Unpopular Opinion: Using Your Body To Get Ahead Is Just Plain Smart

It’s your most powerful asset.

My husband and I have this running joke that if we ever want something, I should represent our team and go in for the win using my best, most killer smile and wink to score us a discount or potential freebie.

Why? Because, as he puts it, “Nobody will be able to resist those eyes”. And 98 per cent of the time, he’s right.

The concept of using my assets to get something originally came to me by accident, when I was buying a new car.

I’d chosen the beauty I wanted, then I went outside to call my mother – we have that kind of relationship in which we run everything by each other – and share the great news.

However, instead of cheering me on, she blasted me about how dumb an idea it was and that I was crazy to waste money on a brand new car when used ones were so much more affordable and new cars always lose half their value once they’re driven out of the lot.

I got off the phone and returned inside completely defeated, tears streaming down my face.

As I looked up at the guy who was trying to sell me my so-called crazy purchase with large glassy puppy-dog eyes, his hard salesman expression began to soften. 

An hour later I was walking out with the keys to my new ride for a mere $600 over cost price, with several extra accessories thrown in for free.

The whole idea of using our feminine assets to get ahead is actually linked to the world’s oldest profession: prostitution.

We’re born with everything we need to get what we want, so why not take note from the pros?

Kim Kardashian is a true advocate of this notion; the reality TV star uses her body to bolster her bank account with more lucrative contracts and fame with the snap of every nude selfie and provocative photoshoot, and the advertising industry has been cashing in on the concept since the first woman pouted for a camera while brandishing a product. 

And while it’s easy to regard women who use puppy dog eyes, a sexy dress or a flirtatious laugh to get what they want as flaky and superficial, science shows it’s just plain smart. According to a study by Jacyln Wong of the University of Chicago and Andrew Penner of the University of California, Irvine, women who put more effort into playing up their assets earn on average 20 per cent more than their colleagues.

Even the first female Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, admitted to using her “feminine charm” in negotiations with foreign heads of state in a 2009 interview. So powerful are our assets in aiding achieving what we want, that in 2011, author and sociologist Dr Catherine Hakim coined the term ‘erotic capital’ to describe the set of sexual attributes specific to women that can nab us what we most desire in career and in life.

“Today, the financial returns of attractiveness equal the returns of qualifications. Many young women now think beauty is just as important as education… These people smile at the world and find that the world smiles back and remembers them,” said Hakim.

You may not agree with Kim K’s approach, or find the idea of tapping into your own erotic capital particularly appealing, but I guess what I’m trying to say is this: don’t look down on the women who do, much less pity them. From Marilyn Monroe to Amy Schumer, women have been cashing in and climbing ladders by using the assets assigned to them at birth for as long as men have been around to admire them. And if you’ve ever flashed your brightest smile at a police officer after being pulled over for speeding or angled your cleavage over a bar to get your order taken faster, you’ve done it too.

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Comment: Do you agree with using your assets to get ahead, and have you ever done it?