General Overview of Beauty Prejudice
Prejudice can be defined as an opinion, preconceived that is not based on real experience or facts. It can also be characterized as injury or harm that may occur to an individual because of ill judgment or action. Beauty prejudice is bias, the basis of physical appearance particularly that which is deemed to come short of the actual society’s concepts of beauty. Society’s thinking has focused on perfecting the physical appearance, bounded by unachievable beauty. It uses different standards to judge men and women. Whereas a man’s judgment is based on “the power” standard, a woman is subjected to a different standard based on “beauty” (Dixon, 2011).
Negative Consequences of Beauty Prejudice
Beauty prejudice results in disunity, which leads to disintegration in the workplace due to competition. It can also be disadvantageous in terms of employment especially when women take up those professions that have been dominated before by men although this happens in rare occasions (Dixon, 2011). There have been accounts of gross incompetence in the workplace that arise due to hiring individuals on the basis of their beauty, yet one might not be qualified for a specific task. This in turn affects the productivity negatively.
Relationship of Beauty Prejudice to other forms of Discrimination
Different forms of discrimination other than beauty prejudice are identifiable at the workplace. These include discrimination based on age, gender, disability, race and disability. Discrimination affects people in the workplace in one way or another. However, beauty prejudice is of great concern because there is no well-defined regulation law that bans any bias that regards beauty unlike the other forms of discriminations. One common thing about identified forms of discrimination is that they all perpetuate some undesired decisions like firing (Chin, 2010).
Societal Factors that Contribute to and Perpetuate Beauty Discrimination
The society’s perception of the beautiful people has stirred this kind of discrimination. Attractive people are perceived to be more intelligent, successful, sociable, healthier, qualified and largely happier than their counterparts. Another contributing factor is the society’s obsession with the physical appearance while overlooking talents and abilities.
Three Court Cases Involving Beauty Prejudice
One example of a case involving beauty prejudice includes Vance v. Ball State University. This case involved harassment based on racism. Vance is denied a chance of enjoying equal opportunities by the virtue of being an African-American. The court ruled in favour of Vance. The final court’s ruling was correct, as all human beings should be treated equally regardless of their race. Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito’s highlights another case involving beauty prejudice. Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were on trial for the murder of Meredith. However, the public felt that she was innocent because she was pretty. This case was affected by beauty prejudice since Amanda Knox was considered innocent because she was pretty. The final ruling was not in favour of either the two because justice is not applied in terms of beauty. The case People V. McCacken also involved beauty discrimination because McCacken was charged with child stealing since his wife was supported by the people and the jury. The final ruling was that McCacken be charged with child abduction (Berry, 2007).
Relevant Antidiscrimination Legislation that might serve as a Basis for Discrimination Claims
An example of an antidiscrimination legislation that may serve as the basis for the discrimination claim includes the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). This legislation protects employees who are over 40 from discrimination. It prohibits discrimination in hiring and at the working environment. Another important legislation is the Disability Act, which is against discrimination of handicapped people at workplace. Recommendations for How to Reduce or Eliminate Discrimination from the Workplace
The national government should act in per with the international community by being a signatory to international human rights agreement. Various organizations and institutions should participate in activities that try to curb the prejudice and discrimination in order to promote harmony. Example of such activities includes establishing friendship centers and distributing written materials that discourage prejudice in the society.
Chin, J. L. (2010). The psychology of prejudice and discrimination. Santa Barbara, Calif: Praeger.
Dixon, J. (2011). Beyond prejudice: Extending the social psychology of intergroup conflict, inequality and social change. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.
Berry, B. (2007). Beauty bias: Discrimination and social power. Westport, Conn: Praeger Publishers.