I am fascinated by the book Looks: Why They Matter More Than You Ever Imagined, by Gordon Patzer. He presents a compendium of research that shows that people do better in life if they are better looking. The research has some predictable stuff, like you get a wider selection of mates, and taller people earn more money than shorter people.

But it’s the research about children that shocked me. Mothers give more affection to better looking children. Not on purpose – it just happens. And teachers expect more from better looking children and therefore give more to them.

You can’t really change what you were born with – aside from plastic surgery – but you can improve the odds by dressing well.

I want to think I’m above that, but just in case, I splurged for kiddie clothes from Mini Boden.

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5 replies
  1. Julie
    Julie says:

    Well, I’m prejudiced, but I do have adorable children. In my own very unscientific study, I’ve noticed that “cute” children get a lot more patience from outsiders as well. (And since we travel alot with my husband’s job, we’ve had ample opportunity to test this.) My girls, dressed in adorable dresses and throwing a fit in the middle of the airport, get a lot more sympathetic “oh the poor dear, she must be so tired” comments. But coming out of a dirtpile from the playground and then throwing the exact same fit in public – I get a ton more dirty looks and the “why can’t you control your kids” face.

    I don’t think I personally do it with my children, but I think it’s extremely obvious when out in public. So, to save my own sanity and perhaps get me sympathy instead of dirty looks, I try to dress them in cute outfits whenever possible when we go out.

  2. karelys davis
    karelys davis says:

    I always examine myself about how I treat people by the way they dress and find that I assume people who dress well know better than the rest of us. Like they are more intelligent. And since good looks are somewhat subjective it amazes me that dressing well can totally change the way people perceive you from “not great looking” to “interesting” or “cool.”

    People maybe good looking naturally but if they dress totally meh they sort of look like nothing special.

  3. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    I didn’t realize you had this site too. I’ve been following your other blogs for years.

    I went to public schools my entire life and then went to a private college. I was fortunate enough to know a great network of homeschoolers in Montoursville, PA.

    I left a link to their home school store. They have been in the home school network for over 20 years and have raised really bright kids. Their kids are very smart, social, kind, and are were involved in many activities.

  4. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    Some insight from a friend of mine regarding dressing well in a public school. He said teachers have lowered their own dress code standards and are dressing more like their students. Maybe they’re trying to fit in or something. Totally wrong-headed in his (and my) opinion. The teacher should not be wearing jeans or whatever but instead dress professionally. Dressing more professional may help a teacher’s image and make a better impression with their students.

    • Someone in WI
      Someone in WI says:

      Absolutely. I think this is why at least one WI school board has instituted a dress code for teachers. Some of them dress in an appallingly inappropriate way. (Not all, but some… and some is too many.)

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