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Getting Plastic Surgery to Stay Competitive in the Workplace

Is Plastic Surgery the Next Trend in Getting Ahead at Work?

Gordon Patzer, author of Looks: Why They Matter More Than You Ever Imagined says that plastic surgery is "a good investment for the workplace" and predicts that it "will become a tool in career advancement—just like clothes or education." His extensive research on the impact of physical attractiveness has shown that good-looking college graduates are more likely to get hired, and supervisors who are attractive tend to be better respected. Take a deeper look under the bandages when you

According to The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, about two thirds of its members said last year they had both men and women come to them for cosmetic surgery with the goal of remaining competitive in the workplace. So what gives here? Is it that when someone feels better about herself or himself they exude more confidence and are then more competitive at work? Or are they competitive just because they are attractive and other people like to be around and look at them?

It would be idealistic to say that looks don't matter, because in reality, most people take note of appearances immediately and make some type of judgment based on appearances. Patzer noted that "higher education can improve physical appearance in others' eyes," but that apparently isn't enough to advance them through their careers. Does this mean that cosmetic surgery will be the next employment trend — first college educations were a general must if you wanted to get ahead, and now plastic surgery? What do you make of this?


Join The Conversation
sicily1 sicily1 9 years
I will not encourage sugery to anyone. Though people tend to pay attention to the more Big boobed dumb blondes.Note: I'm not saying every blonde is dumb so please don't get me started. Once you get sugery on something like breast, it won't stop there. It will then probably lead to the face and then you'll turn out looking like Teira Reeds stomach.Or Micheal Jackson for that matter. Yuck!
moxierain moxierain 9 years
Well I think plastic surgery should be done for you and not for any job. I've wanted my nose job since I was 17, I'm 25 now, went to 4 doctors and did my research to make sure the one I picked was board certified to practice plastic surgery. I'm having my nose job on May 19th. Yay. I understand why people judge by looks. Your body is the first thing that they see about you. I think most people can look decent if they just take the time to find the right haircut, makeup, clothes, etc. Even if you are "average" -if you are well groomed, you will get treated with more respect. That's just how the world is and people are doing all they can to survive in it. So those of us who weren't born with great looks can get them through plastic surgery and I'm all for anything that makes me feel better about myself and for anyone that wants to have more confidence.
hey1tsjenny hey1tsjenny 9 years
looks will get you in the door, it's the value you bring to your company that keeps you there. I agree that looks will give you an advantage but I highly doubt most companies can afford to keep dead weight. Being attractive does have it's plus sides such as getting more attention, people wanting to be associated to attractive people and that may result in a lot more favors around the office. Then again, I live in Los Angeles. Home of plastic surgery.
Imani33 Imani33 9 years
I think this is sadly true....looks matter a lot! From how you wear you hair, to how you dress, to your make up, your weight etc! I notice the women in my office that are in the positions I want one day are all skinny, shoulder length hair, refined features, and trendy. I'm currently going to the gym everyday since I have a Beyonce figure to tone it down....
emalove emalove 9 years
I'm so glad I don't work in a field where this kind of stuff matters!
ellebelle125 ellebelle125 9 years
Think about it. The way you (and others in your company) look reflects a certain image of the company. I.e. What kind of image is my company portraying to prospective employees, visitors, clients even when we have a homely, falling-apart looking elderly receptionist sitting right inside our doors? As judgmental as this sounds, she is not someone I am proud to have sitting in our greeting area. It just goes to show how much first impressions really matter. Now whether or not that means plastic surgery is the answer is hard to say but if, as a latent consequence, it boosts and betters an overall company image, maybe its time.
Meike Meike 9 years
It certainly helps in the beauty, entertainment, hospitality, and fashion industry. As always, women will be more scrutinized for their looks and many unfortunately resort to plastic surgery. I don't see men following suit very often. Obviously, confidence is the winning characteristic to being successful. And, well, attractive people, those who fit the media's or society's standards, tend to be more confident.
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
I think it may be a reality for some, perhaps only their reality, but where I live it's not a problem. I wouldn't consider plastic surgery until my forties. One of those "face-brightening" ones, just to look more youthful and awake. Oh, Lord, I had better start saving now.
BeautyXRush BeautyXRush 9 years
I personally would want to be accepted for a job opportunity based on my talents,abilities, and not my looks.
BeautyXRush BeautyXRush 9 years
Not if you end up looking like a fish, or end up having a leather face. That's not cool. Other than that, sure if they think they need surgery to further their career. Then they should do it.
advo advo 9 years
It's horrible, but I think it is the cold harsh reality. Looks do matter. They are after all what people see the first. If two persons had the exact same qualifications, was dressed eaxctly the same etc. the person that would be hired, would be the most attractive one (if the person of course doesn't have an unattractive personality).
pinkhearted pinkhearted 9 years
Plastic surgery is very common in Asian countries. It's not enough to come from the best schools, but you need to look the best as well. Often times, they get plastic surgery to Westernize their appearance (create eyelids, nose jobs, etc.). This is particularly popular in countries where the supply of jobs far exceeds the demands of the college graduates. In the Philippines, they even go so far as to bleach their skin. There, even to work in a McDonalds you need to come from the best high schools.
nancita nancita 9 years
I think it's important to look put together, appropriately dressed, and especially well-groomed. But no matter how successful you are, your salary goes a lot farther if you're not spending it on plastic surgery!
stephley stephley 9 years
This is nuts on so many levels. What's considered attractive is pretty subjective: look at the comments under any celebrity post. Clean and put together nicely makes sense for work. I've worked with men and women who I considered striking to look at and I've seen their looks work against them as much as help. Beautiful women often are seen as stupid or too fragile to work, and I've seen men disparage handsome managers as pretty boys. If going under the knife helps your confidence, fine but if you believe it will give you a long-lasting edge in the office, go to a therapist instead.
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 9 years
I can't stand the thought of having plastic surgery forced on me practically. As someone in Graphic Design, I don't see any reason for this and it would be completely ridiculous for anyone to expect it. I don't even think I would ever want any because I'm tired of people's need to turn themselves into generic versions of themselves. This "news" just put me in a bad mood. Why should I do something so drastic that doesn't interest me at all to please other people? If someone gets ahead because of plastic surgery, then their boss is an idiot.
lizs lizs 9 years
I agree with the take over at Jezebel (and other similar blogs) - this is total BS. My office isn't a strip club or a modeling agency; my ability to perform isn't based on my appearance. So what if people judge unfairly - isn't that their problem? Why should I cater to their ignorance? I think that if more people ignored chatter like this it would disappear. Don't buy in - prove yourself on your own terms and define your own success.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
I don't know about this but I agree with juju. Then again there are no homely people or average people in the company I work for that is at the top. Maybe something to think about but plastic surgery seems too far off the deep end.
shanimalcracker shanimalcracker 9 years
juju: The saying "dress for the job you want, not the job you have" has really been true in my office. I've never heard that saying before, but I like it! I definitely dress up more than most people at work (a lot of people dress more casual than business casual) and it definitely reflects in the way I view my work and myself at work. :)
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Truthfully, I don't know what to make of this. It's bizarre to me. Personally, I wouldn't consider cosmetic surgery. I'm comfortable with the way I look.
ckeller825 ckeller825 9 years
That is ridiculous. I think ANYBODY can be presentable and attractive if they are well-groomed. Take a shower, brush their teeth, fix their hair, and wear well-fitted clothes that looks pulled together and professional. But plastic surgery??? Then again, if there are instances where it could affect somebody's health...I'm not so much against that.
amvbob amvbob 9 years
In my field, a good boob job can be the difference between 5 and 6 figures. It's a sad reality but I can't say I haven't thought about it before...
MindayH MindayH 9 years
I think that this is SO true - but I am not sure that plastic surgery is the answeer, but taking care of yourself and making sure you look good - absolutely
juju4 juju4 9 years
I think that looks do matter with regards to someone presenting themselves as pulled together and polished. I think it has more to do with how one dresses, styles his/her hair, etc. The saying "dress for the job you want, not the job you have" has really been true in my office. People that show up looking sharp seem like they are eager to impress and it reflects in their work ethic. I do not think that one has to be phsyically beautiful in order to get ahead. I have actually seen cases where men did not want to hire good looking women as their executive assistants because the wives of the executives would have issues with it. I do agree that physically attractive people can be more confident though. At the same time they can have more issues as well! (I have a whole theory on this...)
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
Well usually, "attractive" people are more confident and confidence = charisma = likeability
shanimalcracker shanimalcracker 9 years
Haha, I agree with imLissy. I wonder if these people were just obscenely bad looking or had some really awful salient feature. I don't think this would apply to everyone.
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