May 22, 2013

First World Problem: Being Too Attractive to Work?

After reading in yesterday's news, about Laura Fernee's first world problem of being too attractive to work - I really did feel and hear her pain.  But only for a second.

Sure, I can relate to her horrid disposition? She had a good job. Haven't we all had that?

However, sadly, back in 2011 - her gift of being attractive - got too much for her, when her nasty coworkers started talking behind her back, giving her the evil eye (we know the drill) and treating her like a bimbo.

And why? She says: she was left with no choice but to quit when comments from coworkers about her attractive physical appearance became too much.

Gosh Laura, I so hate that problem too!

In the Daily Mirror Fernee sheds light on this new shade of workplace victimisation. NOT!

She said: "Good looks have caused massive problems for me when it comes to employment, so I’ve made the decision that employment just isn’t for me at the moment."

Adding  to Fernee's stress, was being "constantly asked out". Moreover, she said she,"felt traumatised when men left romantic gifts on her desk."  

What were the gifts? Was it Belgian chocolate? Soap on a rope? Boxes of hankies? Ninja blenders? Wasn't there a needy career spinster in the office ....or a local op-shop, she could pass them on to?  And there's re-gifting, Kris kringle and e-bay!  

From this brand of workplace bullying (despite the free gifts) she decided the constant harassment resulting from her appearance led to her realising that work: just isn't for her.

Oh Bill Shorten, Gina Hancock, Human Rights Equal Opportunity Commissioner -
I want , no ...I demand that kind of bullying!

It reminds me of the David Jones Mark McInnes case. Now stone me in Federation Square - or place a curse on me that I will never get a job again. But at the time, I quietly agreed with Alannah Hill who (in stark contrast to the general media and corporate lynching of McInnes) candidly described him as "hot stuff" and wished he'd "gone after her ... and asked her out!"  And I tend to agree Alannah.

And regarding that curse, I think I've got it anyway.  

Read more about this disturbing new tale of beauty meets workplace beast here.


Want a Job?: Ugly Need Not Apply (Sydney Morning Herald)

The squeeze on middle-aged women: a new pattern to lookism? (Work In Progress Blog, USA)


  1. Carmen, I'm one of those workplace elephants who is demotivated when you have to work alongside stick insect figured, blonde babes or even brunette ones.

    It puts me off everything. So this workplace attractiveness thing should be stamped out by bullying them out of existence.

    I only want ordinary looking people working alongside me. I've read about your boardroom elephants. Well this elephant in comparison, is just a small cute baby one.

    And I suggest that overly attractive chicks, should just undergo make-unders so that they look as ugly and routine as the rest of us.

    Rgds, BeatofBurden.

  2. If being attractive was really such an impediment and hassle, the cosmetic surgery and beauty industry wouldn't be so lucrative. No-one should have to suffer harassment in the workplace, but the evidence from research shows that good looks tend to be an advantage in the jobs market. Life is not easy for those of us with average looks either.

  3. I agree. I've both witnessed & experienced the bullying/harassment that is subtle. So subtle that management avoid/prefer not addressing (despite workplace laws against it). As a result, leaving the role, and getting another job, can be the best outcome for the health of the victim.