Are ugly people professionally disadvantaged

The disadvantage costs the ugly a lot of money

Discrimination starts right after birth. Mothers pay more attention to more beautiful children. They also have a lower risk of being mistreated in their first few years of life. The better school grades follow later. Daniel Hamermesh, an economist from Texas, has tried to translate into money the various disadvantages an adult can suffer from ugliness in the course of their working life. It came to an average of $ 300,000.


Lookism rarely takes place with intent and announcement (apart from misanthropists such as fashion entrepreneur Mike Jeffries, who asked ugly people not to wear clothes from his then brand "Abercrombie & Fitch"). No, the discrimination happens unconsciously - by repeatedly succumbing to the same wrong judgment: We equate nice with good. So assume that an attractive person tends to be healthier, smarter, more productive and hardworking than a less attractive one. In addition, friendlier, more trustworthy, socially competent, emotionally stable. Social psychologists call this the “halo effect”: our irrational tendency to infer unknown properties from a known characteristic of another person. Via the detour of this false assumption, preference then follows: for a footballer who is trusted to perform and be more fit, a club logically pays a higher transfer fee. A stranger who seems trustworthy is more likely to come to the rescue.

Unattractive people are also successful: Steve Buscemi, Gerad Depardieu, Mike Krüger


Do the ugly people just have to make an effort so that they no longer belong to the ugly ones, right? Dress chic, straighten your nose, transplant your hair, go jogging, eat salad ... A similarly popular objection to avoid having to deal seriously with the topic goes like this: Even the ugly can go a long way in life, many celebrities have it but demonstrated. Then mostly Gérard Depardieu, Steve Buscemi or Marilyn Manson are mentioned.

Even educated people think of Jean-Paul Sartre. All distraction. It is pointless to think about whether Mike Krüger has had a show career despite or because of his nose. It remains a fact that a person with an oversized nose has handicaps in normal life - that he is disadvantaged compared to ideal nose wearers in situations in which the nature of the nose should be irrelevant.

In the United States, economists found that publicly traded companies' share prices go up when an attractive man is appointed as the new CEO. Another study comes to the conclusion that participants in the online computer game "World of Warcraft" are treated worse by their fellow players if the purely virtual characters they have designed are not attractive enough.
The problem is not just a moral one. If Lookism were abolished, it would not only help the discriminated. It would also benefit those who today, deceived by beauty, make wrong decisions: hire the less suitable applicant, choose the wrong friend, listen to those who actually have less to say.

So why does nobody set about abolishing the omnipresent, systematic injustice? Clearly: Because ugly people don't have a lobby. There are no interest groups that stand up for these people who have been discriminated against. Historically, such associations have always emerged from the ranks of the disadvantaged. It was the same with homosexuals, people with disabilities, and also with the women's movement. In the USA, the rebellion against racial segregation started from Afro-American groups, and it was only later that the majority of the civil rights movement took over the demands. It was no coincidence that Rosa Parks sat down on the open space. She was a member of an Afro-American group that had been fighting for equality since 1905.

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