Friday, July 24, 2009

What Has This Recession Come To?

I don’t watch a lot of TV, but one show I do like to watch is Nightline on ABC which comes on right after the local news. Earlier this week, Nightline did a story entitled “Face Lift for a Job Lift”. Now anyone who knows me well knows that I am VERY squeamish when it comes to watching surgery on television, especially plastic surgery. I get queasy just hearing people talk about it, much less seeing it on TV. But I had to watch this story (through fingers covering my eyes) because of the reason the subjects in the story were opting for plastic surgery. They were taking extreme measures to improve their chances of getting a job! I know we are in a tight job market right now, but what happened to the days when you would just invest in a nice quality suit for the interview? Since I was a career adviser in a past life, I couldn’t help but wonder if the people in the story first took the time to do an “extreme makeover” on their resumes before opting for an “extreme makeover” on their bodies.

Also, last time I checked, there are laws that make it illegal to make hiring decisions based on how a job candidate looks. But unfortunately, this type of discrimination still occurs, whether it’s in the form of age discrimination (looking too old, or even too young), racial discrimination, or the only discrimination that for some reason is still acceptable, weight discrimination. Of course there are some industries where looks do make a difference and sometimes are even a requirement. I happen to work in one of those industries (music) where, for the most part, like it or not, emphasis is on looks, and sometimes at the expense of talent.

As I’ve stated in previous blogs, regardless of the fact that I do imaging with recording artists, I believe that the talent should come first, but that’s not always the case. One of the things I love about my job is teaching talented people how to look and feel their best in the body that God gave them so their increased confidence will make for even better performances. This can easily be done without resorting to plastic surgery. I once had someone in the music industry refer a client to me and then proceed to tell me that I should be the one to inform the client that she needed liposuction. Well, despite the fact that this person believed the client needed lipo, I did not. If the client herself wanted to get plastic surgery, that’s her choice and her decision to make, not mine nor anyone else’s.

Yes, it was the decision of the two job seekers in the news story to get the plastic surgery to find a better job. One found a job after getting the plastic surgery, and one did not. To the one who didn’t (the one who said she got plastic surgery because her clothes no longer fit), would it not have been less expensive and more rational to buy clothes in a size that did fit? And to the one who did find a job, will he now always wonder if he got the job based on his skills and qualifications or because of how he looked?

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