Size Matters When It Comes To Pay

My motto in the news biz for the past 30 years has always been, “Don’t kill the messenger.” I just report the news, not make it. Keep that in mind as you read the findings from a study on gender, weight and pay in a recent CNN story. (If you’re a woman worried about carrying that extra weight, this won’t make you feel any better.) Here’s the story:

Want a bigger paycheck? You might try losing some weight, or gaining  it, depending on whether you’re a man or a woman.

Gaining weight can have big effect what you’re paid. But it’s a bit of a double standard for men and women. Gaining weight is more damaging to women’s earnings than to men.

A new study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology shows that for women, the skinnier you are, the more you make.  But for men, it’s just the opposite. Men who weigh more, make more. Check out this comparison:

  • Women who are 25 pounds over the average weight take home $16,000 less a year.
  • Men who are 25 pounds above the average weight take home $8,000 more each year.

So ladies, hit the gym. But guys, either be muscular or just be overweight. The study shows the overweight men earned more money, but muscular men were viewed more positively. Muscular men were described as polite, happy, brave, and neat. While skinny men were given traits like nervous, sneaky, weak or sick.

And it’s not just about pay. The study says it affects how your co-workers see you. Heavier people were rated as less desirable workers, less conscientious, less agreeable. Average weight people are seen as more able to get things accomplished and influence other people.

The bottom line? The study shows that skinny women tend to have fatter paychecks than average or overweight women. However, the same can’t be said for men.

Remember, I’m just the messenger. Sorry.

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