Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's What It Is On the Inside That Counts

I was about ten-years old the first time I heard someone call a name behind my back. I was at a popular girl from grade school's birthday party and while we were all undressing in the locker room to head out and go stuff our faces with birthday cake, I heard the birthday girl tell all her bff's that I was certainly gaining some weight. And I distinctly remember being called 'fat' and sobbing to my friend Nicole that girls were so mean.

And I think that's the probably the moment I realized that looks matter more than I had ever thought they could.

Our parents raise us to think that it's what is on the inside that counts, but unfortunately that isn't always the case. For Working Girls, this is certainly true when we go out on job interviews.

I recently read an article about a new study that the University of Florida that found people with intelligence earn more in their lifetimes than those who are attractive or self-confident. "While beauty matters to career success, brains matter most," said Timothy Judge, the University of Florida management professor, who conducted the study.

The study goes on to say that intelligent people do better in their jobs because they are not only more educated, but more confident in their abilites because of this education. He also hypothesized that "smart people make better career choices, learn more on the job, negotiate pay more effectively, and adapt better to changes in the workplace."

The results were based on a study of 191 men and women who varied in age from 25-75. The researched established tests and exercises that measured the participants intelligence and self-confidence. Their attractiveness was based on personal photographs they sent in and then rated on a scale of one to seven.

While beauty did not come in first, it did come in third. Which means that it still plays a large part in getting hired. While beauty rarely has anything to do with the job that you are performing, it still plays a large role in getting hired and therefore what income you receive.

And the 'fat' 10-year-old in me hates that.

While I do agree that we have to put our best foot forward while interviewing (which means applying your make-up just right or making sure your shirt is ironed perfectly), I despise the idea that a girl who is a little bit skinnier or is more proportinate or has whiter teeth could get a job over someone more qualified.

I believe it is a big step forward that we can say those who are intelligent earn more in their lifetimes, but I hope in the future we judge each other less on how we look and more on qualifications and background experience. (And charisma - cause I got lots o' that).

And I have to say a big suck it to the girl who called me 'fat' in grade school bc according to these stats I'm gonna be making bank before you).

15 comments: Maegan said...

lol ...well, if a man is hiring ...then yes, for sure, looks come into play ...but not so much being skinny. I think women care more about "skinny" ...and men want something they can look at and grab onto ..having nothing to do with getting hired ..but if a man is doing the interview better believe that is going through his mind ..well, unless he is gay :) in which case, he'll hire the hot young guy with great ass and hair! lol works both ways.

Also remember that "pretty" usually equals "dumb" in many people's minds ...which is not always the case but it's still a stereotype that people put on you whether you are brilliant or not ...they don't care's all in what they see.

sorry for the novel lol... Great post!

Nicole said...

I could understand attractiveness in terms of trying to look your best. But attractiveness as compared to other people is discouraging. At least intelligence is number one.

L.L. said...

It's all about first impressions - you can be the smartest person in the world, but if you look sloppy or dumpy, or like you just don't care about how you look, you will lose the chance to make that good first impression.

A lot of people view fat people as not caring about how they look, and this isn't always true. Also - you can be overweight and still look amazing if you wear the right clothes.

Bottom line - they have interviews for a reason, because just looking at a resume full of accomplishments is not enough to give someone a clue as to what you're really like.

Dollface said...

Aww... I hear ya!! xxooo

jh said...

Great article-so thought provoking. I think it is sad that we live in a world in which we have to divide people into categories like this in the first place. Thanks.

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Kimberley said...

This was a great post.

I think there is probably a fine line. I have one friend who is incredibly gorgeous and glamorous AND also amazingly intelligent (she's also nice...seriously...I wish I could hate her!)

She has found that she is judged on her image, and it is often thought (and verbalised) that she managed to get where she is solely through looking so great.

I find that very sad.

Its difficult. If you don't try hard enough you are seen as sloppy, if you try too hard it can also work against you.

Ok, I just officially depressed myself. LOL x

Ana from far away! said...

I loved reading this post, I think (for what I have seen) that what happens most of the times with attractive people is that they tend to oustand a little bit more when it comes to the first impression. And first impression is very important. But giving a first good impression can be achieved in a lot of ways, that´s why it is important to use creativity and inteligence for that.

AVON Lady said...

I love your blog, I work as a guidance counselor and I know in middle school looks count alot and they shouldn't. I try to tell the kids that if you have more to you than just your looks, you'll go much farther. After all looks fade, you need intelligence to survive and get ahead. Your blog is one of my favorites :)

rads said...

Yea looking good always mattered no matter how intelligent a person is. But to the life of me I'll never understand why and I hate when people judge or hire someone coz of their outward beauty.

InmateK8 said...

While I am fortunate to be working in an industry where looks are a definate non-issue and skill is most important, I wear a uniform and my hair in an ugly, regulation bun so I need a little mascara to make me feel like I'm at my best : )

LiLu said...

Love this. It's a cruel fact of life that beautiful people have more handed to them... but not a fact that can't be overcome with some serious brainpower.

And now I'm off to dump some laxative in that girl's coffee who made fun of you. She should have an interesting morning...

minneapoliscareergirl said...

My theory is this - someone who is intelligent and self-confident will be naturally attractive. Attractive doesn't necessarily mean perfectly proportioned or symmetrical. Attractive people are self-assured.

Marcia said...

When I was applying for a job as a flight attendant I had to speak a couple of language in front of a person (there were multiple applicants, therefore multiple people to interview us in the same room). A girl next to me, pretty and blonde (I don't say I am not looking nice, but compared to her...). Anyway, I heard her stumble in English and German. I on the other hand spoke my English (and still do) fluently, did very well in German and fairly good in French.

Well.. the girl was invited to go to the next round, while I was sent home.

To this date I am working 10,5 years for the same airline, only in an office (afraid to fly now hehehe).

Moral of the story, it also seems to depend on what kind of job you're applying to :(

In Bug's Drawers said...

I agree with you completely on this subject. Its horrible how the media and the beauty industry has forced impossible beauty standards on society.

Kaitlyn Rose said...

This is such an excellent post! It's a sad but true fact that good looks will get you the extra mile in the working world. Still, it's assuring to hear that intelligence is still so valued.

PS, I just started a new job and this blog is my new bible. I love it!