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Friday, June 4, 2010

Edition 20: Beauty brings Bounties

Beauty Brings The Bounties
Jan Bruck/DW
According to many studies, good looks and success go hand in hand. Attractive people tend to get ahead faster and earn more money - which in turn makes them more appearance-conscious.

Berlin's celebrity hairdresser Udo Walz has a clear opinion: beauty definitely provides an extra boost in the job world. When you look good, "people want to communicate with you." Although it cannot be determined whether many celebrities owe their success to this skilled hair designer, numerous studies have found a connection between good looks and job success. In other words: the more beautiful the person, the easier their climb up the career ladder.

Americans in particular have done a lot of research into beauty. The topic suddenly became very popular in the 1990s. Economist Daniel Hamermesh from the University of Texas even found that attractive employees earn more money than their aesthetically less appealing colleagues.

Beauty Premiums
In his study, Hamermesh asked participants to rate the attractiveness of people on a series of photographs. He then compared the ranking with the salary figures of the test subjects. The result was clear: the persons considered unattractive earned on average up to 10 percent less than their averagely attractive counterparts.

Hamermesh euphemistically describes this appearance-based financial disadvantage as a "plainness penalty." The most attractive subjects, meanwhile, were found to earn up to five percent more than the average - a "beauty premium."

"Unfair!" said Walz. "Where I work, the pay is equal for everyone, regardless of appearance or weight - it's only based on performance."

Does this mean that at his a salon a gorgeous person will never be considered more competent?

"That depends on the boss," said Walz.

In order to prove that beauty brings success, Hamermesh used old photos of university graduates who had already been working for a long time. He also found that good-looking people tend to seek out jobs in which their appearance gives them an advantage, such as those in the PR and advertising industry.

Good Looks Booster For Men, Too!
The growing significance of appearance is reflected in surveys. In a long-term study, Hamburg-based scholar Sonja Bischoff researched factors that influence success among managers. She found that appearance had increased in importance over the previous 20 years.

In the first surveys on this topic in 1986, only six percent of respondents rated appearance an influential factor in a career, but this figure increased to 14 percent in 1991 and 20 percent in 1999. There were no large differences between the opinions of men and women, until the survey in 2003, where 32 percent of men and 26 percent of women named appearance as an important success factor.

Walz can see this trend in his own salon. "It's not only women who want to get a new look before a job interview," he says. "Men are also becoming increasingly vain."

Nevertheless, most of Walz's customers are still female. For successful businesswomen he recommends "mid-length hair, which can be tied back into a small ponytail during the day and be out and sexy for parties and cocktails in the evening."

Walz has already granted aesthetic career help to some prominent people, including German chancellor Angela Merkel. Since Walz gave her a makeover, Merkel's haircut has not been the subject of as much mockery as before.

Despite all this, Walz emphasizes that beauty should not be overestimated.

"If you can't do anything well, you can't have a career."
Have A Perfect Hair Colour!
If you've mustered up the courage the try a whole new hair colour, it's generally best to know it will look fantastic well before you're halfway through the process. When you can't decide which shade to choose, always follow these tips below.

Your shade isn't right if... You feel the need to pile on makeup (especially bronzer) to keep your skin from looking pale. Think your hair color is off? Don't worry, you can fix a bad dye job. Just make sure you see a stylist for help to avoid causing hair damage.

Rule of thumb: Pick a base color that’s no more than two shades lighter or darker than your eyebrows.

Why it works: The brow color you’re born with complements your skin tone perfectly. Stray too far from it and your complexion will appear washed out. (Dyeing your brows won’t make a difference—the benchmark is always their natural color.) You can also use your true base shade as a barometer. But if you can’t remember it exactly (or don’t have pictures of yourself at age 12 handy), you’re better off going by your brows. Want to return to your natural shade? Patience and a good colorist can do the trick.

Also keep in mind: Weaving blond highlights into your base color enhances any complexion. Logics colorist Jennifer J. taught us that, like self-tanner, golden tones illuminate your skin. Keep the streaks thin to ensure everything blends in well.

The best blond for dark skin: These days, lots of darker-skinned beauties are making a major mane statement by going blond — think BeyoncĂ©, Tyra Banks, and Mary J. Blige. "The contrast between dark skin and light hair can be really striking, but it's tricky to do yourself," says stylist Kim Kimble. "A pro will know the right shade for your skin tone."

The basics: Women with deep brown skin should go with a rich honey hue. If your complexion is a medium tone, try a sandy color. And if you have lighter skin, you can pull off a pale golden blond. To keep strands healthy, do a deep-conditioning treatment at home twice a week, especially if you also relax your hair, says celebrity colorist Rita Hazan. It's also important to choose hair products that will extend the life of your hair color and avoid fading.

How do you decide what shade to color your hair? Have you experienced a bad dye job?
Drink Green Tea To Fight Eye Disease
Green tea, renowned for its powerful antioxidant and disease-fighting properties, has been found to help protect against glaucoma and other eye diseases.
The new study, the first documenting how the lens, retina and other eye tissues absorb these substances, opens the possibility that green tea may protect against glaucoma and other common eye diseases.
Glaucoma is a disease in which the optic nerve is damaged, leading to progressive, irreversible loss of vision.
Chi Pui Pang, department of ophthalmology and visual sciences, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and colleagues point out that the so-called green tea 'catechins' have been among a number of antioxidants thought capable of protecting the eye.
Those include vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein and zeaxanthin. Until now, however, nobody knew if the catechins in green tea actually passed from the stomach and gastrointestinal tract into the tissues of the eye.
Pang and his colleagues resolved that uncertainty in experiments with lab rats that drank green tea, said a release of the American Chemcial Society (ACS).
Analysis of eye tissues showed beyond a doubt that eye structures absorbed significant amounts of individual catechins.
The effects of green tea catechins in reducing harmful oxidative stress in the eye lasted for up to 20 hours. 'Our results indicate that green tea consumption could benefit the eye against oxidative stress,' the study concludes.
These findings were published in the ACS' bi-weekly Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

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