Are You Pretty Enough for Your Job?

Your Hidden Weapons

By Chere B. Estrin

Editor’s Note: This article really struck a chord with many of our readers. We got a lot of great comments! We didn’t like all of them, yet we are super happy people are sharing their thoughts.

The title and main graphic hit a lot of reader’s buttons – the intent was to show the insecurity that many of us feel as we age in a playful, very personal, self depreciating way. Many saw the sarcastic title and graphic for what it was, others took it literally. (To be clear Chere is not advocating cosmetic procedures to be successful.) For many of us have experienced the pain of misogyny and sexism at the workplace, the graphic is too real. We apologize for hitting that nerve.

We, like many of you, are pushing to see things continue to improve in the workplace. Stop judging on the superficial, judge us by our work and skills.

In the article, Chere does reference some things that still affect perceptions of us in the workplace – some of these things we can, and some can’t, change. We are not celebrating these things, but discuss them to make you aware that, right or wrong, they still do have an impact in the workplace today. Knowing about them and talking about them is not the same as embracing them.

As a top recruiter for paralegals and lawyers, Chere is an advocate for her clients and wants to help you succeed.

10/20/21

Some time back, I was on the cover of a legal trade publication. I was so excited. The editor wanted to portray me as a fortune teller predicting the future of the legal industry. The photographer dressed me up in a spectacular colorful costume complete with a bandana, lots and lots of jewelry, big earrings and very heavy makeup while holding a crystal ball.  I hardly recognized myself. This, I thought, was going to be a winner. 

Fast forward and the magazine comes out. Actually, what happened was one of my staffers picked up the magazine from the mail and came into the conference room where we were all having a meeting. He held up the magazine and proudly announced, “It’s here!” I took one look at it and my immediate thought was, “What is my mother doing on the cover of that magazine?”

It’s true. In this day and age of Zoom, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapshot and all other social media, how you look has become important. Perhaps too important. What happened to “beauty within”? Out the window, I’m afraid. 

Now, I am a woman of a certain age. It’s true. I no longer deny it, even to myself. The good part of this is that I find myself unafraid of almost anything. At this stage in my life and career, I have been there, done that and honestly, sometimes won’t do it again. 

I tried everything to look not necessarily younger, but just more, well, put together and ride this horse in the direction it is going. Looking at myself constantly on Zoom was a nightmare. Oh sure, I used the gadgets that softened you up, gave you fake eyebrows and puffy lips but the problem was, if you so much as moved an inch, you had eyebrows floating above your head and lips that were to the side of your mouth. Clearly, this wasn’t going to work.  

In a desperate attempt to fix myself up, I bought that stuff advertised on TV that you rub on your face and in 10 minutes, it gives you a faux face lift and all your wrinkles magically disappear along with the bags under your eyes. So far, so good. I was amazed! I actually looked 10x better (in my mind, anyway). I put it on every chance I got. There was a slight problem. It only lasts 6-8 hours at most, sometimes even less. One day, I was in a very important Zoom meeting with a client and I guess the 6 hours were up because I saw myself, right there in front of God and everyone, slowly turning into a craggy old woman as the stuff wore off. Geez, now that was embarrassing. So much for the fake face lift.

To be clear, I am not advocating plastic surgery, Botox, hair dye or encouraging people to be sexier. I am sharing my experience as a woman executive. I am trying too encourage you to be your best and apply some helpful tips that cut through the beauty/sexy misogyny and help your presence and presentation to be seen as professional.

Chere

I went to my last resort. I had no choice. One that I had been putting off for years. That’s right. Botox. In I went with terrible trepidation to the aesthetic doctor who guaranteed me he would make me gorgeous. Ok, so I was perfectly willing to settle for “looking better” but hey, if that’s what he wanted me to be, I’m in. The day arrived. I was really nervous. The thought of shots in my face just wasn’t sitting well. However, I steadied myself and went. The doctor prodded, poked, pinched and injected. It wasn’t as bad as I had imagined and I walked out of there a brand new person. At least, I thought so. I waited for everyone to comment that somehow, I was looking really good lately. Not one peep. Not even a huh? What happened to you? 

It didn’t matter, really. The important thing is that I felt better about myself. And, in the end, that’s what it is all about. How you feel about yourself. 

Being on camera almost all day and meeting people face-to-face on Zoom has proven to be very interesting. The candidates that I interview and the clients I talk to vary from put together to please, put them somewhere else. Recently, I interviewed a candidate on Zoom for a management position. The camera opened up and she immediately said, “I am not feeling too well today.” I guess not. She was interviewing in her bed with her pajamas on. That was one for the books. 

How you look today does influence how well you do in your career. You don’t have to be Christie Brinkley to impress people with your professionalism and how you present to the public. You just have to look put together and have the right attitude. 

I liken this to a diamond ring. Let’s say you were given two diamond rings, both exactly the same. Exactly. One is wrapped up in a J.C. Penny gift box and the other is wrapped up in a Tiffany’s box. Which one would you choose? Most likely, the Tiffany box. The beautiful wrapping gives the impression of a better quality product, even though both rings were identical. 

We would all like to believe that career success is based on talent, skills and drive. Maybe that was true in a less visual time but not today. Research gives us a few clues into how a woman’s appearance may influence her advancement ability. A study conducted by NYU sociologist Dalton Conley and NYU graduate student Rebecca Glauber, found that women’s weight gain results in a decrease in both their income level and job prestige. By contrast, men experience no such negative effects.

Though women may be trying to change their looks through plastic surgery in hopes of positively influencing their careers, being perceived as especially good looking doesn’t always work in women’s favor at work. “Absolutely, your looks can also be used against you,” says author and entrepreneur Laurel House. “Being very attractive can especially make it difficult when it comes to co-workers who might have assumptions as to how you got your job, which means that you have to work even harder to prove yourself. And even then you might be hard to accept—a beautiful and smart co-worker can definitely appear to be a threat. It seems that somewhere in the middle might be the ticket. 

According to Maggie Jessup, author of Fame 101: Powerful Personal Branding and Publicity for Amazing Success, women, in particular, need to be strategic. At the managerial/executive level, in contrast to administrative positions, personal appearance becomes a power factor in hiring, promotions, and earnings. Be aware: it’s not all about physical beauty, it’s about presenting yourself strategically.

“It’s not about beauty. It’s about presenting yourself strategically.”

“A strategically presented woman has an immense advantage over simply average or disheveled colleagues,” says Jessup. “If by manner, dress, and education (including continuing) she conveys power and several other factors, she will be the one who catapults past her male competitors into a corner office and becomes unbeatable once there. It’s more than just physical appearance, it’s about looking the part and dressing for the job you want.”

Discriminating against people based on their physical appearance is wrong — both morally, and in many cases, legally speaking. I see a lot of it along with age discrimination even in the legal field that is supposed to know better. The way you look usually has no bearing on how you’ll perform in your job. In a perfect world, everyone would be judged solely on his/her merits.

But the harsh reality is this isn’t a perfect world, and discrimination — whether intentional or inadvertent — still plays a role in the workplace. And while it should never be condoned, job seekers and employees need to be aware of how discriminatory practices regarding age, race, sex, and physical appearance can affect compensation.

Here are 7 ways looks affect your career according to the Huffington Post:

  1. Height: Tall people get paid more money. A 2004 study by Timothy Judge at the University of Florida found that for every inch of height, a tall worker can expect to earn an extra $789 per year.
  2. Weight: Boy, can I attest to this one. I once had a job as an administrator in an AmLaw 100 law firm. The first week, The Director of Administration took me to lunch at the Yorkshire Grill in downtown Los Angeles. He insisted that I have the pastrami, piled high and a huge serving of potato salad. Walking back to the office he said, “You know, if you want to succeed here, you are going to have to lose weight.” My God! My whole world stood still. I even remember the exact spot in the street where he told me that. I succeeded anyway. However, lesson learned. How people perceive you definitely can influence your career.

    Obese workers are paid less than normal-weight coworkers at a rate of $8,666 a year for obese women, and $4,772 a year for obese men, according to data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth in 2004. Other studies indicate obese women are even more likely to be discriminated against in pay, hiring and raises. An International Journal of Obesity study described an experiment where people were shown pictures of job applicants, as well as resumes, and asked to score them on suitability, starting salary, and employability. What the test subjects didn’t realize is the pictures they were being shown were actually of the same person, but before and after bariatric weight loss surgery. Overwhelmingly, the thinner candidates were chosen for the job and with higher starting salaries than the heavier applicants.
  3. Hair color: Believe it or not, this is an influencer. We have all heard that blondes have more fun. It turns out they also have more in their paychecks. A 2010 study from the Queensland University of Technology studied 13,000 Caucasian women and found blondes earn more than 7 percent more than female employees with any other hair color. The study said the pay bump is equivalent to the boost an employee would generally see from one entire year of additional education.
  4. Physique: Richard Simmons, where are you? According to a study in the Journal of Labor Research, workers who exercise regularly earn 9 percent more on average than employees who don’t work out. The study from Cleveland State University claims people who exercise three or more times a week earn an average of $80 a week more than their coworkers who don’t exercise.
  5. Make-up: People judge a woman by how much make-up she is wearing. These women also rank higher in competence and trustworthiness according to a study funded by Procter & Gamble, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston University, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. A study in the American Economic Review said women who wear make-up can earn more than 30 percent more in pay than workers not wearing make-up. BusinessInsider.com quoted a study in the London Times reporting “64 percent of directors said that women who wore make-up looked more professional.”
  6. General attractiveness: Good-looking people get paid more money. A Yale University study from Daniel Hamermesh finds employers pay a beauty premium to attractive employees. The beautiful workers earn an average of roughly 5 percent more, while unattractive employees can miss out on up to almost 9 percent, according to the study. Effects for men are at least as great as for women.
  7. What you wear: Research has found that when you combine your appearance with communication skills, others’ behavior toward you is influenced. Fair or not, people judge us by the way we look and that includes the way we dress. Especially in the workplace, clothing significantly influences how others perceive you and how they respond toward you, Clothing plus communication skills determine whether others will comply with your request, trust you, give you access to decision makers, pay you a certain salary or give you a substantial raise.

    Recently, I had a candidate interview for a sales rep position at a legal services vendor. He made it through the first round and was moved forward to a second interview with the CEO. He showed up looking like he had just gone on a run. I have no idea what gave him the idea that was appropriate but he sure didn’t get the job. 

The lesson I have learned

Overall attractiveness does play a role in life and in business but it is more about the package—dressing appropriately, having a great attitude, the right skill set, strong work ethic and determination to succeed. All of this relates to perception in the workplace. When you have the right combination, you’re most likely to get that promotion, dream job and a heck of a better salary.


Editor’s Note: We’ve received a lot of great comments about this!

Be sure add your thoughts to the conversation below! We want to hear from you!


Update 10/27/21

Fortune Magazine wrote about this article!

It focused on the article AND reader comments! That’s fantastic because it helps bring the issue forward for more dialog and hopefully more movement forward!

Check the article out for yourself – see which comments, got mentioned in the article!

Click here to read about the Fortune Magazine article:


The complete Fortune article is Here – however, it may require a subscription to access this content. (I’m sorry.)


Chere Estrin is the CEO of Estrin Legal Staffing, a top national and international staffing organization. She is the Co-Founding Member and Vice-President of the Organization of Legal Professionals providing online legal technology training. 

Chere has written 10 books about legal careers, hundreds of articles and has been written up in publications such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Trib, Newsweek, Entrepreneur, Above the Law and others. Chere is a recipient of the Los Angeles/Century City Women of Achievement Award, a finalist for the Inc. Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year award and a Los Angeles Paralegal Association Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient She is a former administrator at an AmLaw 100 firm and Sr. Vice President in a $5 billion company. She can be reached on Sundays from 3am-5am. Reach out at: chere@estrinlegalstaffing.com.

37 Replies to “Are You Pretty Enough for Your Job?”

  1. Well said. Getting older is tough. It’s hard on the ego. If you’re someone who matches to a few of the advantages you listed (tall, relatively healthy weight, blonde ) I have to admit you can trade on those attributes, consciously or not. You’re in the world and get treated a certain way till you don’t. Having said that old age is a gift not given everyone so when I look in the mirror and a “women of a certain age” jumps in front of me (obnoxiously I might add) I remember that she’s been a lot of places seen a lot of things including maybe a little too much sun. But there’s a laser for that. 🤪

  2. I’m disappointed that the packaging carries so much importance. I suppose it helps determine something, all other things being equal. However, those candidates who are not so perfect and are paid less may perform better and you’re getting more for your payroll without the sparkle. Of course, if they were paid as much as those “well put together candidates” and could afford nicer clothes and salon visits there would be more competition in the workplace. I realize that’s your point. It’s just not as attainable as some might think.

    1. The headline was meant to pique your interest, with Chere making fun of her own journey, My apologies if you found it offensive. I hope you took the time to read the full article. I found it to be enjoyable reading about Chere’s frustration at getting older and the pressure to look younger and prettier. I also thought the content was helpful with practical application of how this issue affects the workplace today with out embracing misogyny.

    2. Thank you, my thoughts exactly! When we buy in to this and follow this kind of “advice” we are trivializing ourselves and our gender.

  3. Wow. I found this article to be extremely tone deaf, and it borders on anti-feminism, misogyny, and yes, privilege. We should no longer have to live in fear of “not measuring up” because of our looks (or lack thereof) or the price or brand of the clothing we can afford. What matters is our character and ability to do the work. Also, 19+ months into the pandemic and remote working, barely anyone does “zoom” meetings anymore. In fact, if the option is given for video or audio, most people choose audio only. I don’t need to see you.

  4. I totally enjoyed this article. Found it to be very true. It is funny what people notice. I am fortunate to be pleasant looking and dress well. In fact, people from other departments complimented me on the way I dress and choice of clothes and my work ethics. These all go together. If you come to work like you rolled out of bed I do not think your frame of mind to do your job is the same. Sloppy people, sloppy work. Thanks for this and actually it did make me laugh.

  5. Absolutely, positively no. How about we start teaching hiring managers to stop discriminating against qualified candidates based on their appearance and start focusing on their qualifications, instead. We as women have spent far too many decades trying to mold ourselves into the type of woman who men will want to hire, which in many cases translates to the “type of woman who men will enjoy looking at across the boardroom or breakroom table.” Just stop. You are perpetuating very damaging and outdated ideas about what a modern workplace should look like and the way in which it should function.

    1. The picture above in my opinion is kind of silly. I wonder if that was the message she is going for? Is she suggesting by being somewhat fake you can get the upper hand? She is bragging about getting Botox and cosmetic work. Or is she pretending to be self deprecating because she is feeling and looking good due to her massive weight loss and wanted to show s how she looks better?

    2. Well said. I feel drained after reading this. I would adore an article that points out how weight is actually not at all a measure of health, since there are plenty of studies both being done and coming to light about that topic. It’s also not a measure of work ethic. The laziest people I know, personally, are naturally thin. Well, that’s not true – the laziest women I know are naturally thin. Men can be whatever weight they want.

      I do have a few points I would like to highlight here, in addition to your thoughts.

      One. It’s not funny that if you’re less white (they say blond, but we know what that really means, don’t we?), thin, pretty, or well-off, you’ll have fewer opportunities and a worse paycheck. The answer to this isn’t to “tell men the same thing” or to “just navigate what it is,” let’s call it out and bring awareness to how this isn’t okay. Direct this to people who are doing the hiring, not to women. This isn’t the 80’s anymore.

      Two, women can be lawyers and men can be paralegals. This shouldn’t still need restating, but apparently it does.

      And three, the “fortune teller” thing is a racist stereotype. I’d much rather see an article addressing how completely inappropriate that is and reflecting on similar incidents.

  6. Upon seeing this headline appear in my email today I was intrigued. Would it be a satire piece discussing the myriad ways in which people in the paralegal/legal assistant profession have been able to garner deserved respect for their accomplishments and contributions to the field despite years of fanny-slap chauvinism and low pay? Would it be a tongue-in-cheek missive with a surprise ending “Guess what, you can be a respected paralegal without conforming to arcane, arbitrary, misogynistic rules regarding the expectations by men of female support staff in an office setting!”
    Sadly, this article was neither.
    I would posit to the author: are you aware that there are a variety of different types of folks working in the legal support field? Would you give this same advice to a man?
    It is this exact misogynistic trope that women have spent decades trying to undo – trying to dig themselves out from underneath. It is this exact narrative that sets not only women but office support staff as a whole back decades in terms of being respected for the job they do, not just for the way they look.
    The entire premise of this article is telling legal support staff that while being pretty isn’t necessary it is, in fact, necessary. Had this been written in 1982 and peppered with ads for L’eggs pantyhose I wouldn’t have been shocked.
    Needless to say, I am extremely disappointed that in the year 2021 a woman still exists who believes the chauvinistic lie that women need to fit inside a socially constructed box of superficial acceptability in order to be paid well and taken seriously. Let’s move beyond telling women that they need to be anything other than good at their job to garner respect from their peers and superiors, because anything less than that is simply an outdated notion steeped in patriarchy and self-shame.

    1. Thank you so much for commenting. I’m sorry we did not publish this story the way you hoped we would. You add some great perspective with points that most of us strongly agree. Perhaps we will address the issue better in future articles. Your feedback increases that likelihood.

      As for “Would you give this same advice to a man?” Absolutely.

      My take away from the article is that Chere is not telling anyone to look pretty or sexy – she is telling you to look professional.

      1. The title says “Pretty Enough”. Estrin is absolutely telling people to look pretty.

        I think an article about her experience would have been interesting in a different frame, but the conclusion you’re presenting here is that appearance absolutely matters.

      2. If she is only telling you to look professional, she would be telling you to be clean and dress appropriately for the office. She is telling you to get botox, dye your hair, whiten your teeth, fill your lips, get skinny, and so much more. This is condescending advice for WOMEN to look ‘pretty’ for men in the workplace. This advice would never be given to a man.

      1. I think you are right – the title and main graphic were mean to be sarcastic – many saw it as such, many did not. We added Editor’s Note (a preface) to help clarify that to future readers. The comments and responses have been insightful and help us grow – thank you for sharing!

  7. The gist of this post rings true, i.e. the benefits of being put together, polished and professional but the “pretty enough” headline sure screams 1980s “Cosmopolitan” magazine. And it’s rather sexist, assuming that only women are paralegals. Women need to resist the constant drum beat towards cosmetic procedures, that now starts even in their 20s! Why not promote healthy lifestyles, including proper sleep, skin care, exercise, stress management and a balanced diet? A vibrant, put together person is attractive at any age.

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your feelings! I believe that your point is exactly what Chere was trying to communicate here. Much of the headline was meant to highlight that. She was lamenting the pressure we are all feeling in the workplace. We also agree with you – No one should feel they need cosmetic surgery to get a job or be respected.

  8. Perhaps if the title to the article was different, some wouldn’t have taken as much offense to it. While it may not be “fair” in 2021 to review such an assessment of women in the workplace, it is still factual that men earn more than women in the same position and that men are not critiqued in the same manner as women. My experience absolutely confirms the perspective that Chere shared. It’s the “whole package” that helps to advance women in their career (which includes education, experience, work ethic, and professionalism). It also depends on the environment of the practice and the interaction required with clients. No one likes to admit that looks sell but it’s been a proven marketing technique for years. Is that to say that a less attractive person cannot perform the same duties with the diligence as an attractive one? Not at all…but when given the opportunity for advancement, the “whole package” will win time and time again.

    1. I think you are right – the title and main graphic were mean to be sarcastic – many saw it as such, many did not. We added Editor’s Note (a preface) to help clarify that to future readers. The comments and responses have been insightful and help us grow – thank you for sharing!

  9. In this era, I am appalled at this entire piece. We as women, are coming off of a “Me Too” movement, wherein we are to feel embolden at our right to feel safe, to not be harassed, and to speak up when we are. And here you are, writing an article about how we should try harder to look better….for better pay? Where is the statistics about the blondes who are getting paid better, but suffer more sexual harassment? Where is the mention of how a woman who dresses better, is also more easily harassed? Where is your stance on how this dangerous game of looking pretty can lead to very uncomfortable and sometimes unsafe situations when men in power choose to pay us more because we look better? What about the toll on mental health when a woman has to work extra hard to keep up with her looks? What about the eating disorders that this article plays into? You address nothing of the hazards a woman can face when she puts in more effort into her looks. Never mind the fact that this article plays right into the patriarchy of women pitting women against each other over judgments over looks. I am disgusted at this piece, at its deafness, at its utter lack of appreciation for the women who are trying desperatly to correct your way of thinking. You are the type of woman my generation is trying to eliminate, you my dear friend, are the problem. If you had an ounce of self confidence, and of respect for the years of hard work those wrinkles were born from, you would have included even just once sentence about the perils of falling into this trap. But it is clear you have been brainwashed by society’s standards of beauty, and you are feeding right into the men who want to continue holding women to this unrealistic standard.

  10. I’m a little shocked that this article is being written and posted approaching 2022 and it reflects an incredibly dated perspective. Even the studies it cites are outdated. I agree with other commenters that while the intention of the title may have been to “pique our interest” its clear from the perspective of the writer that their perspective is that being “pretty” and focus on superficial looks are what get someone ahead in the field. I want to point out that the article itself is all over the place. Personal anecdotes and the writer’s insecurities and then a nonsensical list of from the Huffington Post (aren’t “weight” and “physique” the same thing? height–like someone has any control over this?? “general attractiveness”–come on.)
    What this article does show clearly is that it is from the perspective of a demographic that is aging out of this field and whose perspective no longer accurately reflects that of a large percentage of paralegals. It doesn’t speak to any of the struggles of any other gender than women–nothing about men or non-binary individuals working in the field. It also only speaks to individuals working at a high level or management level. Do you really think small firm paralegals making just over minimum wage could even consider botox??
    If we’re talking about appearance and how it affects paralegals ability to get hired, why are we not also factoring in race? The racial disparities in hiring and in pay are a huge deal, especially now. This article doesn’t mention any of that because it is only capturing the woes of an aging, white, cisgender female perspective.
    The internalized misogyny of the writer is also upsetting. The implication there is something wrong-looking about an aging face. That your hard-earned experience isn’t enough, that you have to look good while doing it. These are outdated ideas that we are working hard to retire.
    And before I could tell myself maybe the writer is just conveying this idea and doesn’t subscribe to it, she wraps it up with an anecdote about judging a candidate because it appeared they went to the gym prior to their interview… and after pointing out that “weight” and “physique” matter.

    Paralegal Brief – I think you need some more relevant perspectives when reviewing the articles that are posted.

  11. The title definitely caught my attention, but not in a good way, I am also offended by the message this article sends. There is absolutely nothing about “Zoom” meetings that has changed the importance of looks in the workplace EXCEPT the way we feel about ourselves. Sadly, this article promotes the sentiments that having a pretty face is more important than your ability to interact as a professional. I do not dispute the statistics and facts, they have been true for a while – they are just incredibly one dimensional. The other side to this coin is that beautiful attractive women in our professional are also often not taken seriously or given the same standing as their peers. Paralegals can be relegated to “secretaries” or administrative assistants, in which case being attractive (literally) makes you just another pretty face. The other side is that the paralegal profession is dominated by women, leaving men in the profession in a sort of role reversal where being overly attractive either backfires or can be a detriment. Lastly, the workplace is becoming more and more diverse yet these facts keep us all boxed up into one idea of what “pretty” is – we cannot continue to buy into what “they” are selling.
    Having “the best hair, clothing, makeup day” does not give you the confidence, communication skills or any of the other skills needed to succeed. What women need from their role models, more than any thing, is someone shining a light that says you can STAND UP to these expectations, that you DO NOT have to be tall, the perfect weight, blonde, in shape, wearing glam makeup, and dressed just sexy enough in order to succeed. I am not saying ignore reality. I am saying honor your accomplishments and what you bring to the table. Expose the struggles but send the message to the young women and men who are watching that we aren’t repeating these statistics.

    1. Appreciate your comments. We got so many like yours we went back to and edited the article to help clarify it. We meant the title and to be sarcastic and over the top – many like you, did not read it that way. We updated the article to try and clarify things. And yes, you make many other great points as well. Thank you for input!

  12. Chere, honey, maybe run your articles past someone currently in their 20s before posting it where other people can see it. I can kind of see what you were going for here, but it’s just not a good look.

  13. “Seems we’ve struck a nerve with some” was the last straw, so I will add to all those comments. Are you trying to shame women into being quiet about this? Are we supposed to pretend like this doesn’t matter? You know, this is actually important to talk about, but writing it like an advice column is not helpful. Women aren’t the ones who need to change or work harder, here. How about instead of pointing to the parts that you wanted people to take away from this, you write a new article? Maybe one highlighting successful women that doesn’t highlight their physical appearance or even mention how unexpected it is that a woman could be a professional.

  14. The old addages–beauty fades but dumb is forever! If your job is Miss America or Victory Secret model–beauty–yeah! Running a business–not so much!

  15. Well everyone, I am a WBW (working black woman), and you have no idea what I’ve gone through to be presentable in the work place! I’m speaking mainly about my “never gonna be blonde or straight” hair. Do I like having to jump through all these hoops? No. Is it necessary in real life? Yes. I commend the author for approaching a very real phenomenon in today’s work place. Maybe one day we will all wake up to the truly meaningful attributes in the market place. We simply have not arrived yet. Thanks to everyone for this kind of discussion.

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