I’m not wealthy, nor did I ever think I would be, but I always felt I should have more money then I do. Now I know why I don’t: I’m not pretty.
According to University of Texas economist Daniel Hamermesh in Why Attractive People Are More Successful, pretty people average $230,000 more in earning over one’s work-life than unattractive people. If you were smart enough to save that $230,000 as it came in, it could amount to millions. And all because you’re pretty.
Is this fair? Should there be an Ugly People’s Disability Act that boosts the income of the unattractive to match that of attractive people? I look the way I do because of my parent’s genes and because I never met a hot fudge sundae I didn’t like, and that too can probably be blamed on my parents’ genes; can I sue my parents for lost wages?
I checked into this with a lawyer I know who makes more and looks better than me, and he said no. I simply have to compensate for my looks with competence. He wasn’t kidding. What is the ratio of competence to beauty? He didn’t know.
I watch the folks on Fox & Friends (I would now change the name of their show to Foxy Friends) who seem to excel in looks while being a bit on the lighter side of competence, and wonder how I can compete. Then I watch Rev. Al Sharpton who makes up in decibels what he lacks in looks. Maybe that’s the way to go: loud and proud.
I’m really at a loss. And worse, I’m in my sixties so my level of attractiveness, as low as it is, is only going to get lower. Well it may be too late for me, but there are millions of Americans for whom some redress is possible. Here is my suggestion:
Take a look at yourself in the mirror and decide if you are pretty or not. If you are, print up some cards that read, “I’m sorry you’re not as pretty as me; here’s $100.” Put fresh $100 bills in each card, and start handing them out to the unattractive people on the street or in the office. After you’ve given away 2300 cards you can stop and just go about your business.
I look forward to getting your cards.