There's a good read at the New York Times about the impact looks have on perceptions.
Of course the story is pegged to Susan Boyle, who's got NOTHING on Joe Cocker and Janice Joplin in the Oh my god I can't believe that voice belongs to that person category.
This quote caught my eye ...
Indeed, attractiveness is one thing that can make stereotypes self-fulfilling and reinforcing. Attractive people are “credited with being socially skilled,” Professor Fiske said, and maybe they are, because “if you’re beautiful or handsome, people laugh at your jokes and interact with you in such a way that it’s easy to be socially skilled.”
I see this play out in social media all the time ... people manipulate their "about me" or bio pics to make themselves attractive, provocative and interesting - perhaps more so than they really are.
I don't blame them [see quote above for a good reason why]. But I try not to join them. If I meet someone in real life who only knows me from Twitter or Facebook, I want them to recognize me right away. Would I recognize you?
I've been to quite a few events where I look at a name-tag ... face ... name-tag ... face ... name-tag ... face and it just doesn't match up. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth. And to be clear, I am not just talking about women - I expect the same honesty from men and women.
While I don't doubt the validity of the New York Times quote above, at the end of the day sincerity, honesty and self-confidence are much more attractive than a pretty picture.
As I finished this post, my wife reminded me that my Facebook profile pic is a bit on the abstract side. I'll go change that now ... must practice what I preach.