What's Being Read the Most...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Exploring The Ugly Side of (Drop Dead) Beautiful - In Progress

While I was working out last night, I was listening to this song... I guess I was thinking a little more about the song, and a little less about the workout because my time totally tanked for that 3 minutes and 30 seconds.  Anyway, I was thinking about how there's kind of an ugly side to be beautiful for some.  While being attractive gives some the self-confidence to shine; whether it's in the workplace, in their relationships, or wherever... for some, it seems like it's a built-in mechanism to hide insecurity.  Or maybe a weapon, or tool, wielded to help them get ahead.  Something... but, it got me thinking. Which, of course, leads to blogging! And with that, I give you my thoughts on the the 'ugly' side of beautiful...

So, a while back, I met this guy.  Shock, I know.. single gal meets a guy:  Newsreel at 11.  :)

Can I say, he? Was (1) just flat out hot.  Great muscle definition, cute eyes, killer smile and just the right amount of scruff to say, "Why yes, I AM a manly man." LOL  We were thrown together quite a bit in our social circles & through circumstance; so, after finding out he was being flirty & making inquiries as to my dating status?  I felt free to flirt back with absolute reckless abandon. (2)  It was fun; he was fun.. didn't think much more about it than that.  Over time, though; I noticed he was one of the guys that Knew he was cute; which in and of itself?  Not really a bad thing.  I'm cute, I know it - but I think it's how you use it.  With him, I started to notice that he had built his professional persona around his appearance.  People started sharing with me how his 'playboy image' was actually part of his sales pitch.  I don't know that I buy that; but it did make me a little weary... I mean, after all, why would anyone do that?  He was smart, his business was sound - there was no need to employ the 'cute' factor to gain clientele... was there??  Had I the need for his services, I know I would have used him because he was just that good at what he does- and that would be true even if he looked like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. It was a turn-off for me on multiple levels. I finally ended the 'flirtociation' (4) after asking him about it... he didn't even realize he was doing it. And to me? That just seemed screwy; and terribly insecure... which wasn't right for ME.

But it's not always the individual that's capitalizing on the present 'exterior beauty.' There are many organizations that have done this for years. Remember the "Kelly Girls" that really started the Temporary Staffing agencies in the 50s-60s? They advertised that working for them could help available women find husbands at their temporary workplaces.. I guess just by virtue of being there, available, young & pretty. That particular advertisment was, according to what I've read, targeted at college girls. When, I started in Recruitment, I remember my then boyfriend recruiter (3) telling me that this one agency staffed "pretty."  They hired 'hot girls' to do their Business Development because people would buy from 'pretty' before they bought from smart.  I also remember not wanting to talk to him for like a week after that... but, it didn't make him wrong.

Does that make a company or an individual bad if they exploit someone's natural(5) beauty to get ahead in business? I've heard a lot of complaints from women over the years about it; but, the question begs to be asked: Did you know about it from the get-go? I've been associated with an organization or two that was very much focused on outer-beauty(6) and they made no bones about it. I was 'clued-in' from the interview stage - and so accepted the position knowing full-well what I was getting myself into. I've mentioned before I've seen employment agreements that stipulate specific grooming & attire - manicured paws, claws, heels, skirt lengths, hair styles... and they were signed by the candidates/new employees. If you go along willingly... are you really being 'exploited?'

And what of the customers/end-clients? If they're more comfortable working with someone who is qualified AND attractive... and that's available... would a company be remiss in NOT giving it to them? Or does that train/set expectations that might be hard to sustain long-term when it comes time to replace the incumbent "pretty person?" Is it perpetuating a stereotype that's just unfair at the individual employee level - whether the individual is pretty or not isn't really a fair basis for positional competency... is it?? I'd like to think people work with me because I'm smart, ambitious, driven and can most of all? Get the job done. But, I'd be lying if I said that I didn't know that there are times that being cute is what got me the time I needed to make a prospective client a current one. ;) Is the fact that appearance can play a part diminish the overall result??

I'm clearly intrigued... what's your take?

(1) Is, he's not dead
(2) drinks helped that, I think; not gonna lie... but, probably would have flirted regardless.. cute is cute!. :p
(3) Yes, my old beau DID get me into recruiting - he figured if I was gonna talk that much, I should get paid for it.  Good call!
(4) 'flirtociation' - it's a mashup of "flirtation" and "association" - what?? I like it! :p
(5) or store bought - hey, sometimes it's a man-made thing & whatever works, I guess!
(6) Though not to the exclusion of competency

No comments:

Post a Comment