All human beings are conscious of their appearance. Society conditions the individual to meet distinct appearance criteria and sets forth an image that is deemed “attractive”. This struggle to fit norms, known as lookism, is discriminatory in its nature. Defined in 2000 by the oxford dictionary as “’prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of appearance’”, this new “ism” has risen to the surface in recent years (Ambrosetti 52), showing the prominence of its affects. Human beings construct circumstances that rule their realities. Gender, ethnicity and culture are all cultural constructions that have no true meaning once removed from society. That being said, lookism is biases of identification that influence one’s perception of reality. Beginning in schools and carrying through the workforce, lookism affects how we view ourselves, our peers, and even our world. The capability of lookism to govern our cultures is powerful, as often our self-identification is a product of our environment and the standards set around us. This phenomenon destroys self-identity, as there is no longer room for an autonomous, distinct being. Thus, lookism deforms self-worth, as members of a culture seek to fit the norms around them. With conformity comes reward, with oddity ostracization, leaving individuals no choice but to shape their identities around who society wants them to embody.
Prejudices are formed at a young age. In schools, teachers inadvertently advertise discrimination. A critical analysis conducted by Debra Ambrosetti confirms that “teacher[s]lack of awareness of their own deep-seated prejudices [is] harmful to the students they will teach”, for they project their prejudices on to their students (Ambrosetti 53)....
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...oks-centered society is impossible for anyone deemed to be unattractive. Multiple studies have been conducted to support that decision making in employment is skewed based on looks,” where attractive employees and job candidates are hired more often than their less attractive peers, more readily promoted, and paid more over their lifetimes” (Toledano 684). Her resume is insignificant if she does not fit in with the standards of the workplace, which is why lookism is so unnerving. She stands no chance to excel if she doesn’t possess traits that society renders desirable. She must be perfect, or close to, in order to stand a chance at getting even an entry-level position. These regulations “reflect certain prejudices, and adversely affect the individuals against whom they are enforced”, leading to a work culture that doesn’t leave room for the minority (Mahajan 170).
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