Your self-esteem depends in part on your internal “sociometer,” or how socially accepted you feel. To test the importance of social acceptance within romantic relationships (i.e., a “mating sociometer”), researchers measured participants’ self-esteem, self-perceived attractiveness, and romantic self-confidence (“I have no difficulty maintaining a satisfying romantic relationship”). Greater self-perceived attractiveness increased romantic self-confidence, which produced higher self-esteem. It seems looking good makes you more confident about your ability to attract and maintain relationships, which bodes well for your self-esteem.
Bale, C., & Archer, J. (2013). Self-perceived attractiveness, romantic desirability and self-esteem: A mating sociometer perspective. Evolutionary Psychology, 11(1), 68-84.