A girl that I know got an awesome, highly coveted summer position at a magazine – a magazine that I’ve always admired. Though I already have a really great internship secured, I still lamented my feelings to a friend over the phone. “What made her application stronger?” I wondered aloud. Then my friend asked me the unexpected…“Is she a really pretty girl? That’s probably why she got the position.”
I instantly saw red and felt like hurling a Lil’ Wayne-inspired string of expletives at her. Instead of doing that, I called my mom in tears. Why would a friend say something so careless and just plain mean? “Your friend wasn’t insulting you,” Momma Undateable explained. “It’s the truth. There are benefits to being attractive.”
Yeah, I know mom.
The data is right there in front of my face. Countess polls and surveys show that attractive people have a better chance at getting jobs and raises at work. It’s the same story outside of the office as well – just ask London’s Samantha Brick. Though she emphasizes the downside of being desirable in her infamous article, it didn’t stop her from describing the beautiful benefits that she’s reaped over the years – gratis train tickets and cab fare and plenty of free drinks. It must be nice.
I admittedly struggle with my self-confidence – it’s been a waging battle ever since grade school (hey, kids can be really cruel!). Sometimes I feel charming and confident, ready to take on the world. Other days I just want to hide underneath the covers and borrow Beyonce’s glam squad. Sometimes, those second grade insecurities come back whenever I have an interview or if I have to find a source for the story. Will they deny me because I’m not a supermodel?
If I ruled the world, I’d make employers value the quality of an applicant’s work, not judge them through a hot-or-not rating. I’d make them look beyond the bad hair days and examine the brain inside. Look at my past internships and clips instead of my figure and my face, I beg of you!
So yes, I was a little bit salty, but I know that my friend deserves her coveted summer internship because she’s a great writer, because she’s persistent and because she put in time and effort. That’s how I got my internship. And that’s just the way it should be.
When she’s not watching for Blue Ivy sightings or doing some serious Facebook creeping, Khalea moonlights as a print journalism major at the REAL HU, Howard University. Follow her on Twitter at @letsbeKHAlear, or feel free to Twatch. Whatever works for you.
[Lead image via stryjek/Shutterstock]