Morgan Tait

Morgan Tait is the NZ Herald's consumer affairs reporter.

I'm too sexy for my job ... and working's not for me, says Brit

Laura Fernee says she was left with no choice but to quit after comments from co-workers about her attractive physical appearance became too much. Photo / Supplied
Laura Fernee says she was left with no choice but to quit after comments from co-workers about her attractive physical appearance became too much. Photo / Supplied

British woman Laura Fernee says she is too attractive to work and has been unemployed for the last two years because of the "massive problems" her good looks cause at work.

Ms Fernee, a 33-year-old brunette, told the Daily Mail she was forced to quit her last job at a medical research lab when comments about her looks and "constant" offers for dates, "romantic gifts" left on her desk and the scorn of female co-workers became too much.

Ms Fernee, who has a science PhD, left her £30,000 ($56,000) a year job in 2011.

"I'm not lazy and I'm no bimbo," she told the Daily Mail. "The truth is my good looks have caused massive problems for me when it comes to employment, so I've made the decision that employment just isn't for me at the moment. It's not my fault ... I can't help the way I look."

Her three years of employment at the lab were marred by constant romantic propositions, and she felt she was never taken seriously.

"Male colleagues were only interested in me for how I looked.

"I wanted them to recognise my achievements and my professionalism but all they saw was my face and body."

It got to the point where she felt "traumatised" when gifts were constantly left on her desk.

"Even when I was in a laboratory in scrubs with no makeup they still came on to me because of my natural attractiveness. Problems escalated when her female co-workers began to resent her for her appearance.

She told the Daily Mirror: "They assumed because I was pretty, I was stupid, so didn't take me seriously at first and because of their own insecurities were jealous of my looks.

"Then when they realised I was very good at my job, possibly better than them, they hated me even more."

On the rare occasions they invited her to lunch or after-work drinks, she was asked to "sit facing a different direction because men were staring at me, not them".

She is the latest of a series of women to complain about the downsides of beauty.

Daily Mail columnist Samantha Brick - a self-described tall, slim, good-looking blonde - caused a stir last year when she wrote about how her looks meant a life of gifts from men and disdain from women.

In 2010, New York banker Debrahlee Lorenzana made headlines when she claimed she was fired because her bosses "thought she was too hot" and her office presence was too distracting for them.

- NZ Herald

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