Does excess weight help you in your career? Men – yes, women – no

KNOW YOURSELF


Is the word of an overweight man perceived as more convincing and weighty? It seems so. In any case, this is precisely the conclusion that researchers from Cornell University recently came to. But, alas, this rule does not apply to women.

“It would seem that despite the fact that the body-positive movement is gaining momentum, in modern society, being overweight is still stigmatized,” comment the study authors Kevin M. Nuffin, Vicky L. Bogan and David R. Just. “However, we found out that the“ big man ”is really perceived by many as big in all respects – though only if it is a man.”

“Big”, “solid”, “impressive” – ​​we use these words to describe both an overweight person and someone authoritative, perhaps even a leader. And this is not abstract reasoning: an analysis of the research results showed that the subjects really perceive obese men as more convincing. Conversely, in their opinion, an authoritative person usually weighs more than others.

Weight discrimination can be observed at every stage of building a career

True, this does not apply to women. Scientists asked subjects to look at portraits of men and women of different sizes and rate how convincing they, in their opinion, looked. The participants considered overweight and even very overweight men authoritative, but overweight women were not. Separate detailed research is needed to clarify this result, Niffin says, but it may be a matter of social expectations and conventional beliefs about female beauty.

Rebecca Poole, director of the Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut, recalls that society has a different perception of thinness in men and women. In addition, women are trapped in stereotypes about beauty and, if their bodies differ from the generally accepted standard and fall short of the “ideal”, they are condemned.

Weight discrimination

As a person grows fat, he is subjected to more and more discrimination, and women here also suffer more than men. In 2010, college students rated overweight male politicians higher than overweight rivals. “It seems that the subjects are paying attention not to the political program of the woman candidate, but to her appearance,” the study authors concluded.

Weight discrimination can be observed at every stage of a career. Overweight women are less willing to hire. For example, in 2012, 127 experienced recruiters were asked to rate six potential candidates. 42% of the study participants rejected the full applicant and only 19% – the full applicant.

But even if an overweight professional is hired, discrimination continues. Research shows that these professionals (especially women) earn less than their peers and are less likely to receive promotions. So, authority is authority, but alas, it is too early to talk about equal rights for people of different constitutions.

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