If there’s one study about beauty you should read, this is it

You know that thing that your mom or maybe your third grade teacher told you, about pretty coming from the inside? Guess what? It’s true, and we have the science to prove it.

A new study from the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that the way your personality is perceived affects your attractiveness level. According to Mic, the survey had three groups of men rate how attractive they found sixty female faces with no expressions whatsoever. The groups then rated the SAME exact faces two weeks later, only with “emotional descriptors” like mean, honest, kind, or evil attached to the faces. One group got only negative descriptions to accompany their faces, another got positive ones, and the third came with no information other than the neutral expressions.

Their findings? The group that had positive descriptive phrases attached to the faces were rated as more attractive by the men, even though all three groups had rated the pictures similarly during the first trial.

via giphy

It’s a refreshing counterpoint to the endless flow of studies suggesting things that you should do to “fix” your appearance to be more attractive. Every day it seems like there’s another article suggesting that your facial features determine the length of your relationship, or that, according to science, men prefer brunettes. There’s a vast body of contradictory literature out there telling you exactly how to look, and three times as many magazines and advertisements telling you how to get that look. It’s confusing, damaging, and well . . .not super accurate at all.

So for once, in our culture (and many of them across the globe, as a matter of fact) where physical attractiveness seems like the end-all be-all goal, it’s refreshing to see that personality really, really matters. Who you are and who others think you are matters more than how you look. And now you have a study to prove it.

Feel free to update your OKCupid profile accordingly.