Beauty Bias

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As Aristotle once said “Beauty, is a greater recommendation than any letter of introduction” (www.thinkexist.com). The beauty bias is the notion that people who are attractive are usually rewarded socially. The idea of beauty is a socially accepted principle and although this principle has been widely accepted from the beginning of time, the standards of beauty have drastically changed from the past. In today’s society, there is a large amount of discrimination based on the physical attractiveness of a person which in turn affects them in the workplace in areas such as recruitment, selection, and performance appraisal. Though there is no correlation between beauty and brains as of now there are no set laws which prevent discrimination based on attractiveness since it is a difficult concept to prove. Society is attempting to change the way hiring practices are handled, however the problem may already be too deeply rooted in our culture to be completely eliminated. Basing hiring standards on beauty directly influences diversity in the workplace by limiting the pool of applicants for a job. Consequently, this may increase or reduce job opportunities for certain individuals in the workplace. “Never underestimate the halo effect,’” says Janice Guler, Ceridian’s director of staffing. “Attractive people are assumed to be intelligent and successful and it’s been said that as many as 50 percent of managers make their hiring decisions within the first 30 seconds of setting eyes on an applicant. While this is unfortunate, it’s human nature. People have a real tendency to trust their gut, rather than trusting the empirical data (http://akalol.wordpress.com/2009/03/17/). As well as limiting the pool of applicants, discriminating based on appearance allows for the creation of a biased enviorment in the workplace by reinforcing stereotypes that are directly associated with sexism and racism. A study of the relationships of gender and attractiveness biases to...
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