In a world where pretty privilege is as prevalent as racism and discrimination and "lookism" is an actual thing, learning that being beautiful could actually cost you a business deal or job position, is quite the plot twist.
A study that was done by researchers at the Washington State University, found that businesswomen perceived as beautiful or attractive, were more often than not, not only considered untrustworthy but were also at a higher risk of getting fired.
It's important to note that the findings did not see the same results when comparing a man's attractiveness and perceived trustworthiness.
Quite the shocker. Especially when you think about all the opportunities given to people just because they were good looking or attractive.
The people who are able to take candidly good pictures of themselves and look effortlessly flawless, are more often than not, at the receiving end of free goodies, trips and a lot more. A practical example would be the Beauty Pass App.
It was created last year and allows beautiful women free access to restaurants, gym clubs and even covers their traveling fees. Attractiveness is indeed a lucrative commodity.
Although it seems pretty unfair in it's entirety, most people have become accustomed to a world run by vanity and the need to be and feel outwardly attractive, maybe even more so because of all of its advantages.
This study however, which was called the femme fatale (seductive yet manipulative woman) effect by researchers, proves that good looks might not always be good.
According to one of the researchers and the lead author of the study, Leah Sheppard, women who are more beautiful than most are thought to be "dangerous", assumingly so, because they can use their good looks to get whatever they want.
This Adelaide Now article reports that back in 2012, a journalist named Samantha Brick became the centre of backlash after she wrote an article about her experience as being an attractive professional, and how her colleagues alienated and discriminated her based on her looks.
Adding proof that there is indeed a downside to being a beautiful woman in power.
“Highly attractive women can be perceived as dangerous. That matters when we are assessing things like how much we trust them and whether we believe that what they are saying is truthful.”
In this New York Times article, Leah explains the phenomenon using age old mindsets as an example of the way women used attractiveness to find partners, viewed other attractive females as competition and men in the same way thought that being attractive made one more likely to be unfaithful.
Leah goes on to explain that while we've evolved as humans, it's not uncommon for both men and women in the workplace to assume that a beautiful woman was in a higher or more favourable position because she used her sexuality.
In the same way, being beautiful makes her more likely to have manipulated her way to the top.
All leading to feelings of jealousy, misplaced trust and essentially believing that beautiful woman are incapable of doing their jobs, putting them at higher risk of being fired or demoted.
Beautiful women are “going to be challenged in terms of building trust,” says Leah. “That’s not to say that they can’t do it. It’s just that trust is probably going to form a bit more slowly,” she concludes in her study.
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