As a part time photographer... everyone looks better when photographed. If you have a DSL camera and a computer, some added knowledge and skill, then your play with light is no different then adding makeup on a model.
Photographs highlight and amplify the traits we choose to capture.
In 2014 with Instagram and its filters as well Photoshop I've seen too many people who look very different in real life to their photos. I've seen a lot less examples of people who look average in photos, but stunning in real life these days because of the technology to make oneself better on film.