Immaculate yachts. Jaw-dropping backdrops. Elegant yacht owners and employers.
Beauty is the business of this industry; but since it only runs skin deep should attractive crew be regarded as ‘better’ than other crew?
A user, in a popular yachting chat room, noted, “Flawlessness in service and appearance are definitely part of this industry, just as part of the living elite being able to demand, and set, unrealistic expectations.” Another user shared that the yacht owner he worked for would put pressure on him to fire any yacht crew she didn’t find attractive.
Superficiality seems to plague the yachting industry; with many agencies and recruitment sites asking applicants to attach photographs to their resumes. Unfortunately this means crew who think they’re too big, short, or not ‘conventionally’ attractive enough might miss out on amazing job opportunities.
In countries like France, USA and the UK; regulations have been put in place to inhibit employers from discriminating against employees. Treating staff differently due to age, gender, race, sexual orientation and physical appearance (disabilities/weight etc), or even denying job seekers opportunities because of one of the mentioned factors is grounds for legal charges. These laws apply to the office space which makes the veil of superficiality difficult to identifying in the yachting industry.
But some argue for the standard of beauty in the yachting industry. “The rich and famous spend thousands on their appearances; whether it’s Botox or collagen, lipo[suction] or breast enhancement. So if they demand perfection of themselves of course they’ll demand physical perfection of their staff,” a member on the chat site said.
Just because this is the way the yachting industry has always been, should it be the way it always will be?
You can’t bat your thick, long eyelashes out of an engine malfunction or cooly run your hands through your comb-over if you’ve damaged valuable machinery on the deck. At some point skill set, experience and qualifications need to be taken into consideration. A successful yacht can’t be run on dazzling smiles alone.
This is not to say that you can’t be both. There are many crew members who are more than competent in their respective positions, and happen to be attractive too. Issues arise because, in certain situations, yacht personnel are hired because they are eye candy and not because they are adequately prepared to serve on a vessel. We need to collectively combat this within the industry.
When it comes down to it; beauty is in the eye of the beholder. No one should be proud of ever making someone feel lesser-than because of their looks. The yachting industry is reserved for some of the smartest, bravest, hardworking people out there. It should be an industry we are all proud to be part of and not one run by superficiality, bullying and exclusionism.