What Lookism Is and Why It May Become the Racism of the 21st Century

In the past, society was infected with national and ethnic discrimination but today, so-called lookism is taking place. Lookism is the discriminatory treatment of less attractive people. Studies show that attractive people have more chances to become successful, get good jobs, and build careers.

We at Bright Side tried to learn more about the connection of someone’s appearance and their success in life.

What lookism is

During a survey in the US, it was revealed that appearance discrimination happens more often than ethnic or national discrimination.


There is even a term, lookism which means that less attractive people have fewer chances to build a career and be successful overall.

It was first widely used in 2016 when a female employee of a big company was sent home without a paycheck because she refused to wear shoes with heels.

It’s quite possible that in 10 years, it will be prohibited to have a dress code at a company or require to wear specific makeup or a haircut. But now a person may not get a job because their clothing size is too big and their smile is not attractive enough.

How the brain reacts to beauty

We react to beauty just as a hungry person reacts to food. In studies conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, scientists found that when a person sees an attractive face, the same brain regions are activated when a hungry person sees food or a gambler sees money. So, the influence of beauty is partially out of our control.