Yes, beautiful people must enjoy themselves every time they look in the mirror. But life isn't all roses for our wildly attractive friends: according to science, hot people are both bad at maintaining long-term relationships and more likely to get divorced, and their beauty can actually be held against them in job interviews – even though studies have shown that many attractive people are above-average levels of intelligent.
Mind you, a recent study – titled "The Influence of Physical Attractiveness on Belief in a Just World" – found that all this apparent injustice doesn't affect beautiful people too much. Participants deemed the most attractive were most likely to agree with statements which alluded to the world being a just and fair place. If you're hot, it seemed to imply, you're more likely to feel like everything just kind of works out.
But is that actually true? I went straight to the source and asked some very good looking people if life really is more fair for them.
VICE: Hi Gina. So, you're beautiful. Do you think life is generally fair?
Gina: No! Life is definitely not fair, for anyone.
Would you have had the same opportunities in life if you weren't as good looking?
That's difficult, because one of my jobs revolves around being "good looking". Of course I wouldn't be a model and have been offered that opportunity if someone out there hadn't thought I could do it! It’s given me the opportunity to make money, but then it’s up to me to work hard and compete with millions of other beautiful girls.
Do beautiful people have it easier?
It's funny, because my boyfriend always says "I wish I was a hot girl", because, I guess, people can be extra kind if they want to. Right now, there's a guy in Pret who calls me his "wife" and gives me discounted coffee and snacks every week. But I will still look at girls and think they're perfect – like, 'If only I had her nose or body,' or something. So as great as you think someone looks, it’s important to remember they don’t necessarily see what you see, because beauty is in the eye of the beholder anyway.
Do things that aren’t fair happen to you just because of the way you look?
It’s usually petty stuff, like when I’m introduced to other girls in social situations they give me cold vibes, so I come away from it thinking they find me annoying or something. But then my boyfriend explained to me that they’re intimidated or jealous. The same thing happened to my mum when she was a young girl. She was beaten up by one person in particular just because she was pretty.
Life can definitely be "unfair" if you're good looking and the person can't handle it. Everyone just needs to be nicer to each other!
Life. Is it fair?
Ethan: No, I don't think so.
Things don’t always work out in the way they should. Some people are far too focused on what someone has to offer rather than what they have to offer the person.
Is there any unfairness that you come up against because of the way you look?
I guess some people judge me before they know me. They’ll assume that things are just given to you. People see a pretty face and assume there’s no intelligence or insecurities there.
How would we makes sure that everyone feels the same amount of fairness?
We should look on the inside [first], then at what's on the outside, and really start getting to know the people behind the faces.
VICE: You are beautiful. Do you think life is fair?
Maddie: I think there are many injustices in this world. It's hard to look around right now and say that life is entirely fair. But I think how we perceive and react to "the fairness of life" is down to us as individuals. In terms of my own life and my own personal experiences I would say that my life has been mostly fair; I am aware of and acknowledge my privileges.
Have you ever faced any unfairness because of the way you look?
I have. I'm a mixed-race woman: my wild, curly afro hair and the nose I have inherited from my black father do not fit the conventional western beauty standards. So there is prejudice and plenty of stereotyping because of how look. And I've also experienced firsthand how attractive black and mixed race women can be fetishised.
Are there any opportunities in life that you think better looking people are more likely to be offered?
Not major life opportunities. Perhaps I'm overly optimistic or naive for thinking that. I do think sometimes people can be more friendly, welcoming or trusting towards someone who is attractive… I think it's a subconscious bias that we have within us, whether we like to admit it or not.