As human beings, we are predisposed to beauty. It is an inherent part of our natural makeup to be attracted to symmetry and harmony. Even at a young age, our propensity towards beauty is evident – babies tend to stare longer at prettier faces, just as much as we, adults, tend to stare more at prettier babies.
Pretty children get more attention from teachers and parents. And since they get more attention, they become more confident and have higher self-esteem. That is why they’re also considered smarter, when in in all probability, it’s because they just had more support then less attractive children while growing up.
Beautiful Women – A Two-way Street
Just how important is physical beauty nowadays? Can it be a determinant factor in getting a job? According to a Newsweek survey, the answer is yes.
And if you are a woman, being physically attractive has more advantages for you at the workplace than it does for a man.
An interesting revelation about this survey shows that even though a woman’s good looks can get her the job, it can also work to her disadvantage. When a woman is hired based on her appearance, she is expected to keep that same appearance every day.
Pretty women struggle harder with their work peers. They are labeled less competent and less talented, and even less motherly. Peers assume that a beautiful woman’s success is merely a result of her good looks. Most of the time, such an assumption is taken one step further – women who are too pretty or too feminine are perceived to be unqualified for leadership positions.
And when a beautiful woman becomes the object of both male and female covetousness, it can present a different set of problems. Male co-workers’ covetousness may end up in sexual harassment and disagreeable lawsuits. Female co-workers’ covetousness (translated into envy) may result in a difficult work environment when they become resentful of the male attention being showered on her. Obviously, some men are also targets for female sexual harassment and male envy, but there is a smaller percentage of such complaints when compared to women.
Those Were the Days
When and why did we get to this beauty competition? Where are the days when women burned their bras and fought for gender equality? Looking at the role that beauty plays in the workplace, can we talk about female emancipation?
Indeed women got better jobs and entered some fields where only men used to work in, but the truth is that women gained a higher work load. In the old days, they only had to worry about the house chores. Nowadays, women have to juggle the house, children, husband, career and none of them can be left behind. As if that wasn’t enough, they still need to look perfect. TV, magazines and billboards spread the image of perfect women – young, beautiful, powerful, good housewives, good wives, good cooks, good mothers, and good career women, all in one! Who can handle the stress?
So next time somebody says beauty comes from within, we better stop and face a harsh reality – does it really?
Read about Does Beauty Affect One’s Success?
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