Do The Ugly Face Unfair Discrimination?


I read this blog about a recent movement to stop “discrimination against the ugly” and found it fascinating.

It makes a reasonable point. There are protections for discrimination against gays, blacks, and women, so why should we still be allowed to exercise bias against the unfortunately asymmetrical people out there?

Your gut may say that women are judged unfairly for their looks, but that wouldn’t be the entire story. Says a related New York Post article: “Men, in fact, suffer the greater repulsiveness penalty in general: Unattractive women earn 3 percent less than average-looking women, while unattractive men’s take-home is reduced a whopping 22 percent.”

The question I have for you is whether you feel that you’re judgmental of others based on looks, age, height, weight, education, or income… and, just as importantly…have you been judged negatively for one of those other characteristics?

Your comments, as always, are appreciated.

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  1. 21

    Where I work (IT), I see more of the opposite trend – attractive people being discriminated against, at least during the first few months on the job. Both in my current and previous jobs, during the first six months at a new place (in 2006 and 2000), I had to jump through hoops to prove that I wasn’t a dumb blonde. I don’t sweat it… life isn’t fair, people objectify each other and judge each other based on preconceived notions, and this definitely isn’t the worst problem to have.
    Though, I agree, good point about missing or extremely crooked teeth… these do create a certain connotation that isn’t compatible with an image of a professional. Sad but true. That’s the reason why we parents put giant dents in our bank accounts to get our children braces.
    As far as dating, looks, at least in the conventional sense, are pretty low on my list. Or at least, that’s what I like to think 🙂 And, again, agree with the previous commenters that truly “ugly” people are pretty rare.

  2. 22

    Ok, I have about ten posts worth to say on this topic, but here is my first, based on what others have written;   It is truly heartbreaking and soul destroying to hear people immediately start talking about hygiene issues. As if ugly people are just naturally more smelly than good looking people.   IF this was a post about “do  black people face discrimination?” and people immediately started talking about personal hygene issues; people just launched into talk about washing as if being black was closely related to being smelly, this would just be unequivocably racist.   I think some of the posts here are all you need as proof that ugly people face discrimination of the most cruel and ignorant kind.  

  3. 23

    I have found for some less attractive individuals, personality and behaviour makes up for a lot of it.  

    I have recently met one of my Mum’s friends, he is obese, and hairy. My first look I thought “a fat hippy”. Then he opened his mouth and he was the nicest funniest guy I had met in ages.   He was so generous and lovely that my opinion was instantly change into a great admiration for him. This has happened a few times, particularly the overweight.  

    So often you’ll see comedians who are short, ugly, have funny faces. Their looks have turned them into better people, they are attractive in other ways.

    Its not full proof though. This woman who I used to work with was obese and she was a cow personality wise. She enjoyed blaming others for her own disorganisation.

    Also those really gorgeous individuals, so many of them are absolute jerks. Or up themselves, or into putting other people down. Or into just not liking people just because.   

    1. 23.1

      It’s like any subset of the population; all have good and bad seeds. How many folks make fun of the Robertsons on Duck Dynasty because the men are “ugly” by most standards? But if I had to pick hanging out with them or attending a Hollywood party, I’d pick the Robertsons every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

  4. 24
    Saint stephen

    I am a good looking guy and Have dated both attractive and ugly women.
    Ugly men are more discriminated than ugly Women because Women are more Choosy and overly selective than Men.
    I think this is why a lot of ugly guys (some i know) work very hard to become wealthy and successful so at least the ladies could love them for that.
    And on the flip side some ladies don’t mind been the spender in a relationship just so they could be with a good looking partner.
    the ratio of good and average looking females are greater than that of men, so there is always a scramble for the good looking guys, some for the average Joe and almost nothing for the ugly guys.

    1. 24.1

      I just be myself.   no need to flirt with money.

  5. 25

    ” Some gems come in plain wrappers” yet, at the same time, it has been my experience that if my date is attractive, I, get attention from other women.     Sounds illogical to me, but, who all said, relationships are about logic?…….

  6. 26

    Sofka, #22,

    I’m one who wrote that I discriminate against those with bad hygene. But it’s apples and oranges. I don’t equate ugly people as having bad hygene. Poor hygene comes with the pretty people too. I’m a hairstylist and I’ve seen some physically attrative people who were down-right scummy and gross. I don’t get it, I just don’t think there is any excuse for it.

    I actually don’t think I actually seen very many physically “ugly” people in my life. I’m usually attracted to people who are more unusual looking because they are interesting to me.

    To me, ugliness comes from the heart.

  7. 27

    I very much agree with everything Robin 11 said. I mean, everyone’s perception of attractive/unattractive is different. Of course there seem to be the supermodel types of looks that very few would consider unattractive, but after that, it really is subjective I think. What I do find, just talking for myself here, is that the getting older and *losing* our once effortless good looks is the far scarier scenario. I have always had the ability to attract plenty of men, and that knowledge that you are considered hot, pretty, whatever you want to call it, is a powerful thing for your esteem…goes without saying. And a high self esteem goes hand in hand with confidence, which is always attractive. Aging is the big issue to me. Luckily, if I age anything like my mother or grandmother, I will be in good shape for years to come.

    I feel for people who are considered *unattractive/ugly*. But, even the most fetching among us can tomorrow suffer a disfiguring accident or illness, so the shallowness of judging someone solely based on their looks is senseless. Real, striking beauty is fleeting for even the most stunning people. I personally have never felt romantic attraction to slick, overstyled pretty boys. I appreciate a good looking guy, but I like a man to be a man, and I darn sure like to be prettier than my man! 🙂 He has to be sexy though…another issue entirely.

  8. 28

    It’s been said already, but level of attractiveness is so incredibly subjective. Not only that, most of what we believe to be beautiful, a European standard of beauty, has been forced down our throats for a couple hundred years. And other kinds of beauty have been conflated with negative traits and stereotypes, that we are told is an objective point of view when its not.   

  9. 29

    You should get a medal for at least giving that guy a fair try.
    Far too many people will not even entertain the thought of looking beyond immediate “chemistry”   (by which most people mean tangible physical arousal).
    You tried; and for that you deserve plenty of good karma.

  10. 30

    Sofka (# 22), I think that the message most persons were trying to get across is that “ugly” is a very subjective term.   A few posters stated that while people tended to be more or less attractive (based on our own likes/dislikes), they were unlikely to categorize anyone as “ugly” based on appearance, although they would use the term to describe someone’s actions or behavior.   From there, a few people specified some of the traits (outside of looks/facial features) that would make someone more, or less attractive to them, such as good hygiene, and gave personal anecdotes…  I’m not sure I understand what was written that was so offensive to you.  

  11. 31

    I’m one who wrote that I discriminate against those with bad hygene. But it’s apples and oranges. I don’t equate ugly people as having bad hygene. Poor hygene comes with the pretty people too. I’m a hairstylist and I’ve seen some physically attrative people who were down-right scummy and gross. I don’t get it, I just don’t think there is any excuse for it.

  12. 32

    I actually don’t think I actually seen very many physically “ugly” people in my life. I’m usually attracted to people who are more unusual looking because they are interesting to me.

  13. 33

    Evan, nikefreeshoes hijacked my words (from #26), in both #31 and #32!   

  14. 34

    I freely admit I am in a shallow phase and going off of looks first in dating profiles.   Now, granted I have my particular tastes, so what I might find appealing, perhaps other women don’t.   I think I’m savvy enough to avoid the “gorgeous” model looking men since tons of women would be competeing for their affection and I’d probably end up constantly worried about him trading up for something better.   I guess I’m attracted to someone in the similiar scale as me I’d say?   So if I consider myself a seven..I try to go around the 6,7,8 in attractiveness?  I feel that most of the time I am contacted by men that even their profile  pic doesn’t  give me any spark.   So I guess I do what Evan says you shouldn’t – I don’t  “give a guy a chance” because I dont sense chemistry  based on  physical attraction to him.   My problem is though that I was married to, and dated after my divorce, MANY men who are not classically attractive.   I dated them because of their intelligence, and  kindness  or because I found their careers  interesting.   But  I guess I’ve found that you cannot force yourself to keep interest in someone if that one missing piece – the physical attraction factor – is missing.    

  15. 35
    Soul Sister

    IMO, while someone may not be able to control such factors as facial features or bone structure, people do have significant control over how their bodies look.   I was “hot” when I was in my 20’s, although that hotness did not appeal to everyone as I was very flat chested as well (yes, flat chested women are also discriminated against, trust me!).   After 20 years of marriage and 3 kids, I was a good 45 lbs overweight. After my divorce, when I realized what kind of men appealed to me (younger, decent builds) I knew I had to get into their range to be considered. You can whine about this or you can do something about it. As I was on match and my body type went from a few lbs over, to average, to slender, to fit and tone, my dating pool opened way up.   I lost all 45 lbs through dieting and exercise. So yes, I am superficial enough to say if I am out there running 4 miles every other day in 110 degrees (AZ!) I want to be with men who care about their bodies to still have muscles!!   Oh, and I am 50 yrs old and look better than I did in my 30s and 40s.   So I do filter by slender and athletic and toned on match.   Now, that said, I am dating a man who actually has a pretty big gut, and I don’t know what happened, but on our 3rd. date I was struck by lightening (lust, ha ha!) and I thought he was amazingly sexy gut and all.   So while we can be picky and filter as much as we want, once that chemistry gets turned on, sometimes all of our “rules” fly out the window.

    Would I love it if he got rid of that gut? Of course.   Do I care if he doesn’t? NO!  

    So take care of what you can, look your absolute best, and go out there with your head high…you will be doing more than lots of people who sit in front of their tv drinking beer and eating chips whining about being discrimanated against because they are too fat.   Fat is a choice (unless you have a medical condition) and you get what you put out in this life.

  16. 36
    saint stephen

    @Soul sister i completely agree with your last paragraph.

    i don’t know why some folks like to equate fat with ugliness and been short, traits that are certainly irreparable.       if you were born ugly there is nothing that can be done about it ( except you’d undergo plastic surgery which is very extreme to me). but if you are fat, then is way easier to loose weight- some  exercise  or slimming pills will do the tricks. but they would rather prefer waste the same effort sniveling about it.  

  17. 37
    Ms Maz

    My boyfriend is shorter, pleasantly plump, very fuzzy, and smells like Nag Champa. But I love him to death and could never ask for a greater partner. I’ve never really been too picky about who I date in terms of looks…or much else, really.  I just want to be treated respectfully — and laughing a lot helps, too! I can pretty much work around anything else. Is that bad?

  18. 38

    Definitely. When I show my photos on internet dating sites literally noone is interested. When I go shopping I am openly mocked on the street. So I feel like a cross between the invisible man and the Elephantman. I feel stigmatised for being something I have no control over. It’s worse for a gay man because unlike straight men, gay men are expected to be beautiful. Like women, we are being judged by fickle men  who are hardwired to go for beauty.

  19. 39

    Hi soul sister, men know that it takes 3 dates to get a woman to warm up to us…

  20. 40

    ….that is why most men don’t lose the gut/weight…..

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