People working in manufacturing have reported more cases of discrimination based on their appearance than any other industry.
Other industries where appearance is highly regarded include the trade and retail sectors.
Discrimination based on physical appearance is called 'lookism' and is illegal in Victoria.More stories from Today Tonight
Between 1995 and 2005 Victoria Equal Opportunity and the Human Rights Commission had 1800 inquires about lookism, with men making up a third of the complaints.
According to University of Sydney's Professor Richard Hall looks are important when it comes to getting a job.
"The evidence is pretty clear that when it comes to getting work in fashion retail looks and personality account for a great deal compared to the qualifications," he said.
"It really does come down to the way in which you present and appear."
Professor Hall warns the skin deep development in society should come with a warning.
"First impressions are always important, however, the extent to which employers are prepared to recruit, train and develop personnel on the basis of their appearance is new," he said.
The recent backlash against American fashion brand Abercrombie & Fitch is a result of lookism.
Seven years ago the brand's CEO Mike Jeffries said Abercrombie & Fitch shouldn't be worn by "uncool" kids and "fat women".
Mr Jeffries said in an interview that he only wanted "good-looking people" in his stores because "good-looking people attract other good-looking people".
His comments inspired a group of young Americans to start a campaign against the brand, by handing out Abercrombie & Fitch clothing to the homeless.Contact:
- Australian Human Rights Commission - www.humanrights.gov.au/complaints-information
- National Anti-Discrimination Information Gateway - www.antidiscrimination.gov.au
- Victorian Equal Opportunities and Human Rights Commission - www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au
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