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Beauty Discrimination in the Workplace: How Looks Matter


People often say that good looks can get you a good job. This may not be completely true. While in some fields, good looks are preferred, it may act as a deterrent in many other fields. There is a lot of discrimination based on looks in a workplace and this discrimination is often gender biased. Here we have listed a few professions and how beauty can affect your performance in each of these careers. It is then up to you to decide which career best suits your looks.

beauty discrimination in workplace

Beauty Discrimination in the Workplace – How Looks Affect Your Work:

Job of Personal Assistant to Male Boss:

It has been observed that job roles where a woman may have to be in direct contact with a male boss and spend more time with him, women who lack beauty get a preference over beautiful women. This is particularly true in cases where the boss is already married. The reason for this discrimination could also be his marital status. Many men prefer to avoid suspicion and questioning from a wife because of a beautiful personal assistant. They would instead prefer to hire a simple looking woman for the same position. This means that even if a beautiful woman has all the qualifications required for the post, she may just not bag the job she most desires. These are instances in one’s career where one’s beauty becomes a pain and prevents you from getting a job.

While it may still not guarantee you the job, there are some simple ways to increase your probability of getting the job. Make it a point to choose simple dressing over overtly figure fitting attires when you appear at the work place. Excess make up that makes you appear sensual should be strictly avoided. Make it a point to interact with your boss in completely professional terms so that he realises that you are there just for the job and nothing more.

Job of Day Care Professional or a Nanny for Children:

There was a time when women were usually preferred for day care or child care jobs because of their special abilities in handling children. The scenario is changing now. In many households, the families look for men to handle the position of day care person. This is because the women in the house suspect that hiring a woman could act as a threat to their marital life. Many women have anonymously acknowledged this fact that they do not wish to wreck their family life by hiring a beautiful child care nurse. The men in the family agree to this opinion because they do not want a nanny to harm the peace of the happy family life.

As a day care nurse, you are helping the family out. In such instances, it is best to maintain your professional tone. Avoid getting too close or personal with the family members as that is when suspicion arises. These are simple ways to retain your job once you get hired in a family as a day care nurse. These tips may help you stay in your job inspite of your beauty.

Job of a Waitress:

While beauty does reduce your chance of getting the job in many instances, there are professions where this beauty can help you stay in the job and achieve laurels. These are jobs where beauty can add to and strengthen your job profile. One such job is that of a waitress. If you are hoping to work in a big hotel as a waitress, beauty will surely be an added plus to help you get your dream job. The role of a waitress who takes up orders and caters to the customers is very significant in the hotel business. Sometimes the services offered by a waiter or a waitress decide the popularity of the hotel or the restaurant.

When you already have beauty to help you, try and furnish your manners and ways so that your chances of getting the job are further increased. Learn to speak politely. Greet your customers pleasantly and take down their orders on time. These will help you increase your chances further to survive and succeed in the job of a waitress.

Job of an Air Hostess:

Beauty or good looks not just add as a plus point but is in fact necessary in case of careers like that of an air hostess. During the selection rounds, the beauty or looks of the candidates are gauged. Women who look attractive and have an impressive figure are usually shortlisted first for the position of an air hostess. This is a career where you really cannot survive without good looks.

Apart from good looks, there are many other factors that count. An air hostess needs to be perfectly groomed and well maintained. This means she should have perfect skin and hair. A little make up will add to the look and is an easy way to impress individuals flying in the plane. You also need to be polite and soft spoken while interacting with people.

Job of a Model:

Models play a significant role in the marketing and branding industry. Models are required for advertising and also promoting in stores. A customer is impressed only if the model is exceptionally beautiful. This means that modelling is a profession where you cannot make it big if you lack beauty. Beauty is not just an asset but the basis for being selected into modelling jobs. In these jobs, beauty does not imply just looks, it also means a perfect body.

If you are working as a model, you need to continuously take efforts to maintain your figure and looks. This is because, in this profession, once your looks are gone your job is gone too. A model must have proper check on her diet to ensure that she does not intake extra calories. She may have to rely on gym to stay fit and in shape. She will also have to visit the parlour frequently to ensure that she is perfectly well groomed.

Job in Mechanical Engineering Field:

Beauty does not have its adverse effects just in jobs where there are married male bosses. Beautiful women also find it difficult to find jobs in industries that have been predominantly male dominated. This is probably because of an illusion that the typical women cannot do the same tasks that men can handle easily. There was an experiment conducted by showing photos of different women to bosses of these firms. They were asked to identify women who according to them had greater chances of landing in a job in the mechanical engineering field. The result showed that they preferred to choose simple looks over good looking women. This meant that good looking women had a lower chance of bagging a job in the mechanical engineering industry.

Impact of Queen Bee Syndrome in a Workplace:

The fact is you cannot always blame the men for the discrimination against beautiful women in a workplace. This is because women are equally responsible for such discrimination. A common example is the queen bee syndrome that prevents many capable women from achieving their goals and succeeding in their career.

A woman boss may prevent another beautiful and equally capable woman from achieving success. This is because she regards the other woman as competition and tries to get rid of the competition. There have also been instances where such female bosses create obstacles so that the beautiful woman have to struggle further to succeed.

Sales Jobs:

This is another field where a beautiful woman has an edge over the others. The obvious reason could be that a beautiful woman easily attracts more customers and may cause more number of leads. Thus, your superior looks help you gain a sales related job easily. You must further sharpen your skills to ensure 100% success. That is the only way you actually benefit from good looks.

In sales jobs you need to communicate with your customers at different levels. This means you need to have good communication skills. If you think you lack in communication skills, you must work on those aspects which need improvement. Make sure you speak efficiently and confidently to gain the trust of the customers.

Beauty also has its pros and cons. The above examples clearly reveal that good looks may benefit you or harm your career profile. It is upto you to learn to make the best of what you possess. Complaining about discrimination is no way to approach a situation. The right attitude would be to understand how you can put your skills and your looks to best use to land up in a good job and perform well.

Women have come a long way from being just housewives to being presidents. They may have faced challenges at various levels and experienced discrimination in their work lives. But such partiality or bias should never stop you. It should indeed motivate you to achieve further goals and prosper in your career.