Physical Appearance Discrimination In The Workplace

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Physical Appearance Discrimination in The Workplace by: Elliott Teitelbaum Introduction It has been widely accepted that physical appearance affects our thinking and decision-making. In a society consumed by image, the media vies for our attention and money by consciously and subconsciously stimulating images in our minds. Whether it is by means of magazine spreads, bulletin boards, or even by the packaging of household products, we are constantly exposed to images of “perfect” models who are meant to illicit the epitome of beauty and attractiveness in our superficial society . But more importantly, we live in a culture where beauty and appearance can no longer be dismissed as frivolous or vain; at times this asset can even feel like a necessity. When it comes to the workplace, it’s looks, not talent or aptitude, that all too often rule as well. Economists have long recognized the notion of “beauty premium”,the idea that attractive people, collectively tend to do better at getting hired, promoted and receiving a superior salaries than their unattractive peers. In his book, "Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful", Professor Daniel Hamermesh, an economics teacher at the University of Texas, measures the benefits of being good looking. According to his findings (1993), attractive people are more likely to earn an average of 3% to 4% more than a person with below-average looks. He estimates that that can amount to $230,000 more over a

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