It pays to be ugly. No really!
Bottom Line: For pretty much ever – there's been a narrative advanced that those perceived to be attractive fare far better in the workforce. Times are changing though and the most comprehensive study to date – 13 years and 20,000 Americans – to be exact were studied and the results will probably surprise.
In this study published in the Journal of Business and Psychology the most important intangibles in the workforce were/are these: being conscientious, extroverted, and less neurotic. In other words, all else being equitable, those qualities are the most likely to determine longer term success in the typical workplace. While that's interesting there's the aesthetic winkle I introduced in the headline – so let's get to it.
This study ID'd 20,000 students at 16 and studied them three times through age 29. The previous outcomes were the result of those studies but so was this interesting outcome. Using attractiveness profiles, it was found that typically those who're most attractive fared best overall but otherwise it was best to be about as unattractive as possible. Not kidding. In the study those who were in the bottom "attractiveness" profile were the 2nd highest earners and easily surpassed those who were of below average attractiveness along with exceeding those who were of average attractiveness and also edging out those with above average attractiveness.
Sound odd? It probably isn't. Remember the biggest tells for faring the best? Conscientiousness, extroverted and less neurotic. Those who've never been generally regarded as attractive people are more likely to be conscientious, less likely to be extroverted but also less likely to be neurotic. Those who literally are attempting to keep up appearances are more likely to be neurotic and generally less likely to be as conscientious. So, it adds up. So, it's best to be beautiful but if you're not quite there, in the workplace, it's otherwise better to be unattractive.