The Non-Obvious Insights Blog. Non-Obvious Insights
The Non-Obvious Insights Blog.

Dedicated To Helping Readers
Be More Interesting
Since 2004.

As Featured In:

Is It Possible to Be Too Beautiful?

What if being beautiful or athletically gifted isn’t as great as most people think?

It is true that being good looking is often linked to getting opportunities you otherwise wouldn’t have and this so-called “pretty privilege” often results in gifts, special access and even better career opportunities. Similarly, those who excel at sports are often socially popular at a young age, gaining more confidence early in life. But is there a downside to having more beauty or greater athletic ability? In other words, can you be too beautiful?

To start with, the intelligence of beautiful or athletic people is often assumed to be lower. So when supermodel Karli Kloss acquires a company, she is first described as a super model rather than a savvy business woman. Despite writing more than ten books about algebra that help girls fall in love with math and co-authoring a “groundbreaking mathematical physics theorem,” Danica McKellar is still mainly described as an actress and gets more attention for “rocking a pink mini dress.” Kim Kardashian is credited for her body sculpting undergarments while her journey to become a force in criminal justice and study to be a lawyer are far less known.

The same happens for men. Former NFL quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who went to Harvard, has been called “the NFL’s brainiest quarterback,” which seems like a compliment and insult rolled into one. Handsome men can be widely disliked by other men. Plus good looking people report getting far more unwelcome romantic advances on professional social media platforms and often being unsure about whether a new business connection is actually interested in working together or something else.

So are the negatives of being better looking or more gifted in sports enough to cancel out the benefits? Is this really a problem worth thinking about? Let me know your thoughts! 

The Non-Obvious Insights Newsletter. Non-Obvious Insights
Layer 97
The Non-Obvious Insights Newsletter
Layer 118

Skip the obvious and anticipate the future with our weekly newsletter. Join over 25,000 subscribers and start receiving the stories (and insights) you’ve been missing.

Newsletter Subscribe

All Books

#1 WSJ & USA Today Bestselling Author

Rohit is the author of 9 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.


Have a Question or Inquiry?

Just fill out this form, and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours!


About You

What Are You Contacting Us About*:

Your Message