Rumors ran through the university hallways about the most successful research center at the university… some less daring people just said with a bit of sarcasm “there are a lot of girls in that research center”. Other people more openly: in that center “they all get prettier”. These comments were made with a suspicious tone… projecting their murky macho minds.

We could give many answers to this question, first of all to state the obvious… What kind of comments are these? Well, patriarchal and sexist comments that do not tolerate women occupying science spaces. Comments based on double standards where intelligent women cannot be beautiful and vice versa. Hedy Lamarr already suffered it… but of course, that was in the middle of the 20th century, is part of the university faculty still like that? Alas… some of them are still in the Stone Age…

We could remind them – or explain to them, maybe they don’t know – the existence of historical figures like Hypatia, literary figures like Scheherazade… where intelligence and beauty have gone hand in hand.

We could give them scientific arguments, the quality of relationships improves people’s lives, their health and their attractiveness. If you work in what you are passionate about, surrounded by supportive co-workers with whom you establish different friendships or simply healthy working relationships. Obviously, your attractiveness improves.

But we could skip the three previous paragraphs and not try to justify anything because it is not necessary … and say directly: … we “become more beautiful” … and … so what?

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