Honestly, though my husband tells me I'm the hottest thing since sliced bread, I'm very short, round, past 40, and have uneven skin tone and pores you could park a car in. I don't wear makeup to work most of the time because if I sweat during my shift, it becomes cake-like and I feel disgusting. I don't think anyone in their right mind would call me a hot babe.
I'm the charge nurse of a medical unit, where I'm the oldest nurse by quite a few years. We frequently hire nurses straight out of school, many of whom are around the age of my oldest daughter. I feel like I have fewer problems and more positive interactions with coworkers and patients because of my age, how I conduct myself, and my pts' perception of me. Maybe younger pts tend to treat me as an authority figure (like a teacher) and less like a peer (as they do the newer, hot nurses); older pts might be more comfortable with someone who appears to be the age of their child, as opposed to someone closer to the age of their great-grandchild. I'm the same age as many of my coworkers' parents, so they often treat me with the same respect they would treat their mother, and see me as a resource and a source of support and reassurance.
I'm a really good nurse. I have a lot of experience, I keep up with new medications and technologies, and I continue to take classes to improve my knowledge base and skills. I also am in general a happy, confident, secure, low drama person. I think all of this is apparent in interactions with me,and if you spend more than 5 minutes with me, that's what you see. Patients respond to to attitude and personality much more than looks, in my professional experience.
Seriously, beauty and youth really don't count for much with patients. They want someone who is friendly, professional, and confident. They are scared, they feel rotten, they are out of their element, and they aren't looking too hot themselves. They don't care about your looks, just about how you take care of them.