A Job Site for “Beautiful People” Only? Whatever Happened to Skill?
The dating website BeautifulPeople.com has announced that it is launching a new job-search-related feature that will allow employers and prospective employees to connect after the applicants have passed the “elite” club’s entry requirements, including submitting a head shot that will be rated by existing members of the opposite sex.
How democratic and fair is this judging process? Companies making tons of money discriminating against people they consider unattractive? What makes these people experts in beauty? What is beautiful? I have my own personal definition but thought it would be helpful to refer to the dictionary for the “real” definition. The word beautiful is defined as “pleasing to senses: very pleasing and impressive to look at, listen to, touch, smell, or taste; excellent.” So, according to the dictionary, beauty consists of more than physical appearance; however, there are some who believe that physical appearance is all that counts. To that I say, “Phooey.” (I’d really like to say something else, but I’m a lady and I won’t.)
Those who believe that beauty is the key to all things successful and happy are, in my humble opinion, way off the mark. If I walk into a store and the person behind the counter or on the sales floor is attractive, that does not mean that they will convince me to purchase something. In order to be successful at anything, one must obtain the necessary skills and abilities to perform the job efficiently, and beauty does nothing to ensure one’s skills or abilities. Quite often some of the most physically beautiful people are the ugliest; negative attitudes outweigh physical beauty.
To contradict the idea that beauty is the key to success and happiness, let’s take a look at 33-year-old Laura Fernee, who claims that her beauty is actually prohibiting her from keeping a job. Fernee claims that she is so beautiful that male co-workers can’t leave her alone. They are constantly harassing her, which has forced her to quit her job and live in an apartment provided by her parents, who also pay her bills. Poor girl can’t work because she’s too beautiful. But what does that say about these companies who only hire beautiful people? Fernee is not the only one claiming her beauty prohibits her from keeping a job. Recently 21-year-old Dana Adiva appeared on a reality show on MTV claiming that her good looks have created so many problems for her that she had to quit school. And last year 42-year-old journalist Samantha Brick created a firestorm of criticism when she wrote an article called “There Are Downsides to Looking This Pretty.” It seems to me that instead of focusing on beauty, which appears to be more of a disability for these ladies, we need to focus on their work abilities. If what these women are saying is true, then one can only assume that productivity is lacking in those companies focusing on beauty.
I threw the question out to my Facebook friends, and not one person agreed that hiring people according to their looks is a good idea. Most agreed that they didn’t even notice a person’s looks when they were being waited on at a restaurant or in a department store; attentiveness and knowledge of their job was most important. One friend stated that she tips her waiter/waitress more if they pay attention to her in a sincere way even if the food is less than desirable. Personality, ability and a genuine desire to do a good job brings about more recognition than does a less than desirable job being done by a “beautiful” person.
What would happen if people started working for a living and expecting a paycheck for the job they have done instead of how good they look doing it? As a young girl growing up, I remember hearing my grandfather say, “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes all the way to the bone.” Now, as an adult, I understand the meaning of this. Beauty is an outside characteristic that, while pleasing to the eye, can be overshadowed by ugliness brought on by poor attitude, poor job performance and poor behavior. For me, the whole person is important, not just the outside surface – an idea that I think should be observed by corporate America.