Critical Analysis

Critical Analysis




The name of the article under review is ‘The Ugly Are Vanishing But With Them Goes Talent’ by Lucy Kellaway and was published in 2015. This Article claims that in most companies around the world only the beautiful and attractive people get hired. It also argues that ugly people rarely get job opportunities due to their physical appearance. The claims made by the author could be true at first read, but a critical analysis could prove otherwise.

A Summary of the Article

The article presents the argument that an increasing number of companies are hiring people on account of their physical beauty. The author confesses that as they were addressing some new employees for a particularly big company, they noted that none of the eighty faces was ugly (Kellaway 2015). The people the author was addressing had been hired to audit company accounts. According to Kellaway, auditors ought not to be physically appealing, but this was not the case with the audience. The author gives other instances that would require the services of ugly people. From those cases, it seems that things have changed and the beautiful ones are filling those positions. The radio, for example, was known for the ugly, but that is no longer the case (Kellaway 2015). However, people do not refer to others as ugly, but they just do not hire them. The author confirms having been a fascist at one time or the other.

The author further claims that being ugly has its advantages. One of these benefits, according to Kellaway (2015) is when one is trying to rob a bank.  In other cases, being ugly can get one the job but only if the one doing the hiring sees the employee as competition (Kellaway 2015). According to the author, there are no studies to prove that faceism is increasing, but Kellaway still claims that it is on the rise. The latter claim by the author is based on her age. Kellaway is 56 years old. The author gives an illustration of how they looked in the 80’s. In 1982, the author, together with other trainees at JP Morgan, never looked lovely in comparison with modern-day young employee in their twenties (Kellaway 2015).

Kellaway continues to argue that the reason why accountants are looking more gorgeous is that the world is also changing and grooming has now become inseparable with people. The world is also becoming richer, and wealth comes with beauty, argues Kellaway. However, the author refutes the latter argument by noting that if one were to check on the Tube in the morning rush hour, they would notice that there are indeed very many ugly people. The author asks themselves a rhetoric question of where such people work, and probably not in the city and the larger firms (Kellaway 2015).

Kellaway (2015) also wonders the reason why people should be faceism in an era where they send emails as opposed to conducting live interviews. It should not be an issue therefore, how people look based on the fact that no physical contact is required. The author confirms that they are victims of first checking out the physical appearance of a person before they can interview them (Kellaway 2015). Some people get to be judged based on their looks and even miss out on job opportunities long before their competence can get tested. The authors argues that the only way to combat this problem is by having to conduct an interview whereby during the first few minutes, the panel is not able to see the job seeker. This practice, the author argues, will help the job seeker to be judged not on their looks but their competence (Kellaway 2015).

Critical Analysis

The author of this article claims that only the beautiful and the gorgeous ones get hired. This argument is partially untrue because the not so good looking people are working in various companies. However, there is some truth in author’s argument, and their claim is being applied in many large corporations. According to Ruettimann, Dov Charney who is the CEO of American Apparel used to fire employees whose physical appearance was not appealing to the eye. The founder of athletic sportswear company, Lululemon, Denis “Chip” Wilson was repeatedly accused of lookism, and at one point, he confessed that some people were too fat to wear the company’s attire, Ruettimann (n.d.). It is evident that most companies prefer hiring the beautiful people as they believe that beauty is highly associated with success. Another CEO who hires people based on their looks is Mike Jeffries who is in charge of the retail stores of Abercrombie and Fitch, Ruettimann (n.d). According to Ruettimann, Mike says that they hire beautiful people because they attract other beautiful and handsome people, and the company’s aim is to market their goods to the good-looking. Many other companies practice the same criteria of hiring people based on their physical looks, only that they are not so pronounced.

The author’s claim that people get hired based on their looks is further supported in other works. The first thing that most interviewers base their opinion on is the looks of the candidate, (Chi 2015). According to O’Brien (2010), a lovely smile from a beautiful person will earn them entry into the job market while the frowning face gets nothing. A survey conducted by Newsweek involving 202 hiring managers and 964 working Americans confirms that the looks of a person are significant while making the final hiring decision (cited by O’Brien 2010). On being asked whether a qualified but unattractive candidate will have a hard time getting hired as compared to an attractive candidate, six out of ten or 60% of the hiring managers said yes (O’Brien 2010). This fact is the bitter truth in the current world. 68% of the hiring managers in the survey conducted by Newsweek confirmed that looks would continue having an impact on the way the manager views the employee’s performance (O’Brien 2010). If an employee is attractive, their work will most time be appealing to the manager as compared to that of unattractive person. Out of the working Americans who took part in the survey, 64% of those stated that the good-looking people have it easy on career advancement (O’Brien 2010). This is a clear confirmation that people get judged by how they look (Kiisel 2013).

The author claims that radio was once known to be the home of the ugly. This argument is however flawed as there is no evidence to it. The author also argues that the ugly do not work in radios anymore. This argument is, however, wrong. Most people whose looks are not appealing end up in radios and become successful talk show hosts and DJ's (Conciergevii 2011). In another instance, the author argues that people are no longer racist or sexist. This claim is, however, disputable as most companies still hire individuals in accordance with their race and sex. Some companies will not hire black people as they argue that they are not competent as compared to the whites. Other industries will hire people regarding their gender with the allegation that some duties can only be carried out by a particular gender. A particular manager at a Georgia manufacturing company told the human resource person not to hire black thugs (Evans 2016). In the same article, a branch manager by the name Josie Hernandez would always give comments such as ‘Do not hire that damn nigger,' (Evans 2016). The above two illustrations are proof that racism still takes place in hiring companies, thus refuting the author’s claim.

When the author claims that racism is a thing of the past, this may not be entirely true. According to Vinter (2015), ethnic minorities in the UK still face the challenge of discrimination at the workplace (Vinter 2015). Regarding a survey conducted by Charity Business in the Community and YouGov, 60% of the blacks stated that their careers had failed as compared to 30% of the whites (Vinter 2015). The author’s claim of people not practicing racism anymore can, therefore, be viewed as one that encourages complicity.

Kellaway (2015) argues that the ugly are at an advantage in regards to their looks. This author claims that the ugly can rob a bank, citing that for one to rob a bank they should be scary. This argument the authors states that they got it from some studies of which they have not identified. The argument can, therefore, be termed as having unwarranted leaps. This conclusion means that the author has left out some gaps in their claim. The author argues that ‘studies do not prove that faceism is getting worse,' (Kellaway 2015). This argument cannot be affirmed as there are any references that the author gives concerning the studies they mentioned. Some studies, however, show that faceism is on the rise. People are more attracted to a beautiful sales person as compared to an ugly person (Frontline 2009). This perception leads hiring managers to employ the beautiful individuals and leaving out the ugly people, an indication that faceism is on the rise. According to Stranger, various studies have proved that attractive individuals get hired sooner, are promoted quickly and easily, and they get better pay as compared to the ugly people. The studies also show that beautiful people earn up to 3or 4% more than unattractive people (Stranger 2012). Some studies show that women who are more attractive and more youthful in appearance are most likely to advance most at work as compared to the less attractive females (Sinberg 2009).

The author argues that when one goes to the Tube in the morning, they can see a lot of commuters. There are very many ugly people, claims Kellaway. The author continues and states that the ugly people neither work in the city nor the big firms. This claim cannot be justified as the author has not provided proof to support their argument.


The author has done some good work of highlighting the issue of faceism. The author has also given some personal experiences whereby they had to witness faceism take place. However, there are some claims that the same author has made that lack proof. Some of these arguments can be misleading to the reader. It is therefore for the author to provide the necessary evidence so that the article looks more real. In other instances, the author has given some information that does not seem to add up to the major argument. There should be no leaps in any article as the reader might judge the work as untrue.





Chi M (2015). The Ugly side of hiring: How much do looks contribute to employment? Uloop. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 23 Dec. 2016].

Conciergevii (2011). A face made for radio. Urban. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 23 Dec. 2016].

Evans W. (2016). Astonishing Discriminatory Tactics of Companies Hiring Temp Workers: Black Applicants Losing Out Big Time. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 23 Dec. 2016].

Frontline. (2009). Do not hire ugly or stupid salespeople. Frontline. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 23 Dec. 2016].

Kellaway L (2015). The ugly are vanishing but with them goes talent. Financial Times. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 23 Dec. 2016].

Kiisel T (2013). You are judged by your appearance. Forbes. [Online]. Available at:

O’Brien M.(2010). Ugly People Need not Apply? Human Resource Executive [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 23 Dec. 2016].

Ruettimann L. (n.d.). Ugly People want to Work for You- Now What? The Conference Board Review. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 23 Dec. 2016].

Sinberg L. (2009). Think looks do not matter? Think again. Forbes. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 23 Dec. 2016].

Stranger M. (2012). Attractive People are simply more successful. Business Insider. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 23 Dec. 2016].

Vinter R. (2015). The big problem: The UK is racist when it comes to hiring staff. LondonlovesBusiness. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 23 Dec. 2016].




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