A perfect appearance does not make you more attractive

Make-up, facials or even plastic surgery.

The beauty industry is benefiting enormously from the focus on a perfect appearance.

But striving for a flawless appearance doesn’t necessarily mean that the outside world finds you more attractive too.

That is the conclusion of a study published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

An American research team looked at how the world views faces with small scars – and the conclusion is encouraging for those who are not blessed with peach skin.

Small scars make little difference even to other people’s assessment of our appearance.

In addition, the study finds that people with small facial scars are considered slightly friendlier than average.

Researchers themselves are surprised by the results

The study is based on ratings from 1,802 respondents, who were shown photos of 50 faces.

The researchers digitally added 14 different types of scars to the photos of men and women of different ethnicities.

Respondents were then shown the faces, which they had to rate against a number of criteria, including ‘friendliness’ and ‘attractiveness’.

And to the surprise of the researchers, the scars did not significantly affect the respondents’ assessment.

“Contrary to our predictions, we found that one well-healed scar generally does not negatively affect a person’s first impression of attractiveness or self-confidence,” the researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in the US write.

The study indicates that people perceive a face with a scar as even friendlier than a face without a scar.

Almost the same attractiveness

The average rating of facial attractiveness – measured on a scale of 0 to 5 – was 4.25 for scarred faces and 4.26 for unscarred faces.

The levels of self-confidence that the respondents attributed to the faces did not differ significantly between the faces with and without scars.

The scarred faces were rated friendlier than the unblemished faces, with an average ‘friendliness’ score of 4.27 for scarred faces and 4.23 for unscarred faces.

The researchers also looked at the position of the facial scars.

Faces with forehead scars were generally rated as friendlier and more confident than those with a cheek scar, they conclude.


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