Pretty Soldiers Need Not Apply?

An email leaked from the account of a PR rep from the US Army states that, "In general, ugly women are perceived as competent while pretty women are perceived as having used their looks to get ahead." She added that the Army typically selects publicity shots with attractive-looking women and "Such photos undermine the rest of the message (and may even make people ask if breaking a nail is considered hazardous duty)." Instead, she suggested, a photo of a woman with a mud-streaked face, for example,"sends a much different message—one of women willing to do the dirty work necessary in order to get the job done."

Wait, what?

An anonymous spokesperson for the US Army said,"It scares me to think that these are people involved in gender integration."

Meanwhile, on the US Army Twitter...

It's important to point out that the email isn't questioning whether or not attractive women are capable enough to serve, but whether or not they should be featured in PR campaigns.

What do you think?  Do they consider this type of thing when deciding which male soldiers to feature in ads?  Would an "average" looking woman make you more likely to sign up for the Army?  I guess I just don't get it!  Let me know what you think!

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images