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Hire me... I'm Beautiful

Given that society places such an important emphasis on looks, why isn't discrimination based on appearance illegal?

Given the enormous amount of discrimination that takes place as a direct consequence of personal appearance, it's noteworthy that a nation as legalistic as ours has passed almost no laws that attempt to regulate such matters. Outside of a handful of municipalities (San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Calif., Washington, D.C.) it is perfectly legal to discriminate against people because of their looks, even when their looks have nothing to do with their ability to do their jobs.
Perhaps this is an admission that appearance-based discrimination is so deeply rooted in our culture that no law could hope to do much about it. More disturbingly, perhaps it's a sign that at bottom we don't actually disapprove of giving all sorts of unearned social advantages to beautiful people simply because they're beautiful.

Or perhaps it's an admission that such a law would be completely unenforceable? In order to prove discrimination, you'd have to PROVE that the victim was less attractive. How do you do that? Comparison photos?!

Furthermore, appearance isn't solely based on genetics. Just about anybody can look good with enough time and money. When you go to a job interview, do you wear a suit? A nice shirt? A dress? A tie? Under appearance discrimination laws, you could wear whatever you wanted.

Hire me!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 11, 2006 12:43 AM.

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