There’s a well-worn cliché in popular culture that hot girls will hang out with less hot girls for a simple reason: it ensures that all the attention from hot, steamy, muscular-but-not-like-TOO-muscular guys falls squarely on them. This is usually treated as a highly cynical outlook, and sounds suspiciously like what Donald Trump would say to justify Alicia Machado’s inclusion in his glorified wet T-shirt contest.
The only problem with that? Science says it totally works!
A bunch of nerds from Royal Holloway of the University of London asked 40 people to look at a bunch of faces and rate how attractive they were, which honestly sounds like my kind of day. As if that weren’t fun enough, they asked them to reevaluate the faces when intentionally placed next to pictures of uglier people, dubbed “distractor faces.” That’s a really good way to classify them, because honestly what are ugly people if not distractions?
To the surprise of no one, it worked. The hot people got hotter next to the fuggos.
“Until now, it’s been understood that a person’s level of attractiveness is generally steady… If you saw a picture of George Clooney today, you would rate him as good-looking as you would tomorrow. However, this work demonstrates that the company we keep has an effect on how attractive we appear to others,” said Dr. Nicholas Furl, head Pervy Nerd at Royal Holloway.
There’s a catch, though: this only works if you’re the only Betty in your group. They found that when they placed two attractive faces among distractor faces, the participants actually got pickier, focusing on the flaws (however minute) of the two hot people. All of a sudden people notice how much your nail beds suck and how bad your breath is.
Basically, always surround yourself with people uglier than you (not a problem for me, personally). And if you can’t come up with that many ugly friends, you should take some time to consider what that says about your status in the group.