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经济学人:美貌之人更有市场

浏览次数:发布时间:2016年10月25日

  经济学人:美貌之人更有市场

  Pretty people still get the best deals in the market, from labour to love

  外貌标致的人仍然最有市场,不论是找工作还是找情人

  Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People are More Successful. By Daniel Hamermesh. Princeton University Press; 216 pages; $24.95 and £16.95. Buy from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk

  《美貌买单》:为何有魅力的人更加成功,丹尼尔•汉姆梅斯著,普林斯顿大学出版社,216页,24.59美圆(16.95欧元),点击Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk购买.

  The Beauty Bias: The Injustice of Appearance in Life and Law. By Deborah Rhode. Oxford University Press USA; 272 pages; $17.95 and £15.99. Buy from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk

  《美貌的偏见》:生活与法律中外貌的不公, 黛博拉•罗得著,美国牛津大学出版社;272页;17.95美圆(15.99欧元),点击 Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk购买.

  Honey Money: The Power of Erotic Capital. By Catherine Hakim. Allen Lane; 304 pages; £20. To be published in America in September as “Erotic Capital: The Power of Attraction in the Boardroom and the Bedroom” by Basic Books; $26. Buy from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk

  《甜蜜的金钱》:魅力资本的力量, 凯瑟琳•哈金著,304页,20欧元,9月将在美国由基础图书公司出版:魅力资本:会议室与卧室中美貌的吸引力;26美圆,点击Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk购买.

  FRANCE looked back this week at the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa from the walls of the Louvre. It was one of the most startling art heists in history, but the emotions it still arouses go beyond that. Stealing Leonardo da Vinci’s painting was like stealing beauty itself. And beauty has lost none of its power to bewitch, bother and get its own way, as three new books on the economic advantages of good looks confirm.

  本周,法国回顾了1911年卢浮宫墙上的《蒙娜丽莎》被盗的事件。那是史上最令人吃惊的艺术品盗窃案之一,曾引起群众强烈的情感反应,不过这些情感已超越了盗窃本身。盗窃列奥纳多•达•芬奇的画作,无异于盗窃美本身。不过,正如三本关于美貌所带来的经济优势的书所证明,美并未失却一丝一毫迷惑世人、扰乱世人和为所欲为的力量。

  Physically attractive women and men earn more than average-looking ones, and very plain people earn less. In the labour market as a whole (though not, for example, in astrophysics), looks have a bigger impact on earnings than education, though intelligence—mercifully enough— is valued more highly still.

  外貌出众的男男女女能比相貌平庸之人赚更多的钱,长相相当普通的人则赚得更少。在劳动力市场上,整体而言,相貌对收入的影响要大于受教育程度,虽然智商仍然被认为价值更高——这已是万幸了。

  Beauty is naturally rewarded in jobs where physical attractiveness would seem to matter, such as prostitution, entertainment, customer service and so on. But it also yields rewards in unexpected fields. Homely NFL quarterbacks earn less than their comelier counterparts, despite identical yards passed and years in the league. Not everything comes easier: good-looking women seeking high-flying jobs in particularly male fields may be stymied by the “bimbo effect” until they prove their competence and commitment. But the importance of beauty in the labour market is far more pervasive than one might think.

  在一些相貌似乎事关紧要的职业类型里,如妓女、娱乐业、客户服务等,美貌理所当然可以赚取报酬。但是在一些意想不到的领域里,美貌竟也能够带来回报。在美国橄榄球联盟里,同为四分卫,即使传球的码数、在联盟中的资历完全一样,长相平凡者还是比外貌出众者收入更少。但并非长得好看就能事事顺利:外貌出众的女性在由男性主导的职业领域里寻求志向远大的工作时,“胸大无脑效应”便可能会从中作梗,直至她们证明自己能力出众以及全心投入工作。但出众的外貌在劳动力市场上的重要性要比想象中来得更为普遍。

  The same is true in other markets. Women have traditionally traded looks for economic support in marriage. A Chinese study confirms that the husbands of unappealing women earn about 10% less than those of their dishier counterparts. Attractive people also have an easier time getting a loan than plain folks, even as they are less likely to pay it back. They receive milder prison sentences and higher damages in simulated legal proceedings. In America more people say they have felt discriminated against for their appearance than because of their age, race or ethnicity. Pretty people, it seems, have all the luck. These books attempt to explain why that is, and what, if anything, should be done about it.

  在其他方面,情况相同。传统上,在婚姻中,女性就用外貌来换取经济支援。一个中国的研究证明,妻子长相平凡的丈夫比妻子漂亮的丈夫要少赚10%。即便外貌出众者还款的可能性更低,他们在申请贷款时也比长相平凡者更容易。在模拟法律诉讼中,外貌出众者受到的服刑判决会更轻,也能获得更高的赔偿金。在美国,相比起年龄、种族或民族,更多的人说他们因长相而受到的歧视。漂亮的人似乎运气很好。这几本书尝试解释这个现象以及能对此做些什么(如果真的要做的话)。

  Daniel Hamermesh, an economist at the University of Texas, has long written about “pulchronomics”. In “Beauty Pays” he reckons that, over a lifetime and assuming today’s mean wages, a handsome worker in America might on average make $230,000 more than a very plain one. There is evidence that attractive workers bring in more business, so it often makes sense for firms to hire them. Whether rewarding them accordingly—and paying their less attractive peers more stingily—is good for society is another matter.

  德州大学的一位经济学家丹尼尔•汉姆梅斯一直在写关于“pulchronomics”。他在《美貌买单》一书中指出,假若以如今的最低工资计算,在美国一个外貌出众的人一生之中比一个长相平凡的人平均多赚230,000美圆。也有证据表明外貌出众的员工能够招揽更多生意,所以聘用他们对公司而言经常也是很有意义的。但是,给予他们相应的回报并支付其同僚更为刻薄的薪水是否对社会有益,那就是另一回事了。

  In examining the case for legal protection for the ugly, Mr Hamermesh relies to a degree on the work of Deborah Rhode, a law professor at Stanford University and author of “The Beauty Bias”. Ms Rhode clearly struggles to see why any woman would willingly embrace fashion (particularly high heels). She is outraged that virtually all females consider their looks as key to their self-image. She cites a survey in which over half of young women said they would prefer to be hit by a truck than be fat. Her indignation is mostly moral. Billions of dollars are now spent on cosmetic surgery—up to 90% of it by women—at a time when almost a fifth of Americans lack basic health care. The more women focus on improving their looks, Ms Rhode argues, the less they think about others.

  在调查为长相丑陋的人提供法律保护的个案时,丹尼尔•汉姆梅斯在很大程度上参考了哈佛大学法学教授以及《美貌的偏见》的作者黛博拉•罗得所作的研究。黛博拉•罗得显然极力探究为何所有女人都心甘情愿地追逐潮流(尤其是高跟鞋)。几乎所有女人都认为外表对她们的个人形象无比重要,对此她感到愤怒。她作了一个调查,发现超过一半的受访女性说她们宁愿被火车撞也不要变胖。黛博拉•罗得的愤怒大体是合乎道德的。如今,数十亿美圆被花费在整容手术上,其中90%的消费者是女性,但同时,却约有五分之一的美国人缺乏基本医疗保障。黛博拉•罗得认为,女性越是关注如何改善其外表,就会越少为他人着想。

  Discriminating against people on the grounds of personal appearance should be banned, she says. It limits a person’s right to equal opportunity, reinforces the subordination of groups where unappealing characteristics, including obesity, are concentrated (ie, the poor, some ethnic minorities), and restricts self-expression. Yet because ugliness is harder to define than race or sex, some argue that anti-discrimination laws are impossible to maintain. And anyway, say employers, appearance is often relevant to the job at hand.

  她说,因为外表而歧视他人的行为应该被禁止。这种行为不但限制了个人享受平等机遇的权利和表达的自由;在一个人会因外表的缺陷(包括肥胖)而被关注的团体(如穷人、少数民族)里,这种行为还加强了个人对集体的服从。但是,因为外貌与种族、性别不同,是美是丑更难界定,有人则认为反外貌歧视的法律不可能维持。但不管怎样,雇主们说,外表经常与手头上的工作有关。

  Ms Rhode sees the hurdles, but argues that they can be dealt with. In places where “lookism” is already prohibited (eg, Washington, DC), such statutes have not provoked a flood of frivolous cases, she says. Occasionally beauty is essential to a business (ie, modelling, but not air-hostessing). But concerns about an employee’s effectiveness often reflect the biases of employers, not customers. Laws influence attitudes over time, she says, by denying those with prejudices the opportunity to indulge them.

  罗得女士看出了其中的障碍,但认为这些障碍可以被跨越。她说,在“相貌歧视”已经被禁止的地方(如华盛顿),这种法规也没有惹起如潮般荒唐可笑的案件。有时,美貌对某些职业而言至关重要(如模特,但空姐就并非如此)。但是对员工工作效率的考虑经常只能反映雇主而非客户的偏好。这项法律断绝了对相貌丑陋心存偏见的人纵容这些偏见的机会,随着时间的推移,法律会影响人们的态度,她说道。

  “Honey Money”, Catherine Hakim’s provocative book, is a different kettle of fish. Where Mr Hamermesh and Ms Rhode see discrimination, she sees an opportunity for women to enhance their power “in the bedroom and the boardroom”. She argues that “erotic capital” is an underrated class of personal asset, to set beside economic capital (what you have), human capital (what you know) and social capital (who you know). Ms Hakim attempts to quantify a complex mix of physical and social assets, consisting of beauty, sex appeal, self-presentation, social skills, liveliness and sexual competence. Like other sorts of capital, the erotic kind is important for success; but unlike others it is largely independent of birth and class. It is especially valuable for poor people, young people, the newly arrived and the otherwise unqualified. In heterosexual settings it belongs primarily to women.

  凯瑟琳•哈金挑起争议的著作《甜蜜的金钱》则有截然不同的观点。在汉姆梅斯女士和罗得女士看到歧视的地方,她却看到了女性在卧室和会议室中增强自身力量的机遇。她认为与经济资本(你所拥有的)、人力资本(你所知道的)和社会资本(你所知道的)相比,“魅力资本”是一种被低估了的个人资产。哈金女士尝试去量化一个人有形资产和社会资产的复杂组合,其中包括美貌、性感、自我表现、社会技能、活力和性能力。魅力资本之于成功的重要性,与其他类型的资本相当;但与其他类型的资本不同的是,魅力资本在很大程度上与出身和阶级无关。对于穷人、年轻人、初来乍到者或不合格的人而言,魅力资本尤其重要。在异性恋的环境里,魅力资本主要属于女性。

  Ms Hakim suggests that women have more erotic capital than men to start with, mainly because they have had to work at it for centuries. But women have the erotic upper hand for another reason: the male “sexual deficit”. Despite the fact that both sexes are more sexually active than ever before, from the age of about 30 women’s libido tends to fall off while men’s does not. Because women have less interest in sex than men, it is, to put it crudely, a seller’s market. In the power dynamic of couples, controlling access to sex is more important than earning more money, says Ms Hakim. It is the woman’s main bargaining chip, as most still earn less than their partners. Feminists who want women to throw away their femininity are overlooking a powerful asset, Ms Hakim argues.

  哈金女士之所以认为女人一开始比男人有更多的魅力资本,是因为在过去几个世纪里,她们已经在这方面作出了巨大努力。但女性在魅力方面占优势的另一个原因在于:男性的“性感赤字”。尽管事实上两性在性爱方面都比以前要积极,而且在30岁以后,女性的性欲趋于下降,男性则不然。因为女性在性爱方面的兴趣要少与男性,所以简言之,这是一个卖方市场。对于精力旺盛的夫妇而言,控制进行性生活比赚钱更为重要,哈金女士说道。因为大部分女性的收入仍然低于其另一半,故魅力就成了她们的主要筹码。哈金女士认为,那些希望女性抛弃其女人味的女权主义者忽略了一项强大的资产。

  This is controversial stuff. Even those who reject the notion that women are just not that into sex can support Ms Hakim’s call for the full legalisation of prostitution and surrogate pregnancies for profit, thus giving women the freedom to earn a return on whichever personal asset they choose.

  这个说法极具争议。即便是那些反对女人对性爱不那么感兴趣的人,也能支持哈金女士的号召:将妓女这一职业全面合法化;实行营利性的代孕。不论女性选择利用何种个人资产,这样都能给予她们从中获取回报的自由。

  All three authors are in or fast approaching their 60s. They are contemporaries of the generation of feminists who waged war against the beauty culture, leaving unshaved legs and allegedly burned bras in their wake. But life has moved on. Sexualised images are everywhere, and the world that has emerged is one in which no one can afford to pretend beauty does not matter. Men too, having lost their monopoly of well-paid jobs, are investing in their erotic capital to enhance their appeal to mates and employers. They are marching off to gyms and discovering face cream in record numbers. Perhaps this explains Mona Lisa’s bemused smile. She knew what was coming.

  三位作者都已经接近或步入花甲之年。她们与向美貌文化宣战、不刮腿毛、据说还焚烧胸罩的女权主义者是同一代人。但生活在不断继续。具有性意味的图片已随处可见,眼前的世界,已经没人能够有本钱假装美貌无关紧要。男人也如此,他们已经失去了高薪职位的垄断地位,如今便投资自己的魅力资本以提高对其伴侣及雇主的吸引力。他们向健身房进军,物色到的面霜数目已创历史新高。或许,这样的世界能解释蒙娜丽莎神秘的微笑。对于后来之事,她早已了若指掌。





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