Lookism

 About  six hours ago I was getting ready to head into Business Land to give a public presentation.  I understand that public speaking terrifies some people.  It doesn’t scare me, but I’ll admit that I feel more confident when:

  1. I’m well-prepared on the material; and
  2. I think I look good.

#2 may sound silly.  Regardless, my confidence level always feels stronger when I believe that I look good.

Today there was a slight problem with #2.  My hair was an absolute wreck.  Ya see, my hairdresser had shoulder surgery last month.  Need I say more?  Who knew that she’d be gone for months!  So, my locks are much longer than I like and require much more time to deal with. 

I spent the early part of today working from home.  After lunch I took a quick shower.  Then, I got sucked into a 2-hour conference call.  During which my hair dried.  My two-months too long hair.  On its own. 

Illustration (c) Jenny Solomon

Using a blow dryer while placing important conference calls on mute not advised.  No one wants to hear Warrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr when you accidentally hit unmute while trying to hold the phone and your curling brush in the same hand.  “Oops; sorry about that Mr. Businessmen.  I was drying my hair.”  With my luck, that would happen.  Trust me – it really would.

When the call ended I had less than 10 minutes to finish getting ready.  No time to deal with a bad hair moment.  So, up it went with one quick mirror check in the car.  Not bad, huh?

 

Is looking good worth the effort?

Yesterday’s newspaper said YES.  The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported that a new book by Princeton University Press will be released next spring called “Beauty Pays.”  It links physical attractiveness and income earnings.  I usually don’t read the daily paper, but this article caught my eye.  To quote the article:

After adjusting for all the other factors that can affect earnings . . . women in the bottom third of looks are paid about 4 percent less than average-looking employees, and men in that group are paid 13 percent less.

If we accept that these findings are accurate, the questions then become — does it matter, and should we do anything about it?

Okay, so….with all the issues that are out there to deal with…now we have to combat Lookism?  The concept that unattractive people are discriminated against. 

This goes beyond dressing appropriately and presenting yourself positively.  It’s about natural beauty.   I personally think that attaching the word discrimination to general attractiveness is going a little too far.  I’ve been in business a long time and have had business relationships with people of many different levels of physical attractiveness.  I don’t recall ever relating their natural-born appearance with their business ability or success.  So, I suppose that I’m not a Look-ism-ist when it comes to business.

However, I have passed judgement based on dress and grooming.  I once interacted with a colleague who wore leggings to a professional meeting.  Public service announcement: leggings are not pants.  I judged.  I didn’t take her work seriously.  All because of the leggings. 

What do you think about Lookism?  Does it exist?  

If you haven’t already entered this week’s giveaway, enter a comment on this post.  The winner will be selected at random and announced on Friday.  Good luck!

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5 responses to this post.

  1. I am sure for some it does, but I am with you. Looks are not the issue here, but dress and grooming are. I remember once having someone show up for an interview smelling of the moth balls he apparently had stored his suit with. I remember nothing else about him, but I do remember the odor being so overpowering that I could not wait to get him out of my office.

    Reply

  2. Moth balls – that’s so funny. Your comment brings back a memory of the time I had to talk to someone about their over-grooming. Apparently, his calogne was overpowering and making other employees’ eyes water.

    Reply

  3. Hi!

    Just wanted to stop by and say thank you for dropping by blog. Nice to meet you!

    Great topic!

    I’m not one to judge someone on their attractiveness (looks) when it comes to business, however I do notice grooming and dress. As long as someone looks neat and clean, looks have never mattered.

    Reply

  4. I do think appearance makes an impact. For me, its more about looking put together and like the person cares more than attractiveness though.

    Reply

  5. i agree that appearances are important. not too flashy, but not too shabby either. i believe we have to at least look smart for people to feel comfortable looking at us.

    Reply

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