Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 21 November 2018

Abstract and Keywords

Much empirical evidence suggests that “what is beautiful is good,” particularly for women. Whether in the courtroom or the classroom, attractive females enjoy a variety of benefits not available to their less attractive peers. It is therefore often in a woman’s best interest to engage in efforts to enhance her appearance. Women utilize a number of strategies to increase their physical attractiveness (e.g., wearing cosmetics, dieting), particularly when competing for romantic partners. Due to the competitive advantage it provides, however, a woman’s beauty can also evoke aversive psychological responses from same-sex competitors. These negative responses—such as decreased self-esteem and increased envy—can have costly consequences for the attractive women who elicit them. In this chapter, we review research suggesting that women strategically enhance their beauty in order to facilitate competitive success. We also address several important questions about the causes and consequences of women’s competitive beautification.

Keywords: physical attractiveness, intrasexual competition, human mating, envy, anti-attractiveness bias, appearance enhancement, beautification penalty

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.