Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Interesting article on how appearance matters in the workforce


This article intrigued me... women inherently care about their appearance (as do men) but now there is more evidence that women who are more attractive/care about their appearance are more likely to be hired over a less attractive but possibly more qualified woman... it really irks me that even in what is called today's progressive society, such characteristics from the 50's still exist in our present. A woman still seems like she is not held as an important asset for her brain rather than her features. In the article it was stated that "When it comes to women, apparently, flaunting our assets works: 61 percent of managers (the majority of them men) said it would be an advantage for a woman to wear clothing showing off her figure at work." The same goes for men in the workforce, however, I cannot image them feeling the pressure nearly as much as women do simply because men already have the upperhand of being male.

I have definitely felt the pressures of looking attractive versus unattractive at work as well. I noticed that when I wore a dress or wore makeup I got more done/more out of my supervisors/peers rather than if I were to come in wearing a t-shirt and jeans. It seems strange to me because either way I would be doing the same kind of work and it is not like I try harder when I look more attractive one day... I do the same work day in and day out, but my appearance changes how fast I get that stuff done, especially when working with a male in a supervisory role. It is not always an entirely apparent thing... just when I look back I notice it.

But there is also the reality that however hard men have it—and, from an economic perspective, their “beauty premium” is higher, say economists—women will always face a double bind, expected to conform to the beauty standards of the day, yet simultaneously condemned for doing so.

This statement is what really irks me. Women are supposed to uphold these unattainable beauty standards, but then can also be condemned for being beautiful and be labeled as bimbos. It seems so easy to slip in either direction that it is almost impossible for woman to be taken seriously. WHEN will women be praised for their minds rather than their bodies?

EDIT: I will be conducting an experiment this week where I will try harder to care about my appearance and see what kind of a response I receive. This means I will actually have to wear makeup, which I haaaaaaaaaaate doing during the summer months because honestly it's just too uncomfortable, but for the sake of the experiment I will make this sacrifice... today is day 1. Let's see how this plays out.

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