As if there weren’t already enough pressure on us to be skinny, a recent study in the Journal of Applied Psychology is now saying that women who are “very thin” earn $22,000 more than “average” sized women. I’ll leave it up to you to decide what exactly “average” is supposed to mean, but the fact is that no matter how you twist it, this is some seriously sad news.
To add insult to injury, not only do skinny women earn more than heavier women, but the bigger you are, the more money you’ll actually lose. The main takeaway here is either lose weight or lose money… but only if you’re a woman. The study, which included 23,939 participants, looked at how weight affects both male and female salaries, and of course, men have nothing to worry about.
The standard of attractiveness has always been higher for women than men, so it isn’t surprising that researchers found men actually being rewarded for weight gain. This isn’t to say that skinny women have it easy findings indicate that the skinniest women were penalized the harshest, seeing an average salary decrease of $15,572 for gaining 25 pounds. Meanwhile, average women there’s that word again were penalized less, “presumably because the social preferences for a feminine body have already been violated,” says Timothy A. Judge.
Judge and his fellow researchers call this the Cultivation theory, suggesting that society holds very different body standards for men versus women. Women are still trying to overcome the ever-prevalent gender wage gap, so it’s really a sad state of affairs to have another hurdle to jump through before we can finally be on an equal playing field as our male counterparts.