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Do You Think Looking Older Affects Your Career?

Madame Suzanne Noël was an early twentieth-century Parisian cosmetic and plastic surgeon. She believed that face lifts were a necessity in the workplace to ensure that women didn't lose their jobs to younger females. She felt that women were at risk of losing respect, power and their status because of their aging appearance.

Decades later, we haven't gotten past aging. Charla Krupp's latest book, How Not to Look Old, encourages women to get Botox so they're not overlooked in the workplace. (Personally, I'm one to demand change within a messed-up system rather than accommodate it.) Was Madame Noël right? Do you think that aging women face discrimination because of their looks? If so, what should be done about it?


keiraz keiraz 9 years
It's the oppposite! Sometimes I feel like am treated with less respect cuz am younger than the other folks!!
brandi797 brandi797 9 years
I definitely have experienced problems at work since I look significantly younger than my chronological age. As a doctor, many of my clients worry I don't have enough experience. One of my clients actually told me she has shoes older than me!
emalove emalove 9 years
It doesn't affect my career! But yes, it definitely impacts women in certain lines of work.
alethia037 alethia037 9 years
I am not sure what I think about discrimination as women age, but I know that I agree with the first two posts. I am 25 and a restaurant manager. The only person younger than me is the dishwasher. My staff respects me now that I have been there for a while, but at first I had to work my butt off to show them that I wasn't just some kid who went to college and thought I could boss them around (I am the owner's daughter too... so that was a whole other stigma) and that I am serious about my job and my career. The problem that arises most often now are customers who ask for a manager, and then at first glance don't believe that I am old enough to help them. I have even had people ask for someone else in charge without even giving me the chance to help them! I dress very appropriately, but I do look very young.
quietriott quietriott 9 years
i know quite a few men who have had headhunters suggest that they dye their early graying/salt and pepper hair darker in order to get a job (these guys are in their 20s). also a few family friends have dyed their entirely silver hair darker in order to be hired for jobs. so maybe it's not just for women, but some men too?
GibsonGIrl GibsonGIrl 9 years
My gorgeous, stylish, and young looking aunt of 60 was just fired a few weeks ago from her job (she's in the interior design business) even though she makes more money for the company than any other employee. They made it pretty clear that it was because of her age. It makes me sick. Agism is a big problem in the work place.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Sad but true...
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 9 years
Other: Women get discriminated against for being too young AND too old.
vanitypot vanitypot 9 years
I think aging women don't face discrimination since as you get (and look) older, I think you have acquired more ideas than your fellow younger colleagues. It will definitely give you more advantage in the workplace, in terms of salary raises and promotions. I think that there's some form of discrimination if you look younger since people wouldn't really take you seriously, no matter how 'valuable' you are in the workplace. My Mandarin language teacher was hired to translate an English movie script to Mandarin when she was still in college. Since she was young, she was paid a fairly small amount per translated page compared to those post-graduate language teachers, even if she's 'high in demand' in that field since college.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 9 years
Yes, as women age there is discrimination. I don't believe in getting facelifts or botox however there are other ways to keep yourself looking your best. Chemical peels, (using spf while in your teens throught ot life can prevent the worse wrinkles) a nice hair color & style and the right clothes can keep you looking up to date without looking like another over-botoxed women. I prefer to see women age with grace then needles.
Hannah426 Hannah426 9 years
I definately think that women face discrimination because of their age. For example, young teachers are more likely to get hired than older teachers. This is because older teachers have more experience and therefore demand a higher pay. Besides money, I'm sure that older women are discriminated against simply because they probably do not have the energy to work the long and grueling hours that a young woman can. It sucks.
emilie11 emilie11 9 years
It depends on the industry but I definitely think looking your best can help in just about any field.
ccwhite ccwhite 9 years
Yep, I'm the youngest person on my team! The 'baby'! I'm 29 though, no spring chicken!
sldc sldc 9 years
While men may discriminate against women in the workplace, age discrimination is fairly common against both genders. The problem is society at least portrays (in the media, etc) that a woman aging is almost embarrasing to behold, whereas men are granted some allowances. Many times age discrimination is about paying ambitious young upstarts less money and encouraging them to work long, hard hours. Hollywood is the ultimate example of squeezing the most out of young "talent" on the cheap, only to discard them for fresh new short-term investments. This goes for actors and writers! We will all grow old or die trying, so I wish people were more mindful of comments about aging and those who are "older."
cocomademoiselle cocomademoiselle 9 years
This question is very interesting and sad at the same time. It is true that, in some careers, good image and a young face is sometimes a must have for the position! (while in other careers, it is maybe the opposite: think of surgeons, I would rather have an older surgeon perform surgery on me, meaning he/she has done it many times!) I like to think that if the talent and the skills are there, a less younger looking face shouldn't be a distraction from the fact that the person is most of the times more experienced, more wise and should own our respect for it. And I think that as time ages us we should be more and more demanding with ourselves in terms of image, and put the extra efforts (that we didn't have to before) to try and always look our best. Looking good at any age!
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 9 years
There's definitely discrimination against women in the workplace - if you're too young-looking, no one takes you seriously, and if you're too old-looking, no one will hire you. It's unrealistic and the same standards don't apply to men! Older men look "distinguished," older women look "frumpy" - how is that fair??
smart-blonde smart-blonde 9 years
I don't just think there's discrimination against older women in the workplace, I know there is. I'm a librarian so it's not disadvantageous to be older in my profession but my mother, in the corporate world, had a very difficult time finding a job. She is in her late fifties and has beautiful skin (no Botox needed in my family, thanks Grandma!) and dresses very nicely (suits, coordinated sweaters, tasteful jewelry, etc.), but she has gray hair. She didn't want to color it because the gray hair my family gets is that pure white, which is a) hard to dye and b) found attractive by many people. She couldn't, however, get a job no matter how qualified she was for it. She dyed her hair a light blonde (about my color) and bam, got the next job she applied for. Her boss, who has gray hair himself, swears up and down he would have hired her regardless of her gray hair, but one never knows. Unfortunately, it's not enough to dress nicely and keep a light hand with makeup anymore. And it sucks.
Dana18 Dana18 9 years
It's sad but true. They way you look affect the way people tread you in your career. If they think you are younger then you are and you are good at what you do they will promote you more.
brittanyk brittanyk 9 years
I definitely think that women face discrimination as they get older, at least more so than men. There are age discrimination laws for a reason.
GreenSkittlesGal GreenSkittlesGal 9 years
Bigestivediscuit (haha, cute name), I agree. I am a twentysomething attorney for a large corporate firm and I feel as though I don't get taken as seriously as a thirty or fourty year old would. But I know that the younger guys at my firm feel the same way too, so I don't think it is gender specific. I think the older woman discrimination is gender specific though. But I wouldn't think older women would experience it until at least 60. Just going off on what I see.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 9 years
That's funny, I have the opposite problem - I'm in my twenties, yet I don't think people take me very seriously because some say I look like I'm in my teens, even though I dress very age appropriately (or older) and don't have that young of a face! Then again, I guess I shouldn't complain because my mom is nearly sixty and she looks about forty-something. Haha!
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