Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Workin' Harder For Your Money

Surprise surprise, overweight women make less money than "average" sized women and significantly less than slender women...what about the mens? Slightly overweight men make MORE than "average" sized men. What's the solution? Shape up fatties! Yes, the researchers recommended that discriminated people seek to normalize their weight rather than we have to deal with bias and discrimination on a cultural level.

"That study found that compared to average weight women, those who weighed 25 pounds less made about $15,572 more, and women who weighed 25 pounds more made $13,847 less." That is a, pardon the pun, HUGE difference in pay and I'm feeling kinda ragey about (and poor!!!). Here's the Jezebel take down and HERE is the original study.

Its an international study and the US actually comes in 31st (with Iceland the least discriminatory), so anti-fat bias specifically against women was found to be present in all 134 countries studied. So, that's bad, but what's worse is the incredibly condescending "shape up fatties" message from the researchers at the end of the study summary. The simple minded, pat advice breaks down to: "Focus on what you can replace ice cream with," he said. "Maybe it's yogurt or fruit." 95% of diets fail, but regardless of those statistics, the researchers call on individuals to shape up rather than for anti-fat biases (found globally, though yes, there are still cultures that value and prefer fat women--though, insisting that women conform to being fat is as restrictive and body-diversity denying as insisting that they must be thin) be looked at as serious human rights violations and discrimination. Individual solutions are bunk--people's salaries and social mobility should be based on performance, education, hard work and skills, not suit size. I'm not saying that its impossible to lose weight and keep it off (and for those who do, they tend not to diet, but to integrate a lifestyle of exercise, healthy eating, extra movement whenever they can get it and a host of other things (like sleeping 8-9 hours instead of 6-7) and they tend not to be "thin" but simply "not fat" anymore--going from fat to thin and keeping it that way is really hard to sustain, but getting thinner is more likely to succeed if your goals in mind are health oriented and not specifically aesthetic.

So, dear reader, do you feel like your size has played a role in your salary? Career success? Share in the comments.

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