The Gorgeous Ceiling

It occurs to me that this sort of thing never seems to come up in discussions of why women appear have a greater tendency to hit a professional wall after a while:

Michelle Haltigan, a highly successful advertising executive known throughout the San Diego area for her striking physical attributes, will continue to get by on looks for six more years, it was reported Monday.

Sources report that the 23-year-old Huntington Beach native will be able to coast effortlessly until late 2004, when her appearance will no longer be sufficient to guarantee preferential treatment in her professional and personal life.

I know several women who have always gotten a leg up in their personal and professional lives because of their physical attractiveness; you probably do too. But now that we’re all getting older, that attractiveness is rapidly fading in relative terms and so they’re no longer likely to get the benefit of the doubt that they’ve always received, even if they haven’t necessarily depended upon it.

This obviously doesn’t apply to all women, there’s no shortage of ladies with unfortunate appearances who have not only had to succeed on their own job-related merits but also overcome the handicap of being unattractive as well. I just wonder if this might partially account for the tendency of some previously successful women to hit a wall in their professional lives in their mid-thirties.

Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. But it’s an idea worth contemplating, anyhow.