U-G-L-Y, You Ain’t Got No Alibi (at Work)

As if working moms don’t have enough to worry about — taking care of our families, homes and jobs — we also have to be concerned about how we look. And I don’t mean in a vain, “I want to look my best” way. I mean, we have to worry about looking good to get the edge on a new job or promotion.

In this new depressing-but-true Forbes article, the hard truth stares back at you in the mirror:

Women who advance most at work, studies agree, are more attractive, thinner, taller and have a more youthful appearance than their female colleagues who are promoted less often. …(T)here is a statistically significant “wage penalty” for overweight and obese white women. … The obese take a bigger hit, with a wage loss of 12%.

Damn it all, people. I just popped out a baby last summer and haven’t yet shedded that extra weight. I better get on the stick, or I might not get good-paying jobs!

Seriously, I hate that you have to bleach your teeth, fix your hair, wear flattering makeup and clothes to be considered “worthy” of the extra bucks. (Forbes helpfully offers tips to “look your best at work,” if you think you need it.) But apparently, you do. Bleh. Happy Monday!

8 thoughts on “U-G-L-Y, You Ain’t Got No Alibi (at Work)

  1. Perhaps there's good news for those of us who are, essentially, our own bosses. You can decide to promote yourself based on talent rather than looks.

    But seriously, take a look at the women who've climbed the ladder successfully. Many of them have got "the look." And these days it's not just women who have to pay attention to stuff like this. When husband was job searching, I was seriously tempted to get him some dye to cover those new gray hairs. More than slimness, youthfulness seems to be valued these days.

    You've heard me joke about it, but I'm half-seriously considering a little nip/tuck when I get into my 40s…

  2. Anonymous says:

    Um, they aren't grey, they're blond. I must be regaining my youth…

  3. Got to get me some 4 inch stilletos to get into the 5'7" height range. But no! Podiatrists warn no more than 1.5inch. What to do…
    There is some good advice though. As a working mom, my appearance often takes the backseat as I struggle to get kids ready in the morning while still yearning for more sleep. It's good to be reminded why it is important.

  4. Grateful Twin Mom says:

    I'm always so saddened to hear about discrimination of the obese. For many moms, finding time to exercise goes last on the list. But more than that, some obese people are struggling with a weight problem that is deeper than just eating too much, or eating unhealthfully, and not finding time to exercise. Food addiction and compulsive overeating are very real "diseases" that many people in the country suffer from. Finding a way to support obese employees to help them gain stronger sense of themselves as valuable for what they can contribute rather than how they look may just be what they need to begin to change themselves and lose the weight.

  5. I wish Forbes had instead listed ways to improve or displace your discriminatory boss. Greater union participation, affirmative action, interview/salary negotiation training, etc would benefit women a lot more than a critique of their appearance.

  6. Supernatural Botanicals says:

    I know…disgusting! But, I guess it's not a newsflash. We live in a "looks" world. It's been that way since forever. It's not right…but it's the way it's always been. Just ask Cindy Crawford and Pamela Anderson. 🙂

  7. Sara Cart says:

    OMG this is so true! I popped out my son in July of this year. I was interviewing for teaching jobs in June. I was HUGE! I fully believe that my pregnancy was why I wasn't called back for a few jobs.

    Thankfully I was hired to teach 7/8 grade English in a school with about 20 employees – 18 women; 2 men. Figures!

  8. earn money at home says:

    This is the sad truth of society. Unfortunately this is the truth for most major workplaces and very true in the insurance office I work within. I have seen firsthand how looks have gotten someone a job. However, with my part-time job at home making party favors, I lie around in my comfy sweats, without make-up on, with some leftover baby food in my hair and advance all I want. Having the opportunity to work from home is truly a blessing.

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