory is the uglier people have more stress in life while the prettier people have less stress due to society treating them more nicely, and that reduced level of stress is what prevents their genes from activating.
     
    #7 Destin, Jan 28, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
  8. Chip

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    Gabor Maté's work, which is gaining traction, speaks to this sort of thing. Not about attractiveness per se, but about the origin of depression, drug addiction, and even certain diseases. According to the research he's assembled, the genetic traits are certainly there, but aren't causal. His work (looking at hundreds of studies by other researchers) indicates that it is the bonding between parent and child, and the safety (emotionally and physically) of the environment in the first three years that is the strongest predictor.

    If we apply the above to what Destin is describing, I could imagine that, even raised in the same environment, a parent might unconsciously favor one child over the other. Or perhaps one parent spends more with child A, while the other spends more time with child B. Or there could be differences in the safety of the environment that one twin experiences but the other does not. In any case, with regard to depression, I would not be surprised if the less attractive twin would be more susceptible, either because he has less attachment and attunement, or fewer opportunities, or some combination of both.

    I can tell you there are an awful lot of really beautiful, but absolutely miserable people. And many people who are, by all accounts, super attractive, don't see themselves that way; they may put on a front of acting like they're beautiful, but deep down, they see themselves as really unattractive. So I don't think attractiveness alone is a reliable indicator of depression or lack thereof. That said, there is voluminous evidence that attractive people are more likely to get dates, be able to choose from a huge pool of sexual partners, more likely to get hired, more likely to get promoted, make higher salaries, and all sorts of other benefits as a result of their privilege. It sucks, but it's true. And it's likely that the benefits of that privilege may, for some, impact mood. But I don't think it is causal with depression for the reasons stated above.
     
  9. Lin1

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    I don't think good people are "automatically" happier, I think people who are good looking have access to privileges that others don't have that might make it easier for them to access and obtain happiness, but being good-looking doesn't protect you from not finding a good (healthy) partner, loss/grief, bad health, toxic relationships, hating their job, lack of genuine friendships and other things that impact one's happiness.
     
    #9 Lin1, Jan 28, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
  10. Dionysios

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    I remember the question being discussed many years ago when I was taking psychology in college. A study was done using ugly and attractive people. The ugly ones photos were pasted on the cover of a very scholarly and well written paper. The attractive ones were pasted on the cover of a poorly written and factually weak paper. Students elsewhere were asked to compare the merits of these papers. The papers featuring the attractive people were routinely selected as being superior. While attractive people may not be happier, they clearly are given more opportunities and preference than unattractive folks.

    BTW I am an identical twin too. Studies have shown that twins, even if separated at birth and raised apart, so often show similar traits, interests and accomplishments. It's amazing- the power of genetics! *smile* My twin brother and I are mirror opposites however, based more on our desire to be different from one another. Still, we are surprised in our older years how much we still have in common.
     
  11. Lgbtqpride

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    Good looking people had higher risk of getting sexual assault.
     
  12. whistle1

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    Not being one of these attractive people, I couldn't say.

    While I don't know if they are happier, I'm sure things are easier for them.

    I recall seeing something on one of the news shows where they sent two people in for a job interview at an office - which required no face-to-face interaction with the general public. One was average looking and the other was very attractive. They created resumes that were virtually identical in terms of educational background and experience.

    No surprise, the attractive person was always offered the job...
     
  13. jenne

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    i don't know for sure but confidence is everything.. a person not so good looking can appear to be attractive and happy with confidence while a more good looking person with no confidence appears ugly or at least invisible to others
     
  14. beenthrdonetht

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    There's a well-known statistic in politics that the taller candidate is (slightly) more likely to win.
     
  15. Devil Dave

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    My good looks never made me happy. I never actually attracted the kind of people I wanted attention from, I had lots of people I'm not interested in telling me I'm so good looking. When I first came out as gay, people assumed I was some kind of slut going out to gay clubs every night and getting laid. Which I wasn't. I didn't have sex with a guy for the first time until 2 years after I came out.

    My confidence has grown in recent years, and I do feel happier now in my own skin, but its taken me a long time to get there. I have struggled with depression. I've always hated people making assumptions about me because of the way I look. If I had tried hard enough, I probably could have become some kind of supper stud. I had plenty of opportunities that I wasted, sure. But really I just wanted to be a geek and sit at home drawing pictures and watching TV shows and playing video games, those were the things that made me happy when I was younger. I didn't think about my looks while I was doing those things, so when I went outside and people made remarks about how good looking I was it made me really uncomfortable. I felt like a plain, boring person with a good looking person's face, and that kind of messed me up.
     
  16. gravechild

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    If anything, it seems good looking people are often the most insecure. Whether its because they feel pressured to keep their appearances up, having people judge them superficially, or some combination of the above... there's always a price to pay. I believe many are at least aware of how others perceive them, and use this to their advantage.
     
  17. Waffless

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    Hey I'm a twin also I'm really excited that I saw this, and no I don't think attractive people are automatically happier.
     
  18. Lgbtqpride

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    Good looking people had a sad life, they will not be respected by perverts.
     
  19. Tightrope

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    This is something that I think a lot of people in the world think about so I'm glad you brought it up. It's interesting that some of the conditions you list can remain dormant but then, based on predisposition and triggers, get activated.

    My general answer to what you ask is "Yes and no."

    I will agree on healthier and more persuasive. They've most likely been given a lot of positive feedback along the way that helps them to stay healthier since they are probably more involved in various pursuits and, if they have charisma, then they're likely to be persuasive. I'm on the fence as far as capable goes. With social media, people's capability is more public if they are a VIP or even a professional. I always put a little more effort into looking at how this shakes out because I tend to question why a person holds a certain position or has clout in the first place, so I want to know how they perform. As for attractive people being honest, I, personally, don't believe there's a correlation. For others, this perception may definitely be valid. For me and my friends, it fuels a lot of skepticism because we've seen a lot of people walk into situations they shouldn't be in because of how smooth they are. Most of the time, their inabilities are ultimately exposed - unless someone is covering for them or they surrounded themselves with expertise that makes up for their lack of skills and know how.

    The notion of the first three years is something to think about. Kids are so tough but then they're so fragile at the same time.

    I have also seen commentaries about getting hired, promoted, making more money, etc. It's almost as if the decision is made rather quickly and then their credentials are verified after the fact to validate a decision. When it comes to accessing sex, there's no question about that. For that purpose, nothing needs to be verified!

    But looks are just the foot in the door. A prima donna can also be too high maintenance and many people don't want to put up with them if it creates too much work in either a work or personal situation.

    A lot of people who have been given a green light because of their looks then didn't play their hand right and got themselves onto some pretty raucous roller coasters that later brought on the misery. The adulation got out of hand and so did their riding on a high horse. I've know some who got into this situation. Most of us have heard these stories about athletes and entertainment people. Or even white collar people who became successful very early, it went to their heads, and their approach to life became gluttonous.

    If they're physically more prone to that, I'd agree. If they are big and can take care of themselves, then probably not as much. Good looking people who are strong will either get hit on a lot or intimidate people from hitting on them if they put out an air that they will be the ones doing the choosing.

    This has been proven to be valid. I read somewhere that it starts to slowly work against a male candidate once he exceeds 6' 6." There is also some kind of ideal height range for a woman in an important position.
     
  20. Nightlight

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    It's a double edged sword. My aunt worked as a fashion model--briefly-- when she was in her 20's. People told her that she looked like a celebrity, and she still hears that to this day (in her mid 50's). In her 20's she got random gifts from male coworkers, and people would come to her office just to see her face. The downside was that many people were jealous of her, particularly women. She even suffered from toxic rumors surrounding her. She doesn't have any friends now. Maybe 1.

    Attractive people do get more attention. I feel like it's either in a really good way, or a terrible one.
     
    #20 Nightlight, Jan 30, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019