In discussing how basketball star Jeremy Lin almost didn’t get signed to the N.B.A., James Surowiecki at the New Yorker recently unearthed broader truths about how we work with attractive people.
The implications aren’t pretty.
The problems relate to what we do with others’ physical looks. On Lin, Surowiecki concludes:
As a reedy Asian-American (from Harvard, no less), Lin simply didn’t fit anyone’s image of an N.B.A. point guard.
Because many coaches harbor pre-conceived notions of what a star basketball player looks like, they initially overlooked — and missed out on — Lin. Meanwhile, Lin’s agent Roger Montgomery is having the last laugh.
The New Yorker staff writer expounds on the subject:
In the U.S., [economist Daniel Hamermesh] finds, better-looking men earn four per cent more than average-looking men of similar education and experience, and uglier men earn thirteen per cent less.
Whoa, right? It gets worse.