Weight discrimination is costly for women

From the Guardian:

Being thin, it seems, is an unspoken requirement if you’re after a fatter paycheck. And the thinner you are, the better you fare, financially speaking. If you are deemed to be heavy, on the other hand, you suffer, as a 2011 study made clear. Heavy women earned $9,000 less than their average-weight counterparts; very heavy women earned $19,000 less. Very thin women, on the other hand, earned $22,000 more than those who were merely average. And yes, those results are far more visible on women’s earnings than on those of men.

You may also struggle for promotion. It turns out that about half of male CEOs are overweight, but only 5% of female CEOs carry extra pounds. Add an extra layer to that glass ceiling.

7 thoughts on “Weight discrimination is costly for women

  1. Studies like that have been around for a while. though this one is particularly graphic. Nevertheless, the leftover Halloween candy still goes in the trash.

  2. I’m surprised, even though I am quite aware of the preference for thin female bodies. Still, I’m very cheered by the presentations of plumpness among female college presidents and politicians. One could be very sad for the weight-apologetic recent winner of two Mann Booker awards, Hilary Mantel, but most everyone agrees she is utterly terrific.

  3. You might or might not know that Chilean president, Michelle Bachelet, is a heavier than a fashion model.

    When she was first elected in 2005 (she was re-elected last year: Chilean presidents cannot be immediately re-elected), an important male member of her center-left coaltion referred to her as “mi gordi”, which is an “affectionate”, but demeaning way of referring to someone overweight and almost impossible to to translate: I’ll try with
    “my little plump girl” or something like that.

    Bachelet replied: “no one calls me “gordi”” and that was that, at least publicly.

    It’s interesting that Bachelet is supported by more women, especially lower middle class and lower-income women, than men and one reason that women give for supporting her is that “she’s like them”, that is, not a model of “perfection” neither in her physical measurements nor in her personal life (she’s currently single, but has had reasonable number of partners during her life).

  4. […] One the other hand, we live in a world with pretty strong anti-overweight bias. While my self-esteem is pretty secure (see here and here), I do worry sometimes about the external effects. I’m pretty sure it hurts my teaching evaluations. Research also shows that being overweight has a financial impact. […]

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