Saturday, 17 August 2013

Lookism? Beware of the smuggly

In today's Globe and Mail, the activist Naomi Wolf describes a business climate that is rife with discrimination based on how people look. She calls this lookism.
In a nutshell, Wolf makes the argument that how a person looks affects his or her climb up the ladder -- or not.
Why, she asks, must the media riff on Angela Merkel's wrinkly cleavage or Hillary Clinton's cankles? They don't take Newt Gingrich down for his pottiness or mock Ben Bernanke for his weird facial hair.
I don't agree. I think lots of people laugh at Gingrich, if only for having such a stupid name.
I do agree that there is a double standard.
But it's not the double standard that Wolf is talking about.
The double standard has to do with smart ugly men, or smugglies.
An ugly teenaged boy with a pizza face and no pecular activity whatsoever might get teased. But if he's smart in a book learnin' sense, he will go to university, take advantage of that nerdiness and excel.
While guys who look like Rob Lowe are banging chicks and draining kegs, the smuggly might join the economics club or a political party, where smuggly activities are rampant.
When a smuggly enters the business world, no one expects him to get ahead of somebody who looks like Rob Lowe, so he flies under the radar.
Before you know it, Rob Lowe is shuffled sideways into a line manager position and the smuggly has made it to the corner office. No one knows why. One day he is just there.
The promotion of smugglies in our society is insidious and it cuts across all business models. Even in television, Brian Williams may be reading the news, but his ugly counterpart is running the damned network. (Even some smugglies make it to television, as commentators, people like that penis-headed Cajun James Carville who used to work for Bill Clinton. But they have to do a sideways shuffle. They have to first be in charge in politics where smuggly goes to die.)
Once the smuggly excels in business or politics, there is no stopping him.
Pretty soon he's getting more action that Rob Lowe.
Look in the New York Times every Sunday and you'll see a parade of smugglies with gorgeous blondes on their arm. Meanwhile, Rob Lowe is getting wasted at the local Putt 'in Putt and going home alone.
Of course, there are exceptions.
You might see the odd hard-bodied vice-president, but you hardly ever see a good looking CEO.
Think about it.
So I think Wolfe has it upside down.
We need to be targeting the nerds in high school and have them terminated.
It's time to swallow the worm and drink the tequila.
Only then will great looking people finally be free.

No comments:

Post a Comment