: prejudice or discrimination based on physical appearance and especially physical appearance believed to fall short of societal notions of beauty
Did You Know?
There are a lot of -isms in the English language but most people overlook "lookism." It describes the prejudice or discrimination people have toward others because of their appearances. People first used the word in the late 1970s in reference to how people were viewing others who were heavier set. Today the panorama of "lookism" extends from the "overly" beautiful actor or actress to the homely child. Economists, sociologists, and psychologists alike pay close attention to the lookism that occurs in everyday life and examine how it affects people and society as a whole.
As a teacher, Kim's response to recent studies showing that attractive students receive better grades was to try to be vigilant against her own possible lookism.
"We now so expect 'lookism' that the novelty in TV is shows specifically designed to get around it. On the already popular 'The Voice', judges listen to the singers with their backs turned - deliberately cutting them off from the psychological trick that beauty does to the brain." - From an article by Sarah MacDonald at www.dailylife.com.au, April 23, 2012
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