Pretty Girl Privilege—Is It Real?

The meaning of “pretty” is subjective, but the way people treat you for being “pretty” is universal.

The other day, as I was doing my late night scrolling through my Twitter timeline, this tweet caught my attention:

I’ve had a few instances where I got out of paying for something due to the kindness expressed by others but I thought it had more to do with them, and who they are as a person than because of the way I look. Granted, I am not Megan Fox or Jennifer Aniston’s level of beautiful and there is no way to tell whether it was my appearance that led to me saving a few bucks. However, it raised many questions for me. Does being pretty go beyond being an adjective to describe a girl, but a concept that offers underlying advantages? If so, how? I thought it was interesting that there’s a term that specifically describes the way “pretty” girls are treated so I decided to do more research. 

What is pretty girl privilege? Just like the name suggests, pretty girl privilege is getting special treatment from others just for being attractive. The more technical term is the halo effect. The halo effect is a form of cognitive bias where humans tend to think those with more aesthetically pleasing features are nicer and more trustworthy than people who are not.

Without meaning to, people treat pretty girls better. Because of this, they are exposed to more opportunities. The domino effect continues.

However, being attractive is not all rainbows and sunshine, pretty girls experience a lot of objectification. The New York Times Bestselling author, Janet Mock, who is a pretty girl herself, admits that it’s standard for pretty girls to complain about the cons of being pretty but unbecoming to talk about the perks that derive from it, or to even acknowledge it, period.

We are part of a society where it is not normal to be aware of just how beautiful you are. Point is, pretty girl privilege is very much real and it will never go away. The wonderful thing about it is that beauty is subjective so odds are you'll experience some form of it sooner or later. So if you find yourself in a certain lucky situation, just embrace the fact that it might be because of the way you look—and then take full advantage of it!