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Dress well and be prettier to earn better pay.

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

post #2 of 22
Hmmm, what say "they" pay me better now .....

Then I can get nicer clothes, hire a personal trainer and a nutritionist-trained chef.

I guarantee that I will be "prettier" then.

post #3 of 22
There was a thread on this sometime back here on the beauty premium. I think it was a thread on plastic surgery.

But dressing well can give people a better first impression. The first job after college, the firm gave me and others who just joined I believe $2000 as a clothing allowance.
post #4 of 22
This article seems to be saying less about how you dress, and more about how good looking you are. Yes, better looking people usually get all of the breaks in life, where as plain looking short people don't.
post #5 of 22
Hmm, I think the above link is to a smaller article. The article I read was a much longer one and details greater aspect of the study. It also provides an explanation as to how the beauty premium works. In times of tight labor market (many jobs available) the beauty premium falls but in time where there are more people than jobs, the beauty premium comes into the picture. Dressing well can help someone look a bit better.
post #6 of 22
It may seem rediculous, but it's programmed into humans. Just like we're programmed to like fatty, sugary foods, we're programmed to think that good looking people are better at whatever. We may have the internet and cell phones, and we may have mapped the human genome, but we are still very much Cro Magnons.

This seems only to apply to the private sector, though..."slim, tall people tend to make more money".... If that's true, my boyfriend and I should be rolling in the cash, since we're both very tall...but being government employees...no such luck. lol
post #7 of 22
As sad as it may be, I can understand. But I have actually been truned down from a job b/c I dressed "too nice". Figure that one out
post #8 of 22
Why do you have to dress up , you are who you are with a fancy suit or not...
post #9 of 22
Professional dress is important in many jobs. Your employer has read your resume and interviewed you, and therefore knows that you are competent. However, customers/clients haven't, and they know that there are some bad employees out there. How do they know that I'm not one of them? Mentally, I think it goes like this in the customer's mind: if this employee doesn't even care enough to dress nicely, which is relatively simple, does this employee even care about the actual job? And it may not be a true line of reasoning in all cases, but in most places of work the customers are never going to have the time to actually get to know you, so all they have to work with are first impressions.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
I would agree with the thought that some people consider dressing nice "realitivley simple", it also becomes harder for those people who are either color blind (yes they could have someone help pick it out - but who wants to do that all the time?) - they could also be either in the pleasantly plump or the "I couldn't gain weight if I tried" mode - in both cases there are not "nice" clothes, becuase neither are considered "average". Then there is also the down and out, that might not be able to afford what some would consider nice clothes, but are still very good at what they do.

I think "clean" should be the word, not necessarily "nice" - what one person thinks of nice, I might think is hideous. When I interview people, how they dress is not as important (as long as they are wearing clean clothes, and not showing body parts that TV wouldn't show) - I judge them on their knowledge and demeanor.

I can speak from the "pleasantly plump" category - why on earth do they think we all want to wear a flower garden?
post #11 of 22
I think that if a person dresses better/neater it doesn't so much matter what she is built like. You can be any size & still look like a slob if ya don't spend some time on yourself. I don't have any problem with wearing used clothes from thrift shops, garage sales or E-bay. I just evaluate the situation & dress accordingly.
post #12 of 22
I've seen this work. Recently. Allow me to give you a little personal vignette. You all know that I work for a private aircraft charter. It's a family bussiness, and a rather small operation, employee wise, for the number of top name clients. You also know that back in November, Dianna, my counterpart, fell ill with cancer. We work the front desk. Well, the owners needed a temp to fill her spot. And so the drama begins.

We called a temp agency and they sent a girl. Girl A worked a whopping 3 days, before the owner came in and saw her. Girl A was admittedly, quite large. She didn't fit into the office chair. However, she presented herself well. The owner had the office manager get rid of her. The next day, a new girl from the agency. Girl B. I didn't see girl B but I was told she looked very masculine and needless to say, she was released after 1 day. Girl C never showed up, so the owners called and told them they wanted "someone pretty who would flirt a bit with the pilots." We got Girl D, The Temp from Hell. She lasted until just recently. And not because she was a good employee. From day 1 she started stuff with me and several other employees. She practically molested our line service and pilots, and she was too busy trying to get one of them to sleep with her to do her job. But, Girl D was pretty. (In fact just last week a line guy told me that another one of them said that we in the office hated her becuase she was pretty and we weren't. , Maybe we would have liked her if she had done her job!) And she stroked the ego of the owners son by flirting shamelessly with him in front of his 2 year old daughter. Anyway, she pulled all sorts of stuff, like not showing up on time, ect. They finally canned her because she was sobbing all over the front desk about having to move and telling all our clients this huge sob story and just being so unprofessional they couldn't overlook it any further. So we got Girl E. I never saw her, she was let go before I got to work for looking too plain. Girl F was too tall and manly, and Girl G walked out. Girl H was the last the agency had and she was let go on Thursday for being too frumpy.

We have gone through 8 temps in 5 months. It's absolutely ridiculous. The rest of us are standing around wondering why were hired and if we are going to be canned if our makeup isn't perfect or our hair isn't curled correctly! I understand we have clients who we need to impress, but really, this is ridiculous!
post #13 of 22
Bingo Amber. It doesn't matter if fat girl, frumpy girl, tall and manly girl, or plain girl wore the absolute best clothes for their body types in professional style. It's about looks, not dress. Not always, but it is there. And it does effect women more than men, because women are more likely to be in "public" positions such as receptionist/admin. assistant than men. And let's face it...that's where there are 100 people to do the job that all have similar qualifications, so the judgement is more likely to come down to looks (NOT dress).

Having said that, I've seen it go the other way too. When I worked at a construction company (read: hardly any walk-in traffic), I found out that they had hired the receptionist mainly because she was a big girl and not overly attractive (she didn't have much if any experience going in, but it's not like answering phones and typing is rocket science). They didn't want the shop workers in the back to be coming up and wasting time flirting with a pretty girl up front. She did a good job, she was bubbly and charismatic, fun to work with. But the initial decision was based on her looks.

Obviously cases as obvious as Amber's and my above example aren't going to happen with frequency, but it does happen, and it isn't because of the suit they wore. It's about "pretty and thin" vs. "plain and fat" (or some other socially unattractive trait). And it would be nigh on impossible to prove that it is looks discrimination because, like I said, most positions where this would come into play qualified people are a dime a dozen.
post #14 of 22
Lord! Yes, it's usually hard to prove such things, but in the first example the bosses were overheard saying they wanted a pretty girl who would flirt with the customers. That's quite enough right there to get them into trouble, and there are legal options. The reason stuff like this persists is because employers think people won't bother to fight them on it, and most people don't. But what if most people did? It's a hellish route, but change won't occur otherwise. I hope that if that ever happened to me I would stick to my guns and fight them on it. Of course, I won't know what I'd really do until I was there. But I can say that I have been sexually harrassed, and took action on that . . ..

BTW, I don't disagree that discrimination based on looks exists. I know it does, and those two stories are examples! I was only responding to the comment/question that asked why you had to dress up.
post #15 of 22
it reminds me of a quote i once heard

" there is no such thing as ugly women, just lazy ones"

if you dress nicely, and nice doesnt have to be expensive, and are well groomed people tend to think more of you as you have confidence and respect for yourself.
post #16 of 22
Originally Posted by Big Bad Wolf
Hmmm, what say "they" pay me better now .....

Then I can get nicer clothes, hire a personal trainer and a nutritionist-trained chef.

I guarantee that I will be "prettier" then.

post #17 of 22
I think it depends on the industry. In the TV industry, where I work, no one dresses up. I go to work in jeans. When I first started, I dressed up, and every once in a while I like to put on a skirt and feel girly - but all the guys just look at me odd.
post #18 of 22
Originally Posted by eburgess
As sad as it may be, I can understand. But I have actually been truned down from a job b/c I dressed "too nice". Figure that one out
You arent the only one... I have on a few occations...
post #19 of 22
I think the dressing up has a lot to do with the specific industry especially those places with dress code. If everyone is decked on in a suit and you come to work or the interview in flip flops, bermudas and a T-shirt, unless you happen to be the boss or has some awesome reputation, you could be in a bit of trouble.

But note the article talks about beauty premium rather than just specifically a pretty woman. So it actually cuts across gender lines.

If you think about it, it is usually the cute and cuddly animals that people spend money to save, such as cats, koala bears, dogs, etc. There must be a reason why the WWF's logo is that of the cute panda and not a snake or a frog.
post #20 of 22
I believe this "beauty" thing to be true, but then I also believe we are ALL guilty of it.

When was the last time one of you, who are so angered by this, went out with an ugly person of the opposite sex even if he/she did have a "GREAT" personality? I know personally it has been a lot of years since I dated a "not so hot" fellow.
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Been there, done that. Would do it again.

Hubby might be a little peturbed though.
post #22 of 22
I think that the beauty thing though could also be related to showing self confidence. Like I would rather hire someone who was confident and optimistic than someone who wasn't completely sure of themselves. And I think that attractive people for the most part may feel more secure than less attractive people. They also said that some of the most successful people are butt ugly so I don't think that anyone who really believes in themselves and what they do has a disadvantage.
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