Why are attractive people are so powerful?


Why are attractive people are so powerful?


your avatar   Ryan, 20-year-old man

I have been struggling with BDD for a year now, ever since moving to New York City, a place polluted with celebrities and models. My insecurities around my appearance have exacerbated. I'm not interested in why I'm feeling this way. I want to know other people's perspectives. What is it that draws us to good-looking people, not necessarily for romantic or sexual engagement but for other reasons (i.e. social)? Why am I more inclined/motivated to be friends with attractive people, even if they have the personality of bread?


    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

Dear Ryan,

As it happens, I've just made a blog post about a remarkable lady. Please read her story here.

She was born with a genetic condition that has resulted in many operations, being restricted to a wheelchair - and a physical appearance that can only be described as ugly. When you read her essay, though, you'll see that this has made her a stronger, better, and MORE BEAUTIFUL person. This is inner beauty, which is what matters. When you describe those Barbie and Ken dolls as having "the personality of bread," you are describing their lack of inner beauty.

I tweeted Melissa Blake this little saying, which is from one of my short stories in the collection "Striking Back from Down Under," which you'll find at my blog, Bobbing Around:

Beauty is a tree.

Inner beauty is the timber that makes a tree a tree.

Outer beauty is only the bark, of no use whatever.

OK, for some reason, you formed the habit of focusing your attention on people's outer beauty, and there are some aspects of your appearance you don't like. I don't know what they are. Maybe a bald spot, or a long nose, or a short nose, or a crooked one. It may be acne scars, or uneven teeth... I don't know, and it doesn't matter.

I listed these, because I know people who display each of these, and don't mind. Because they don't mind, other people don't either. For example, I used to know a teenage boy with jumbled teeth. Despite this, there were always gorgeous girls hanging around him. Had he been self-conscious about his teeth, he would have sent out subtle signals that he disliked his appearance - and others would have focused in on it. Attention is a searchlight. Whatever it shines on stands out. Whatever it doesn't stays in shadow. This boy's attention allowed his intelligence, creativity, helpfulness, sense of humor - and attractive aspects of his appearance - to stand out.

So, choose your friends according to their inner beauty. Whatever imperfections you think your face or body has only matter if they matter to you. Be inspired by Melissa Blake, and wear them proudly like a banner.

Your new grandfather,


This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit: http://anxietyanddepression-help.com


Before making a decision, ask yourself, "Is this choice in line with my values?"
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
Dalai Lama
Your purpose in life is whatever you decide it is.