BRIGHT IDEAS: Deborah Rhode’s The Beauty Bias

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10 Responses

  1. Logan says:

    While I’m not well versed on this topic in regard to the legal field, I conducted a nationwide survey, while I was working on my undergraduate degree in Marketing for my Marketing Research class, that looked at perceptions hiring managers have on applicants based on how they dressed. I found that an individual’s dress has a fairly large impact on the hiring managers perceptions but that it had no impact on whether the individual was hired; except for in cases where two applicants had the same level of experience (the more attractice and/or better dressed individual was hired). This was the case for both men and women.

    For instance, men who wear lace-up shoes were considered to be more intelligent than men who wear loafers. For women, wearing hosiery made one more intelligent than one that did not wear them, with their skirt/dress.

    I would imagine you would find similar results in the legal field and the potential impact one’s dress has on a jury during trial could be tremendous (i.e. you’re argument might be consider more or less valid/credible based on your appearance).

  2. Kaimi says:

    Beautifully stated, Professors Citron and Rhode.

  3. jimbino says:

    So, if I started a Fat Ugly Poorly-Dressed Women’s Detective Society, I might well kill the competition?

  4. AYY says:

    I haven’t read the book but I’ve been fighting this battle for years and to no avail. At every opportunity I’ve urged, begged, and pleaded for women to wear less makeup, but do they listen? Not at all. So if Prof. Rhode wants to have laws that make it a mandatory 25 years to life for possession for sale of eye shadow, or a law that says “use an eyeliner go to jail”, she can count on my support.

    At this point though I’d be happy if she can get women to stop getting tattoos, piercings, nose rings, and those ridiculous little sparkling thingies they wear on the sides of their noses.

  5. Uno Hu says:

    There oughta be a law, sure ‘nough. And I can’t wait to see how you would word a law to make illegal appearance bias (never mind that beauty is in the eye of the beholder).

    Maybe simply a law that says if a sasquatch and babe both apply for the same job, it is presumptive evidence, or perhaps even that there is a non-rebuttable assumption, of bias, if one hires the babe??

    Would utilizing an opaque screen between interviewer and interviewee protect the employer if the babe was hired?? What about if you could still smell the sasquatch behind the screen. Would blinded telephone interviews be only safe way to interview?

    The idiocy of this notion just goes on and on!

  6. John David Galt says:

    I agree with Uno Hu. I defy anyone to write a law against this that wouldn’t create worse problems than it solves.

    If Hollywood couldn’t discriminate by appearance, most of its works could not have been made (or would lose the desired artistic effects). Similarly, TV news people and anyone in a sales or public-relations job have to look good lest they drive away customers.

    It sounds like the only way to achieve Ms. Rhode’s goal is to lobotomize everybody so that we no longer have the concepts of “beauty” and “ugliness”. Perish forbid!

  7. Dennis says:

    The answer is simple. All women shall be required to wear the Niqab.

  8. I just plain do not like these “better than thou” people

  9. anon says:

    Former Judge Nottingham resigned after it came out that he hired prostitutes for years and hung out in strip clubs.

    I was in his court several times with a female lawyer in whose favor he always ruled. She always wore tight skirts with a high slit up the back and sling back shoes. I thought at the time she looked like a whore.