Discriminating against people based on their physical appearance is wrong -- both morally, and in many cases, legally speaking. The way you look usually has no bearing on how you’ll perform in your job, and in a perfect world everyone would be judged solely on his/her merits.
But the harsh reality is this isn't a perfect world, and discrimination -- whether intentional or inadvertent -- still plays a role in the workplace. And while it should never be condoned, job seekers and employees need to be aware of how discriminatory practices regarding age, race, sex, and physical appearance can affect compensation.
Unfortunately, multiple studies show that the amount someone is paid -- and in some cases whether or not they get the job -- is based, at least in part, on how they look. Obviously we’re not suggesting plastic surgery simply to get a job or a higher paycheck, but knowing about and identifying existing prejudices is crucial to helping you understand what you’re up against while job hunting or looking for a raise/promotion, so you can know what to expect.