How to Use the Halo Effect to Your Advantage

Hello Friends,

On Bold & Determined I have said 1,456,329 times before that the way you dress and the way you look matter. It matters more than your “insides”. In fact, your outside appearance is a direct reflection of your insides. If you have a “good heart” but you look like a fat slob then your good heart is meaningless.

Each and every time a dirty bum asks me for money I say the exact same thing, “no”. If a well dressed man or woman asked me for change for this reason or that I would give it to them.

If a poorly dressed and disheveled friend or family member asked to borrow a sum of money, even if the deal seemed good, I would say no. If a well dressed and kempt friend or family member asked to borrow money I would say yes.

When I see a fatso I am repulsed. When I see a male dressed in a polo shirt with the collar popped and a big, fat belly sticking out and stick-figure arms I am disgusted. A lack of concern for one’s body is a tremendous character flaw and it exposes them as a weakling and a lesser being “on the inside”. Lack of discipline, lack of pride, and lack of self-respect does not make one’s insides good.

When I walk down the street I look at people and I know right away who is a “good” person, a person with self-respect and self-discipline, and I know right away who is a slob, a weakling, or a pushover. I know who can get things done and I know right away who cannot get things done. This is not merely physical, as in muscle mass, this is also determined by the clothing one has chosen to wear and the cleanliness of the person.

I will give you two examples of people I have seen recently.

Example A)

I saw 5 kids who were dressed like metalheads. Black, heavy metal band t-shirts. Long, dirty hair. Dirty clothing. Poor posture. These kids clearly had no confidence and were pushovers. They could be made to do anything. They could be manipulated to do anything. They had no sense of self, no self-respect and no pride. I know this for two reasons. The first reason is that they were dressed like metalheads, wearing t-shirts for the heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold. The second reason I know they are pushovers is that all five of them were deaf. They were all speaking in sign language. They could not hear but they championed a heavy metal band and, more importantly, the look of a burnout metalhead. Without even knowing the music the kids have chosen to dress in a manner that will not get them respect from anyone. They have two handicaps, they are all deaf AND they have chosen to give themselves another handicap and dress like slobs.

Example B)

I was walking down the street and I saw a young man, maybe mid twenties. He was dressed clean and presentable, he had muscular arms that clearly were made of hard work. Upon closer inspection I saw that he didn’t have any legs, he had two prosthetic legs. Upon even closer inspection I saw that he only had one arm, too. A man with only one arm and no legs could find the time to present a good appearance, but 5 young men with a far less debilitating disability couldn’t take the time to shower, wash their hair or put on clean clothes.

If the one armed man in example B had asked me for a few dollars I would have said sure, here you go. The man was clean and presentable and showed self respect. If the dirty metalhead kids had asked for money I would have said no. The guy in example B could have been a psychopath and the metalheads were all probably nice kids. I would not have gone out of my way to help those kids but if I had asked the kids for a favor I am sure they would have jumped all over themselves to help me. This phenomenon is known as the Halo Effect.

The halo effect is a cognitive bias in which you judge a persons character, their insides, by their outward appearance and their demeanor. Someone who is handsome, likable, clean and charismatic will benefit from the halo effect. The man who has the halo effect in people can do no wrong. No matter what he does he is forgiven and looked up to. A man who does not have the halo effect will find his wife leaving him after he has one beer after he promised to quit drinking. The man who has the halo effect will find his wife apologizing to him after she found him cheating on her.

Two men can do the exact same thing. Man A will hit on an attractive female coworker. Man A is not in great shape, is not handsome and is not the most confident. Next thing he knows he is sitting in HR answering to sexual harassment claims. Man B is handsome, in shape and charismatic. This man can say the exact same thing to the woman and she will find herself giggling uncontrollably and giddy with delight.

Not looking your best is giving yourself a handicap. Not being your best is giving yourself a handicap. Willingly giving yourself this handicap is for losers. The winner, the Ubermensch, will present himself as the best at all times. And he will be able to take full advantage that looking the best has to offer. Everyone will judge a book by it’s cover, your cover should be fantastic.

Build yourself up. Don’t tear yourself down. Building up is for the supermen. Tearing down is for the incapable. Which are you?

-Victor Pride

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  1. says

    I recently made a very close friend using two tricks, the first of which was the halo effect and the second was letting them d talk about themself. People love to talk about themself and if given the opportunity, they will. Anyone who attentively listens will quickly get on their good side. Since this particular person I was talking to was an attractive young lady, it worked very well. A few weeks after meeting, when we were close friends, she said the reason she was willing to talk to me was because I was “cute” and looked older then I really was. Between being in good shape, wearing well cut clothes, the way I wore my hair, and my charisma and good demeanor, she was more then willing to talk to me without any special effort on my part in the discussion.

    • Benjo James says

      Do you have your own business by any chance? Having a business, or at least something that you’re totally immersed in and passionate is probably the most attractive trait in anyone, and women definitely respond to that.

  2. jon doe says

    I have found myself occasionally dressing extremely nice to go nowhere in particular, or even if its just walking into the gym to change into gym clothes. I am usually always in a work uniform or gym clothes. One day I left my attorneys office and didnt have time to stop home and change, so I just said fuck it and trained in a polo shirt and khaki pants. First thing that was said to me was by the hot front desk girl. “Damn, I’ve never seen you in any clothes other than gym clothes.” Girls who normally walked by and said hello in the gym walked up and carried on conversations, they grabbed my arms, if I was a mind reader I’d have to say she was thinking “Come fuck me please” Not just ladies either, it commands more respect from guys too. Nobody saw a guy overdressed to train that day. They saw a jacked motherfucker who was so committed to his training he walked in there to work out despite having his gym clothes. Tell you something else I wear too, I have a pink polo shirt. Thats right, fucking pink. When your a big guy you can get away with wearing shit like this and it only draws in more pussy because it shows ur confidence to wear something that color.

  3. Lee says

    I agree with the article to a certain extent. There are days where if I am just going to the grocery store or shopping, etc., I do not like to dress well, as I prefer baggy clothes. In addition, when I fly on an airplane, I will wear baggy, comfortable clothes on purpose, as I don’t really care how I am dressed, when comfort is my number one goal. If people are not impressed by me, so be it. On the other hand, if I am going out on a date, I will pull out all the stops to make sure I look my best!

    • Apollo says

      IF you get a date???

      What better way to get a date than dressing well at the grocery store and everywhere else, instead you look like a slob and use IF when talking about a single date. We’re not impressed.

      • Lee says

        I will take your comments into consideration about dressing well at the grocery store and everywhere else, but I would not go so far as to say that I look like a “slob” when I am dressed casually. Yes, I can dress casually but nothing where I look like a bum with a shopping cart that is my home!

        • Benjo James says

          The real art is dressing comfortable AND stylishly. It can definitely be done. The best fashion/style advice I received was ‘What would James Bond where in this situation?’.

          • Seekay says

            Thats a misleading advice. You have to have your own style and never pretend
            You are somebody else. You cannot buy style.

          • Benjo James says

            I don’t think I articulated that as well as I could have. Of course I completely agree. What I took from that advice is basically in the same sense that James Bond will always be wearing something appropriate to the situation whilst looking stylish, you should too, whatever you’re doing.

      • Joey the Bartender says

        I agree. Sloppiness is a lifestyle, not a weekend retreat. It doesn’t matter your “style”. If you’re not clean and neat, you’re a slob, argument over. Life is not comfortable so stop trying to be comfortable. I make it a point to dress better all the time, fitted shirt, tie, slacks and shoes, wherever I go. If the mob can do it, then I sure as hell can do it too. I certainly don’t give a shit if someone gets offended or uncomfortable when I outdress them. I don’t exist to impress nor vie for the attention of slobs.

  4. Daywalker says

    I initialy thought this was going to be a “video games are for losers” post. There’s nothing more unappeasing than a dirty, hipster in their early twenties wearing a wrinkled t-shirt with a SNES controller on it., with puffy red eyes (cause they stayed up all night playing Halo or Call of Duty, jerking off between levels), and dirty greasy hair, epic neck beard, and acne (everywhere). Instead of putting all this time and effort into building up their character, unlocking new levels, weapons, and other bullshit, they should be working on their real life appearance. Your body is a temple! worship it! and others will too! Live like you’re worth a million fucking bucks!

    • Joey the Bartender says

      True, however you describe the extreme of gamers. Personally I spend 6 days every week working on my biz, from dawn to dusk. I exercise an hour a day, EVERY DAY and eat clean as hell. I take one day off for 6 hours, after my daily workout, after my morning regimen, I get a pizza and play racing games. Not just one little shitty controller, I got the whole fuckin’ set-up too. The chair, expensive ass wheel and pedals. The whole nine yards. For 6 hours every week, I play this damn game, and think of nothing else. When the six hours are done, the rig goes back in the closet and I go back to my life. No other time during the week does that rig come out and no other time each week do I spend any time doing anything pleasurable. I don’t drink, smoke or even date. It’s all biz with me.

      • Jenn Musick says

        Your like the male version of me, “Its all biz” Minus the video games of course, I have my weekly ritual. And instead of pizza I loved a good glazed doughnut! Nonetheless, I got a kick out of your post!

  5. Seekay says

    It’s not what you wear. It’s about HOW you wear and WHO is wearing it.

    I can wear John Galliano stuff and some “regular” people say I dress like sh*t and at the same time real experts love what im wearing. And then its how you manage yourself. Elegance starts in how you move talk walk…

  6. Steve says

    Great Blog Victor. Just discovered you a few days ago and bought ’30 Days of Discipline’. Loving my morning’s at 5am with the exercise, cold shower and laying out some kick ass clothes for work. Of course I work with a bunch of sloppy dressed techies, so it’s easy to stand out. Getting my testosterone levels checked today. Keep it up.

      • Illyas says

        Uncle Vic
        To tell u my status right now
        I’m feeling bored and sad and lonely and blah blah blah
        And story about it like this
        Back in 2011
        I was smoking shit. Watching porn once in a week. Masturbating 3-4 times a month. Watching movies all the time. Because I had a lot of money. Let say 8000$. I spend it like a fool.
        When I first searched bold and determined. Just 4 Days before. I read some of articles. It affected me so strongly That if u r right beside me and speaking it in my ears.
        Now I joined the gym today . I quit smoking 3 days before. Now I’m feeling much better.
        I’m happy that your articles did change my path and life. But I’m Thankful to Almighty God.
        And one thing more there r so many article and each one is helpful.any idea which one I should go first.

        Your friend,

  7. Brandon Green says


    I agree with this article about 99%. How you dress and look does greatly influence how you are perceived.
    However these days we have (in my opinion) a great many of our young people(i am 52) who have a sense of
    “entitlement” and women who are “feminazi’s” . They disrespect their elders and men respectively despite who they are may be in comparison. Women who are fat act as if their God and i find myself fist fighting young people who “pop off”.W e live in an era where everyone is “great”.

  8. Benjo James says

    Great post as always. Really relevant to me as over the past year, or even 6 month I’ve started taking my health, fitness, grooming and clothing as serious as ever. Great looking form fitting stylish clothes, clean presentable hair (I wear mine long, I’m the exception to the rule when it comes to a long haired man, I would agree that most men with long hair don’t take care of their hair, or their appearance in general), and daily weightlifting has definitely changed the way people behave towards me. Everyone’s just so…polite. People, strangers especially are a lot more eager to approach me and be friendly and helpful. If you look a million dollars, you feel a million dollars and people treat you as such. Simple really.

    • cnug says

      re: the long hair. I am wearing my hair longer now, it’s been about 1 year since the last serious cut. How do you wear yours?

      I usually wear a buzz or high and tight, but this is a new style. It goes against everything Victor says here – but I am betting there are some good tips to keep long hair looking f’ing awesome while still staying ripped, dressing nicely, having a good attitude, etc. I’ve found it to look much beter with just conditioner – no shampoo, and to comb it out very well after my (cold) showers. How about you Benjo?

      • Benjo James says

        I wear mine long, down past my chest. Half the time I wear it down, half the time in a kind of ‘Samurai’ bun. Long hair is great if you know how to rock it, it shows everyone that you’re someone who goes against the grain and it makes you stand out (girls love it, they really can’t get enough of it), the trick is to stand out positively. I use my own home-made shampoo/conditioner; a couple of eggs with some fresh-squeezed lemon is all you really need. No chemicals, no bullshit, no damage. And you wash it cold, obviously. So long as your hair is clean and well brushed it should look great. Just check out Fredrik Ferrier here

  9. Vito says

    The whole culture is fixed on looks. As Tyler Durden said ” I feel sorry for guys packing into gyms trying to look like Calvin Kline or Tommy Hilfiger told them to look” You are not your fucking Khakis!

  10. aneides says

    Eh, there are good reasons why lots of deaf kids are into metal and/or industrial – the heavy bass vibrations mean they can perceive and appreciate the music even without being able to hear. And being at a super-loud venue means that everyone has to lean in, scream and lip-read to make themselves understood, so deaf and non-deaf people don’t get split up into separate conversations.

  11. Tom says

    Our society really has become one of slobs! I just heard a report about someones annoyance for a fellow air passenger being in bare feet. Last time I flew, I wore a shirt, tie and suit jacket. You don’t think you get better respect and service from the flight crew? These people in jogging suits should be thrown from the plane at thirty thousand feet!

    Another thing. Men in bare feet and sandals should stick to the beach or their backyard deck. They look like fucking Fred Flintstone, and it’s particularly gross seeing them in a restaurant!

    • Sam says

      Jesus H. Christ I quit “fag sandals” and walking around like a hobbit two years ago. I take my shoes off before bed and in between shoe changes. If a woman wants to see my feet she better be having sex with me. Pure truth.

  12. Tony says

    I was ready to call you a dick when you were having a go at the deaf kids, then reading on I saw the point you were making about giving yourself disabilities. I’ve been a scruffy overweight cunt for years,I’ve let myself go,marriage and kids caused me to loose focus. I still train,but slob out too much so no results show. IT’S TIME TO CHANGE.As Henry Rollins said ‘It’s hero time.’

  13. says

    Thanks for this post! People will judge you on the way you look. It’s like a mind control mechanism when you got your shit together, you get respect and admiration. They perceive you as a high value mother fucker.

  14. Lachlan says

    This article nails it. A hard working man with ‘a good heart’ who isn’t dressed for success is like a masterpiece painted on a napkin.

  15. Lachlan says

    Every one of these articles gets me pumped. i am always left feeling the need to go wrestle a grizzly bear or something of the sort. Your style is the perfect masculine combo of intellect and brute.

  16. says


    I used to be sloppier about my own appearances but after reading this post I seriously thought about where I could clean up my act. I then began to notice sad sloppiness everywhere and was disgusted by the appearance of one of my favorite tech writer’s blogs. He is an authority in the industry but you wouldn’t know it just by glancing at his blog ( By tightening up my act in my own blog ( I ditched the free WordPress template I was using and invested in the nicer StudioPress templates you mention in your “So You Want to Be a Professional Blogger Part 2” article. As a wise man once said, “do it pro from the get go.”

    Thanks for the tips and keep up the amazing work. I’m going to keep working on myself and on my own blog passion.

    Best Regards,

  17. Dan says

    I’m doing research on dressing well and the halo effect. I can’t find any research that talks about it. All I find is research on people who have attractive faces, not clothes. I’m a little bit skeptical about being able to manipulate the halo effect just by changing your clothes. Do you know if there exists such research?

  18. CaptainDudeson says

    Superb article. People need to get used to the fact that unfair as it may be, everyone is judged on their appearance. Even if you’re not the best looking chap in the world, presenting yourself well will go a long, long way.

    Being a disgusting, poorly dressed, poorly groomed fat body will get you nowhere.

  19. Shaka Zulu says


    Will any amount of worldly success we may have enjoyed in this life be significant when we are facing eternity? What is the ultimate point of all this “kicking ass” anyway? If there is nothing afterwards then, by all means, we should certainly strive to enjoy life to the fullest now and refuse to let anything or anyone get in the way of our material success and physical pleasure because this is it. But what if it’s not? Do you really think it is wise to wait until this life is over to find out? What if you realize you have made a terrible mistake only after it’s too late to change? Your are very proactive regarding temporal things but why not eternal things?

    Like natural talent and intelligence, self discipline and the desire to develop it are gifts that we do not give to ourselves any more than we give ourselves life. You did not form yourself in the womb and you did not give yourself the desire and drive it took to become who you are today.

    You have acted upon your desire to be economically and geographically free but do you have the desire to be spiritually free as well? Do you know that you are still a slave to the wicked, carnal nature of your own flesh?

    Like all men (except one), you have sinned against a holy God. Before him, you are the dirty bum and unless you repent he will treat you as you have treated others in this life.

    But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? – 1 John 3:17

    God created all life and he is life but he will have no communion with sin. Therefore, the penalty for sin is death. But…he so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son to live a perfect life so that he could die on a cross and pay the price for our sins if we will only repent and be baptized in his name, which is…you guessed it, JESUS CHRIST.

    I used to alternate between atheism and agnosticism. I studied buddhism, pantheism and all sorts of foolishness before finally reaching a point in my life where I was ready to set aside my ridiculous intellectual pride and appeal to a God I had been taught to regard as an obsolete relic. I had been given a new desire that was stronger than a lifetime of indoctrination in the so-called knowledge of the unfathomably distant past men profess to have while vainly puffing themselves up in these times.

    Nevertheless, I still had many, many questions but, gradually, the answers came one by one until I realized what the founder of the Socratic Method, which ironically became the logical foundation of the Scientific Method, knew nearly 2,500 years ago…”Man knows nothing”.

    If you want true freedom, all you have to do is ask. Jesus is waiting to hear from you my friend.

  20. says

    I knew about the halo effect, but this put it in a new perspective for me. I like how both of your examples were people with physical disabilities, it shows that it doesn’t matter.

    I also like how we touch on some subjects in a similar way – people can change their appearance significantly just by grooming better.

  21. Matt says

    The problem with dressing too nice is people start to think your a homo and that you are too feminine. You don’t have to be in a suit all the time. I have gotten noticed when I am dressed in my button down shirt and khaki slacks and belt and treated different when dressed up from head to toe. But do females find this attractive? People will distance themselves from you an think you are too serious and a snob? It’s good to look good, but not in the sense you are thought of as a faggot or a metrosexual, or someone off of wall street. I dress my best but my style is more on the edgy bad boy don’t really care what you think style, and what I noticed is that attracts people to wanna be around me and get to know me even imitate me because I’m not your typical corporate wallstreet dude who is serious all the time. I give off the look that I am fun , dominant , and a cool personality, so it really boils down to what you wanna attract.