So what is Facial Discrimination..?

Without realising it… We all facially discriminate people. Constantly… Like an illness really… It just happens.

Living in a post millennium London City, I too am victim to this ‘illness’ and facially discriminate people everyday. From choosing to sit next to the light-eyed hottie on the bus, against the supposedly equal option of the plain-looking guy on the other side, to thinking that the pretty brunette sales assistant in a clothes store will have a better opinion on which jeans to buy against her glasses-clad colleague. It’s something we as humans subconsciously do. It’s like when picking flowers, would you go for the simple daffodil or the beautiful rose?

Different from other forms of discrimination, it’s a very personal and sensitive topic to start a dispute over. I mean how degrading would it be (on a personal level) for a woman to approach her boss and say “I think I’m getting fewer sales than so-and-so because they’re prettier than me” or for a guy to say “So-and-so’s got a nicer chin so all the women flood to him at the cash desk.” Seems tedious but I’m sure you can relate.

Conversely, what happens if the burden of good looks shows it’s ugly face when least needed. Anyone seen Legally Blonde? Being a female, I think I can safely say on behalf of my gender that we often complain about being judged on appearance instead of accomplishments. Take for example a job interview at a coffee shop. Turning up with clear skin complimented by thick eyelashes and a big white smile will work for you better than a bad-hair-day and the ability to speak five languages.

Just something for you to think about… Abercrombie & Fitch paid $40 million a few years back to settle a lawsuit alleging that it staffed its stores with hip, attractive young people. Any views?

Back to the idea of picking flowers, not to stereotype any of the physically beautiful people out there, but remember that every rose has a thorn.

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30 Responses to “So what is Facial Discrimination..?”

  1. Oooooo this is an interesting debate…Guess it’s an issue that we all subconsciously are guilty of doing…
    Kind of weird though when you realise that just as you may judge someone else through appearance, they are just as likely to judge you too…

  2. its very true yet a fact of life. It fits the evolution theory and Social Darwinism. Society as it is protects and encourages equality of opportunity, and without it this would be a big factor in many decisions quite openly. Its good we can regocnise these issues and try to counter them, but as a human instinct it can’t be changed

  3. I live in a pretty well to do area (with my parents) and I think it’s through no coincidence that the drivers of the Porsches and Merc’s which crowd our neighbourhood are good-looking attractive people. A picture can speak a thousand words. A pretty face can bribe like a thousand pounds.

  4. I think it amazing that you have decided to write about something as artificial as looks. They are not the be all and end all of life. There are other things out there besides looks. As a woman, I find it absolutely abhorrent that you have chosen to stereotype the whole of womankind and even to an extent, humankind with just one post.
    Not all of us are so absorbed in what people look like; I for one would not choose to sit next to someone based solely upon their appearance. Do you not think that this kind of discrimination is equal to that of sexism or even racism? It could even be compared to the segregation of black and white people in America.
    Something I don’t understand is your problem with daffodils. They mark the beginning of spring; foretell the coming of newborn animals and the end of the winter hibernation season. They tell us that the trees will soon be awash in blossom; in the UK they signal the coming of Easter and the death and resurrection of Jesus; but most of all they are the national flower of Wales? – are you trying to imply that none of this is important? Is Wales not beautiful enough for you? Just because it isn’t the Caribbean doesn’t mean that it isn’t beautiful in its own way.
    Beauty is not just skin deep. Just look at what the measly daffodil represents, it does not need good looks to survive. Personally, I think that they are amazing flowers which should be valued much more than the rose.
    What does the rose represent? The thing which is most likely to come to mind is love. But does it? I mean how many generic bouquets of roses are turned out of factories and plants in the run up to Valentines Day? Are they bought because the sender wants to show their love to whomever they are giving them to? Or is more likely the case that they will have been bombarded with ads in the weeks leading up to the sacred day and also the threat of severe repercussions for when that someone does not get their roses on Valentines Day?
    If I was faced with the question of roses or daffodils I know which I would choose!
    As for your comments about sales people believing that their sales have been affected because they are less attractive than others – it comes across that you have not thought about the true underlying reasons as to why they sell less. Could it not be that they are just not as good at their job as the seemingly more attractive sales person? But let’s not get into a debate about that, as the poor example you have used is not the issue at hand here.
    Something which is of issue, is where you claim that ‘facial discrimination’ is different than other forms of discrimination in the sense that it is personal. What forms of discrimination have you come across which have not been personal or sensitive? The whole point about discrimination is that it is personal as the victim is being singled out because of their race, gender, or in this case looks.
    Was it not Hitler who massacred six million Jews because they did not fit in with his vision of the Aryan race? His revolutionary view was that of a world full of blue eyed, blond haired people. But would have happened if he had got his way? I think the best way to describe this would be to use the lyrics from the song Rotterdam by The Beautiful South:
    “And everyone is blond
    And everyone is beautiful
    And when blonde’s and beautiful are multiple
    They become so dull and dutiful”
    Many people stereotype blonde’s as being dumb but beautiful; but if the majority of the world was blond would it not be the case that maybe the brown haired girl could be perceived as the exotic beautiful exception to the average looking blond? Looks are so very subjective. For example it has been shown that in cultures where food is a luxury those who are of a larger size are seen as beautiful, whereas in cultures where food is plentiful, it is those who are thinner that are more attractive.
    All of you who judge people based upon their looks, this is a question to you: what would you do one day if you woke up and everyone looked like your idea of perfect beauty? Would it not become mundane? Would you not wish for someone who looked even a bit different? Is it not true that variety is the spice of life?

  5. RM – It is very true that variety is the spice of life… Which is why I have my opinion & you have yours. It is my personal opinion (as a human) that we often subconciously discriminate people just on the basis of looks. Call it shallow call it abhorrent… It happens. On the personal/sensitive issue… Please don’t tell me you think the degradation associacted with speaking up about a racist or sexist discriminatory act is harder than speaking up about a facially discriminatory act. In racism & sexism you are not alone… When you’re facially discriminated against it’s a personal & unique attack on you as ONE person. Please don’t take any personal offece from the content of my blog. If you have already, I sincerely apologise & wish you “Happy Surfing” away from my page.

  6. But RM – so your saying youd pick a dafodil over a rose because of what it represents. Fair enough…

    but what if you were in M&S and it was the day before valentines day or some kind of event that was special to you – and there were only two bouquets of daffodils left, one that looked abit worn, and one that beautiful. Naturally you’d pick the latter…

  7. I don’t buy flowers

  8. jaybains Says:

    Back to the content of this blog… Any views on the alleged Abercrombie payout?

  9. Anonymous Says:

    ermmmmm…RM clearly has issues about the way they look…chilll…

  10. Well, the Abercrombie payout highlights an interesting point. I was reading an article about this issue on the CBS news website and in it, it brings up a point about Hooters. Hooters hire their workforce based on how large one’s boobs are. If this is the case, why are they not being sued just as Abercrombie and Fitch were? We cannot surely have different rules for different firms. The Law should be uniform in its approach shouldn’t it? Hiring workers because they have large assets is a form or facial discrimination is it not?

  11. seriuslii RM??? Says:

    RM needs 2 shut up b4 she gets sent 2 a concentr8tn camp (rolls eyes) how can stating something that happens everyday b compared 2 the things hitler did. if anything RM is hitler dictating on this page which fair enough people should give their opinions but like go pick some daffodils!

  12. people people people- clearly RM is jus fugly!

  13. RM makes a very good point actually. It is true, the points of beauty being more than skin deep. The daffodil represents so much, as does a rose in a very different way. A beaufitul sales person may be poor at their job, compared the the less attractive top-seller of Currys. The issue here is defining ‘beauty’. Beauty from RM view is refering to a much deeper level, which we all know we all consider with every family member, friend and collegue we ever meet in life. We choose friends and partners on these terms. The beauty this blog refers to is that on a physical level, superficial if you will. RM…what i think you have missed is that no-one has stated this physical beauty is the be all end all. All the same, psychology proves the subconcious process takes part every day to certain extents. Il put money on Freud helping out there!
    A common example ive been faced with is people saying what do you look for in a woman. Personally, i am a fan of the personality; Somebody caring who shares, takes interest in my day & is there when i need them. There plent of people im sure who’d agree, they’ve met that hottie, got a chance to meet her, and shes a prat. Shes dumb, shes superficial, luvs herself so much that you jus become one of her boys. Or the other side, she turns out to be lovely. Initial attraction is based on physical. AKA it exists!
    Nobody is saying it is fair or right, but it exists. You referred to slavery in America. Slavery existed and racism caused it. Can you deny its realism because you dont like it?
    You talk about cultures. Yes, cultural beauty differs on superficial levels i.e the slim thin girl here against the large african women. In a deepr level, i think we would see similarities to fulfil our human desires – these are general after all to almost every human. BUt this same problem of subconcious choices affecting behaviour would exist.
    I completely agree beauty is so much more than just physical, but the pretty girl gets her man (more of the time) compared to the less attractive one. Its not always the case, but i think life could tell you that this happens. Jay hasnt said its right, infact shes very much addressing it as an Issue. Her use of the world ‘personal’ i think meant in the sense we categorise ourselves into race and gender groups, but we dont seperate into ugly or pretty groups. Because of this, we dont discuss it. We dont talk about how people think we are ugly, fat, spotty, etc. Right there has proved that I myself am a victim of cultural implications. ANyone who read that an understood what i meant is as wel. Our environment shapes us into a certain mindframe, and for WHATEVER reason, beauty is defined a certain way in this country and is similar across the Western societies. Nonetheless, it exists, its real, we all fall victim to it, and Jay is addressing it because it is unique and original – no-one would discuss it for fear of getting a response as negative as your own.

  14. PB – good point in regard to sueing Hooters. Alternativly, why should anyone be sued? If beauty is set a certain way in this society, why can a firm not use it to their advantage? They didnt ask people to look at their workers. Infact, if you find them attractive that is individual choice. Should they be sued because their target employees are attractive? finally, who’s sueing? the people who didnt get the job? They themselves possibly feel insecure themselves. Are they just trying to point blame or get some cash?We could say free market – competition promoted – workers compete as well…
    Emirates Airways – to apply for a job, last i heard you actually are interviewed in Dubai. I know someone who was planning to do so except they stated clearly nobody with any form of facial markings should apply. She had a beauty spot on her face. Sue them? (luv to see anyone try)

    (food for thought – no-one give me the capitalist treatment. Im not agreeing, just giving the other perspective. This is a blog after all :)

  15. looooooooool.. wow talk about taking it over the top…
    RM, you have majooooooorrrrrrr mental issues and i seriously think u need professional help. and im afraid to say ur not going to find it n this blog so please do the world a favor and go sign ur self into some mental institution or another.

  16. rm is talking for the sake of it. Says:

    i think its interesting that “RM” seems to have no apparant point.

    she says that she cant beleive you have raised such a superficial issue..yet by talking about it she proves that there is clearly an issue, that it is not just “artificial looks”, it is something that affects everyone, everyday, whether they think they are better than it or not.
    she seems to think she is above everyone discussing this..yet she herself as done so.

    she also says that she would not sit next to the attractive boy on the bus. why not?
    is it simply because he’s attractive? sitting next to the unattractive boy would be a concious decision, and choosing to sit with him simply because he is not attractive is being facially discriminating to the attractive boy. and the unnattractive one for that matter..you have deemed him less attractive and therefore chosen to sit with him, to avoid being facially discriminative against him. so in the end you are as bad as all the people you judge, guilty of the same crime. and if you wouldnt chose to sit next to someone based soley on their looks, what WOULD make you choose? because whatever it is means you have judged both of them on only what you can see, unless you would make a point of talking to both of them for five minutes before you decide. and even then, it would be the personality that appealed most to you that made you choose.

    you also fight the point for choosing the daffodil over the rose. however you then talk about the daffodils “inner” beauty, making it clear that sooner or later it all comes down to which is most attractive to you. you would choose the flower that is attractive becasue of what it represents, but that is why it appeals to you, why it is beautiful to you. so it’s still about selfishness, you choose the flower which you find the most beautiful, one way or another.

    and yes hitler killed millions of people, your point, exactly? he proved that facial discrimination has always been an issue and its about time it was acknowledged.

    variety can certainly be seen as the spice of life, but that doesnt mean everyone would have to look the same in order for everyone to be attractive. think about how many women out there are considered pretty. theres millions of them. do they all look the same? no.

    you say that “not everyone is as absorbed in looks”..i bet you try to look attractive? i bet you wash your hair and dress in clothes that suit you, maybe even put on makeup? ou probably flirt and smile, all things that are concious efforts to make people look attractive.

    you are above no one else, you judge people the same as everyone else does, by choosing the daffodil because it is seen as less beautiful or choosing the less attrctive boy simply so you havnt chosen to sit with the attractive one, you are judging them.
    so get your head out of your ass,
    and shut up.

  17. RM i think you need to accept the fact that 99% of the human race facially discriminate whether it be consciously or subconsciously. It’s obvious to all that it is something that should not be done but it is something that is very difficult to control. I find it amazingly hard to believe that you have not been more inclined to the prettier sales assistant or the prettier flower. Or even simply given the prettier individual a long look and the less attractive one a mere glimpse.

    Although i agree with your point that looks are artificial and should not be considered the be all and end all of life your apparent criticism of the blog amazes me. This post was not aimed to discriminate women in any way but to highlight the issues that facial discrimination pose in today’s society. I’m sure if you read the blog properly you would see this fact and not jump to an immediate conclusion that this blog in some way degrades womankind. Facial discrimination is not an issue that only women have to deal with right?

    I feel once you have read it with a clear mind and not one out to criticise in anyway possible you will realise that the blog was aimed to promote discussion and awareness on the issue not to further discriminate.

    Pav Tut

  18. To be honest, RM makes some good points, but seems to misunderstand the purpose of the blog itself, and thus RM’s attacks upon the blog are absurd.

    But above all else, if RM seriously believes that they do not judge anyone on looks (and this does not just mean attractiveness but general characteristics of appearance) at all, ever, then they are DELUDED. It is a fact of human nature, in truth a valuable skill which has helped us to survive and procreate, and even in the modern day has its uses but, like all products of biological evolution, has its downsides in the modern world, where it conflicts with some values of cultural evolution. However to deny its existence is ignorant and stupid.

    On the point of Hooters, it is widely recognised that the whole point of Hooters is the well-endowed women, unlike abercrombie where the business is clothes. Thus, to sue Hooters for employing based on looks would be a dangerous move – it is effectively an attack on the industry itself rather than its employment policy. One might as well attempt to sue a modelling firm for hiring good looking people, or playboy for not featuring men. Looks do have their place in some industries.

  19. jaybains Says:

    Wow thanks for the amazing supoprt guys! “LB”, “rm is talking for the sake of it” and “Pav Tut” have brought up some key issues, so thanks for paying such an interest… :) Reading this comment page brings to light many examples and potential situations where Facial Discrimination is clearly evident. This issue raised about Hooters and the size of their workers’ boobs seems to be true too. I’ll do a bit of research on job criterions and see if I can find anything significant. Keep up the commenting… :) JB

  20. it happens
    and i think this blog addresses it in a way which makes us actually think…
    great blog :)

  21. Overall I think that this website supports a really good argument. Keep up the good work and it will soon be worldwide. :)

  22. I have never heard of the term ‘facial discrimination’ however after I read this page I felt really weird as although I have never heard of facial discrimination I think that I am guilty of being a facial discriminst.

  23. I personally prefer flowers

  24. Does every1 believe facial discrimination does not exist today? terms such as; bimbo, barbie asian barbie, blonde….. are these not just attacks on a persons physical appearance? Using a derogatory term such as above is discrimination i believe in the 21st century. !!!!!!!!!!

  25. Most women will agree that men do judge a person on 1st appearance i.e scale of 1-10 ….ten being the “fittest” thats not 2 say girls do not do the same!!! but honestly of all the bloggers so far how would u rate yourself?

    i my self would be a 9 out of 10 ;)

  26. Very good blog glad i came across it!…Raises awareness about important issues…

  27. Overall it seems that you have alot of opinion, but where is the statistical evidence? There is none!

  28. This is all nonsense. This website is just giving out extremely stupid ideas. It is just making people feel guilty for having opinions. If someone is a facial discriminist it is not a crime. We all have our own opinion! The fact that you find a blonde girl with blue eyes married to a handsome man is just the twenty first century. It is not because the blonde girl finds other men unattractive. Its kind of just like a jigsaw puzzle that hasn’t been put together yet. Some people are just not meant to do certain things!

  29. in agreement with KM, I feel there is no statistical evidence for facial discrimination? However, racism may be considered a form of facial discrimination, and there is plenty of empirical support for this form of facial discrimination.

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