Working Wounded Blog: Being Beautiful

News Flash: Studies show that good looking people have an easier time at work.

"The Daily Show's" segment on President Bush's Supreme Court nominee, John Roberts, was entitled, "Judge Cutie" (with the same logo as Judge Judy). And that wasn't the only press coverage that included a reference to the fact that Roberts was good-looking.

And here I thought that the only candidates for high office who were selected on the "babe" factor were John Edwards and Dan Quayle. Before you jump to the conclusion that this workplace blog has been hijacked by a political commentary, studies show that good looks don't only resonate in vice presidents and Supreme Court justices; they also carry a great deal of weight back at work.

According to an article in the USA Today (a newspaper, by the way, well known for its appearance) male CEO's were, on average, 3 inches taller than the average man. Another study found that an increase in a woman's body mass resulted in a decrease in her family income and job prestige. And finally, more than 20 percent of very overweight employees have low morale, double the average for employees with healthy weights.

Will the tyranny of the pretty ever end? The good-looking people called the shots in high school and it looks like they're still calling 'em all these years later.

I decided that rather than complaining and criticizing people who are good-looking, I would interview a bunch of attractive people to get their take on this issue (it's a tough job and I decided to make this sacrifice for you, dear reader). What I learned was fascinating. Every good-looking person I talked to admitted that there were many times in their lives that they had stuff handed to them. But they also described times where their ideas weren't taken seriously or where there was retribution simply because of their looks.

These conversations were a revelation to this average-looking blogster. I knew from personal experience that not-pretty people suffered because of their appearance. I was fascinated to discover that pretty people also experience rejection for -- yes, you guessed it -- their looks.

So I'm making a plea. Let's all move past high school and start to judge people for the content of their character and for the quality of their ideas. People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People" issue may be a fun read -- but it's an ugly way to do business.

Quote of the week:
"Never promise more than you can deliver." -- Pubilius Syrus, 1st Century B.C.

Weekly book excerpt:
From "F'd Company: spectacular dot-com flameouts" by Philip J. Kaplan (Simon & Schuster, 2002).

", king of the single-movie-rental-messengered-to-your-door-with-no-tipping, decided a little too late to require a minimum order. If Kozmo were really such a good idea in the first place, Domino's would have been a $500 billion company 10 years ago. Pizza delivery places make money 'cuz they make a pizza for $1 and sell it for $12. Hand-delivering pints of Ben & Jerry's just ain't the same. Eventually Kozmo did instate a $10 minimum charge, but then they couldn't find enough customers who wanted 10 bucks' worth of Snickers and "Fight Club".…. Kozmo's investors included, venture capital firm Flatiron Partners and evil Starbucks."

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