Dr. Phil's son Jay volunteered to do an experiment testing the theory that more attractive people get better treatment. He changed his appearance with the help of Ed French, an award-winning special effects makeup artist. He applied a fake nose on Jay, bags under his eyes, a hairpiece and acne scars on his cheeks. Jay then donned a pair of glasses and a chest piece that gave him a bigger stomach. He was wired with two hidden cameras: one in his shirt button and the other in his glasses. With his new look, Jay went to a mall to see how people would react to him.
"I stood in the middle of a mall and asked everybody that went by if they had just one second to answer one question," Jay explains. "Not one person would stop."
When he went to a store to buy a bathing suit, he walked around for about 10 minutes before the saleswoman offered him help. "Once she did [offer help], it was like, â€˜maybe if I help this guy, he'll leave,'" Jays says, explaining the sales woman's attitude toward him. "When I was in all of the makeup, the only thing that was the same was my eyes, but nobody would ever know that because not one person looked me in the eyes," Jay says.
Jay applied for a job at a store that was hiring. When he asked for an application, the sales people looked at him oddly, and then it took about three minutes of them searching through a small desk before they could find an application for him.
When Jay was at lunch, he asked his waiter to send a drink to a woman sitting at a nearby table, and the waiter tried to talk him out of it. Unbeknownst to the waiter, this woman is Jay's fiancÃ©e. He ended up sending the
Jay's fiancÃ©e Erica joins him onstage. She explains that Jay's personality changed during the time he was in disguise. "I would look at him and all I would see is sad," she says. "He wouldn't smile â€¦ he walked around and looked
Jay shares his thoughts about the day. "It was a really weird," he says. "There was one reaction that just blew me away, and it was my own, because I personally didn't think that I would be treated any differently." He explains that he felt different, acted different and had a different personality. "I was worn out and exhausted emotionally, physically, everything at the end of the day. I hated it."
Dr. Phil asks Jay, "How do you suppose Victoria feels being treated that way every day by her own mother?"
Jay explains that if his parents treated him the same as he was treated during the experiment, he would feel awful. "If one of my parents treated me differently because I looked different, I would start believing it at that point and then I would start feeling like I'm not worth anything," he says. "It would be devastating. It was devastating to me to have strangers treat me differently and I knew that I wasn't different."
"Did this change the way that you look at people that are not stereotypically attractive by media standards?" Dr. Phil asks Jay.
Jay explains that as he walked through the casino, no one made eye contact with him. "I didn't notice that people made eye contact with me until they stopped doing it," he says.
When Jay became himself again and went out to the casino, things were totally different. "When everybody is happy and friendly and excited, it's fun to be out there. It's fun to be talking to these people," he says. "In the makeup and the suit, nobody wanted to start talking to me. As myself, it felt like nobody wanted to stop talking."
When he went into the bathing suit store, the saleswoman quit what she was doing and helped him immdediately. In the chocolate store, all the woman were talking and joking with, even commenting how cute he is.
Jay reflects, "I told everybody, with a guy there's not that much disperity in treatment based on how you look, and I was absolutely dead wrong."
Dr. Phil repeated the experiment with Ari, a female viewer. After her looks were changed with the help of special effects makeup, she went to apply for a job at a lingerie store and a car dealership. She sums up her experience as a heavier person: "Overall, I did notice people make a lot less eye contact with you. They treat you like you're an annoyance, kind of bothering them. I felt like I was lacking even
After shedding her makeup, Ari went back to the car dealership. "This time it was completely different," she explains. "They made eye contact with me. They talked to me more. They gave me more applications to fill out."
Dr. Phil introduces Ari and asks her if she was affected the way Jay was. She explains that at first she wasn't bothered, but things changed when people treated her differently. "Then it's starts to affect your character," she says.
Jay adds, "It's unbelievable the difference in the way you're treated."
"We'll, you looked pretty creepy," Dr. Phil points out. "You were kind of perverted looking for sure."