Role of Appearance in the Hiring Process

2584 Words 11 Pages
Looks and appearance have always dominated Hollywood culture and the actors and actresses that play roles in movies; also the popularity contest among teens in high-school. Bulimia and anorexia plague women and men throughout the United States. Today’s society is dominated by the obsession of appearances. But how far has this fixation gone? Has this Hollywood mentality taken over the otherwise standard way of running a business and the process of hiring one’s employees in a way not determined by weight? For a country becoming one of the fattest countries in the world and a country based on equal opportunities for all, the collision of these two topics is inevitable. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate is …show more content…
She says, “obese persons are stereotyped as being lazy, unintelligent, unsuccessful, and lacking in self-discipline.” These harmful assumptions leave a person exposed to prejudice and discrimination. Puhl states that years of research reveal that obese employees are “less likely to be hired, less likely to be promoted, and paid less than thinner employees, even with identical qualifications, education, credentials, and job performance.” She states that discrimination increases as weight gain increases. Puhl reveals that “overweight adults are twelve times more likely, obese adults are thirty-seven times more likely, and severely obese adults are one-hundred times more likely to report employment discrimination compared to normal weight respondents.” Despite these countless occurrences of weight discrimination, it is not illegal to discriminate on the basis of weight. Some employees have filed lawsuits, mostly unsuccessful, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Puhl wishes to make this act extend to those who are discriminated on because of their weight. An example of a lawsuit based on weight came up in May, 2010 in Michigan (where it is illegal to discriminate based on weight) from Cassandra Smith an employee at Hooters. Smith, who weighs 132 pounds, was told to either lose weight in the next thirty days or she