Discrimination Based on Beauty


I am here for the interview

I am here for the interview - when can I start

There is a picture of a pretty girl on the front page of the job section in a newspaper today. This girl will be employed at the drop of a feather and it doesn’t matter how padded her resume is, or how well she blows her interview.

Pretty girls are always employed before plain looking ones and you only have to look around most offices to prove this. Hundreds of papers and articles on beauty discrimination  have been written by mainly not so good looking women. These jilted women are crying discrimination and are calling for a level playing field and not a big chest. Psychologist claim the bias towards beauty is caused by the halo effect where beauty is automatically associated with intelligence, competence and a good time. “Never underestimate the ‘halo effect,'” says Janice Guler, Ceridian’s director of staffing. “Attractive people are assumed to be intelligent and successful, and it’s been said that as many as 50 percent of managers make their hiring decisions within the first 30 seconds of setting eyes on an applicant. While this is unfortunate, it’s human nature. People have a real tendency to trust their gut, rather than trusting the empirical data.” But less attractive women are also employed since somebody has to do the work and do it well. The less attractive is normally the engine that runs successful companies but the beautiful are always more fun to have around.

An after work Friday lime with the boss

An after work Friday lime with the boss

Some employers facing beauty-discrimination lawsuits are training their managers in the art of  ignoring beauty but short skirts and tight tops are proving hard to defeat. HR Departments are making interviewers aware of  beauty bias but some managers insist life is too short to go ugly.

It’s unfair to ask pretty girls to be attractive, and to strut their stuff from desk, to copier, to the boss’s desk plus do work. It is just too stressful and the last thing anybody wants to do is to stress the beautiful. It’s almost a sin. I am not saying pretty girls are not competent but nobody notices or cares. That is probably another curse of the beautiful.