This article explores perceptions of Iranian academics of the relationship between women’s physical appearance and academic achievements. The research is conducted using interviews with academics working in different universities in the field of social sciences. Results included individual and structural explanations of the relationship between women’s physical appearance and academic achievements. Data showed a significant emphasis by the participants on the importance of beauty for women. Gender differences were observed in participants’ responses as well as in emotional reactions to the interview questions. Most male participants viewed beauty as the primary resource and an asset for marriage marketing for women. Some female participants denounced beauty as an objective notion and problematized the glorification of masculinity in the workplace. Female participants also discussed an existing backlash against women’s growing participation in academia and reflected on the political aspects of body management and feminine beauty in Iran. In conclusion, it is discussed that beauty discourses can be interpreted as a part of the broader social bias towards women’s participation in academia.
Beauty or the Beast? University Academics’ Perceptions of Women’s Physical Appearance and Academic Achievements.
Journal of International Women's Studies, 20(2), 309-323.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol20/iss2/21