Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Beauty Premium

I'm sooooo not going to think too hard if I've been rewarded or punished in the workplace for my beauty or ugliness. Fortunately, someone else is willing to do this thinking for me. My favorite two paragraphs from Barbara Ellen's column, Does being born beautiful give you a better life? Or does it just seem that way to us uglies? are below:

On that latter point, yet another silly season study has appeared, where leading economists assert that good-looking people are paid better and promoted more, because they are generally judged to be more 'co-operative and helpful'. They are calling it the Beauty Premium - where your looks translate into extra dosh, whatever your line of work. All of which is amusing (since when did 'co-operative and helpful' become a euphemism for 'fuckable'?) However, are we really so sure that this Beauty Premium is always a cast-iron rule, or even such good news?

For, while the Beauty Premium plays its part in the workplace, who says it's the only factor? What about the Ugly Premium - that just-as-distorted assumption that the good-looking are flighty and/or stupid, and not to be trusted with anything too taxing for their feeble fluffy brains? The Revenge Premium - pretty girls and boys held back from the top jobs by superiors with faces like bacon slicers and hearts of flint? And, lest we forget, our old friend, the Misogyny Premium - is there an office in the world where some woman has not at some point been accused of screwing her way to a better position?
I'm waiting to see the research on the Ugly Premium, the Revenge Premium, and the Misogyny Premium.