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nikipedia's avatar

Would you support legislation to stop discrimination against ugly people?

Asked by nikipedia (27454points) September 5th, 2011

This is being advocated by an economics professor and author of a book about beauty. He writes, “In addition to whatever personal pleasure it gives you, being attractive also helps you earn more money, find a higher-earning spouse (and one who looks better, too!) and get better deals on mortgages. Each of these facts has been demonstrated over the past 20 years by many economists and other researchers. The effects are not small: one study showed that an American worker who was among the bottom one-seventh in looks, as assessed by randomly chosen observers, earned 10 to 15 percent less per year than a similar worker whose looks were assessed in the top one-third — a lifetime difference, in a typical case, of about $230,000.”

He goes on to suggest that we should provide legal protection to people who are in the bottom percentiles of attractiveness so they aren’t discriminated against.

What do you think about this? Do you feel like you’ve had advantages because you’re attractive, or experienced disadvantages because you’re not? If you were a very ugly person, do you think you’d be more likely to support this legislation? Is there anything we can do to stop discriminating against ugly people without resorting to legal remedies? Should ugly people take matters into their own hands, and try to fix their attractiveness with plastic surgery?

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27 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

When I was a teen, working at Arbys, my manager straight up told me she wanted me to be on the register to flash people my handsome smile. I was like, “What the fuck…? I thought I was just showed my qualifications and decent desire to work.” Sometimes old ladies would compliment my looks, and again she would say “that’s why I hired him!” This was just at an Arbys, so where else is this happening lol.

Although I wouldn’t even know where to begin to enact legislation like this? How would employers determine how to hire two attractive people, and two ugly people with the same credentials?

El_Cadejo's avatar

I’ve never personally experienced any advantages or disadvantages due to my looks. I have ever see plenty at my work place as far as females go. As far as I can tell we’ve only had 1 register girl that I found ugly. Every other one has been at least half decent to very pretty. The sad thing is they’re almost always ditsy so if we just hired the girl who knew wtf she was doing but wasnt as pretty everything would run smoother.

As @Blackberry this is just some shitty little pet shop so its def happening higher up to more extreme levels im sure. I also have no clue how you’d go about actually changing something like this. I mean who even would to say you didnt hire me cause im ugly. Talk about lowering your self esteem .

josie's avatar

Wouldn’t it be a lot simpler and reduce the chances of ongoing, expensive litigation if we simply passed a law requiring everybody to wear a bag on their head?

Lightlyseared's avatar

@josie yeah but then you’d have discrimination of the brown paper bag people by leather louis vuitton monogram bag people.

woodcutter's avatar

No. Personality counts for more than it is given credit for. I seem to have done alright.

ratboy's avatar

Having gotten through life as just another pretty face, I say fuck ugly people.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Oh shit… im totally against this legislation. Strip clubs will be ruined forever :P

Jaxk's avatar

How do you explain Janet Napolitano or James Carvelle?

Pandora's avatar

OMG. I can see that now. Yes, you got hired because you are extremely ugly. Not sure I want to be on that scale even if it got me the job or the promotion. I don’t think there is a way you can regulate such a thing and have it be fair to everyone.
Let’s say you have two people for one position.
1st. person Pretty, nice interpersonal skills (no doubt from being attractive) and great worker.
2nd person, Ugly, loaner (learned from being dismissed all their life) but equal in work to the pretty person.
You hire number 2 and your business drops because people don’t want to work with the ugly person. How do you gamble losing wages for your business.
I’ve known people who aren’t attractive that get paid well and move up the ladder just fine. It has more to do with self esteem. Now they can try to give ugly people self esteem classes but somehow I feel the class will be a bust.
Course 101 Self esteem class for ugly people
Course 102 Building rapport for ugly people
Course 103 Pretty people don’t hate you as much as you hate yourself
Do we throw in overweight people as well? There is a lot of bias against them as well.
Its a waste of time. Biases are hard to prove. People will rarely tell you, Hey, you wasn’t hired because we think you are fat, or too old, or too ugly or too ethnic. No, they use the words, you were underqualified or overqualified which can mean any of the above.

tedibear's avatar

I’ll be your poster woman.

rebbel's avatar

Who would be the judge of who was considered ugly?
Ugliness sounds quite arbitrary.

DominicX's avatar

I think ugly people should be required by law to wear black bags over their faces so us attractive people don’t have to look at them.

But seriously, this sounds absolutely absurd. How the hell are we going to judge who’s “ugly” and who’s not, since it’s subjective? Maybe people will have to undergo a facial symmetry test, nose measurement, eye distance test, unibrow screening, etc. Not to mention, if discrimination occurs against ugly people, I’d bet most of it is subconscious; how are we going to battle that?

flutherother's avatar

Kurt Vonnegut imagined a society which enforced equality in his short story Harrison Bergeron

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

What he writes about certainly occurs but it’d be so hard to enforce any of this. So many people are biased, in this way.

woodcutter's avatar

I think most of us would know an ugly person when we saw one. It then, I suppose, is up to the beholder whether or not to be PC about it. Ugly people know who they are. Some are so ugly they come off as attractive…in a way

Some successful victims of the ugly stick: Lyle Lovett, Micheal Berryman, Ron Perlman, D.J. Qualls, Marty Feldman, Steven Tyler, Amy Winehouse, Tori Spelling, Rosie O’Donnell, Iggy Pop, Steve Buscemi, Kieth Richards, and scores more I can’t think of right now. Just because someone is uglier than a cartload of assholes raked up after dark, doesn’t mean they don’t have chops.

flutherother's avatar

“I have an important message to deliver to all the cute people all over the world. If you’re out there and you’re cute, maybe you’re beautiful. I just want to tell you somethin’ — there’s more of us UGLY MOTHERFUCKERS than you are, hey-y, so watch out.” Frank Zappa

Hibernate's avatar

I’d support a law like this. Mainly because sometimes it’s not that persons fault he had an accident was born deformed.

6rant6's avatar

What about stupid? Should that be a protected class?

perspicacious's avatar

Oh my Lord!!! Get a grip people.

Jaxk's avatar


It might cut down on the criticism of congress.

marinelife's avatar

No, because how would one define “ugly”, which is a purely subjective term.

What would follow?

Shorter people, especially men, make less money and get lower jobs too, should that be outlawed?

What about discrimination against the obese?

ratboy's avatar

Of course not! Conventional wisdom has it that the ugly ones fuck.

bob_'s avatar

No, because it would be very difficult, perhaps even impossible, to enforce, and there are other, more important things that should be addressed first.

woodcutter's avatar

Affirmative action for the homely, what a concept. Imagine the sandbaggers that would come out of the woodwork

jrpowell's avatar

I like nerdy chicks that remind me of libraries. I’m not really sure how this can be enforced. Blonde and big fake tits makes me cringe so the premise seems flawed.

But, I can guarantee that there are bosses that don’t hire ugly people for public facing jobs. They told me as much at the theater. The GM was drunk one night and we talked about it. He said something like, “Ugly people work at Arby’s. Pretty girls sell more popcorn.”

This might explain why I was a projectionist.

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