Great expectations: gender, looks and lookism at work

Chris Warhurst, Di Van den Broek, Richard Hall, Dennis Nickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Drawing on archival data of employment discrimination from the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission in Australia, this article examines the issue of employee looks, women and lookism in interactive service work. From existing research on emotional and aesthetic labour, lookism might be expected to occur primarily in services and primarily involve female workers. The findings suggest that these expectations are largely met. However, the data also reveal that men in services also claim lookism and that lookism extends beyond interactive services into other industries such as manufacturing. This article concludes by discussing the implications of these unexpected findings for the study of lookism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-90
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • aesthetic labour
  • interactive service work
  • manufacturing
  • services
  • female workers
  • emotions
  • women
  • employee looks
  • emotional labour
  • employment discrimination
  • lookism
  • gender


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