Beauty is in the Eyes of the Employer
In a recent survey of cosmetic surgeons, it was discovered that people seem more willing than ever to foot the bill for plastic surgery despite today’s dour economic climate.
What is most interesting, however, is that it has been suggested that an increasing number of patients are undergoing the procedures with the hopes that looking better (assuming that plastic surgery will make them look better, which is not always the case) will also give them a leg up in today’s competitive job market.
According to the survey, surgeons are busier than ever and are reporting about a 30% increase in the number of new patients, though most of them are requesting less expensive and less invasive procedures like Botox injections or skin peels. Big ticket operations like facelifts are actually on the decline, commensurate with the lean economic times. What is really interesting about the results is that some of the doctors alluded to their patients wanting to look better in their search for a new job.
Upon reading the actual results, it may have been a bit presumptuous to say that people are going under the knife to help them in their job hunt, since there is no actual hard data to support this and the relationship seems anecdotal, at best. Even still, it is interesting to note that appointments are on the rise at a time when an increasing number of people are out of work.
With this in mind, is it such a stretch to think that looking better might improve your chances of landing a job? Maybe not, when you consider that we live in a culture that values youth and beauty, where it is nearly impossible to avoid being bombarded with images of attractive celebrities who have carte blanche into a world that the average person has no access to. Granted, they are rich and famous, but perhaps their beauty might have played a role in all that.
Even our own distinguished Paul Michael has expressed an interest for more ample cleavage in the hopes that it might help assist him in various endeavors, and his logic is not without merit. In fact, it’s been documented.
In a study by the Federal Reserve of St. Louis, it was determined that attractive people earned better salaries, on the order of 5% more than their less attractive counterparts. The findings took into account education and experience, and found that attractiveness was an asset across all occupations. If that isn’t enough, the study determined that people with below-average looks actually suffered from a 9% decrease in earnings.
And the reality is, plastic surgery has become increasingly acceptable, not to mention accessible, to the mainstream public. In 2006 over 11 million Americans had some sort of cosmetic procedure done on them. Furthermore, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons , almost a quarter of a million of them were teens between the ages of 13-19. Believe it or not, plastic surgery has become a popular graduation present.
While it can’t be overstated that beauty comes from the inside and is of course a very personal issue, it is interesting to consider the role that our looks play in so many aspect of our lives, including getting a job.
After all, there is no denying that when searching for employment, appearances do matter. When most people go on interviews, they make some effort to project a good impression. They might wash and comb their hair or shave, or choose to wear a nice outfit; maybe even a suit or tie. It’s been known to happen.
All of this is done in order to project a certain image, and while the ultimate criteria for getting a job should (and probably does) boil down to your experience and qualifications, and keeping in mind that attractiveness is ultimately a matter of opinion, perhaps improving upon your looks isn’t such a bad strategic decision. It probably wouldn’t hurt, and at the very least might give you more confidence.
So in the end, maybe beauty really is in the eyes of the employer.