A lot is being said (including by me) against bias due to racial, ethnicity, gender, etc. But I don't hear much about bias due to good looks or the lack thereof. Yet we have widespread discrimination against the less-than-lovely, and stereotyping galore. And this has been going on for ages, and continues unabated even while we're protesting against other forms of bias.
What's wrong with ethnic or gender bias? Isn't it that we're judging people by superficial factors and depersonalizing them into groups and stereotypes? Well isn't that exactly what we do with the pretty and unpretty?
We start as children, and adults do it to children, too. Cute babies get oohed and aahed over, but not-so-cute babies get a polite "positive" comment. Children choose up teams and pick first the big and strong (although to be fair, this usually settles in to picking on the basis of performance--still not nice, but at least that's based on something relevant).
I'll have to yield as well that whereas we have no choice whatsoever what ethnicity or gender we are, we have some choice in whether we'll be attractive or not. In a scene from "Legally Blonde", Elle describes Vivian as "not altogether unfortunate"; here was a basically pretty woman who was doing little to be attractive. I have seen women who were not very pretty be very attractive by having good posture and poise, wearing flattering clothes, hairstyle, and makeup, by exercising a great smile, etc. (Pardon my gender bias here, but I look at woman a lot more than I look at men.)
Still, the normal way it works is that the less-than-lovely are told they're not pretty, and they tend to grow into the role (just as the classic Negro lack-of-eye-contact, when making eye contact with a white could get you lynched).
I encourage you, in this "good will toward all men" season and as a New Year's resolution, that you look into the persons you come in contact with, and show caring for the person, rather than a mere response to the outside appearance.
Prettiness: The outward appearance; that which a person has genetically.
Attractiveness: What the person does with his/her appearance.
Beauty: That which comes from within, from the heart and mind, but can and does show on the outside through appearance, animation, and action.