‘Too ugly to get a job’

York Press: ‘Too ugly to get a job’ ‘Too ugly to get a job’

HE has an extensive list of skills and qualifications – but Edward Johnson says he cannot get a job because employers find him “too ugly.”

Mr Johnson, 53, of Holgate, York, told today how he was born with a disfiguring skin condition that has left him with hundreds of benign tumours all over his body and face.

The father-of-two said he was desperate for work after being made redundant last month, but despite applying for 80 jobs, he was yet to be offered anything permanent and he believed he was being discriminated against.

He said: “When people turn you down because they don’t want you on show on their shop floor, that hurts because I can do the job just as good as the next person.

“A lot of people see my face and are scared of catching something even though it’s not infectious – I think employers feel uneasy about taking me on.

“I’m not tall. I’m not good- looking. I’m not rich. But people shouldn’t discriminate against me for that.”

“I’m not tall. I’m not good-looking. I’m not rich. But people shouldn’t discriminate against me for that”

A FATHER-OF-TWO who is desperate to find work claims he is being discriminated against by employers because he is “too ugly to be on show”.

Edward Johnson suffers from the hereditary skin condition neurofibromatosis, which has left him with hundreds of benign tumours all over his body.

The 53-year-old, of Holgate, York, has applied for 80 jobs since he was made redundant last month.

Mr Johnson, who has 40 years experience in the food industry, said he believed he was being discriminated against because of his appearance.

He said: “A lot of people see my face and are scared of catching something even though it’s not infectious.

“I think employers feel uneasy about taking me on.

“What annoys me is that when I take my CV into supermarkets or hotels, they look at me and say the vacancy is filled, or I just never hear back from them.

“I’m registered with all the job agencies in York and one of them even mentioned my skin condition and said their clients wouldn’t like it.

“When people turn you down because they don’t want you on show on their shop floor, that hurts because I can do the job just as good as the next person.”

Mr Johnson worked as a hygiene supervisor at Kerry Sweet Ingredients, in Pocklington, for nearly ten years before he was made redundant due to restructuring of the company.

He said: “I’m not tall. I’m not good looking. I’m not rich. But people shouldn’t discriminate against me for that.

“People have got to take me for who I am, for what skills I can offer and for what qualifications I have.

“I’m standing up for everybody who has been discriminated against because it’s time to tackle this head-on. It shouldn’t be allowed.

“The way things work in places like hotels, is that if you are good- looking you are put out the front and if you are ugly you are put out the back.”

Mr Johnson said he was looking for a full-time permanent job, but was even struggling to find temporary work in the meantime.

He said: “I’ve got a CV packed full of qualifications. But since the beginning of September, all I’ve been offered is one day on a potato farm, one day in a school kitchen and a temporary job cleaning in a shop.

“I’ve taken them all because I’m happy to do anything, I just want to work. I don’t want to be claiming benefits.

“I’m prepared to work, I need to work and I want to work. If it means retraining in another job I will do it.”

There is no cure for neurofibromatosis, which is a hereditary condition affecting about 25,000 in the UK.

Mr Johnson said: “I used to get called things like ‘lumpy bumpy’, but you grow accustomed to being tough against it and just take it as a laughing joke.”

Charity plea over skin condition reaction

CHARITY bosses today condemned discrimination by employers against people with the skin condition neurofibromatosis.

Changing Faces, a charity that supports and represents people with facial disfigurements, said it was important that employers were given the full facts to prevent such discrimination.

Henrietta Spalding, of Changing Faces, said: “If employers are unfamiliar with disfigurements they can, on an unconscious level, make an unwitting judgement about someone based on their appearance. The most important thing is to understand what the disfigurement is about so they can treat the person equally and fairly.

“If someone is going to interview, it is important that they are not making a set of assumptions that are incorrect, based on how they look.”

She added: “Neurofibro-matosis is not in any way infectious and it’s important that employers understand this. We work with employers to raise awareness about skin disfigurements to help them understand about the condition and what it means.

“We want them to realise that a person with a skin disfigurement has a whole set of skills, experience and potential and they are able to add value to an organisation.”

Neurofibromatosis facts

• Neurofibromatosis is a genetic disorder that mainly affects the nervous system.

• It is caused by a mutation in a gene that affects the DNA coding. This gene can be inherited from your parents, or it may spontaneously change itself for no reason. In this case, the mutation usually happens in the egg or sperm just before conception • It affects men, women and ethnic groups equally • It causes non-cancerous tumours to grow on nerves throughout the body • There is no cure for neurofibromatosis, but the Neurofibromatosis Association is working towards better treatments • Genetic screening and counselling is available for families with a history of neurofibromatosis.

Have your say

What do you think about Mr Johnson’s predicament?

Comments (30)

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11:09am Tue 21 Oct 08

AdmiralN says...

Its a sad tale. There are laws preventing this kind of discrimination but it is very difficult to prove when it may be the case.

Keep searching though mate and good luck! something will come up.
Its a sad tale. There are laws preventing this kind of discrimination but it is very difficult to prove when it may be the case. Keep searching though mate and good luck! something will come up. AdmiralN

11:14am Tue 21 Oct 08

heppy says...

So he is saying he has been turned down for a job because he is too ugly? and he was told that! or is it that he has just been turned down, there are a lot of people looking for work at the moment of all shapes and sizes but if he was told he was too ugly he should take action against that company
So he is saying he has been turned down for a job because he is too ugly? and he was told that! or is it that he has just been turned down, there are a lot of people looking for work at the moment of all shapes and sizes but if he was told he was too ugly he should take action against that company heppy

11:15am Tue 21 Oct 08

Stu Pidd says...

I think its the tash mate... not the fizzog
I think its the tash mate... not the fizzog Stu Pidd

11:17am Tue 21 Oct 08

limpsharp says...

Not to appear insensitive but I've applied for over 100 jobs in the last couple of months and not received a firm job offer. I'm fantastically good looking (jk) and have two degrees.

Perhaps its also connected to your age. Like it or not age is a massive factor in job applications, even though it shouldn't be and such discrimination is illegal. Past the age of 50 you'll struggle to get a new job, especially if you are currently out of work.
Not to appear insensitive but I've applied for over 100 jobs in the last couple of months and not received a firm job offer. I'm fantastically good looking (jk) and have two degrees. Perhaps its also connected to your age. Like it or not age is a massive factor in job applications, even though it shouldn't be and such discrimination is illegal. Past the age of 50 you'll struggle to get a new job, especially if you are currently out of work. limpsharp

11:33am Tue 21 Oct 08

tonezzzznoddedoff says...

Not being funny mate, but if you think you are ugly why would you want to put yourself on the shop floor and not in the background, say the warehouse or the kitchen for example.


Not being funny mate, but if you think you are ugly why would you want to put yourself on the shop floor and not in the background, say the warehouse or the kitchen for example. tonezzzznoddedoff

11:50am Tue 21 Oct 08

Drew Peacock says...

What about York Dungeon?
What about York Dungeon? Drew Peacock

12:06pm Tue 21 Oct 08

Chris1982 says...

Sounds like a cliche now I know but its becoming harder for people to find jobs because of the credit crunch. I know someone who has been out of work a few months mainly because of that.
Sounds like a cliche now I know but its becoming harder for people to find jobs because of the credit crunch. I know someone who has been out of work a few months mainly because of that. Chris1982

12:23pm Tue 21 Oct 08

Silver says...

I was unemployed for nearly a year I applied for so many jobs I lost count, you don't always hear back from them, although it is polite of them to ring you that you haven't got the job. I am a young man and people probably thought I was planning to only work for them for a year and move on which I did in the end because there was no one willing to take me on. But the point is it wasn't down to my looks it is down to what people think you can offer, after 50 years of age people's opinions such limpsharp's ones are the actual reason.
I was unemployed for nearly a year I applied for so many jobs I lost count, you don't always hear back from them, although it is polite of them to ring you that you haven't got the job. I am a young man and people probably thought I was planning to only work for them for a year and move on which I did in the end because there was no one willing to take me on. But the point is it wasn't down to my looks it is down to what people think you can offer, after 50 years of age people's opinions such limpsharp's ones are the actual reason. Silver

12:30pm Tue 21 Oct 08

AdmiralN says...

Get a job on the York Primary Care trust, They employ ugly people!
Get a job on the York Primary Care trust, They employ ugly people! AdmiralN

12:31pm Tue 21 Oct 08

AdmiralN says...

And come to think of it so do the press!
And come to think of it so do the press! AdmiralN

12:31pm Tue 21 Oct 08

Barnesy says...

I'm sorry if I sound insensitive, but where's the evidence that they are discriminating against him? I'm young and well-qualified but spent 5 months in 2006 unemployed, during which I applied for 50 jobs before finding employment. I didn't once think it was because I'm deaf - I just took it as bad luck, circumstance, and maybe setting my sights too high on a few applications. Please don't use a health condition as an excuse to get a chip on the shoulder - people will appreciate someone more if they are confident in themselves, happy and non-resentful.

The Press shouldn't be lending themselves to such empty stories. Not one piece of evidence is offered stating that actual discrimination took place - just the guy's own view.
I'm sorry if I sound insensitive, but where's the evidence that they are discriminating against him? I'm young and well-qualified but spent 5 months in 2006 unemployed, during which I applied for 50 jobs before finding employment. I didn't once think it was because I'm deaf - I just took it as bad luck, circumstance, and maybe setting my sights too high on a few applications. Please don't use a health condition as an excuse to get a chip on the shoulder - people will appreciate someone more if they are confident in themselves, happy and non-resentful. The Press shouldn't be lending themselves to such empty stories. Not one piece of evidence is offered stating that actual discrimination took place - just the guy's own view. Barnesy

12:32pm Tue 21 Oct 08

sheddie says...

No easy answer I'm afraid.

Self-employment is the way out perhaps - hard work and precarious, especially at first, but at least you have the satisfaction of being able to put two fingers up to application forms, bosses and office politics.

Dunno what in particular he could do but maybe a niche quality food distribution business or the like...

Good luck.
No easy answer I'm afraid. Self-employment is the way out perhaps - hard work and precarious, especially at first, but at least you have the satisfaction of being able to put two fingers up to application forms, bosses and office politics. Dunno what in particular he could do but maybe a niche quality food distribution business or the like... Good luck. sheddie

3:02pm Tue 21 Oct 08

tucker says...

Look at Wayne Rooney - he got a job.
Look at Wayne Rooney - he got a job. tucker

3:18pm Tue 21 Oct 08

moeofyork says...

ha, you should see my ex girlfriend
!
ha, you should see my ex girlfriend ! moeofyork

3:21pm Tue 21 Oct 08

tonezzzznoddedoff says...

tucker wrote:
Look at Wayne Rooney - he got a job.
Yea and a nice bird. Theres hope for anyone.
[quote][p][bold]tucker[/bold] wrote: Look at Wayne Rooney - he got a job.[/p][/quote]Yea and a nice bird. Theres hope for anyone. tonezzzznoddedoff

5:05pm Tue 21 Oct 08

plaggy terry says...

Hd looks like one of the chuckle brothers. are ya sure its not one of them,.
Hd looks like one of the chuckle brothers. are ya sure its not one of them,. plaggy terry

6:02pm Tue 21 Oct 08

AnonSA says...

I think a lot of people missed the part in the article where he says that an agency told him he would find it difficult to find work based on his appearances. Perhaps this is the reason he has brought the discrimination to the attention of the local media. At least now there are more people aware of his (and others') condition.

Those of you saying "its an age thing" should also apply what you have read about cosmetic discrimination to age discrimination too. Just because someone is over the age of 50, doesn't mean that they are less capable of working. Obviously there are some jobs where age may play a disatvantage but saying everyone over a certain age can't do X is just gross stereotyping.
I think a lot of people missed the part in the article where he says that an agency told him he would find it difficult to find work based on his appearances. Perhaps this is the reason he has brought the discrimination to the attention of the local media. At least now there are more people aware of his (and others') condition. Those of you saying "its an age thing" should also apply what you have read about cosmetic discrimination to age discrimination too. Just because someone is over the age of 50, doesn't mean that they are less capable of working. Obviously there are some jobs where age may play a disatvantage but saying everyone over a certain age can't do X is just gross stereotyping. AnonSA

9:26pm Tue 21 Oct 08

deathwatch says...

He could could work for 'Ocean Finance' doing their adverts. I thought that they couldn't possibly find an uglier set of people for their ads than the last lot, but somehow they did it! Well done, Ocean Finance...
He could could work for 'Ocean Finance' doing their adverts. I thought that they couldn't possibly find an uglier set of people for their ads than the last lot, but somehow they did it! Well done, Ocean Finance... deathwatch

9:30pm Tue 21 Oct 08

bob the builder says...

He should sue the agency and anyone else, get miked or camera'd up and go for them. He'll never need to work again.
He should sue the agency and anyone else, get miked or camera'd up and go for them. He'll never need to work again. bob the builder

9:54pm Tue 21 Oct 08

13roses says...

My thoughts are with this poor guy and his family if life not bad enough he will probably read some of these terrible comments about him whats the world coming to ,I think i remember a documentary about this guy few years ago about him been different and my husband worked near where he worked and he used to speak to him and he said what a nice guy its just a shame there are so many narrow minded people out there please can u all give this guy a break .
My thoughts are with this poor guy and his family if life not bad enough he will probably read some of these terrible comments about him whats the world coming to ,I think i remember a documentary about this guy few years ago about him been different and my husband worked near where he worked and he used to speak to him and he said what a nice guy its just a shame there are so many narrow minded people out there please can u all give this guy a break . 13roses

7:41am Wed 22 Oct 08

N.F.S. says...

13roses wrote:
My thoughts are with this poor guy and his family if life not bad enough he will probably read some of these terrible comments about him whats the world coming to ,I think i remember a documentary about this guy few years ago about him been different and my husband worked near where he worked and he used to speak to him and he said what a nice guy its just a shame there are so many narrow minded people out there please can u all give this guy a break .
Don't apply for a job by letter. You ever heard of punctuation!
[quote][p][bold]13roses[/bold] wrote: My thoughts are with this poor guy and his family if life not bad enough he will probably read some of these terrible comments about him whats the world coming to ,I think i remember a documentary about this guy few years ago about him been different and my husband worked near where he worked and he used to speak to him and he said what a nice guy its just a shame there are so many narrow minded people out there please can u all give this guy a break .[/p][/quote]Don't apply for a job by letter. You ever heard of punctuation! N.F.S.

8:22am Wed 22 Oct 08

AdmiralN says...

'Don't apply for a job by letter. You ever heard of punctuation!'

The same applies to you ;-)
'Don't apply for a job by letter. You ever heard of punctuation!' The same applies to you ;-) AdmiralN

8:52am Wed 22 Oct 08

pedalling paul says...

It really would help to read some more balanced views, between the reality of alleged discrimination, and the general scarcity of suitable jobs.
There are some very un-Christian remarks in this thread...........
It really would help to read some more balanced views, between the reality of alleged discrimination, and the general scarcity of suitable jobs. There are some very un-Christian remarks in this thread........... pedalling paul

9:58am Wed 22 Oct 08

oldgoat says...

limpsharp wrote:
Not to appear insensitive but I've applied for over 100 jobs in the last couple of months and not received a firm job offer. I'm fantastically good looking (jk) and have two degrees.

Perhaps its also connected to your age. Like it or not age is a massive factor in job applications, even though it shouldn't be and such discrimination is illegal. Past the age of 50 you'll struggle to get a new job, especially if you are currently out of work.
That's because 'age descrimination' is now illegal, so they think up other excuses instead.
I'm 47 and have had the comment 'concerned about how long you have worked in your current post - 10 years seems a long time' given to me.
Plain fact is, most companies seem to have a huge issue over age, which I cannot understand.
[quote][p][bold]limpsharp[/bold] wrote: Not to appear insensitive but I've applied for over 100 jobs in the last couple of months and not received a firm job offer. I'm fantastically good looking (jk) and have two degrees. Perhaps its also connected to your age. Like it or not age is a massive factor in job applications, even though it shouldn't be and such discrimination is illegal. Past the age of 50 you'll struggle to get a new job, especially if you are currently out of work.[/p][/quote]That's because 'age descrimination' is now illegal, so they think up other excuses instead. I'm 47 and have had the comment 'concerned about how long you have worked in your current post - 10 years seems a long time' given to me. Plain fact is, most companies seem to have a huge issue over age, which I cannot understand. oldgoat

10:04am Wed 22 Oct 08

tonezzzznoddedoff says...

pedalling paul wrote:
It really would help to read some more balanced views, between the reality of alleged discrimination, and the general scarcity of suitable jobs.
There are some very un-Christian remarks in this thread...........
Disagree, I think the comments have been kind considering the subject. Half expected Halloween gags.
[quote][p][bold]pedalling paul [/bold] wrote: It really would help to read some more balanced views, between the reality of alleged discrimination, and the general scarcity of suitable jobs. There are some very un-Christian remarks in this thread........... [/p][/quote]Disagree, I think the comments have been kind considering the subject. Half expected Halloween gags. tonezzzznoddedoff

10:39am Wed 22 Oct 08

scrappydo says...

Has he ever thought of a career change. Since 1974 I have retrained and re-educated myself and had 10 different jobs from Soldier to IT Manufacturing Systems & Financial Services Consultant.

This credit crunch is a stroll in the park compared to what it was in the late 70's and 80's, when inflation was at 15% plus and 400+ applying for every job going.

If you spend more than 6 yrs at any one company in the IT industry they think you have no ambitions.

You can do anything once you put your mind to it.

Less of the negative vibes Moriarty.
Has he ever thought of a career change. Since 1974 I have retrained and re-educated myself and had 10 different jobs from Soldier to IT Manufacturing Systems & Financial Services Consultant. This credit crunch is a stroll in the park compared to what it was in the late 70's and 80's, when inflation was at 15% plus and 400+ applying for every job going. If you spend more than 6 yrs at any one company in the IT industry they think you have no ambitions. You can do anything once you put your mind to it. Less of the negative vibes Moriarty. scrappydo

2:21pm Wed 22 Oct 08

13roses says...

N.F.S. wrote:
13roses wrote: My thoughts are with this poor guy and his family if life not bad enough he will probably read some of these terrible comments about him whats the world coming to ,I think i remember a documentary about this guy few years ago about him been different and my husband worked near where he worked and he used to speak to him and he said what a nice guy its just a shame there are so many narrow minded people out there please can u all give this guy a break .
Don't apply for a job by letter. You ever heard of punctuation!
you need to get a life mate if thats all you come on here for to take the p**S out of peoples writing then i'am sorry your as bad as the rest that take the p**s out of this poor guy GET A LIFE!!!
[quote][p][bold]N.F.S.[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]13roses[/bold] wrote: My thoughts are with this poor guy and his family if life not bad enough he will probably read some of these terrible comments about him whats the world coming to ,I think i remember a documentary about this guy few years ago about him been different and my husband worked near where he worked and he used to speak to him and he said what a nice guy its just a shame there are so many narrow minded people out there please can u all give this guy a break .[/p][/quote]Don't apply for a job by letter. You ever heard of punctuation![/p][/quote]you need to get a life mate if thats all you come on here for to take the p**S out of peoples writing then i'am sorry your as bad as the rest that take the p**s out of this poor guy GET A LIFE!!! 13roses

2:25pm Wed 22 Oct 08

13roses says...

AdmiralN wrote:
'Don't apply for a job by letter. You ever heard of punctuation!' The same applies to you ;-)
thanks admiralN for that why are the press not removing theses nasty remarks ?
[quote][p][bold]AdmiralN[/bold] wrote: 'Don't apply for a job by letter. You ever heard of punctuation!' The same applies to you ;-)[/p][/quote]thanks admiralN for that why are the press not removing theses nasty remarks ? 13roses

8:52pm Wed 22 Oct 08

ChrissyH says...

Good Luck in getting a job Ed, the right one will come around eventually-dont give up!
Good Luck in getting a job Ed, the right one will come around eventually-dont give up! ChrissyH

6:12pm Mon 10 Jun 13

zoda7777 says...

Indeed, I've also been unable to get a job because of my looks. I went for a certain job interview and was looked at with disgust by the secretary. She disappeared, the interviewer never arrived. Instead an unfriendly woman came to chase me away. She said the vacancy was no longer available. I knew she was lying. A week later I saw another ad for the exact same job.

I just want a job so badly but it seems like an impossible dream. Although I am not disfigured my face simply has, as someone once remarked, "no
attractive features." My goal is to earn enough money for plastic surgery.
Indeed, I've also been unable to get a job because of my looks. I went for a certain job interview and was looked at with disgust by the secretary. She disappeared, the interviewer never arrived. Instead an unfriendly woman came to chase me away. She said the vacancy was no longer available. I knew she was lying. A week later I saw another ad for the exact same job. I just want a job so badly but it seems like an impossible dream. Although I am not disfigured my face simply has, as someone once remarked, "no attractive features." My goal is to earn enough money for plastic surgery. zoda7777
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