Too pretty to work: Laura Fernee insists she is hated for her looks

After gaining a PhD and securing a job as a researcher, Laura Fernee was confident she had a great deal of skill and knowledge to offer in the workplace. But the 33-year-old has been unemployed for the last two years – and this is because she believes she is 'too attractive' to work.

Laura claims that going in to work became a daily torment, with the way she was being treated by men and women, in relation to her looks, becoming too much to handle.

“I would say whilst I at at work I underwent some negative situations relating to how I looked, and the overall effect made me feel quite traumatised," Laura told This Morning.

“And in the end, as much as I loved my work, going in to work became very, very difficult because of the psychological impact on me.”

Working in an academic environment, some might think Laura’s colleagues would be above such behaviour, but she claims the problem was rife in her field.

“I would have thought the same but not only in one academic environment, in several academic environments I underwent the same treatment. A lot of women I know had to deal with that as well.”

Businesswoman Katie Hopkins agrees that these situations do arise, but thinks that Laura needs to develop a thicker skin.

“I think one of the things [to remember] is trying to embrace being fantastically good looking as opposed to letting people make you feel you are cannot go to go to a job because you are so frightened about going to it, which is a terrible thing.

“I think social media has become a way for people to get to you very personally...it is very hurtful if you let it be, so I think you have to try and get this thick skin that says, ‘do you know what, I have been working towards my PhD, I am a smart woman, I can do that...’.”

Katie added: “Typically I would say you have to be stronger, you have to get a grip, you have to move forward, but that can be done in stages. You have to take steps and I think, say, ‘I will not allow myself to be frightened any more, I will take myself back into the workplace because I have a great job that I can do.”

Watch the video in the player above for more from Laura and Katie on the issue.

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