Beauty Bias: A New Issue for the Occupation Movement?

by Dax-Devlon Ross

A lot’s been written of late about attractiveness and its benefits.

In “Ugly? You May Have a Cause,” author Daniel Hamermesh suggests offering legal protections for the less attractive among us.

In a paper entitled “Are Good-Looking People More Employable,” researchers Bradley Ruffle and Ze’ev Shtudiner report that attractive men who sent their photograph to employers along with their CV were nearly twice as likely to receive call backs than their less attractive counterparts. Meanwhile attractive women in the study experienced fewer callbacks, which could be attributed to the deep-rooted animosity, distrust or fear of those hiring.

In “Up the Career Ladder, Lipstick in Hand,” Catherine Saint Louis argues that wearing some makeup “increases people’s perceptions of a woman’s likability, her competence and (provided she does not overdo it) her trustworthiness, according to a new study, which also confirmed what is obvious: that cosmetics boost a woman’s attractiveness.”

An argument can be made that we already know that society treats better-looking people, well, better, and that all of the new research is really just redundant and wasteful, especially since it’s not going to change much. Which is to say even if we did away with racism, sexism and class distinctions, attractive people would still receive residual, unquantifiable benefits.

But in light of the Occupy Movement’s seemingly insatiable appetite for issues, is there room for a campaign against beauty preference?  Would those feel they’ve been unjustly treated because of their looks find a voice in the Occupation? Given the statistical information below, would that voice be given a platform at the General Assembly?

You may think I’m being cynical. I’m not. Being attractive makes a difference. A big difference. And if the idea is to address injustice in all of its forms and especially as it pertains to wealth distribution and employment, then it would seem that a movement with revolutionary pretensions would find space to tackle something as obvious as beauty, right?

Beauty Benefits

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