Beware the 'Tyranny' of Beauty

Our culture's obsession with looks is a dangerous thing
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2010 11:20 AM CDT
A Facebook photo of Debrahlee Lorenzana.   (Facebook)
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(Newser) – Apparently, "looksism" is the new buzzword. We've got Debrahlee Lorenzana, the Citibank worker who says she was fired for being too hot, and American Apparel accused of weeding out job applicants for not being hot enough. Now Meghan Daum takes note of a new book (the Beauty Bias, by Deborah Rhode) that argues workplace discrimination against the unbeautiful is so pervasive that laws are needed to protect them.

Maybe so, but "as unforgiving as Rhode's version of beauty bias can be, Lorenzana's might represent an even worse tyranny, one that sees beauty as something that must be chased down like prey and then flaunted," writes Daum in the Los Angeles Times. "It's the same brand of beauty that gets shoved down our throats every time we read about celebrities or watch a makeover show on TV, the kind that tells us that being hot is not only crucial but also a full-time job."

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