Diablo Cody article

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  • #46
    Re: Diablo Cody article

    Google "Beauty Bias" and you'll find many articles referencing studies about it. Not surprising -- it's probably related to an old brain bias (in both men and women) for purposes of species propagation (beauty equals strength and health).

    In most industries I've had access to, attractive tall men also seem to have an advantage. In one major corp I worked at, the higher the floor, the higher one was on the career ladder. It was hard for anyone to ignore that as you approached the top 5 floors, women and short men were getting off the elevator car before you entered top exec territory. People made jokes about it. Some days, as we stepped off, the only people remaining in the car were men well over six feet. And none of them could be accused of being ugly.

    Here's the thing -- people will speak up about gender and racial bias. But who's going to say aloud, "My ugliness puts me at a disadvantage in this society!" even if it's true.
    Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. "Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.-

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    • #47
      Re: Diablo Cody article

      Attractive people in general have an advantage in pretty much every aspect of life.

      This is not a new or earth shattering concept.

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      • #48
        Re: Diablo Cody article

        Great news; my chances of success just increased tenfold!
        "I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.-- Peter De Vries

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        • #49
          Re: Diablo Cody article

          Originally posted by castilleja32 View Post
          I hope this is a joke.
          This was my original comment.

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          • #50
            Re: Diablo Cody article

            Originally posted by sc111 View Post
            Google "Beauty Bias" and you'll find many articles referencing studies about it. Not surprising -- it's probably related to an old brain bias (in both men and women) for purposes of species propagation (beauty equals strength and health).

            In most industries I've had access to, attractive tall men also seem to have an advantage. In one major corp I worked at, the higher the floor, the higher one was on the career ladder. It was hard for anyone to ignore that as you approached the top 5 floors, women and short men were getting off the elevator car before you entered top exec territory. People made jokes about it. Some days, as we stepped off, the only people remaining in the car were men well over six feet. And none of them could be accused of being ugly.

            Here's the thing -- people will speak up about gender and racial bias. But who's going to say aloud, "My ugliness puts me at a disadvantage in this society!" even if it's true.
            I agree that all of this is obviously true.

            But this is a screenwriting forum. Where we're suppose to be supporting and helping each other become better at our craft. So what's the point of Geoff bringing it up the physical attractiveness of female writers?

            Should we be telling aspiring female writers to focus on their looks?

            Are we saying that if you lose a job to a female writer who is more physically attractive that we should blame it on that and not use it as motivation to improve our writing?

            We should definitely NOT be telling women their less than perfect appearances are a LIABILITY they have to overcome.

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            • #51
              Re: Diablo Cody article

              Originally posted by UnequalProductions View Post

              We should definitely NOT be telling women their less than perfect appearances are a LIABILITY they have to overcome.
              My wording was incredibly poor, and my apologies for that.

              I didn't intend for it to sound like I was saying, "Hey, ugly people! Pop that zit, lose some weight, and just try harder!"

              I was trying to say, "Society, and especially Hollywood, discriminates against people based on attractiveness, which makes it much more difficult for a person who isn't considered attractive to succeed. This stereotype impacts women much more than men. Being considered unattractive is a negative mark that society unfairly puts against a person, regardless of their skills."

              Ultimately, I think we're all on the same side. I'm a proud feminist. I worded my previous post poorly, though.

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              • #52
                Re: Diablo Cody article

                Originally posted by UnequalProductions View Post
                This was my original comment.
                I know, invoked it again intentionally.

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                • #53
                  Re: Diablo Cody article

                  Originally posted by UnequalProductions View Post
                  I agree that all of this is obviously true.

                  But this is a screenwriting forum. Where we're suppose to be supporting and helping each other become better at our craft. So what's the point of Geoff bringing it up the physical attractiveness of female writers?

                  Should we be telling aspiring female writers to focus on their looks?

                  Are we saying that if you lose a job to a female writer who is more physically attractive that we should blame it on that and not use it as motivation to improve our writing?

                  We should definitely NOT be telling women their less than perfect appearances are a LIABILITY they have to overcome.
                  Replace woman with Mexican, or African-American.

                  Should people not talk on a screenwriting forum about biases in Hollywood based on ethnicity because it "won't help people become better writers."

                  Yeah.

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                  • #54
                    Re: Diablo Cody article

                    In summary, I have to say that I found it literally incomprehensible to the point of being ludicrous that anyone who lives as a human being on planet Earth in 2015 could possibly argue or try to advance the notion that a person's physical appearance doesn't impact their prospects in life.

                    I am pretty much one hundred percent certain that, if you sent a script out to ten companies, and followed it up with meetings with two different writers claiming to have written that same script, and one looked like Megan Fox and one looked like oh, I don't know, an American woman of average appearance, the one that looked like Megan Fox would end up with a lot more follow up. If people find my pointing that out to be somehow offensive, well, too bad.

                    And I even think that, if the Megan Fox script were maybe not quite as good, well, people would be biased towards wanting to work with her, even though they wouldn't admit it or recognize it.

                    And, I also think this even extends to female executives, that the bias is so deeply ingrained in our culture that even they would tilt towards the more "attractive" woman.

                    As I said in my other post, it not being relevant to discuss that is ridiculous, it's a bias based on physical appearance which could easily be extended to ethnicity, people in wheelchairs, essentially, anyone who doesn't fall within the set of physical characteristics which is preferred by the dominant culture.

                    Oh, yeah, and by the way, we are talking about Hollywood, which has been constructing and exporting a totally superficial and normed standard of beauty successfully for, oh the past hundred and twenty years or so. So the notion that this bias wouldn't probably be more prevalent here than, er, anywhere on the planet is beyond laughable.

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                    • #55
                      Re: Diablo Cody article

                      Originally posted by sc111 View Post
                      Google "Beauty Bias" and you'll find many articles referencing studies about it. Not surprising -- it's probably related to an old brain bias (in both men and women) for purposes of species propagation (beauty equals strength and health).

                      In most industries I've had access to, attractive tall men also seem to have an advantage. In one major corp I worked at, the higher the floor, the higher one was on the career ladder. It was hard for anyone to ignore that as you approached the top 5 floors, women and short men were getting off the elevator car before you entered top exec territory. People made jokes about it. Some days, as we stepped off, the only people remaining in the car were men well over six feet. And none of them could be accused of being ugly.

                      Here's the thing -- people will speak up about gender and racial bias. But who's going to say aloud, "My ugliness puts me at a disadvantage in this society!" even if it's true.
                      Oh, but your pointing this out is offensive.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Re: Diablo Cody article

                        Arguing on the Internet achieves...?

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Re: Diablo Cody article

                          Originally posted by UnequalProductions View Post
                          I agree that all of this is obviously true.

                          But this is a screenwriting forum. Where we're suppose to be supporting and helping each other become better at our craft. So what's the point of Geoff bringing it up the physical attractiveness of female writers?
                          The VERY first post in this thread talked about: "The hoopla over her being a stripper." Since the stripper's job is to be attractive, I don't think it's blasphemous to make a comment about how good looks factor in.

                          Originally posted by UnequalProductions View Post
                          Should we be telling aspiring female writers to focus on their looks?

                          Are we saying that if you lose a job to a female writer who is more physically attractive that we should blame it on that and not use it as motivation to improve our writing?

                          We should definitely NOT be telling women their less than perfect appearances are a LIABILITY they have to overcome.
                          The problem is, Geoff never said any of these things. You did. And you pushed the hyperbole button with the "less than perfect" line. As a woman, I can also say, in my experience, what men find attractive is a lot broader than "perfect."
                          Last edited by sc111; 08-21-2015, 08:21 AM.
                          Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. "Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.-

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Re: Diablo Cody article

                            I've also heard advice to women writers about making sure they dress down for meetings, because if you're too dolled up people won't take you seriously. It seems like there's a potential catch-22 situation there, where if you're too hot they think you're probably dumb, but if you're not hot enough, there may be a subconscious feeling that you're not worth talking to. It's actually a similar balance to the one women tend to face in the corporate world, so I guess it's not that surprising.

                            And I agree, it's an interesting topic and I don't really see why it's inappropriate for this forum as long as it's handled respectfully. Obviously a great script is the most important thing, but it's not the ONLY thing that matters about any writer. It can be useful to understand these biases so you can mitigate them, or even use them to your advantage.

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                            • #59
                              Re: Diablo Cody article

                              The thing is, in a hiring situation, presented with two candidates (male or female) of equal experience, qualifications and talent, I'm thinking the more attractive candidate is more likely to get the job. And I'm quite sure this applies whether women or men are doing the hiring because I've seen it happen.

                              However, attractiveness also extends to having a positive attitude, a high energy level, self confidence and a sense of humor. I think infusing these things in oneself can amp up one's attractiveness without a need for botox or plastic surgery.

                              The thing is, very attractive people -- who the sun seems to seek out to shine upon -- are often naturally self confident and positive because society tends to be a little kinder to them. The rest of us have to learn how to exude self confidence and a positive attitude.

                              However, on the flip, what I've also seen is this -- a high level of attractiveness will not save one from getting fired. I've seen pretty people get their pink slip as often as not-so-pretty people because they failed to do their job. So, all we're talking about here is a slight edge for attractive people at the starting gate. Such is life.
                              Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. "Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.-

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Re: Diablo Cody article

                                Originally posted by Geoff Alexander View Post
                                Replace woman with Mexican, or African-American.

                                Should people not talk on a screenwriting forum about biases in Hollywood based on ethnicity because it "won't help people become better writers."

                                Yeah.
                                It's hard to equate them. I remember responding to a post about dealing with racial/cultural bias by turning that into an advantage. Write scripts that only you can write through your unique cultural experience.

                                Dealing with attractiveness bias is like dealing with nepotism. You're not John Landis' son? There's nothing you can do to change that. You just have to make sure that your writing is so good that it doesn't matter that you're not.

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