Appearance for example might be an advantage in many instances.
1 For example, your child might be chosen first for a game.
2. Many teachers or people in general might give more attention to the "attractive" child over an "unattractive child.
3. People sometimes assume that an attractive child is more intelligent then he actually is just based on the initial first visual impression rather than performance.
Appearance that is attractive could be a disadvantage in the following instances.
1. Teachers or parents may not be as consistent in applying consequences when a child is attractive compared to a child that is not attractive. The teacher or might say to themselves in the case of an attractive child- "wow he is so cut maybe I will let him eat the cake anyway!"
2. The child might be preoccupied with her own appearance compared to others and not attend to tasks.
3. The child may start to think they deserve more advantages then others or are "entitled" to certain priviledges and stop working as hard or feel upset when others earn things that they feel they are "entitled" to.
4. A child that is attractive may receive more reinforcers then they should for a minor tasks and may not be as motivated to complete more complex academic tasks.
In general, it appears that perhaps children are better off with average or not to attractive appearance since they may receive more consisant and reliable reinforcers for the behaviors they perform. Parents should consider this about their childrens' appearance and its influence on learning in the morning when they are dressing or grooming their children!