Pretty people have all the luck. They get hired more, earn more and get preferential treatment in restaurants. A new food documentary features comments from a food critic with a controversial belief-ugly people should sit in the back of restaurants.
The British documentary, Tricks of the Restaurant Trade, conducts an experiment with models to expose lookism in the restaurant industry. Two models who are considered conventionally attractive are sent in to find a table in several London restaurants and are seated immediately by the windows in the front of the eateries. However, when the documentary’s co-host Adam Pearson (who has facial tumors) comes into the restaurant, he is seated in the back. While some may acknowledge and decry the lookism, food critic Giles Coren defends the beauty bias.
"It’s free advertising for restaurants. When people walk by a restaurant and spot good-looking punters[customers], chances are they’ll want to go there." said Coren in an interview.
"There are restaurants in New York where only good looking people and models can get tables. Londoners just aren’t as good looking as their American counterparts. So, the people sitting at the best tables in Sexy Fish in Mayfair[London] probably wouldn’t be able to get a table in McDonald’s in Santa Monica."
First of all, Londoners aren’t as attractive as Americans? Have you not seen Idris Elba? Lookism is not only wrong—it’s silly. What one person finds attractive—talk, dark, and handsome—may clash with someone who finds short, ginger, and freckle-faced people beautiful. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Lookism also is irrelevant when it comes to restaurants. Who cares if customers are beautiful—how beautiful is the food? If restaurant owners are so fragile that they have to segregate customers according to their appearance, then how good are their restaurants? Also, food critics like Coren should just review food in a restaurant, not the clientele.
Hopefully, Tricks of the Restaurant Trade will expose the hypocrisy and unfairness of treating people based on their appearance. This discrimination must be addressed and customers should be treated fairly no matter how they look.
Pearson said he wants to use the show to expose the bias and bullying faced by people with disabilities and facial deformities. I hope the series can show the mistakes in restaurant owners being so superficial that a customer’s looks determine their seating and service. If a restaurant is engaging in such ugly behavior, customers should boycott and eat where the beauty of the food is more important than the customers eating the meals.