Nowadays the world sees a range of social issues that affect different groups of people. Lookism, which is a tendency among employers to hire such candidates whose appearance corresponds with the so-called standards of beauty, belongs to the most concerning problems. Specialists note that this trend influences mostly women leading to the lack of chances to make a successful career and making them develop a feeling of inferiority (Information Resources Management Association 73).
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Employers want their employees to meet the beauty standards, even though the qualifications needed do not include this. Although some professions, like acting or modeling, require prospective employers to have a particular type of appearance, in other occupational fields people should not be estimated according to their looks.
The first reason for eliminating lookism at workplaces is that the trend sometimes might cause the impairment of people’s right to be what they want. Researchers note that “standards of ideal beauty can contribute to lookism” (Adomaitis, Alyssa, et al. 75). Indeed, some employers want their employees to have the kind of appearance that is considered to be beautiful at the time, thus leaving people whose faces and figures do not meet the standards behind. Actually, this desire is strongly connected with the images of perfect models promoted by media that emphasize the uniformity of appearance and have little in common with real-life (Lee 1).
It is important to press the point that the ideal images of stars according to that the standards are set are the result of hard work done by a crew of professionals. Specialists note that this includes choosing the right lighting and angles for taking a photo and applying professional make-up in order to create an ideal image (Sims 5). So, the requirement for all people to look like models from photos breaches their right to be different.
Another important ground for not making a point of appearance at workplaces is that lookism might result in racism as the standards of beauty vary from country to country. According to Information Resources Management Association, “race and gender discrimination are somewhat easy to discern, but lookism is less rigid and conforms to the values of various cultures” (70). For example, in Asia, a Western type of face is preferred and in the countries of Latin America, women have to find ways to make their skin lighter in order to find a good job (Information Resources Management Association 72).
Therefore, if companies hire people with particular facial features and figures, they mean that one race is regarded as a better one in comparison with another race. A lot has been done to tackle racial discrimination, and it is inadmissible to let it come back in full through supporting lookism.
The final reason for lookism being an unacceptable practice is that by regarding appearance as of paramount importance while hiring people for work in spheres not connected with modeling, employers leave professional skills behind. That can lead to the low quality of services provided. According to Information Resources Management Association, people should be estimated according to the skills and knowledge they possess, not by their look; both employers and employees will benefit from implementing this approach (75). So, it might be noted that appearance should not play an important role in workplaces.
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To sum up, lookism at workplaces, which is a discrimination of people, especially women, by their appearance, belongs to the most serious social issues of the modern world. It is dangerous because it can breach people’s rights and cause racial discrimination. Moreover, organizations that choose workers by their appearance, not by professionalism, might have poor results in business and lose quite a lot of money. That is why lookism is a problem that one should tackle inadvertently.
Adomaitis, Alyssa, et al. “Appearance Discrimination: Lookism and the Cost to the American Woman,” The Seneca Falls Dialogues Journal, vol. 2, article 6, 2017, pp. 73-92.
Lee, Sharon Heijin. “Beauty between empires: Global feminism, plastic surgery, and the trouble with self-esteem.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, vol. 37, no. 1, 2016, pp. 1-31.
Sims, Synthia.The Politics of Lookism in Global Workplaces: Physical Appearance Discrimination in the 21st Century. Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, 2018.
Information Resources Management Association. Discrimination and Diversity: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications. IGI Global, 2017.