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The Impact of First Impressions

By: Steven H. Dayan, MD
Posted: June 17, 2008, from the July 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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This study is consistent with several others that suggest that facial cosmetic treatments may provide people with greater opportunities and advancements in a variety of social, educational and business arenas simply by improving first impressions.6

Beauty inside and out

So is beauty essential to making a positive first impression? The painful truth is that physical attractiveness probably influences a first encounter. Moreover, scientific evidence supports that physically attractive people gain social advantages in a variety of situations, including education, employment, medical care, legal proceedings and romantic encounters.

For those who are not content with their physical image and who want to improve their ability to make a positive first impression, esthetic treatments and cosmetic surgery perhaps offer viable options. However, although physical enhancements may provide an advantage in making a good first impression, they do not compare to the effect that self-confidence has when meeting others. Bottom line: If you think you are beautiful, then you will be.


1 A Slater, G Bremner, S P Johnson, Newborn Infants’ Preference for Attractive Faces: The Role of Internal and External Facial Features, INFANCY, 1(2), 265–274 (2000)

2 S Brahnam, Creating Physical Personalities For Agents with Faces: Modeling Trait Impressions of the Face, The PhD Program in Computer Science, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York