TIME gender

I’m Beautiful, But Hire Me Anyway

Physical attractive ought not work against you—but in HR offices it might
Physical attractive ought not work against you—but in HR offices it might Johnny Greig; Getty Images

Employers often discriminate against attractive women. Here's why—and what the women themselves can do about it

It has ranked among the top ten irritating TV ads of all time. “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful,” pouted actress and model Kelly LeBrock back in 1980, tossing her hair coquettishly as she shilled for Pantene shampoo. What few people realized at the time was that the tag line came close to describing a real type of discrimination. It wasn’t in the form of jealousy from other women, as the commercial implied; that trope has never really held up to much scrutiny. But beautiful women do face other challenges; a study published just the year before the Pantene ad ran showed that attractive women often encounter discrimination when applying for managerial jobs—with beauty somehow being equated with reduced authority or even competence. The authors called it the “beauty is beastly” effect.

What the study didn’t address, says Stefanie Johnson, assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado, Boulder, is what women are supposed to do about it. Neither did a study she herself conducted in 2010 which showed that the effect applied to a wide range of jobs normally thought of as masculine.

But a new study Johnson and two colleagues just published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes does tackle the question more directly. The improbable-sounding conclusion: if you’re beautiful and female, acknowledge it. Simple as that.

Well, not quite that simple. The research doesn’t suggest attractive women say straight out, “Yes I know, I’m gorgeous.” It is, says Johnson, “a little more subtle than that.” What she and her colleagues did was to recruit 355 students, male and female, and ask them to evaluate four fictitious candidates for jobs in construction—three male and one female. The applications included photos, and the female applicant was either unusually attractive or unusually unattractive—qualities evaluated by an independent crowdsourcing group.

In some cases, the attractive woman made no reference to either her appearance or her gender in the written application. In others, she referenced her appearance, but subtly, writing something like “I know I don’t look like a typical construction worker, but if you look at my resume, you’ll see that I’ve been successful in this field.” In still others, the attractive woman referred to her gender in a similar way (“I know there aren’t many women in this industry”), but not her beauty.

The unattractive female applicants did the same (although the “I known I don’t look…” part was may have been seen as a mere reference to her gender). In general, the “employers” tended to hire attractive women more often if they alluded either to their gender and to their beauty. With the unattractive woman, referencing gender directly made no difference—but referencing appearance made them less likely than average to be hired.

The study does have holes—rather gaping ones, actually. For one thing, the construction industry is not remotely typical of the field in which gender bias usually plays out. Like it or not, there is a real reason most construction workers are men—and that’s because they are, on average, physically larger than women and have greater upper body strength as a result. It’s the reason we have women’s tennis and men’s tennis, a WNBA and an NBA and on and on. As with the less attractive candidates in the study, the attractive ones’ reference to their appearance might well have been interpreted to mean simply that the typical applicant appears—and is—male. Johnson’s findings would carry a lot more weight if her hypothetical candidates were applying for the kinds of positions in which the gender wars really do play out—vice president of marketing in a large corporation, say.

Still, as a starting point, her research has value, and she does appear to be onto something. “What we think may be going on,” Johnson says, “is that the person doing the [hiring] has an unconscious bias.” But when that bias is brought to the conscious level, triggered by the woman’s addressing it head-on (sort of, anyway), it loses force. “Once you acknowledge it,” says Johnson, “it goes away.”

The takeaway message, she argues, is not that you should feel sorry for good-looking women, since attractive people, both male and female, have all sorts of advantages overall. “It’s more that we’re exposing a more subtle form of sexism,” she says. “People are still stereotyping women.” That, all by itself, is a form of discrimination, even if in this case it’s a form few people think about.

TIME beauty

This Video Proves Just How Ridiculous the Concept of a ‘Thigh Gap’ Is

"Because you aren't good enough."

In a brilliant send-up of the ‘thigh gap,’ a disturbing beauty goal that encourages girls to be so thin that there’s a space between their thighs, sketch comedy group JustBoobs released a parody ad for the Gap’s new competitor — Thigh Gap.

The video promotes the sale of Thigh Gap jeans (just $69.99!), which come with a wooden rod that forces your legs apart, creating an elusive space.

“I thought a thigh gap was an unattainable body myth championed by the media to lower women’s self esteem and make them easier targets for advertising!” one woman exclaims when she sees her friend looking fabulous and pained while wearing her Thigh Gap jeans.

The friend cheerfully replies, “The scars are a constant reminder of the sins of my womanly figure!”

Watch the video and see the thigh gap for the ridiculous trend that it is. Because after all, beauty is pain?

 

TIME beauty

Here’s Kim Kardashian and North at Fashion Week

All black everything

PARIS : Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and North West at the Balenciaga fashion show.
Kim Kardashian, her husband Kanye West and their Daughter North West go the Balenciaga fashion show, in Paris on Sept. 24, 2014. Antoine Cau—Sipa

The reality star favors no-frills, no bows, monochrome outfits for baby North, that often match her own high fashion looks. Kardashian’s no-pink-on-my-daughter stance is good because it shows that everything doesn’t have to be ‘for boys’ or ‘for girls,” says Lori Duron, author of the blog RaisingMyRainbow.com about making traditional gender definitions less rigid.

TIME beauty

Miss America Responds to Hazing Allegations

FOX News Anchor Gretchen Carlson Interviews Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev
Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev on September 16, 2014. ( Rob Kim/Getty Images) Rob Kim—Getty Images

Said she didn't haze, except if you count what's "under the broad definition of hazing"

Newly crowned Miss America Kira Kazantsev appeared on Good Morning America Tuesday to deny allegations that she was kicked out of her Hofstra University sorority for hazing, but admitted that she did mistreat new pledges “under the broad definition of hazing.”

“Well, unfortunately these allegations, first of all they’re just not true,” she said, before adding: “Under the broad definition of hazing, yes I was involved with some of those activities while I was at Hofstra.”

“I came in as an impressionable freshman, everybody wants to be a part of something, and at the time unfortunately that was just the culture of the university. I was hazed. I was kind of brought up through the organization thinking that that was appropriate behavior.”

Jezebel first reported Monday that Miss America Kira Kazantsev was kicked out of Alpha Phi sorority at Hofstra University in April 2013 for hazing pledges while she was supervising the initiation process. She allegedly hazed pledges to the point of “bruising and exhaustion.”

Kazantsev says she was kicked out of her sorority not for hazing, but for joking to sorority alumni that she would make the evening “scary” for pledges. “All I can do is sit here and be honest and share that yes, I was involved under the broad definition of hazing at some point, but never ever in a million years what this is claiming.” She said she never physically harmed anyone, but just tasked recruits with things like reciting information, or staying up all night “crafting.”

When asked how these hazing revelations might affect young girls who look up to her, Kazantsev said she still hopes she can be an example. “I’m gonna take this negative and turn this into a positive,” she said. “I’d say it’s okay to make mistakes. That’s life.”

MORE: Watch John Oliver Debunk the Miss America Pageant’s Scholarship Claim

 

TIME beauty

Soon You’ll Be Able to Get Married in a Frozen-Style Wedding Dress

Frozen, Let It Go
Disney

Though brides who do may be liable to get cold feet

Almost a year after the movie’s release, bridal designer Alfred Angelo is teaming up with Disney to create a Frozen-inspired wedding dress. The dress will be based on Elsa’s look in the movie and available in stores starting in January 2015, according to InStyle who got an exclusive look at the designs.

Some people just can’t let that movie go.

[InStyle]

TIME beauty

What Your Fingers Say About You

Samantha Hahn
Samantha Hahn

It’s not all about the palm. Kay Packard, the director of the American Academy of Hand Analysis, shares how to dial into the subtleties of your digits

This post originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

Does Each Finger Carry Its Own Meaning?

Yes. Just as with the palm, the fingers on your dominant hand typically showcase your work and public personality, while the fingers on your other hand relate to your behavior at home and in close relationships. Every person has some strong fingers and some weak ones. The stronger a particular finger, the more likely you are to exemplify its personality traits.

Here are the associated characteristics for each digit:

Thumb: Drive to succeed.

Index finger: Power, authority, vision, and influence.

Middle finger: Accountability, efficiency, security, growth, and wisdom.

Ring finger: Creativity, self-expression, and a yearning to be in the spotlight.

Pinkie: Communication style.

(MORE: How to Improve Memory)

How Can You Tell Which Fingers Are Strong and Which Are Weak?

Weak digits are bent, crooked, leaning toward another finger, bending forward, or have areas that are damaged in some way. If your finger stands up straight and tall, it’s strong.

What Does the Shape of the Fingertips Reveal?

Round fingertips: You desire harmony and avoid disapproval.

Square or flat fingertips:
You strive for precision and loathe vagueness.

Spatulate fingertips (broad and flared): You love originality and despise routine.

Pointed fingertips: You like to put off practical affairs in favor of pursuing the unusual and the mystical.

Can You Learn Anything From the Spaces Between Your Fingers?

Yes. Rest your hands naturally on a flat surface, or hold them up comfortably up in the air. If your fingers are widely spread apart, then you’re probably independent and open to new experiences. If your fingers are held tightly together, you may be cautious, guarded, and self-contained. If your middle and ring fingers are spread apart, you’re not easily influenced by popular opinion. If those two fingers are close together, you tend to bend to societal expectations and rules. Look at the space between your pinkie and ring finger, too. If it’s extremely wide, that’s a sign that you’re dodging important conversations and that your relationships at home or at work could be suffering as a result. If the pinkie and ring finger are an average space apart (compare them to friends’ hands for a gauge), that means you’re an independent thinker.

(MORE: Surprising Cleaning New Uses for Old Things)

TIME beauty

5 Beauty Tips Women Can Learn From Dudes

man-groomed
Getty Images

This post originally appeared on Refinery29.com.

When we’re looking for expert beauty advice, there are certain sources we always turn to. And, typically, the men in our lives don’t make that list. It’s not because we don’t trust them — it’s just that we don’t think they have any idea what they’re talking about regarding beauty (with a few notable exceptions, of course). Really, does your brother or boyfriend or best guy friend actually know the best way to craft a perfectly tousled beach wave?

While they might not know how to make Gisele hair happen for you, these dudes do prescribe to a few key beauty theories we might learn a thing or two from. We know. So, we quizzed three experts on some of the guy tips we can and should adopt. Ahead, what men do behind (closed) bathroom doors — the lessons you can take away may just surprise you.

Exfoliation

image

Since men shave their faces, they’re getting regular exfoliation — without the extra step. “Exfoliation helps to get rid of the top layer of dead skin cells, called the stratum corneum, and in doing so, it helps to force the skin to turn over,” says Dr. Anthony Rossi, a New York dermatologist. “By shaving, men are actually causing slight trauma to their skin, causing it to repair itself. It’s just like what dermatologists do when they perform a dermabrasion or laser resurfacing — we’re causing a controlled trauma that forces the body to make new collagen to repair it.”

Is whipping out your razor the answer? Not exactly. (Though, it’s safe. More on that in a second.) Rossi does urge women to exfoliate regularly — even daily, if you can get away with it. “Try using an exfoliating beard scrub, like Jack Black Face Buff Energizing Scrub. Products like this can really help women exfoliate — this one has vitamin C and menthol in it.”

Getting back to the topic of razors, Rossi says it’s perfectly fine to shave your face — there is no scientific evidence to show hair grows back thicker or faster. “Some patients may feel that, after shaving, the quality of the hair may change, but there has not been scientific evidence to prove this,” he says. “There is no proof that if you shave, it will come back thicker.” So, shall we finally put a pin in that complaint, ladies?

(MORE: Beauty Cheat Sheet: 10 Shortcuts For Lazy Girls Everywhere)

Keep It Classic

2

Ever notice how there doesn’t seem to be a ton of variety with regard to dudes’ coiffs? “This isn’t a fact, but I think probably 80% of men’s haircuts are the exact same shape,” says hairstylist Ashley Streicher, who has worked on the manes of Jason Segal, John Krasinski, Andy Samberg, and more. “Sure, lengths and textures differ. But, a classic men’s haircut is usually the base of all haircuts.”

Keeping this in mind, Streicher advises women to stick to timeless haircuts. “I think that women can learn that timeless is pretty,” she says. “Rather than always fighting to be avant-garde, sometimes just a really well-done, classic haircut can be different and gorgeous, whether it be a bob, beautifully cut layers, or a blunt fringe.” When in doubt, stick with what never goes out of style.

Moisturize

3

Slicking on some lotion after we shave is standard practice for us. But, men also hydratebefore their razors get anywhere near their skin.
“A preshave oil creates a barrier on your skin from the blade of your razor, preventing ingrown hairs, razor burn, and bumps,” says Tony Sosnick, founder of Anthony Logistics. “Women can really benefit from a good prehsave oil, like Anthony Pre-Shave Oil, which is formulated with essential oils and healing calendula, to achieve a flawless shave.” Not only will the oils soften your skin, they’ll also soften your hairs, which makes them easier to shave.

(MORE: The Korean Secret to Poreless Skin)

Go With The Flow

4

Natural texture? Not something we ladies always like to deal with — as evidenced by the fact that we started straightening, curling, and beating our hair into general submission early on in life. But, Streicher says most men figure out the texture of their hair right away and then just learn how to deal. “They learn their texture and work with it,” she says. “Women are constantly fighting curls by blowing them straight. Or, if their hair is fine, they fry it with a curling rod.”

Basically, we’re never satisfied. So, instead of pulling out your tools every time you wake up with frizz, work with what you’ve got. Undone hair is pretty in right now, anyway, so you’d be doing yourself (and your hair) a favor.

Steamy

5

Now, this doesn’t mean you should hop into a steam room daily. (Although, we admit that sounds heavenly.) “Men oftentimes use warm face towels to steam the facial skin to release trapped hairs and make it easier to shave,” Rossi says. “It’s a technique that’s been used by barbers for many years and gives a better shave.”

(MORE: 44 Magical Beauty Buys That Will Sell Out)

You can certainly get steamy by making your own barbershop towel at home, but there’s an even easier way. “If you don’t have time for a hot towel, shaving in the hot shower can produce a very similar effect,” Rossi says. Just be careful not to stand in the direct stream of hot water — it can scald your skin and dry you out.

 

TIME Diet/Nutrition

Skin Whitening Candy Is Coming

Want to keep your skin safe? You can glug a glass of drinkable sunscreen—which, yes, is a real product that had experts raising their eyebrows back in May.

If slurping SPF isn’t your bag—or if you’ve already got some sun damage you’d like to undo—you’ll also be able to kick things down a shade by popping skin-whitening candy, according to the maker of a new dietary supplement maker called Melagenol, based in Spain. It promises lighter skin with a daily 300-500 mg swallow of plant extracts claiming to interfere with melanin formation. By sucking on a candy or downing a pill or capsule containing melanin-inhibiting extracts, you’ll get “lighter skin from within,” the press release promises, banking on its lab study that found melanin-producing cells made less when the formula was applied.

The skin whitening and lightening industry, which, critics contend, prey on insecurity and the idealization of pale skin, will be worth nearly $20 billion by 2018, according to an estimate by Global Industry Analysts, fueled mostly by whitening creams sold in Asia. “Asian people are very much concerned about skin lightening,” Fernando Cartagena, marketing manager for Monteloeder, tells TIME. “They like to keep their skin as light as possible because it’s a way to show your class.” Even though the product isn’t yet on the market, he says he’s gotten calls from companies that want to carry it in Malaysia, Taiwan, South Africa, and Australia, a country that sells to many countries in Asia. (No bites yet from the United States.)

This won’t be the world’s first oral skin whitener—similar tablets are already sold in Japan—but the market is growing. Cartagena says his company came up with the idea for oral skin whiteners earlier this year. “We received a lot of feedback from the Asia office telling us that there’s a huge demand for these kinds of products,” he said.

As skin whiteners grow in popularity, so does the backlash against them. Groups like Dark Is Beautiful in India try to combat the obsession with fair skin and whitening products by raising awareness. The safety of these ingredients when ingested is not currently known.

Cartagena says he hopes we’ll be seeing a product with Melagenol on shelves—“especially in Asia”—within four to six months.

TIME beauty

Why Taylor Swift Looks So Perfect Post-Workout

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - July 22, 2014
Singer Taylor Swift is seen outside her "GYM"on July 22, 2014 in New York City. Raymond Hall—GC Images

Seth Meyers: "I picture you in the locker room taking up a lot of space."

Last night, T-Swift tried to explain to Seth Meyers how she looks so darn good after she exercises.

The Late Night host presented the pop star with several paparazzi pictures of her exiting her gym (like the one on the right) in which Swift’s hair looks perfectly coiffed, her clothes immaculately pressed, her iconic red lipstick on her lips.

“I picture you in the locker room taking up a lot of space,” Meyers joked.

“I like to bring a change of clothes,” Swift said defensively. “I bring a hairbrush with me.”

Swift is clearly doing a bit more than running a brush through her hair. Having a body guard to help carry your things probably helps: most people are still a little flushed after leaving the gym, juggling purse, gym bag and water bottle. But even compared to other celebrities post-workout, she looks curiously flawless. Who can wear such high heels after a run? T-Swift can, that’s who.

TIME beauty

How The Media Makes Men Hate Their Bodies Too

Man lifting weights at Kent and Sussex Crossfit.
Man lifting weights at Kent and Sussex Crossfit. Andrew Errington—Getty Images

Celebrity body envy isn't just for women any more.

The grocery store checkout seems specifically designed to make you hate yourself. So many magazines on the shelves, so much focus on fixing our flaws.

If you’re female, you’re too fat, and for the fellas, we’re not nearly buff enough. Have you noticed that for men it’s about adding, and for women subtracting?

Magazines targeted at women want them to “lose” or “trim” or “tighten,” whereas for the men’s magazines it’s “adding inches” or “bulking” or “building.” Even when it comes to weight loss, males are sold on how to “get” ripped abs. Interesting side note: this bigger vs. smaller mentality also applies to genitalia. Men are marketed to being bigger, and for women it’s is all about trimming away “excess” in even the most intimate areas. Geez.

The weight loss claims are all in the realm of science fiction, promising more than a pound of fat lost per day, often adorned with a celebrity doctor’s visage to lend credence to a proclamation that defies the first law of thermodynamics (unless you weigh more than a NFL lineman and are chained to a treadmill while fed only small amounts of broccoli and boiled chicken breasts). By comparison, your perfectly reasonable dropping of one pound per week makes you a total failure.

Then you compare yourself to the Photoshopped actors and feel even worse, until you see the “celebrity body disasters” issue of a gossip rag. In it you’ll see paparazzi-snapped photos of a “Sunken stomach!” and “Man Boobs!” and “Skin disease!” as well as a “Freaky facelift!” and a “Belly nightmare!”

It’s worth noting that those “worst beach body” issues now include male celebrities too. Yes, men are starting to get their fair share of fat shaming. No longer can our culture’s leading entertainers put on a few extra pounds over the top of their board shorts and escape the media’s cruel “beach body” eye. Chris Brown was recently called out by TMZ for his post-prison belly, and the gossip site also called out celebrities like Jack Nicholson and Simon Cowell for their “man boobs.”

Disgusted, you turn away … and are faced with row upon row of chocolate bars and potato chips. You just can’t win.

But it’s not just the tabloids at your local market. The Internet wants to make you feel bad about the way you look as well, often so they can sell you a solution. Surely you’ve seen the poorly drawn cartoon ad of the woman grabbing her belly fat in disgust, and don’t forget the guy selling a “shortcut” to seeing your abs who shames you for being “weak and puny.” The solution usually involves “one weird trick,” and that trick is recurring charges to your credit card.

Turn on the TV and you’ll see fitness star Jillian Michaels berate obese participants on the train wreck game show The Biggest Loser. And instead of being vilified for her fat shaming, she nets fame and riches, earning the moniker “America’s Toughest Trainer” while promoting bias against the overweight.

But maybe those fatties just need a bit of shaming to get off their expanding butt cheeks to get in shape? After all, don’t we live in a nation where more than half the population is obese or unhealthily heavy?

Uh, no. In reality, facing stigma over one’s weight actually increases stress and is detrimental to mental health. What’s more, discriminating against people for being obese doesn’t lead to weight loss, but the opposite: it causes them to gain weight.

And it’s not just fat that’s shamed. Now people are targeted for being “too thin,” and some say bodybuilders “look gross” and “must be on steroids.” Perhaps they are chemically enhanced, but why all the hate?

Hate sells. It’s the marketing strategy of “You are broken, but I can fix you. Buy my product.” In order to get you to fork over mega bucks for some miracle weight loss aid, wrinkle remover, muscle maximizer or genitalia grower, marketers must first make you feel bad enough about yourself that you’ll reach for that credit card to solve a problem you didn’t know you had.

A desire for self-improvement is admirable, but be careful where you look for it, whether you’re male or female. And don’t start from a place of self-loathing and celebrity envy; start from one of aspiration. You can aspire to be your own version of awesome, without having to listen to any advertiser whose shtick is all about heaping criticism.

James Fell is a syndicated fitness columnist for the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times. He blogs at www.SixPackAbs.com. You can follow him @BodyForWife.

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser