Optimally, looks shouldn’t affect voters at all. Of course, that’s unrealistic: as studies show, a woman’s appearance can potentially affect her career success. According to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, overweight women made $14,000 less than average-weight women, while thin women pocketed about $16,000 more. In contrast, thin men made about $8,000 less, and heavier men made more. And for both men and women, height can affect salaries, according to a 2004 study also published in the same journal.
Don’t think this is workplace-exclusive behavior at all: like bosses and colleagues, voters are also influenced by appearance. According to a 2008 study published in the online journal PLOS ONE, while “all voters are likely to vote for candidates who appear more competent,” nevertheless “male candidates that appear more approachable and female candidates who appear more attractive are more likely to win votes.”
That makes complete sense, as obviously a woman’s looks play a significant role in her ability to govern and to promote and pass legislation, right?