Being attractive can have a real impact on your grades in college – but only if you’re a girl. A study from the Metropolitan State University of Denver confirmed your worst fears: Female students deemed more physically attractive tend to have higher grades in college.
But wait! There’s more. That correlation carries into adult life, resulting in a boost in hirability for women with mediocre resumes and a wage gap of $140,000 over a lifetime. Terrific.
Rey Hernández-Julián and Christina Peters, researchers from the Metropolitan State University of Denver, looked at data on students enrolled from from 2006 to 2011. Using their student I.D. photos (which are never, ever good), volunteers from outside the school rated students’ attractiveness on a scale of 1 to 10.
The larger scale was used as opposed to a 1-to-5 scale to account for haircuts or fashion choices or other variables that could easily change, but still impact how you look to someone judging you by the photo you took at the registration office after hauling ass across campus in 100 percent humidity after an eight-hour orientation.
Hernández-Julián and Peters then matched the data to students’ grades. Female students earned lower grades in the classroom than students deemed more conventionally attractive. Even after controlling for test scores, the disparity in traditional courses was significant.
Online classrooms, however, didn’t show the same results. The women deemed attractive had worse grades in online courses than expected.
How did attractiveness impact male students? It didn’t. At all.
And that’s just the beginning. After earning that degree, “less attractive” women can look forward to making an estimated $140,000 less during their lifetime, according to economist Daniel Hamermesh in the book “Beauty Pays.”
Another study found that a job candidate’s appearance didn’t make a difference if they were well-qualified, but beauty offered an extra boost to women with mediocre résumés. Which sucks.
And there you have it. Science has confirmed what we’ve all feared. Your freshman year student I.D. photo determines the course of your life.