Human Resource Management

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“Beautyism” in the Workplace

Alicia Mikell

Human Resource Management Capstone HRM 599

Dr. Mary Ann Wangemann

August 12, 2012

Abstract

Beautyism in the workplace is discrimination in one of its most disguised forms. Employers get away with this form of discrimination everyday. Because someone is categorized as beautiful it doesn’t mean that they have all the knowledge they need to succeed on a job or neither does it validate that they are a better selection than the next person. An idea can be developed or an assumption made from the treatment that is given to the person who was hired because of beautyism. What will be noticed in most cases it the special treatment that is given that is not given to the rest of the hard working employees of the organization. Sometimes it is not just one person that was hired because of beautyism. It can be many people that are hired because of the practice of beautyism. Men are chosen as a focus just as much as women because of beautyism practices. One thing is for sure beautisym certainly doesn’t discriminate.

Beautyism in the workplace is discrimination in one of its most disguised forms. Employers get away with this form of discrimination everyday. Because someone is categorized as beautiful it doesn’t mean that they have all the knowledge they need to succeed on a job or neither does it validate that they are a better selection than the next person. Beauty is skin deep and outward appearance is not enough to justify someone’s worth to a job. It will not be outwardly talked about exactly how a person has really gotten the job if they were hired because of beautyism. An idea can be developed or an assumption can be made from the treatment that is given to the person who was hired because of beautyism. What will be noticed in most cases is the special treatment that is given that is not given to the rest of the hard working employees of the organization. Sometimes it is not just one person that was hired because of beautyism. It can be many people that was hired because of the practice of beautyism. Even a whole office could have been hired because of beautyism to portray a certain professional look. Beautyism has been a practice in organizations for a very long time and may never cease to exist. It is hard to detect but it does exist most times under disguise.

Beautyism has a lot of discriminatory effects on hiring in the workplace. Is it right that an employer can determine what candidates should work for their organization based on what think is beauty? No! Beauty is very complex. It is what people define it to be. People certainly form their own ideas about how beauty is defined. There are so many definitions of beauty that truly beauty can never be defined by one definition alone. Employers create their own perceptions of what is beautiful. Some employers discriminate against overweight people and may think that they are not beautiful. Although, overweight people can be smart, intelligent, and successful and possess beautiful faces, to an employer their weight may make them seem not beautiful enough to work for their organization. Beautyism is not just about how beautiful a face is but also what the employer’s perception of beauty is. There is all kind of perceptions of beauty that lie in the minds of some of these employers. One of the most devastating discriminatory effects of beautyism in the workplace occurs during promotion time. It is discrimination against the person who deserved the promotion to not be chosen because they don’t fit certain specifications. Deserving people sometimes get overlooked for promotions because of the practices of beautyism. Is it fair? No! Can it really be proven? Sometimes no! Sometimes if anybody tries to prove that any type of beautyism is at play an employer can easily try to justify why they made the decision they did. Another instance of a...
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