What a (good-looking) woman wants

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She gets the best man—and the best jobs. / SAG

When it comes to getting what we want—or wanting what we get—women, it turns out, are realistic.

A study published in this month’s Evolutionary Psychology says that we women calibrate what we desire in a mate according to our own perceived degree of attractiveness. According to ScienceDaily,

“When reviewing the qualities they desire in romantic partners, women gauge what they can get based on what they got,” said [David Buss, psychology researcher at The University of Texas at Austin and a co-author of the study]. “And women who are considered physically attractive maintain high standards for prospective partners across a variety of characteristics.”

The researchers identified four categories of characteristics women seek in a partner:

• good genes, reflected in desirable physical traits,
• resources,
• the desire to have children and good parenting skills, and
• loyalty and devotion.

So according to this research, if I think I’m Angelina Jolie, then I’m gonna look for a man who scores top marks in all those categories (well, hello, Brad Pitt). If I think I look like Rudy Giuliani in drag, then I’m gonna ratchet my expectations waaay down.

Got me to wonder: does this apply when job-hunting, too? Studies have found that good-looking people score higher in job interviews (what, this surprises you?). Do the Natalie Portmans and George Clooneys of the business world go through life with certain expectations about the caliber of work they attain?

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