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Science Says Having A 'DUFF' Really Can Make You Feel More Attractive

I bet you've always thought the "ugly friend effect" was just another urban myth that made people feel bad about their looks.

If you haven't heard of it, the "ugly friend effect" happens when you're with a group of people in which you're the most attractive person, and your friends' "ugliness," by contrast, makes you appear even more attractive.

Or on the other hand, if you're the "ugly friend," you just look worse compared to your hotter friends.

But the idea that you look less hot than usual when standing next to someone hotter is just absolutely absurd... right?

Apparently not, at least according to a new study.

Researchers at the Royal Holloway University had participants rate attractiveness of people's faces in photographs. They were then asked to look at the same faces next to photos of people who were seemingly less blessed in the looks department.

The results showed that when the, uh, "unattractive" faces were added, participants ranked the attractiveness of the original person higher.

Iiiiiinteresting. I guess, yeah, if I was standing next to a bunch of models, I would look very out of place. By contrast, those models standing next to me would look even more like superhuman goddesses.

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Dr. Nicholas Furl, who led the study said,

This work demonstrates that the company we keep has an effect on how attractive we appear to others.

Here's the catch, though: The "ugly friend effect" only worked when there was one clear attractive person in the group.

If the group was made up of a few attractive people and a few unattractive people, the participants had to be more critical. Their responses were mixed.

So obviously, we don't want to judge people just by looking at them.

Dr. Furl commented on how this behavior is simply a part of our nature.

It's perhaps not too surprising that we are judged in relation to those around us. There are many other ways in which we decide who we are attracted to.

I guess that movie "The Duff" wasn't based on a made-up concept at all. Just in case you missed it, "Duff" stands for designated ugly fat friend.

Too bad there isn't a "hot" Snapchat filter for IRL situations where you might be the "ugly" friend of the group.

I guess you could always throw a paper bag over your head next time you go out.

For real though, at the end of the day, you just have to rock what you've got. Because what you've got is pretty great.

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Citations: The ugly truth: Having friends who are less attractive than yourself really CAN make you seem better looking (MailOnline)