Beauty equals happiness, study says

If you are attractive, you are more likely to be happy in life, according to a study by the University of Texas at Austin.

Daniel Hamermesh, professor of economics at the University of Texas at Austin, said, "The results are very simple: Better looking people are happier. It's true in a bunch of countries. It's true in both men and women."

"Early Show" Contributor Taryn Winter Brill reported the research found the most attractive people are about 10 percent happier than those deemed the least attractive.

Hamermesh said money is a large factor in the results.

"Part of the reason we find that beauty raises people's happiness is the fact that it also makes them earn more," he said.

But Average Joe and Plain Jane need not despair - it's not exactly that simple, Brill said.

Radio personality and psychology expert Cooper Lawrence, said, "Beauty only serves you to maybe get in the door but your talent, your personality, the essence of who you are is what gets you to the next level."

However, the study does throw much of the conventional wisdom about "what's inside is important" on its head, psychologist and "Early Show" Contributor Dr. Jennifer Hartstein said.

"(The study is saying) that the more attractive you are, the more opportunities you have," she said. "So the question becomes, is it that you have more doors opened to you? Which is then will make you happier and more fulfilled and having better options in your life. So the fact is we do base our first opinion on how someone looks."

Physical beauty, as well as height, can affect a person's paycheck and resulting happiness, Hartstein said.

Research has found that if you are taller, you get a larger paycheck, up to $800 more than someone who is not as tall," Hartstein said.

"So they're not talking 5'2" to 5'5," they're talking 5'5" to 6 feet, but it can get you more money." She explained, "They think that's because you might have more self-esteem. You might have more leadership qualities. So height is an advantage."

"Wear heels," Co-anchor Erica Hill remarked.

"Exactly," Hartstein said. "Thank goodness for platform heels for me."

What about hair color?

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