STRAIGHT TALK

05.22.13

No, You’re Actually Not That Beautiful

People overestimate their looks, according to study.

Forget what Dove is advertising—we may need a reality check instead of a self-esteem boost. Scientific American is here to set the record straight and let us know that we got it all wrong: We really aren’t as attractive as we think. The article cited a Cornell University study that showed people tend to overestimate their level of hotness, a phenomenon called “self-enhancement.” The article criticized the newest Dove campaign video, which depicts women as being self-deprecating and unrealistically negative about their looks. Scientific American says the ad is not statistically supported and, in fact, contradicts the reality that people really are less beautiful than they think. But the magazine does admit that “thinking we are more beautiful than we really are may not be such as bad thing.”