Going for the Look but Risking Discrimination Essay


In the society we all live in today, where outside beauty is emphasized more than inner beauty, businesses have realized how to utilize that view to their own benefit They have looked at trends and realized that it is profitable to hire those with outer beauty. However, since certain businesses are only hiring certain ethnicities in order to project that image, it has been questioned whether these businesses are discriminating. In the article, Going for the Look, but Risking Discrimination, it says that ” hiring attractive people is not necessarily illegal, but discriminating on the basis of age, sex, and ethnicity is.

The companies cannot help it that only certain types of people fit their marketing image and their hiring strategies are not exactly discrimination because they have nothing else against other people except that they aren’t selling material. Although it might be seen as discrimination in only hiring certain types of peoples, I agree with Cohen that it is a smart move to hire based on image because if is an effective marketing strategy.

Image plays an important role in determining how much certain products can be sold.

The differences in the prices of the clothes sold in for example, Walmart, and those of Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus is due to image. When you walk into places that look cheap and wear the clothes there, you do not feel all that glamorous. However, in designer stores, where all the models are what we call chic and all the products are in a fancy arrangement, everyone feels compelled to buy the product so that they can look like a million bucks.

Also, chic models are featured in designer magazines such as Bazaar that give the impression to readers that if they have these certain items they can also be beautiful Because of this, Gucci,Louis Vuitton, and other brand items that are considered designer items can be sold at the price of thousands of dollars. This is beneficial for businesses because they can make a lot of money from items that do not take much to produce and also come from cheap labor probably. No one buys those bags because they are of particular good quality but just because the brand name tells others that you are “in” and that you are possibly rich.

Looks are attractive to the eyes; that is human nature since it is the strongest sense and will not likely be subject to change. The first impression that someone always gets from another person is fbased on the way they look. Everyone basically has the same view on what is pretty and what is not and that view influences their decisions on what to buy. In a society where most people care about what they look like, it is essential for companies to portray an image that is attractive and makes the person want to look that certain way. Abercrombie and Fitch is an example of a store that excels at doing this.

They hire buff guys and attractive white girls to portray a preppy, American style to be models and sellers. They also attract customers by appealing to another important human sense, smell; they spray the store with an intriguing perfume. When girls see good looking guys, they would want to walk into the store to check them out and the same for guys toward girls. This gives them an opportunity to also look at the clothes at the same time. This leads to increases in sales that generate profit and future profit. For the future profit, I mean that if many people go to a certain store, it would soon turn into a trend.

Those that shop at the store would influence their friends to do so too. In some cases, businesses have to hire for image. If they do not do so, things become awkward and may not reflect a business’s culture. Since the United States is a diverse country with many ethnicities, this situation applies directly to this nation. Throuhout ths country, there are many restaurants that are designated to sell certain types of food such as Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, and many others. There are also areas that are designated to certain cultures such as Chinatown and Japantown.

When customers walk in to those restaurants or areas, they immediately think that they should see people of a certain ethnicity working there. Also, the setup of the table and other decorations also seeks to portray a cultural image that influenced people’s views. Ths might seem stereotypical, but it has its practcalities. This cultural image gives the consumer an impression that the food made or the products sold are authentic, which is the whole reason that they visit those cultural places in the first place, which is to get a taste of other cultures. Cohen is correct in that hiring for image is essential for good business.

It must be effective since all businesses pursue to do so. Hiring for image leads to the increased prices of product, increased sales of products, and can give the impression of authenticity which eventually leads to what businesses want, profit. It also is an important aspect in attracting the teenager group which is a large portion of consumers; Teens are well known for wanting to have a good image due to peer pressure and to be popular at school. The claim that businesses are discriminating are unreasonable; they may only be hiring certain types of people , but that is uncontrollable in pursuing to satisfy their customers’ wants and needs.

They are only trying to do what they think will generate the most profit. If most people ask themselves, they would rather choose a place with good looking people than without. However, although it is beneficial for companies, the question of whether is it moral is another question. Is it right to not give others a chance just because they are not attractive even if they have more experience? That’s a very deep question that I think is very debatable.

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