BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - A dating website exclusively for beautiful people is expanding into the job openings business.
BeautifulPeople.com now allows companies to post job openings that only its members can apply for.
The site plays match-maker for its 750,000 members, who must be voted as "beautiful" by existing members in order to join.
Research shows that even as infants, we inherently gravitate toward people with attractive features.
"You can get pictures of people who are unattractive, attractive, or average, and you show them to an infant and they are going to gaze longer at the folks who are attractive," said Dr. Mary E. Pritchard, a professor of psychology at Boise State University.
From there, the focus on good looks grows as we age.
"The stereotypes are very deeply ingrained," Pritchard said. "Beautiful is good."
That's what websites such as BeautifulPeople.com seek to capitalize on. Unlike most dating websites, BeautifulPeople.com requires an application process.
New applicants must submit a picture and a biography, then wait 48 hours while existing members judge them on a scale of beauty. Users can rate applicant photos as "beautiful," "hmm…OK," "no," or "absolutely not."
"We look for self verification," Pritchard said. "So if your self esteem and your self worth are built on the fact that you think you're a beautiful person, you're going to gravitate toward a site like this to get validation for what you believe to be true."
Only 20 percent of applicants are accepted onto the site. But members can be kicked off even after they've been approved. The site has been known to vote members off if they gain weight after the holidays.
Now, BeautifulPeople.com is stepping into the job market. Employers from around the world can post job listings that only their beautiful members can apply for.
There weren't any job listings available on the site in Boise. However, there were a few listings found in the northwest.
"Most recent studies suggest that attractive people will make $10-15,000 more per year than the same qualified average person will for doing the exact same job," Pritchard said.
Boise attorney David Leroy says hiring someone based on their attractiveness is perfectly legal under our right of free association.
"Race, religion and sex and even sexual orientation is emerging," Leroy said. "When we have discrimination on those bases, the public laws and courts have deemed that inappropriate. But there's no protected class for beautiful or less beautiful people."
While it is not against the law to hire someone based on their looks, some people say websites such as this can make people prisoner to their appearance, which can severely impact self esteem.
"If your sense of self worth is tied to how you look and you need that verification to be happy in life and to feel like you're a person of worth, it's a huge blow to your self esteem," Pritchard said. "It does quite a number on you. Far worse than the initial boost you might get from joining the site."