People tacitly assume perceptions are veridical representations of reality, that the way we see the world reflects the way it really is. However, research calls this supposition into question and instead suggests our visual experiences are subjective and malleable. The ways we see others might depend on whether they are from our social group, our class, new friends or old, like us or not. Importantly, these differences in visual experience have a direct impact on social justice. We’ll review work on subjective experiences and idiosyncratic categorizations of people into social groups and the implications for fair treatment across multiple factions of society, including the law, leadership, economic decisions, and others. For example, we will discuss work demonstrating race bias in racial bias in judgments of men’s and boy’s physical size, attributions of threat, and subsequent punishment decisions. We’ll cover work on visual experiences of gender and the consequences for shattering the glass ceiling in the workplace. We’ll discuss how changes in society, like a shifting demographic composition, instability, and other factors, impact these visual experiences and thwart efforts to promote inclusivity. The goal here is to broadly cover the ways in which and reasons why higher-order, top-down influences constrain visual experience at multiple stages of perceptual processing but converge to profoundly influence the ways in which members of society relate to one another.