It’s true that plastic surgery will make you look better. Surgical or non-surgical, patients find modern procedures aimed to deliver natural results create youthful and a rested appearance. Beyond the physical, is there a mental change as well? Might a physical change lead to being more likable?
Many claim cosmetic improvement can change your attitude and your personality to make you more likable. There’s some thought that having a cosmetic procedure could also change the way others perceive you – for the better. Board certified plastic surgeons discuss their experiences with patients and whether or not they think this is true.
Looking Better = More Likable
Check out the internet or browse the self-help section of any book store and you will find plenty of tips on how to become more likable. There are blogs that try to teach “likability”, along with self-help books and YouTube videos about improving likability. Everyone, it seems, wants to be seen as likable. A real connection to being likable may come in the operating room, with a plastic surgery procedure.
Researchers from Georgetown University asked male judges to watch videos of women and then rate their likability and make guesses about their personality. It wasn’t surprising that many found the women more attractive in their after surgery photos, but a large group also guessed the women were better at social skills, more trustworthy and in general more likable than the before pictures.
Snap judgments are made all the time about people, based on how they look. Sometimes the assessments are right, and sometimes not so much. The results of the Georgetown study aren’t surprising to some who work in the beauty business and understand that assumptions are made based on appearance. “We have seen this used before in some hidden camera stories,” says Dr. Brian Brzowski, a board certified plastic surgeon practicing in Utah.
Brzowski says people often – for better or worse – assume that the person who looks better has higher character and is more fun to be around. “Judgments aside about morals, I think society treats more attractive people better than people who aren’t.” Studies have shown that beautiful people get hired more quickly and often make more money than their less attractive colleagues.
Naysayers – or those who don’t completely buy into the theory that plastic surgery makes a person more likable – believe confidence is the difference. “I think plastic surgery allows a person’s personality to come out better, and that reveals the empowerment they feel,” says Dr. Kevin Smith. Smith, a board certified plastic surgeon at Charlotte Plastic Surgery, says he sees a shift in attitude that comes with having plastic surgery. “If someone has confidence, they stand taller, and because of that maybe they are more approachable. Likability, who knows?” The research showed that older faces with heavy chins and sagging features were often judged as being aggressive and not friendly. Dr. Smith says those signs of aging can be reversed with plastic surgery. “We can solve those problems and take away the worried and intense look.”
The most likable characters in movies are usually the attractive heroes or comedians, and real life may not be so far off from the Hollywood ideal. Experts advise that looking good and feeling good go hand-in-hand, along with a positive attitude to shape the perception that others have about you. “I think a person who is happy with themselves or comfortable in their own skin will carry themselves differently and as a result they will be treated differently,” says Brzowski.