Beauty Bias

1795 Words 8 Pages
a. Rhode’s Approach: Systemic Long Term Change
In the Beauty Bias Rhode offers her own suggestions for legal reform. Rhode’s strategies for reform include promoting equal opportunity, encouraging employee activism, and looking to jurisdictions that have enacted anti-appearance discrimination laws.
Her primary plan to address trait discrimination focuses on long term goals for society. Rhode’s plan for reform is to promote equal opportunity through tolerance and activism.
In order to accomplish this reform Rhode argues society needs to change how appearance discrimination is viewed. By teaching a new generation of children to “lead by example,” to combat appearance discrimination at an individual level this change can be realized. Rhode interprets
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Michigan, as well as a few U.S. cities, have enacted different types of anti-appearance discrimination laws. Although these laws are not perfect, they offer more protection for appearance discrimination than most other jurisdictions. For example, Santa Cruz, California offers legal protection from discrimination based on appearance. The Santa Cruz ordinance defines appearance as physical characteristics that are “from birth, accident, or disease, or from any natural physical development, or any other event outside the control of that person.” Although the Santa Cruz law goes further than most, it still fails to provide protection from appearance characteristics that are within an individual’s control, e.g. hair color, piercings, cornrows or …show more content…
The gaps in current laws allow discrimination of minorities to thrive. As the cases discussed in this paper demonstrate courts failed to acknowledge trait discrimination, in the form of grooming codes, as legally impermissible. The failure to find trait discrimination illegal has allowed the the perpetuation of group subordination and stereotypes.
Trait discrimination is detrimental to society and allows employers to discreetly discriminate on the basis of sex and race through the use of grooming codes. Rhode’s book The Beauty Bias provides critical insight into how employers are able to legally use grooming codes to discreetly discriminate against minorities in society. Courts are apathetic to trait discrimination and have not acknowledged trait discrimination as illegal. This failure leaves many victims of trait discrimination without remedy or relief.
My proposal for reform addresses the lack of legal protection for trait discrimination. Opposed to creating a new law to protect employees against trait discrimination, my proposal to amend the current laws will allow for more immediate remedy for victims. Broadening the definitions of the protected classes to include related attributes and characteristics will extend the current protections to victims of trait discrimination. My reform may not address all the problems that trait discrimination presents, however, it will expand legal to

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