on the Attack
by Robert Wenzel: Economist:
46 Out of 50 US States Are Insolvent
Telegraph's William Leith is out with a mad theory that to win
at top ranked tennis you need to be beautiful. I am not making this
up. Here is his
A few weeks
ago, I interviewed the number-one female tennis player, Caroline
Wozniacki, and a friend said to me that the strange thing about
womens tennis is that its being taken over by beautiful
Well, I said,
its certainly true that Wozniacki is beautiful, or at least
gorgeous; Id been to Denmark to interview her, and noticed
the local version of Heat magazine, Se Og Hør,
had featured her in a photo shoot that made her look like a pop
star or an actress, with her long blonde hair and short black
dress. But that, I said, was just one player.
the friend, theres more to it. At least half of the top
female tennis players are beautiful these days. Ten, 15
years ago, it was just one, he said.
Anna Kournikova? She used to be the exception. And
he listed some of the current female tennis players who are beautiful:
Ana Ivanovic, Maria Sharapova, Sabine Lisicki, Vera Zvonareva,
and there were more. That was just off the
top of his head...
the higher-ranked but less attractive players were relegated to
the outer courts. But then the mystery was solved; it was all
to do with ratings.
A BBC spokesman
said that, even though the decision was in the hands of Wimbledon
officials, Our preference would always be a Brit or a babe,
as this always delivers high viewing figures.
it. Ugly people are manipulated away from wining tennis matches.
Puhleeze. The fact of the matter is the early years of championship
professional tennis were dominated by lesbians (Billie
Jean King, Martina
Wade), who tended to have a more severe look (Think Rosie O'Donell,
Ellen DeGeneres, and Rachel Maddow). Because the sport is now more
mainstream, probably, curiously enough, because of the Williams'
sisters influence, you have young, athletic, healthy looking women,
without the severe lesbian look, winning championships.
But this doesn't
stop Leith with his maniac theory, he takes it a step further and,
yup, discusses government payments for the "ugly". He
trots out Daniel
if youre not attractive in this new world? In a chapter
titled Legal Protection for the Ugly, Hamermesh argues
there could be a case for some kind of affirmative action
after all, unattractive people, like those from racial minorities,
are being denied opportunities.
looks, writes Hamermesh, can generate an earnings
disadvantage of perhaps $140,000 over a lifetime compared to the
earnings of an average-looking worker. And the ways in which
an unattractive person is disadvantaged are similar to the ways
others black people, say are disadvantaged.
on: The causes of mistreatment of the bad-looking, and their
results inferior outcomes in a large variety of areas
seem little different either qualitatively or quantitatively from
the mistreatment of other groups.
The fact of
the matter is that beauty is, indeed, in the eye of the beholder.
I have seen plenty of severe looking lesbians walking the streets
of San Francisco arm and arm they obviously see something attractive
in each other. But more than that, while the severe lesbian look
may not be the general population's idea of beauty, these women
tend to be extremely successful, despite their supposed lack of
beauty. It would take a long period of head scratching to come up
with female television hosts more successful than the lesbians O'Donell,
DeGeneres and Maddow and I shudder to think what these women look
like without their television make-up on. (Note: I am keeping Oprah
out of this discussion, but there are plenty of rumors in Chicago
and her friend Gale).
beauty is one way to make a living and there is nothing wrong with
that, but talented people who don't fit the mainstream idea of beauty
can have successful careers if they have a skill or talent, the
severe looking among the lesbians are proving this everyday.
with permission from Economic
Economic Policy Journal
Best of Robert Wenzel