If you were to be rated, for science, on a scientific scale of attractiveness from 1 to 10, what would you be? And then, how much would you be willing to pay to move up the scale? Would you spend $6,000 to go from a 6 to a 6.08? A study in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association: Facial Plastic Surgery, the first of its kind, found that the average increase in a person’s rated attractiveness after plastic surgery was 0.08 on said 1 to 10 scale, which in statistical terms, is pretty much nothing. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the average cost of a face-lift in 2012 was $6,630, which is… not nothing.
For the study, researchers played a quick game of "Hot or Not?" They had 50 people with no expertise in plastic surgery rate the attractiveness of a group of 49 patients who had received some sort of aesthetic facial procedure, such as face-lifts, neck-lifts, or brow-lifts (all the lifts, really), on a scale of 1 to 10. Each rater saw a before or after picture of each patient, but not both. They also estimated the person’s age.
The difference between patients’ perceived age before surgery and after was 3.1 years, on average, but there was no statistically significant change in overall attractiveness ratings, meaning for the study's purposes, people were no more attractive after plastic surgery.