Conversation: APPEARANCISM: Overcoming Our Biases Based on How People Look

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Hunter College Faculty Dining Room

E. 68th St and Lexington Ave. 8th Floor West Building, Hunter College · Manhattan, NY

How to find us

Entrance is at Lexington Ave. and 68th St.Photo ID required for entrance to building, please. Follow signts to Faculty Dining Room, 8th Floor (#6 train to 68th and Lex., or N or F to 63rd and Lex. )

Location image of event venue


(Host: Ron Gross. This event is free. Please register with one click at:[masked] )


Overcoming Our Biases Based on How People Look

Wednesday, July 24th, 6:15 sharp – 8:00
(followed by "CNY Leadership Huddle" from 8:15-8:45)

Hunter College, entrance at Lexington Ave. and 68th St.
Photo ID required for entrance to building, please.
West Building Faculty Dining Room, 8th Floor

To assure your place and receive updates, please register with one click at:

Have you been the target of this prejudice? Or a perpetrator of it? (I have.)

Appearancism (also called Lookism) calls attention to discriminatory treatment of people based on their physical appearance.
While not as well-recognized as racism, sexism, or even ageism, this prejudice is widespread and affects our opportunities in social relationships, job opportunities, and self-image. And of course it’s an integral component of those other “isms”.
Please come and share your experiences, knowledge, and insights!
· Have you observed or experienced Lookism – as perpetrator or target?
· What impact on people’s lives do you think that Lookism may be having:
o In interpersonal relationships (friendships, dating)
o In organizational life or other work situations
o In how people feel about themselves
o In our political preferences and choices
· How is Lookism visible on social media, the internet, and other digital platforms e.g., swiping people on Tinder, the notorious “Male Gaze”, fabricating one’s appearance on Social Media.
· Do you think that our reactions to public figures (like political candidates) are affected by their physical appearance -- beyond the cases of celebrities who are obviously lauded by their looks?
· What steps could we take to remedy the harm being caused by Lookism?

“Appearance-related bias infringes fundamental rights, compromises merit principles, reinforces debilitating stereotypes, and compounds the disadvantages of race, class, and gender,” argues Deborah Rhode in The Beauty Bias: The Injustice of Appearance in Life and Law. Other books exploring Appearancism are The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women by Naomi Wolf, and Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty by Nancy Etcoff.

DIRECTIONS AND DETAILS: #6 train to 68th and Lex., or F to 63rd and Lex.
We gather at 6:00 for socializing, bonus hand-outs, etc. to start at 6:15 sharp please. Bring Your Own Food and Drink if You Like. Take-Out Can Be Purchased on the 3rd floor.

Ronald Gross
Co-chair, University Seminar on Innovation
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY[masked] (E-mail preferred)
E-MAIL: [masked]