Skin Color, Physical Appearance, and Perceived Discriminatory Treatment
28 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2011
Date Written: May 31, 2011
This paper examines the relation between observer-ratings of attractiveness and skin tone, weight, and height, and provides evidence on whether these physical characteristics affect the likelihood that individuals report discriminatory treatment in a variety of contexts. African Americans with lighter color, and white men with darker color, are rated as more attractive, as are taller men and both men and women of normal weight. Although a vast literature indicates that physical appearance influences how one is treated, there is little evidence that perceived discriminatory treatment is related to physical characteristics such as attractiveness, weight, or height. An exception is for African Americans with lighter skin color who report less discriminatory treatment in daily activities and on the basis of color.
Keywords: skin tone, attractiveness, obesity, discrimination
JEL Classification: J15, J7, Z13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation