There are other reasons as well.
Since I became a manager I noticed how others behave in a managerial sense.
It really does appear that ‘pretty’ people are thought of as more competent then they actually are. Therefore they are promoted faster. I have also noticed that attractive people, when they make mistakes, are more likely to be forgiven completely or get a slap on the wrist whereas less attractive people have had the boom lowered on them for equivalent mistakes.
It is especially telling in my current company as we have many offices and don’t have video conferencing so many times I can work with someone for years and not know what they look like.
There was one woman who worked in a larger offices who tended to call me and 2 other colleagues to do projects when she had 2 people from my division in her local office. She was competent & nice. I once asked her ‘Why me/us instead of your local guys?’. She responded that it was easier to work with us/we gave her better ‘stuff’. When I asked a local person about her, she said this person was an idiot/incompetent and belligerent. Not my impression at all.
Finally, one day I was to visit the office and she was there. OOOHHHHHHyikes. She was…NOT attractive. Not attractive at all. However, she seemed the same to me personality and competence-wise. I couldn’t help but wonder if her…uhem, extreme unattractiveness contributed to the perception of incompetence.
I started looking around at who was calling who in my division. Basically sent a questionnaire out to people during evaluations to ask who was their favorite person in my division to contact. I noticed a strong tendency for unattractive/obesely fat people to have their favorite person be outside their local office whereas the ones that looked attractive tended to overwhelming pick their local person.
Relatively recently I promoted one of my peeps and was challenged by this from my boss as to why I didn’t pick the other possible one. To me it was a slam dunk. The person I picked had more experience and was more competent at this time. My boss disagreed but deferred to my judgment. I couldn’t help but noticing that the person I didn’t pick was VERY attractive whereas the person I picked, while not ugly or anything, was definitely not a hunk.