While it may not be new news, looks discrimination is still plaguing us in the workplace. And, no surprise, it hurts women more than men. Naomi Wolf wrote about this recently in her piece: ‘Beauty Quotient’ still limiting factor for professional women. And I’m not just talking about women who may appear less than desirable. I’m even referring to women who seem “too sexy” for some.
Ugh, I’m so sick of it.
As you all of you know, I’m a big proponent of people – women and men alike — caring for their appearances. I think they will be physically and emotionally healthier as a result. And I also recognize that our looks are our part of the package we share with colleagues and customers. How we appear matters and sends signals. But it shouldn’t be something that gets in the way of progress, of course.
I’m fortunate enough to work alongside some of the most competent, intelligent people in the world. And they also happen to be quite attractive. Few may win Miss or Mr. Universe contests, but they all make it a habit of appearing attractive. To them, it’s a no brainer. If you’re high achieving in your job, then you’re the same with your body. And that’s not a bad thing! They’re probably high achieving when it comes to their weekend activities and hobbies too! If they think it makes them whole, then so be it. Does this drive for beauty lead to some deviant behaviors? Maybe for a few. But the majority of the people I work with are just happy, hard-working folks who see their bodies as a work of progress and something to be embraced and celebrated. Net net, looking good makes them feel better about themselves.
I’m not endorsing looks discrimination. Don’t get me wrong. But not to recognizing the positive power of attractiveness for one’s own sake and that of others, isn’t the way either. I truly believe if we all just concentrated on our own physical health and well-being a bit more instead of focusing so much on that of others’, we’d all be that much happier and more accepting of those around us.