THE AGE-OLD saying suggests looks aren't everything, but new research is suggesting they are - for men at least.
A recent study conducted by economist Jeff Borland from Melbourne University and former professor of economics at the Australian National University and current Federal Member for Fraser Andrew Leigh has found men with above-average looks earn over $30,000 more than those with below-average looks.
The research also found that men with below-average looks have a lesser chance of gaining employment and are typically receiving lower wages. These men were less likely to be married.
Mr Leigh said the inspiration behind the study grew from "the interesting dimension of how people differ in looks".
He said the study revealed good-looking men bring larger financial bonuses to their individual companies or employers compared to plainer- looking men and suggested there is a hint of discrimination in the hiring process during job interviews.
"Above-average-looking men are hired on more occasions than below-average-looking men. Some occupations employ good-looking men because they can bring profits to a business," Mr Leigh said.
"Some of these occupations include car dealerships, modelling or television roles where the employee is going to be seen a lot by the public. Sometimes an employer will look specifically at the better-looking potential employees depending on the roles they will have to fill.
"It seems from this study that beauty isn't in the eye of the beholder."
During the study, participants were interviewed in person and rated on a scale from very attractive to below average. Participants also had photos analysed and were given points based on physical appearance.
After viewing the results of the study, Mr Leigh said it is likely some employers are favouring better-looking job seekers.
He is encouraging employers to not overlook "the plainer" employees who may have better qualifications.
"That would be my advice following this study," Mr Leigh said.
"Regardless of looks, everyone has something to offer."
Curious to see how Clarence Valley men would view the results, The Daily Examiner hit the streets this week and asked if beauty really can bring handsome returns to better- looking blokes.
Jeff Smith of Prince St business I Scream said it was unfair for some men to be paid more based on how they look.
"It shouldn't be about looks," he said. "It should be about their personality, likeability, the ability to make good sales and attract customers.
"I can understand some better-looking men might get paid more because they may seem more attractive to the customers, and therefore make more sales. But I still think it is unfair because everyone should be equal."
Colin Bagnell of Chocolates, Balloons and Gifts agreed.
"Employees should not be judged or paid according to their looks," he said.
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