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Texas Professor/Author: Ugliness Should Be Legally Protected

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – In these days of Lady Gaga and her meat dress, who’s to say what’s beautiful and what’s ugly?

But when it comes to bringing home the ‘bacon’, beautiful people make more money, $230,000 more over a lifetime according to an educator at the University of Texas.

Economics professor Daniel Hamermesh has written a book called “Beauty Pays.” He said the book, “Helps you in a variety of ways. You get better jobs. You are promoted more rapidly and people treat you better on the job.”

But Hamermesh said the obsession with beauty is everyone’s fault. We like looking at beautiful people: beautiful doctors, beautiful lawyers, and even beautiful politicians.

While people so what they can to keep up for appearance sake — like going to the gym, spa and hair salon, Hamermesh said he doesn’t believe “ugly” can be fixed. Instead, he believes it should be protected under discrimination law.

“We already have laws to protect the ‘ugly’ in a few jurisdictions in California and District of Columbia.
Other countries do it too,” Hamermesh said.

Dallas discrimination attorney Justin Manchester doesn’t think it ‘ugly’ laws would fly, at least not in Texas.

“If someone were to bring a lawsuit based off of ugly the defense is going to characterize it as a frivolous lawsuit and you’ll have an uphill battle fighting against that,” he said.

Manchester wondered how “ugly” would even be defined. “Yeah, what is ugly?” he said aloud.

People can’t even agree on what ugly is when it comes to pets.

Michael Casanova has an English bulldog and said, “I think he’s adorable.”

Janet Reed owns a Dachshund and thinks, “she’s a doll”. But Reed was also quick to point out her dog’s upper overbite.

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder but two Dallas women don’t know anything about that. Joyce Sampson and Neva Fairchild are legally blind.

When asked about an “ugly” lawsuit Sampson said, “It’s frivolous.”

Sampson volunteers at the Foundation For The Blind in Dallas, because she says she can’t find a job. Sampson’s job, as a grocery store manager, went when she lost her sight four years ago.

“I get frustrated. I get very frustrated,” she said.

Sampson said compared with the loss of sight or limb, any lawsuit based on a lack of looks appears vain.

Neva Fairchild, who also works for the Foundation For The Blind, summed everything up saying, “It’s like, give me a break. I just want to scream.”

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