While eating at a relatively popular restaurant recently (I won't say their name, but I will say that they are known for their chicken wings ;-] ), I made an interesting observation. There wasn't a single worker there who was the least bit unattractive. Then I thought back to my experiences with this same restaurant in different locations, and came upon the realization that just about every single person that worked for that chain was decently good looking.
Using this as a backdrop, I looked more into this idea of physical appearance and hiring. While doing so I happened upon an interesting article that talked about the "what is beautiful is good" stereotype. It would seem that our society leads us to believe that more attractive people are happier, more social, and altogether more successful. Therefore, this one characteristic can, in some instances, influence the hiring process. There is a very heavy bias that exists. In one experiment, it was discovered that looks had a huge effect on the ratings of potential in applicants. But why is this so when there is no true support behind the ideal? Somehow the human brain, especially in the western world, is programmed to create a correlation between performance and looks that is not actually there. I believe that this says a lot about our society.
Article Referenced: http://www.hofstra.edu/pdf/orsp_shahani-denning_spring03.pdf