Science Found The Secret To Being Hot — And Good News, It's Easy!

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attractive woman

People, even if they don't want to admit to it, want to be deemed attractive. Even if they're well aware that the chances of them ever reaching Angie Jolie's status in the looks department just isn't going to happen, they still want to be considered at least somewhat easy on the eyes. 

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As someone who puts brains above beauty on the scale of importance, even I can come clean and say that yes, please, someone, find me pretty. Anyone? Is anyone at all? Bueller? No one, and I mean no one, says, "Oh, I really wish I were ugly." 

So, science has found the secret to being hot — and the good news, it's easy!

While the world is full of ways how to be pretty or, at the very least, make yourself more bearable in your surrounding human beings — Use this product! Do this to your hair! Wear this particular color! — there is one way, in particular, in which you can up your looks in no time at all.

What is it, you ask? Be nice.

I know, I know; for those of us who are just naturally evil to the core, the thought of being nice is actually painful. It pulls at our soul and makes us angry to play nice when we're inherently just bad people.

But, I think we can all agree that Regina George was prettier after she stopped being awful. Yes.

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A 2014 study out of China, published in Personality and Individual Differences, found that someone's behavior, as in being nice or mean, has a very large effect on how others see them.

The 120 participants of the study were asked to rate 60 unfamiliar female faces in regards to how attractive they found them to be, without any background story about the women in the photos. Two weeks later, the participants were shown the same photos but were now given some details about the women.

This time, each photo was assigned either positive or negative traits, as in who was sweet and nice, and who was pretty much the devil. Women who were portrayed as being mean not only scored much lower than the nice women, but they even received far lower ratings from the first time their photos were viewed.

A similar study done in 2010 found the same results. When 2,000 male participants were given photos of women who had various body types and corresponding positive details about their personalities, more of the body types were rated attractive after the participants knew more good things about their personalities. 

Psychology professor Scott Barry Kaufman agreed with the findings, saying, “From an evolutionary point of view, there are many ways to display one’s fitness and mate value, which certainly extend to the mental and behavioral domains. Being able to accurately assess the content of someone’s character can be even more important for survival and reproduction than assessing someone’s physical makeup. After all, a physically attractive psychopath is more likely to hinder the propagation of healthy genes than a person who is physically attractive based more on their hot personality.”

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He also added, “Nevertheless, I hope to see more research along these lines on the cognitive and personality factors affecting perceptions of attractiveness.”

What does this mean? Well, if you're wandering around the world being evil, putting people down, and being a general a-hole, then you're ugly. You're not just ugly inside, but it reaches outside, from your black heart, and destroys your face, too!

How does that make you feel? Oh, I'm sorry... am I being mean?

While some of you will shun this scientific study and continue about your miserable ways, for those who do care about how pretty or handsome the world sees you, then smile, throw someone a compliment, hold the door open for a stranger, or even offer to buy coffee for that coworker you hate.

Yes, it will take a bit to get used to all the niceness in your heart, but if it means you'll be rated the best looking at your next job review (because they do that, right?), that's what really matters. Right, hot stuff?

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Amanda Chatel is a regular contributor to Bustle and Glamour, with bylines at Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Livingly, Mic, The Bolde, Huffington Post, and others.

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