Most of you have heard about the woman who lost her job because she felt she looked too good and caused too much of a stir with the males at the bank she was employed with. As silly as this may sound (and shallow as well), this does happen in the workplace. As a former HR manager, I was privy to a situation in which a colleague was asked not to wear her hair down because it made her look “too exotic” and caused chaos in the office. The “I look too fabulous for my job” situation is indeed real.
In corporate entities, sticking out is not a good thing. Being too beautiful, or too handsome can sometimes be a burdensome reality that has to be dealt with. When interviewing for key positions, the young and beautiful have to sometimes hide this in order to be taken seriously. Why beauty means “aloofness” or “unintelligence” is beyond me, but I blame it on Marilyn Monroe.
Well, if you study Marilyn films and reconcile that with her off-movie personality and behavior, you are stumped. On screen, Marilyn cooed and giggled and often played the “dumb blonde” when in reality, most that knew her said she was very much not into being beautiful and rebelled against it. She was well spoken, intelligent, and articulate. You would’ve never known that from her movie roles.
Our society equates beauty and good looking folk as being great out the outside and dumb as a bunch of rocks on the inside. They are here to look good only, not to run the world. Of course, our latest heroes debunk that status—President Barack Obama and FLOTUS Michelle Obama are good looking folk with brains that border on genius. So we know that intellect and looks do no coexist, but we as a culture still have problems understanding that fact.
I could write this post and tell you to play down your beauty or your handsomeness or your looks, but that is not fixing the problem. My take? You need to be you in the office. And if you are beautiful, then that is their problem, not yours. If your employer is treating you differently because of your looks, then it may be time to challenge their thinking. Good work trumps anything they can throw their way. Achieving greatness in the office usually opens closed minds.
Beauty can also work the other way. It can be hard opening doors to those that are closed to the folk who are not considered “easy on the eyes” but that is another blog post for another day. Continue to fight the good fight in your office by turning in and producing good work, no matter what you look like. When you make yourself an asset, they are hard pressed to let you go.
What do you think? Can you be too beautiful or look too fabulous in the workplace? Speak on it!