Dr Francesca Minerva, FWO research fellow at the University of Ghent, department of philosophy and moral sciences.
Lookism is discrimination against the unattractive, and it is a widespread but little known form of discrimination. I will discuss the role of implicit bias in influencing lookist behaviours. I will argue that discriminatory behaviours against the unattractive are most likely influenced by implicit, rather than by explicit, attitudes. I will take into account a doxastic, a behavioural and an affective account of lookism (borrowing from Neil Levy’s discussion of the role of implicit bias in a doxastic, behavioural and affective account of racism). I will argue that people who harbour implicit (but non explicit) lookist attitudes are, at least in part, lookist (despite their holding anti-lookist explicit beliefs) but that they are not blameworthy. The fact that lookism is such a poorly known form of discrimination makes it almost impossible for people to acknowledge their lookist attitude and to counter their effects.
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