Can you be too attractive to get hired?

By Elizabeth Bromstein

Too hot to hire? Think good looking people get all the breaks? Apparently they do. Studies repeatedly show that attractive people are better off than their homelier lesser humans — that they earn better salaries, get better jobs and are less likely to be convicted of crimes. Also, they get free stuff.

But wait! It’s not always that simple. Never is, right? A recent study I found through Yahoo! News and the Toronto Star shows that sometimes being overly winsome can work against you.

Maria Agthe of Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich is lead author of a paper titled “Don’t Hate me Because I’m Beautiful,” published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

There were two tests. The first involved 2,639 students told to pretend they were on a scholarship selection committee. They were given information on and photos of three finalists. The attractiveness of the candidates in the pictures had been determined in advance by an unconnected group of 40 students.

Both men and women reportedly chose the most attractive candidate far more often than the least attractive, with men being slightly more biased toward the comely candidate than women. But that was only when evaluating members of the opposite sex. When evaluating same sex candidates, they weren’t so inclined to favour the beauties.

In the second test, 622 students were asked to play the role of recruiter and were again given pre-evaluated pics. This time the attractiveness of the evaluator was also assessed.

The results were the same — opposite-sex candidates were favoured while same sex candidates were not. But it turned out that good looking people did not disadvantage other equally good looking people. They only held attractiveness against someone who was more attractive than themselves.

Agthe told the Toronto Star that, while men were simply “unimpressed” by a male applicant’s handsomeness, “Women actually discriminated against beautiful same-sex candidates.”

These findings both confirm and differ from these ones:

OK, it’s not the discovery of penicillin. Most of us could have guessed that people (women) view more attractive people (women) as competition. But now we have scientific proof! On the other hand (I’m of two minds about pretty much everything), doesn’t “They’re just jealous” sound like the sort of thing under-qualified people tell themselves?

No wonder I couldn’t get a job for five years when I first moved to Toronto!

The takeaway? It would seem that, if you are a stunningly gorgeous individual (woman), the prudent thing to do before interviewing for a job would be to find out if the interviewer is of the same or opposite sex as you and, if possible, how hot they are. Then prepare accordingly.

The Star gets into the question of how this “attractiveness bias” might be removed but…really? Does this actually deserve serious consideration? I somehow doubt there’s an underground of starving beautiful people living under a bridge somewhere because they weren’t given a fair shake.

Or am I being too harsh? Think you’ve been passed up for a post because you were too devastatingly good looking? Know someone who has? Discuss!

75 Responses to “Can you be too attractive to get hired?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    You know, i always said the same thing…couldn’t put it like that in a well articulated way but i believed the same thing and people thought i was crazy. I am glad someone finally told the truth!

  2. jasmine says:

    Definition of work…
    a. A job; employment: looking for work.
    b. A trade, profession, or other means of livelihood.

    Well it explains it, I mean what is beauty anyways? Everyone has a different veiw of what is beautiful. Besides you’re there to work not to have a relationship, but of course who plays by the rules these days anyways…
    These sons-of-a-bitches don’t even know how to run a company let alone hold a relationship with a “beautiful girl” who is…
    a) too young and naive
    b) thinks her looks get her everything (wrong)
    c) is uhh.. duh dumb kay just no…

  3. Tamica says:

    What about attractive people being hired for negative reasons such as, the employeer wants to make advances on the employee? ive worked somewhere where there was a waitress who got paid extra for sleeping with the boss (who was married) and I felt uncomfortable because some people say i am pretty or what not, im not proud or think im better i just want to work. i also have trouble finding non-customer service related jobs since i have social anxiety but people assume because i am good looking i must be a people person but i am actually scared of people and that would not work out so well i just dont know how to act yet im only 20 years old and i live in a issolated low poulation town and it causes some tension with wondering if people like me or well im rambling the point is yes I understand how it can be tough in this world no matter who you are but im saying to anyone who reads this leave the dating game for the actual dates. and dont be jealous because there is always some!
    thing you have that is special and valuble.

  4. Katrina says:

    So if you’re not sufficiently good-looking, you don’t get the job, and if you’re too good-looking, you don’t get the job. Workopolis might not want to be promoting this kind of disheartening article when so many people are looking for work. It’s not science; it’s entirely based on the most subjective criteria out there.

  5. Kamal says:

    Well i am looking for a job, though attractive and handsome tall man, in early thirties can i get a job let me know please, also i am well qualified for sales, marketing, customer care.
    experience of 15 years as management position.

  6. Alex says:

    Yes, I totally agree with that theory. I think it happens more often that you think, with different types of situations, mostly for 2 reasons: jealousy or prejudice. When the person feels empowered with a decision over good looking person relies on them, they feel like they can get back at life by executing that power as they wish (or call it jealousy or envy, however you like). At banks, service desks, restaurants, job interviews, or at the office, discrimination and prejudice against good looking people exists! Some people might just jump to conclusions thinking that good looking people are not professionally or academically capable, because smart + beautiful is a rare combination… I think good looking people, and particularly good looking women have to double check, double work and give the extra mile to be considered.

    I’ve had that experience a few times, by chance I knew my rivals in a selection process and they were not better qualified than me professionally, moreover, I was better qualified than them and still didn’t get the job! The HHRR interviewer was a woman, who apparently didn’t like me! I don’t think better looking people are likely to get free bees, unless they are negotiating with the opposite sex, in that case, I can support that it may give you a good advantage.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I would be very curious for such a study to be repeated in the context of academia with tenure track job candidates and see how beauty plays into selection. It seems to me that in academia, being attractive sadly seems to suggest less academic rigor, which of course I think is utter BS. But see, I couldn’t say BS in academia either now could I….

  8. Angel says:

    Good article. Simple and to the point. I always wondered if better looking people get more stuff, I glad that someone told me truth.

  9. Banguillot says:

    I think that beauty is a power device because pretty women and handsome men use it to influence people in a world where beauty, youth and wealth are important. Indeed, it is not surprising that like power tools, there is tough competition to obtain the palm for beauty (the symbol of this is the competition of Miss or Mister Universe ). However, everybody is useful and hopefully, it is not the only criteria in employment.

  10. Candita says:

    Ha! I always said that why brother has never had an unsuccessful interview. They were all women interviewers and I guess a goodlooking, well-dressed man with a few winks and a smile has that the attractive bais working in his favour and he knows it too! For me, female interviewers just don’t really like me unless they are much much older than me and I remind them of themselves in their younger days haha. I know I have a good chance when there is a guy on the panel. But that has been very rare in my experience.

  11. MaryAnne says:

    Yes finally someone said something. Same kind of experience during an interview happened too me. It was a woman who was beautiful but gave me attitude the minute she saw me and she was late and yes not trying to be vein because I am not but that is what this article is about I am a very attractive woman. During the interview she made rude comments like, she asked me bout my computer skills clearly stated on my resume skills that I needed to have for my previous jobs listed on the resume. Anyway she made a comment like “when i say computer skills I dont mean someone who can open bunch of sessions and than not know what to do with them” there were a few other comments she made I was not impressed with. Needless to say as the interview progressed she got ridiculous and I declined my application.

  12. Lorelai says:

    It is something that I never thought of until recently. Being discriminated against because you are attractive or in my case attractive blonde female. I am educated and have vast knowledge in various areas, but have come across this issue a few times in interview.

    It could be that they are taking the stand point of the position and thinking “She is great BUT she may be distracting for co-workers”…..I try to not take it personally but what can I do.

  13. Anne says:

    I know that older women see younger women as a threat and I repeatedly see attractive women passed over for contracts or criticized more harshly for their mistakes. It’s especially typical of mostly-female workplaces. They adore the one or two men that work their and everyone wants to be their friend. They seem to assume that the attractive women are naturally cutting women that want all the attention.

  14. CL says:

    What sickens me, speaking as someone that has been absolutely crucified by women in the workforce, is that women are THAT unprofessional that they let something a person can’t even help (how they were born!!!) influence their professional judgment, which probably means they miss out on outstanding high performers because of their own inadequacies. GROW THE HECK UP OR STAY HOME CHAINED TO A STOVE AND BAREFOOT AND PREGNANT!

  15. Chris says:

    I was once informed by a recruiter that although my education , experience etc.. gave me the advantage, I was not hired because the interviewers felt that I “cleaned up too well” for the industry!! They instead chose a big , ruffled looking guy ( nice guy) that they felt looked the part.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I got fired from a permanent job because of good looks and hard work. I was practically doing all the work in my team and the leader was getting credit for it. She was jealous of me because I do not have to try to look good, I look good in everything and when visitors come to the office (especially the guys) I got compliments and second looks.

    I got fired without a reason. Jealousy kills, it dosen’t go far, believe me.

  17. Agate says:

    This is true, I was unemployed and desperate to find any job. I applied for a job that i was really qualified for as a cashier at a grocery store. and the interview was a heavy women not to be harsh. But i felt a vibe off her she was looking at my bag, my shoes and my make up. and she even told me i was very girly girl. I really thought i was going to get the job, i have years of experience, i really felt she was threaten by my looks.

  18. Anonymous 2 says:

    Other people tell me that I’m very attractive but I see mainly flaws when I look in the mirror. That being said, I have been fortunate enough to always been offered exceptional opportunities and although I consider myself more of an intellect rather than a ’stunning beauty’, it has been generally men that have extended work offers, and often I’ve sensed that they have been attracted to me (c’mon, most of us know when someone of the opposite sex is attracted to us, unless we have no instinct or pay little attention to non verbal cues). This has at times posed a challenge with other women in the office. Fortunately, I have the brains to back me up and have been able to excel in my career, which eventually overcomes those hostilities. Overall however, it has played a positive outcome, I won’t pretend that it’s been a hinderance. That being said, if one is hired based soley on their looks, eventually their true abilities come to light and if they don’t have what it takes to excel at their jobs, then they need to be dealt with. It’s not fair to automatically be given an opportunity over another average looking person who clearly has more of the qualifications. I think that attractive people still have a greater advantage. Maybe interviews should be conducted in the dark LOL.

  19. Sam says:

    I was actually thinking about this JUST the other day, and came to the exact same conclusion. It’s all about looks in this dog eat dog world.

    What’s the solution? All women should wear a hijab and face veil. Problem solved ! I wear one and always do great at job interviews because men and women both can’t hate/love me for my good looks. So they’re left confused and are forced to judge me based on my vibrant personality alone (Muahaha).

    Great article. I love how you concluded that’s why you could never get a job!

  20. Arlaa says:

    Actually a certain walmart near where I live told one of the employees they were trying not to hire good looking people because they were afraid they would hit on customers and vice versa.

  21. Jenn says:

    I have experienced this very thing all the years in which I have searched for employment.
    Over, and over, and over again!!!

    I am female, and seriously, it is time that female recruiters grew up!!!
    There is always going to be someone out there better looking, richer, more successful etc…That is part of life.

    But, a qualified candidate that is right for the job, should not be discriminated against because the recruiter has personal insecurities!!!!

    This is also why I far prefer male co-workers, and male supervisors/bosses…..They are not driven by insecurities and pettiness.

  22. HC says:

    Loved your comments. I have to say I’m not surprised about the findings though. To answer one of your questions, I’m sure that being too attractive has never been a problem for me in my job searches. I fear I wouldn’t have gotten very far in life if I had to rely on my looks. :) But you’ve made me stop and wonder if, as a female interviewer, I’ve ever turned down a woman because she was too good looking and therefore competition. I’d like to think not — I’d like to think that if I do subconciously choose the less attractive candidate, it’s because I have a long history of cheering for the underdog. No pun intended.

  23. Leila says:

    This article is so accurate and I am telling this based on my own personal experience. I ALWAYS get hired (even on the spot) whenever I have a male interviewer and you could even tell how they (male individuals) get distracted by an attractive female candidate. On the other hand, my female co-workers would often give me hard time for no reason and I could smell jealousy at times.
    I was at a job fair a couple months ago and this male recruiter initiated talking to me, without me even looking at his booth.
    Plus you are always treated nicely by your male bosses, you can books days off without any trouble, you get compliments all the time and you always feel good and bring positive energy to the entire team :)

  24. Jake says:

    Yes, and if you are perceived as being too smart, you can be discriminated against also.

  25. Luna says:

    I’ve been given that same advice about trying to find out whether the intervewer is male or female. Cleavage might work on a guy (although depending on how old they are, there may be an appropriateness factor that weighs out any blatant sexuality as well), but will be resented by women (whether you’re devastatingly attractive, or a real woman trying to up the sexy factor).

  26. “Can you be too attractive to get hired?”

    No, you don’t have to be too attractive to be hired but, if you hapless are, does this mean you should be send to live under the bridge somewhere!?

    It is too sad to be a good looking person; it is not because that person chose to be that way, it is because… that person was built that way spiritual. This doesn’t mean that a good looking person is not an intellectual one, hard worker, loyal employee; that person should be treated as a normal human being. A good looking person could be valuable on society the same way as the others are.
    It is sad to see those underground starving beautiful people living under a bridge but, they chose that way!…Why they don’t get out of there and do something useful to society. Does this is because a good looking person get a post!? Does the good looking person stop them to do more for themselves to be on the same level as all of us!? Sometime to dream is good, it drives you somewhere, you just have to be persistent.

    Beauty has many shapes high-quality and inexcusable one but beauty exist on all of us either good looking people or not good looking ones.
    Do I am wrong!? Discuss!

  27. Don'tThinkSo says:

    First of all, we are not supposed to even acknowledge that we are one of the “Pretty” people because that’s bragging. But I have definitely not gotten jobs when interviewed by an unattractive woman and I knew it as soon as I sat down by the way the woman looked at me, spoke to me, etc. Jealousy is real and it’s ugly and it seems to be getting worse among women as of late…perhaps the influence of all those awful reality shows. Anyways…nice to be validated. Some of those jobs I really wanted and deserved.

  28. Anonyomous2 says:

    I don’t know how good looking I am, but as long as I get a date and job I’m happy. But why not have a blind person interview. They won’t be biased over beauty, racial appearance, if someone is wearing rich clothes because they’re trying to find a job since they can’t afford it. Either that or use sunglasses to blur the vision! It might work. And it might even improve society

  29. TJ Lim says:

    I’m not sure I would call the experiments “scientific proof” even if they technically are. The experiments involved students pretending to be a scholarship committee and pretending to be recruiters. We can’t judge what real scholarship selection committees and real recruiters might do based on people who are just pretending to those things. That’s like drawing conclusions on parents based on experiments done on children pretending to be parents. On the other hand, the experiment may be more accurate in judging human behaviour in general, such as women’s tendency of seeing other women as competition. -TJ

  30. Steve says:

    It’s freaking hard to get a good job nowadays, no matter what you look like!

  31. Lisa says:

    How would you know if you were too beautiful to get hired? the recruiter can’t possibly tell you that since it is discrimination and s/he can be sued for that! I assume a person who thinks they are too hot to handle is making their own assessment as to why they aren’t getting jobs rather than speculating that maybe they aren’t as qualified as other candidates, or they haven’t built up that all-important network.

  32. Chesty says:

    i would like to see a study done on women with large breasts getting hired in the workplace. having them, i feel like i’m discriminated against frequently. “waaaah, waaaah, my boobs are too big.” i know, i know. but seriously, no matter what i wear to an interview my potential employer will undoubtedly stare at my chest for longer than appropriate. i don’t want my first impression to be, ‘boob girl,’ but it can’t really be avoided. i feel like i’m not taken seriously by men or women. i feel like both seem to justify looking me over, though i am certainly qualified, by calling my boobs a distraction, though women are probably more likely to word it as slutty, tacky or classless. for someone who has higher career goals than a stripper, i find this very frustrating. the bottom line? large breasts do not equal, ‘professional,’ in most employers eyes. any thoughts?

  33. Anon-a-moose says:

    @Anonymous: You’re just saying that because you’re hot!

  34. Jean says:

    People who think are beautiful they don’t need to worry about this, because more likely there will be some people who don’t think you are beautiful, is all about personal taste I guess. I think I’m handsome (that’s what most women say about me) BUT I know for sure some women still don’t find me attractive….. is all about taste. SO pretty women or men don’t be too shallow about you looks, because there is a great chance you are not too attractive to others.

  35. Absolutely! Intelligent women who have been gifted with even a little beauty are very much discriminated against, especially in the corporate world. That’s been my experience.

    Women interviewers/employers are intimidated by a beautiful woman entering their employ because of their own insecurities.

    Men interviewers/employers can also be intimidated and shy away from hiring a pretty face in fear of being shunned from other staff/clients/significant other as to his reasons for hiring her. If she has a pretty face and beautiful figure, it may reflect a personal rather than a professional decision in hiring her.

    Isn’t it true that within the first 30 seconds of meeting someone, say in an interview, you’ve already been judged? I believe it’s true.

    How can women be competitive with men in this world if women are continually being clawed down by our own sex?

    My message to women in general: For all of you women who have insecurity issues – find a way to deal with them, or leave them at home! Learn not to be jealous, being envious is human nature and acceptable, and be complimentary when you meet a smart, beautiful woman!

  36. Dana says:

    That’s true. People (and other creatures and things) ARE judged according to the way they look, always were and will be. It has reasons and it’s instinctive, so get over it.

    On the other hand – yes, lithany “they didn’t hire me because I am too hot (or too ugly for that matter) – IS a lithany of an underqualified person. It means that your looks went in the way of other things. If say someone is good-looking and knows it and used to use it in other settings…well, it will show. No need to put a paper bag over one’s pretty head, but no need to dress and put make up to look “hot”. Maybe just for that one interview it makes sense to tone down one’s appearance and tone up qualifications and business qualities? And AFTER you are hired – you can spread all the charms. Right?

  37. Joy says:

    No wonder I didn’t get the job (nice pay, nice building, great customer service job). They were too jealous – they even told me I could work as a model or stay home with rich husband.

  38. Shaw says:

    Elizabeth, You look so “stunningly gorgeous” beyond description! You really should be writing for The Economist magazine.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Love this article, and completely agree. As a not unattractive woman, I’ve often found that I have to work harder to ensure the women I interview with don’t think I’m a twinkie, while interviews with men have generally been much easier!

  40. Devgirl says:

    I agree with the article. I have experienced discrimination in the workplace my entire career in the corporate business world based on my physical appearance and have been refused positions because I did not ”fit in”, i,e, not average looking like the rest! I was told up front in many positions that my ”physical appearance” would cause problems in the workplace. Although I cannot hide my appearance, I have learned to use it to my advantage and to prove you can have, beauty, brains and brawn and succeed. My philosophy…don’t let anyone or anything stand in your way and hold your head high!

  41. Anonymous says:

    Honestly, I have been treated rather unfairly by woman whom I feel are jealous over my appearance which isn’t fair at all. In the work place, I get more positive attention and help from the guys and they didn’t like it. I am a nice sweet girl and I am conservative but still, that didn’t really matter to the girls who you really are. Now, I just keep to a very small group of real girlfriends and couldn’t care less about the rest.

  42. Anonymous says:

    As a female in a technical field I have never sucessfully landed a job where one of the decision makers was a woman. After a very very bad post interview experience with an unprofessional HR Coordinator my friend pointed out to me that women are very competitive and asked me what did she look like. She then proceeded to point out that I had only ever lamented on how badly interview went when I had been interviewed by women, and had sucessfully landed great jobs even as a young inexperienced intern being interviewed by a panel of 6 men.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Well, sure. But I would say 80% of attractiveness is how one represents themself. If somebody focuses alot of their attention towards their own looks: trendy/very stylish clothes or skimpy, lot’s of make-up(ladies), slick hair style, maybe perfume/cologne, how they carry themself, etc. I would say they might be a little too vain and might come across as such towards same-sex job recruiters. It’s all about one’s priorities and a good balance, right!

  44. Nurse says:

    I am actually living proof of this phenomenon. Currently I am having alot of difficulty in my work place. Alot of people talking bad about me behind my back. It seems that I always have been the target for gossip, through out my whole life in fact. I work in a female dominated career and this phenomenon is absolutely true. I am even having problems with my boss…Big surprise she is also a woman. A woman that had similar credentials as me, but has since taken the management role.

  45. Carol says:

    It has happened to me a number of times. I used to model and even being older it has not been an asset. I try never to admit or reveal it as well as people get the impression I must be full of myself and not very cerebral. The number of accusations I have had to my face from even co-workers or my employers that my breasts, teeth or my nose are not real have been numerous. The truth is I have not had plastic surgery.

    One of the worst interview I had went as follows:

    With obvious deliberation she looked me up and down and then said, “Is that really your hair? Is that really the color or your eyes? We had a redhead receptionist that looked like you and we had to fire her because she had an affair with the boss.”

    Needless to say, I did not get the job. I then had to tell my temp agency how my interview went and then they dumped me!

    I’ve also lost 3 jobs because I would not have an affair with my boss. This resulted in a major loss of income as I then had to find a new job and cover up what really happened. The damage to my resume and reputation for being moral was considerable.

    Since those events, my skirts are always just under my knee, I always wear a blazer or jacket as it masks my figure and I am very careful to never expose cleavage while everyone in all the offices I’ve worked at embrace the current fashion trend of a very fitted silhouette, cleavage, bare arms, and short skirts that look sexy whether they have a great figure or not.

    Being attractive has done me few favors regardless I am usually the hardest working and most capable person in the office. I have to be careful at all times to be as diplomatic as possible especially when the ladies are in the lunch room talking about losing weight.

  46. Anonymous says:

    I am one of these women who can’t get a job (although i’m fully qualified for the jobs i apply and interview for). Even when i go through an agency and get a referral from my agent, even she is surprised to see the reaction of her customers toward me – they just don’t want me and find any stupid excuse not to hire me. Believe me i’ve heard all the stupid excuses. So i’m dealing with it by opening my own company and my customers are CEOs and VPs (who are mostly men) … I put an end to the starvation problem related to my looks. (And my pride has always prevented me from getting a sugar daddy, although i’ve had many offers).
    I can feel the jealousy of other women as i walk down the halls – the way they look at me – now that i’m a little older and more assured i stare back at them and say “didn’t your mother tell you it was rude to stare?” or simply “how you ladies doing over there? Anything you wanna talk about?” . Intuitively, i’ve always known the results of this study to be true, but i disagree with the conclusion. How can an attractive woman downplay her god-given looks in an interview? I can’t grow shorter or taller, i can’t gain 20 lbs for an interview, i could wear no make-up or very little make-up, but i’ve found that to make no difference at all. Anyway, the employer has 3 months to “evaluate your organizational fit” – so what am i supposed to do? TRY to look ugly for 3 months before i can let my hair down (LITERALLY) ?

  47. S says:

    I worked for a company where the male hiring manager specifically favored the women in the interviews. Sounds unbelievable but out of all the candidates he interviewed only the attractive women would get picked for the job and he would brag about it later.
    Fortunately we had a female supervisor too.

    I think it’d be nice if you guys wrote an article on the ethics and legality of situations like these.

  48. KP says:

    Before an interview I always try to find out if the interviewer is a man or a woman. If it’s a man I get ready as usual. Do my hair as I always do and wear the amount of makeup I always wear. When it’s a woman I make sure to wear a lot less makeup (sometimes no makeup), I put my hair in a bun and I make sure to wear my glasses (not contacts!). I feel more comfortable giving the woman the “nerd” vibe than the “I think I’m beautiful and I’m going to flirt with all your co-workers” vibe.

  49. Mary says:

    Just recently I lost a job because the person I reported to was not a very attractive individual. Now I’m not saying “I’m it,” but I am definately better looking than her and I truly believe she was threatend by my looks and knowledge and was afraid to let it get any further. So she tried to make me look like an idiot. Anyway, at the end of the day I do believe that sometimes your looks can work against you!

  50. Anne says:

    This makes alot of sence I see how other attractive people are treated in the work place especially for the women. At times not even taken really seriously. Im glad that this study was done I always thought there is a good side and bad for those very attractive folks in the workplace.

  51. Miss moni says:

    It is so frustrating because you cannot say to someone “i didn’t get the position because i’m pretty.” Especially to a man, he is unable to comprehend that your attractiveness hindered you rather than propelled you… Many times I have been dismissed for a variety of opportunities, positions and general respect because, my theory, butsomeone sees me extremely intelligent and attractive, I am somewhat black- listed…. i can’t say this this to people because it makes me sound like i’m full of myself, but so prevalent….
    p.s. if a man is with his girlfriend and he notices that she caught him looking at another woman, so often will he go and cut down the woman that caught his attention to ensure his sex rights. i could go on for days; i’m just venting.

  52. Sandi says:

    I’ve recently seen a case where a good looking woman who was totally unqualified was hired over more qualified, less attractive women. When questioned on it, the boss stated, “Everybody does it so don’t get mad at me!” then stated she could likely be trained…which she couldn’t. She even stated she hated typing and wasn’t good at it, but that was 70% of the job. She was pulled off projects continually until finally they let her go. The company fired the boss first though.

    A lot of assumptions are made about good looking women once they are hired too. I can’t even remember how many times I’ve been offered promotions (which I DID deserve) but each time they came with an offer of sex. When I turned down the sex, I was then “no longer qualified” for the position.

  53. Sandra says:

    So true!!!
    For many years I could not understand why it was always so difficult to find a job with my qualifications and working attitude???
    My wise male friend suggested that my good look in combination with my high qualifications intimidate most of the interviewers.

  54. Rhonda W says:

    I have been backstabbed, slandered, screwed over by many of my ex-coworkers in Medical Laboratory Technology because I am not part of the Fat-ass club. I HAVE DONE NOTHING TO DESERVE THIS! I am a fit, not overly pretty woman (or so I think) and I have been generally screwed over by pretty much every one. I had to go to Afghanistan and work in the hospital there because Nova Scotia is such an ingrown, inbred, cliquish, jealousy-motivated shithole. Working with women is the most traumatic think I have done, even outside a warzone, and I want out of this dumphole. I have had this kind of bullying constantly in school including Medical Technology. I want out of this ass backwards province so bad I can taste it. If I had a face like a can of squashed a-holes and a rear two axehandles wide I would be happily working in a hospital near my home.

  55. Anonymous says:

    It is true! When being a very attractive person, you get treated differently in one way (free stuff, not waiting in line, discounts when shopping) but only when it’s the opposite sex. Getting a job is easy when the job is entry-level. I have found it is more difficult to land a job that is higher up if you’re extremely attractive. Maybe they don’t take attractive women seriously during the interview because they are distracted by the beauty…
    Or maybe it’s more than just the fact that women are competitive with eachother. Maybe the HR director is afraid to hire someone who is stunning because of sexual harassment? Whatever the reason it is extremely difficult to get a job. Moving up in the working world is easier once you’re in but getting in is what is the uphill battle.

  56. Your mom says:

    I have heard men hiring for Tech positions say out right they would not hire a hot woman to work in their office. “hell no, I want them focus on getting the job done. If I hired a beauty, everyone would be over there trying to hit on her all day.”

    A Naval officer told me, “A young beauty shows up on the boat, I give her 6 months before she is knocked up.”

    I guess you get this or the boss that wants to shag you. Thankful I work for a woman now. Guess that means I am at least qualified.

  57. Ann says:

    SO TRUE!!! I am an attractive woman and have experienced MANY BULLIES (jealous insecure women–either UNattractive/overweight!)!! These bullies will do ANYTHING to get rid of the competition, ALL levels of compeition!! There is now much written on the subject of ‘Bullies in the workplace’, and the Human Rights have documented immensely on the bullies’ tactics and offer sollutions. Just google “Bullies in the Workplace” to view the many resources available. Knowledge is POWER–increased awareness is necessary! Also what I have learned: Bullies will DENY knowledge of bully tactics & bullies because they fear exposure!!

  58. Jayne says:

    I say it does happen. If you can have successful phone interviews and the interviewer is very pleasant and wants you to come in for a face-to-face, just to fill in forms and make it official, but sees you and turns cold and says they just decided and went a different way, what else are you supposed to think? Especially if the interviewer has a female moustache and I don’t. I’m referring to a particular job I didn’t get.

  59. Fed UP says:

    I am so pleased that this article has been published.

    I don’t really give my appearance much thought but why is it that one of the first thing women in the workplace start to discuss with me is ,no not anything relavant heaven forbid, just how much weight they need to lose?

    Weird.I don’t think about their weight one way or another, and I don’t feel comfortable talking about a strangers weight either. I was wondering if this problem was all in my head? I mean come on people we are supposed to be living in an enlightened age we are adults now,but I find working in Vancouver is like being perpetually stuck in Degrassi Junior High.

    This is a management problem. Any organization who tolerates such behaviour as work place bullying of a woman from women with low self esteem should give its head a shake. I have found that in many companies they see the problem but tend to look away. Or better yet treat this issue the same way they would while watching a reality TV show, plenty of talk about what will happen next.

    Maybe if they actually gave it some thought they might decide to remove the bullies as this could cause their respective companies monies in the form of damages due to an intolerable workplace.

    This is not Trump or Big brother house. This is peoples lives and families and anyone participating in such disgacefull actions should be held up as an example. Its not about fitting in its about human rights. The right to a safe workplace free from discrimination for what ever reason. What I would like to know is has anyone ever won damages from an employer for discrimination due to these biases?

    PS commenting from the sidelines is as bad as participating really lame.

  60. Beverley says:

    Is this article for real? I mean, is it serious? Let’s see, back in the early eighties I was informed that I had to hike up my skirt, pull down my shirt to see cleavage and let my hair down to work at the front desk of an office. It was called sexual harrassment. Back then there were no laws, there is now. Was I treated better because I was beautiful? I was treated like a piece of meat. I didn’t take the job. I was 19yrs old and even then knew that was a sick practice.

    I am still beautiful. I am overweight. My job doesn’t depend on my beauty to carry me through, it depends on my brains, my instincts and my experience. I’ve worked with tall, short, thin, overweight, young, old and the list goes on.

    To read that the author believed that no job placement was due to being beautiful is an insult to my intelligence. Did the author look at other factors or did she blindly assume that her stunning beauty overwhelmed? Did she take a poll to see if people found her beautiful or not? What standards did she use to determine that she wasn’t hired due to her beauty?

    I am beautiful. My hairdresser tells me that every month when I get a haircut. My family tell me this all the time. My boyfriend said I was the most beautiful woman in the world.

    Yet by photoshopped standards set by glamour magazines and Hollywood, I am not.

    To each their own.

    The point is, cry me a river as I have no sympathy for anyone who claims it was their beauty that blocked their ability to get a job. There is no basis for such an egotistical self-centred belief system. It simply is not the truth … except in the mind of someone who believes it to be the truth, that is.

    What a great way to not take responsiblity for own self. “I’m too beautiful to me hired.” What a cop-out.

  61. Aliza says:

    I’m a model with a Master’s degree. Over the years, I haven’t been barred from getting a job for my good looks but I have certainly had a tough time whenever I was working with a female supervisor. It may sound terrible but, the less attractive the female supervisor, the worse she would treat me! Well done Maria Agthe

  62. TJ says:

    Being attractive helps in some jobs, but it’s a major liability in others. I’m attractive, blond and have a decent-sized bust, and it works against me regularly. And it’s not just from women – in fact, I’d say it’s more the guys that have a hard time taking me as seriously as they should. (And I wear dark colors, simple shapes, very little make-up and no jewelry to work.)

    In college I knew I was always a shoe-in for the part-time jobs I wanted in restaurants, stores etc. I knew my looks worked for me, even though I’ve never worn anything short, low-cut, sparkly etc. I didn’t agree with it, but I profited from it.

    But as I progress at work into managerial roles and roles where I should be valued for the work I produce and my intellectual contribution, it’s more than clear that men and less attractive women get kudos for things I and other pretty women routinely achieve with no recognition. Not always of course, I work with some great people who I respect and who respect my input. But it’s definitely true that assessments of intellect and capacity for responsibility are affected by appearance.

    I’m guilty of it myself too, having taken a year to realize that I’d been judging one very masculine-looking woman as a lot smarter than she’s ever shown herself to be.

  63. SudburyGal says:

    Definitely true! I recently reached the final stage of a job interview process (3 interviews later) and the final interview was with a very unattractive and overweight woman (not trying to be rude or judge, just the facts). I got dirty looks from the minute I sat down, her tone was snippy, and I just had this feeling that she was judging me based on my appearance. I later found out she has a daughter the same age as I am who is also overweight and unattractive. I am sure that jealousy was a big reason why I was not offered the position. I had all the qualifications and experiences, did stellar on all the interviews, and I know for a fact the person that was hired (instead of me) had less education and no more experience than I do – but was older and less of a threat to the f-ugly hiring manager!!

  64. von Awesome says:

    I agree with this article, as I’ve been there.

    A couple of years ago, when I worked retail, our male boss was totally biased towards the pretty girls- they got all of the best shifts, easier tasks, and took all of the credit for things that I did. I trained one of them and, even though she was obnoxious and never worked a full shift (she always pretended to be sick or just never showed up), the boss refused to fire her; yet I was written up because I had to be taken to the hospital mid-shift for a serious illness. Where’s the fairness there?

    I’m not a pretty girl- at least not a socially-acceptable kind of pretty, as in I’m not tall, skinny, and blond- but I’m not hideously-unattractive. I’ve never had issues with female bosses (I guess they just don’t feel threatened by me), but I’ve had some horrid moments with male bosses- the worst was when I was looking for a part-time job: the other applicant, a teenager who was blond and skinny (not to mention that she showed up for her interview in skinny-jeans and a tank-top) got the job over me, despite the fact that I was both older and more-experienced.

    I suppose the world really is kinder to those who are beautiful.

  65. Leo Baldwin says:

    I have interviewed extremely beautiful and well qualified women scientists. It crossed my mind that my colleagues or my boss (the CEO) might dismiss my choice as “hiring a hottie”. I decided that this was as bad as any other form of discrimination (racial, religious, perceived prestigiousness of alma matter) and recommended hiring “the hottie”.

  66. Kim says:

    I have been job searching for some time now. For the past 5 years I have worked in the development of Condo/ Homes and Commercial Real Estate Construction and have worked in an office environment for over 10 years. This article interested me because it has just confirmed to be true. An office I used to work in prior to being in real estate, the hiring manager was a man. There was this woman who was more than double my age at the time. It was my first day on the job when I was walking down a hall way to go to the washroom. I found myself being approached by her as she had me cornered against the wall. Her one hand blocking me over my shoulder and the other had her index finger pointing at me almost touching my nose. I could feel her breath her face was that close to me when she told me “missy, if you think you are going to make it in this company then I am going to make it my priority that you don’t”. I lasted well over a year, when I eventually had to quit after be!
    ing harassed and tormented by her too many times.
    Currently, I am unemployed and once again looking for work. I have been to more interviews than I have ever needed too. Before, 1, 2 and I have a job but always felt like it was based on looks, for example, working in a developer sales office, all good looking people. One recruiter called over the phone and persisted the only way I could get the job was if I added him to face book, since his client was hiring based on looks and not credentials. I was completely insulted by this. So here’s the down part as it gets worse.
    Two interviews, both women: I walked into the office for the interview and everyone dropped what they were doing to stare at me. I wasn’t sure if this was good or bad. There was a male and a female interviewer. The women’s complimented me on how good I looked. During the interview, she commented “Wow, so you used to go to onsite construction meetings, the guys must have loved seeing you”…totally irrelevant and I felt so uncomfortable. The male interviewer didn’t get a word in after she kept putting me down or whatever she was trying to do, after sometime he got up and walked out, not even excusing himself. I never got the job.
    The other interview was just a woman, when she first met me I was smiling and went to shake her hand upon meeting her when she stared me up and down, turned around for me to follow her, without saying for me to do this. I was wearing all black, a dress shirt and pants. She didn’t even look at me as she interviewed me and was so cold. All I could do was hope for the best and again was made to feel so uncomfortable.
    My last interview recently by a man: We sit down for the interview and the first thing he says to me was “this is not based on looks or how good looking your resume is”. I didn’t know where this was going. He actually asked me if I was married or if I had a boyfriend, again irrelevant to the job.
    Finally, let’s talk about referrals: My cousin calls me knowing what I am going through; she says she’s referred me to a company who is one of her clients and was meeting him for lunch. Later I get a call for me to call her client and mentions to me that he had asked if I was “GOOD LOOKING”. So I go in and was interviewed by a woman. (I never got the job)

    I am exhausted and I haven’t even got a job yet. Almost all the women in my family have had to find their passions to open their own business for this exact reason. Unfortunately not all women can do this. My next interview is with a man and all I can do is keep my fingers crossed that I too can go back to work. WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO WORK ETHICS and FAIRNESS?

  67. julia says:

    It really is good to read this.. I have always been told I was delusional for saying the same. I am a young and reasonably attractive female with high technical qualifications, and in school and work I have been treated like trouble no matter what. When in reaction I focus on my work and just achieve, I am labeled a ‘b*tch’ or antisocial and somehow i am still outed. Trying to be friendly to the women doesn’t work and being friendly to the men makes me seem like a flirt, but being generally cool to either gender also backfires.. you cannot win. Everyone always thinks you are up to something when you are only trying to make an honest living. It occurred to me to start a business to avoid all of this, and when I read that so many women have for the same reasons it was very comforting to know.

  68. cheryle says:

    Yeah, try getting hired as an educated professional in-home governess when you are very attractive. I actually forget what I look like because I know that I am just there to work. I dress very conservatively (only crew necks and dress pants that go up to the waist), I put my hair in a casual up-do, I do not put on make-up just tinted sunscreen, and I present a very healthy image as I still do triathlons and model sports-wear on the side.

    I have my professional degree, certification verification forms, work history sheet and my solid reference papers in hand — but still the mother will not give me eye to eye contact or even smile at me.

    The mother will just stare at her husband while he nervously twitches during the interview. Something is amiss.

    I have found it easier, in most situations, to work in a group setting where most of the employees do not care about what you look like as long as you can get the job done. There will always be people who do not like you for whatever reason, that is just part of life. Some people assume that attractive people (women especially) have it easier, but it can get in the way at times. The other person’s insecurities can prevent you from doing great work.

    I just want to work, do a good job and contribute to society. I even forget that I am a woman at times — because to me — I am a basic human being and a woman second.

    Anyway, I am thankful for work when I can get it.:-)

  69. Laura says:

    Being a very attractive female looking for work I can tell you that it is much more difficult to get a job these days. If I’m going for an interview I can tell before I leave if it’s a yes or no just by the person who is doing the interviewing. If the interviewer is a woman NO! if it is a man I will at least get a second interview, which intern will end up to be a woman and then its NO. I’ve been told I’m too humble or not humble enough, I’ll be board with the job, anything but the real answer, you intimidate me. I just want a job, I don’t want to be the company mascott.

  70. Anonymous says:

    I believe that being perceived as beautiful by the person that is hiring you may or may not work in your favour. No doubt, being easy on the eye helps but I feel that qualifications and the way you present yourself is very important when interviewing. Sometimes I also feel that pretty women favour other pretty women. In my experience, I have felt that I didn’t get the job because they thought I was pretty. Sometimes it seems as though being perceived as pretty can make the interviewer think that you are not as smart as another candidate who is less pretty. I also feel that some employers think that being attractive may mean that you would be more distracted at work because of other men and the productivity would be reduced.

    Also, if you do get hired, there may be discrimination in the workplace towards people that perceive you as being pretty. I have never thought of myself as being pretty, and its obviously not my fault that others think that. But I have had many problems at work because other jealous/ less pretty girls made up rumours about my personal life and spread them at work. I am 22 and an accounting student and the job market is really competitive, but I was so upset and felt as though it was very unfair for my co-workers to do that.

  71. Trish says:

    I found the biggest challenge with people was assuming that because you are really attractive you must not have a brain too and when they see you do – all of a sudden you are a double threat where as before you were more like the cute office pet. I guess kind of the same thing, but I think they see it more as a power struggle in this context and assume that with looks and brains there is no hope for them, so they must attack while they are still more senior and have a chance to keep you down. I have also found that there are people who just don’t care what you look like and are just grateful you can get the job done. I will admit that my big thing is personal hygiene, if I can smell their B.O., I’m less inclined to want to work with them. All the rest – age, looks etc take a backseat to competence.

  72. ammara says:

    I am an attractive women who works in a very male dominated construction insdusty. In the beginning it was very fustrating as people dont take you seriously but with experience I have learend to use this to my advantage. Instead of taking a feminist view I have learned to embrace it. Now the hard thing is getting people to take you serioulsy & see past your packaging!

    I find with every new job I start, I have to prove my worth, work twice as hard and show that I am not just a pretty face. I have to be extra nice because women expect me to be a bitch, and men just want thier ego’s fed.

    I have rarely had an interview by a man that I have never been given an offer. The one interview I had with an attracive women, seemed more like she was trying to put me off the job during the interview. Once I overhead some males bosses discussing a girls attractiveness after her itnerview instead of her skills. Male colleagues are constanlty flirting with me, and have been groped or propositioned on several occasions. I have learned never to socialse too much with male colleagues esp when they start to get drunk, and always tell male colleagues that I am involved with some one. Most women in my proffession are butch women so being attractive gets you noticed, not always for the right reason, you are the office eye candy for the men & you are the skinny bitch trying to steel their job for the women (as sad as this sounds).

    but its up to you to prove your good at what you do, don’t be too agressive & don’t be over friendly with male colleagues, try to always be proffesional.

    The sad thing is women are sometimes more of an obstacle than men, women see you as competition automatically instead of a fellow colleague, ladies be nice to the pretty girl, they are people just like you! and no we don’t have it easier than every one else, infact we have more to prove.

    Good luck to everyone & learn to embrace whatever assents you have been blessed with conventional or not.

  73. Nina says:

    Well, in my office there was that older-looking, but well dressed famale manager who was hired. The first thing she did once admitted to her duties she let go of the most attractive girl in the department, and just by the way she was looking at me I knew I would be the next, cause I knew I was the second most good looking one. Guess what! I was the next indeed! Although my qualifications and performance at work was impeccable she still would try to micromanage and pick on anything she could. She was trying to show that I have some sort of character or attitude issues. Well, she knew that just about any employee would start having attitude issues when not treated fairly.

    I guess being mistreated by older jalous ladies is not only Snow While’s problem.

  74. Buster H says:

    Wow! I can’t believe that other people in this “great nation” of ours are experiencing the same bullshit that I’ve had to endure for so many years.

    Everything from outright snide comments such as: “You think you’re so hot.” to being denied employment simply because the staffed trolls are afraid that I’ll impregnate their women.

    I wish there was a way I could be honest with people during an interview without them becoming offended.

  75. Lolly says:

    C’mon women, stop this catty nonsense! You do realize that your jealousy doesn’t make your “competition” any less attraction, it just makes YOU less attractive…



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