There’s a new study that shows that good-looking professors are less well-respected by their peers, the thought being that perhaps they were hired for their body – rather than their body of work…

“The feeling among professors was that if you looked like you spent too much time in the beauty parlour and not enough in the library, it was a problem,” says Chronicle senior writer Robin Wilson, who’s been covering faculty culture for 25 years. “It’s almost better to be a little crusty-looking so people will trust you and give you more respect.”

This is twice the problem for women.

“Men didn’t say it caused any trouble per se with their peers; they were just really embarrassed by it,” says Wilson. “But attractive women in science felt like their male colleagues took them less seriously because of (the chatter), and treated them like bimbos at conferences. They had to take extra measures to look serious.”

Due to our societies preconceived idea about gender roles and lookism…  I doubt many people would be concerned that an attractive male professor was “spending too much time in a beauty parlor,” or for that matter, that he was spending any time at all at the parlor! But an attractive female professor would certainly have the worst of both worlds.  She would indirectly be expected to both look attractive in socially acceptable ways, and at the same time couldn’t look too attractive.

So, it’s pretty amusing that they choose an attractive male professor to profile with the article.  …once again academia is reinforced as a “masculine career.”

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