The Power and Paradox of Physical Attractiveness is a scholarly look into physical attractiveness. It articulates the great importance placed on this dimension of a person's appearance. Analysis of the dynamics and consequences reveals a powerful, pervasive, and frequently unrecognized or denied physical attractiveness phenomenon. This phenomenon transcends time, geography, and culture, regardless of demographics and socioeconomics of individuals and populations.
With penetrating vision, Dr. Patzer provides evidence that despite professed ideals, people do judge others by their looks. Physical attractiveness is a more powerful determinant of a person's fortune and misfortune in life than people admit. No matter the words, thoughts, and ideals proclaimed by people, these same people judge, assume, infer, believe, act, treat, decide, accept, reject, and behave toward or against individuals, in patterns consistent with their own physical attractiveness and that of others. While many dimensions define appearance, physical attractiveness predominates.
The physical attractiveness of a person impacts every individual throughout every community, across the United States and around the world. All people inherit and alter their physical attractiveness, which is determined by complex, interdependent, physical and non-physical factors. Hidden and not-hidden values drive thoughts and actions with significant effects and realities whereby higher physical attractiveness is beneficial, lower physical attractiveness is detrimental, and associated pursuits are relentless.
Physical attractiveness may look skin-deep as a surface aspect of appearance, but looks can be deceiving. Researchers throughout the world collect empirical data complemented with anecdotal data to probe beyond the surfaces. Through investigations that meet meticulous scientific methodological procedures, acute observations reveal previously undetected dimensions that advance understanding about physical attractiveness. The Power and Paradox of Physical Attractiveness explores, discovers, and documents the theories, evidence, and circumstances in which physical attractiveness is a remarkable veneer with influences that extend considerably beyond what we call skin-deep.
The author, Dr. Patzer, formally cites more than 750 references as he identifies a complex phenomenon in which physical attractiveness serves as an informational cue that propels a multiple-stage process. Through this process, people knowingly and unknowingly infer extensive information based on this cue, which in-turn triggers assumptions, expectations, attitudes, and behaviors. It ultimately leads to powerful consequences with significant benefits and detriments for every person, accompanied by continuous pursuits toward these benefits and away from these detriments, caused by his or her level of physical attractiveness.