Mirror, Mirror

The Importance of Looks in Everyday Life

By Elaine Hatfield & Susan Sprecher

Paperback : 9780887061240, 468 pages, December 1985
Hardcover : 9780887061233, 468 pages, December 1985

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Table of contents

List of Tables




1. Good Looks--What is it?

2. What is Beautiful is Good: The Myth

3. The Ugly: Mad or Bad?

4. Romantic Beginnings

5. More Intimate Affairs

6. Let's Get Physical

7. Height, Weight and Incidentals

8. Physical Attractiveness: The Reality

9. Beauty Through the Life-Span

10. The Ugly Truth about Beauty

11. Susan Lee: A Case History

12. Self-Improvement--Is it Worth it?




Mirror, Mirror… examines the hidden truth about good looks. Through extensive research of scholarly studies and popular culture, the authors provide a lively and comprehensive view of what behavioral scientists have learned about the effects of personal appearance. A wealth of illustrations and photographs give visual support to the evidence presented.

The book explores the view that people believe good-looking individuals possess almost all the virtues known to humankind; consequently, they treat the good-looking and ugly very differently. Mirror, Mirror reviews the stereotypes held about people with specific characteristics and it explains the impact of height, weight, and attributes such as hair color, eye color and facial hair on the course of social encounters. The authors show that through time these reaction patterns have their effect and that good-looking and unattractive persons come to be different types of people. To show the relative nature of concepts of beauty, the authors also present examples of what other cultures consider attractive.

Elaine Hatfield, Professor of Psychology at the University of Hawaii, is the most frequently quoted social psychologist in the world. Susan Sprecher is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Illinois State University.