First off, this is not an article celebrating the recent legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado. That would be titled “Fire Up the Fatties”. Admittedly, calling people “Fatties” is offensive, even when the author using that term is a doughboy himself. However, that title was more likely to get your attention and draw you in than a headline like “Positive Facial Attractiveness Index Scores Indicative of Better Financial Performance”. I tend to the Machiavellian when it comes to catching what can be an exceedingly short attention span (no offense – I am talking about everyone else, not you. If you’ve gotten this far and have not yet wandered off for a doughnut your ability to focus is well above par). After all, this is important information you need to know. It is science, so it must be right.
To be clear, this article isn’t only about firing fat people. We will cover firing skinny people, too. Same goes for short and tall people. What we’re really talking about is canning ugly people. Short, tall, fat, skinny: As long as they are ugly, they are outta here. It is a scientifically proven necessity.
I suppose I should start from the beginning.
While perusing LinkedIn one recent morning, I came across a CNBC article talking about new scientific research that indicates “attractive CEO’s” are more successful than their ugly and disgusting counterparts. Based on something called Facial Geometry, it seems that those CEO’s whose attractiveness ranks high, “receive higher total compensation, better returns on their first days on the job and boost stock performance when they appear on television”.
That explains why I have been getting paid in chickens and am still trying to finish projects we started in 1999. And I can’t even get an invitation to appear on the telly.
Two economists from the University of Wisconsin, Joseph Halford and Hung-Chia Hsu, rated the attractiveness of 677 CEOs from S&P 500 companies based on this concept of “facial geometry.” They published their results in a working paper called “Beauty is wealth: CEO appearance and shareholder value.” The paper will no doubt be available soon on Amazon.com or as a scanned Google Doc. By the way, the CEO’s of both those behemoth companies, Jeff Bezos and Eric Schmidt, respectively, would likely not last under the Facial Geometry Assessment Program.
Halford and Hsu based their theory on a Duke University paper written in 2010, that theorized “good looks made CEOs appear more competent and gave them better negotiating skills, enabling them to extract better deals for shareholders.”
They apparently found some correlation, as they concluded: “We find that FAI (facial attractiveness index) has a positive and significant impact on stock returns surrounding the first day when the CEO is on the job, indicating that shareholders seem to perceive more attractive CEOs to be more valuable.”
This is huge. This will completely rewrite the rules of business. And no one will be more surprised than those of us who were not the hot, popular kids in high school. Who would’ve thought that attractive people get an advantage? And why should we just limit these findings to the CEO? Should we not endeavor to fill our companies with beautiful people (at least in accordance with the Facial Attractiveness Index)? We absolutely should strive to hire people who can get results, and dadgummit, science has now proven that attractive people are the ones who can get deals done.
The answer has been here, right in front of our noses the entire time. The problem was, apparently, our noses were not attractive enough to let us figure this out.
So, we fire the fatties (before you call my office to complain, remember I am obese myself, and will no doubt be the first one waddling my fat ass out the door under this new policy). If you are scrawny or gangly, you’re out. If your left eye is so fascinating that your right eye keeps looking at it all the time, adios, baby. We’ll start with HR. That will be tough, as they know their pesky rights, but with science behind us we can get it done. Besides, once HR is filled with handsome men and beautiful women, the rest will be easy. Science has proven that people will practically fall all over themselves for the opportunity to be terminated by a successful beautiful person.
It also stands to reason that our workers’ comp claim incident rates will drop. If beautiful people are smart and effective, can safety be that far behind? Seriously, when is the last time you heard of Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie getting a paper cut at work? Or George Clooney slamming his hand in a door, or falling down the stairs? It apparently does not happen. Following the Facial Attractiveness Index will apparently lower our experience rate.
And that is a beautiful thing indeed.
By Jeff_Bezos’_iconic_laugh.jpg: Steve Jurvetson derivative work: King of Hearts [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Eric_Schmidt_at_the_37th_G8_Summit_in_Deauville_037.jpg: Guillaume Paumier derivative work: Sven Manguard [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons