It certainly may smack of sexism and weight bias, but a new study co-authored by a University of Florida professor has found that thin pays off big for women.
The study by Timothy Judge and co-author Daniel Cable from the London Business School tested the premise that society has very different body standards for women and men. Their research showed:
Women defined as “very thin” earned roughly $22,000 more than “average weight” women, while women defined as “thin” earned $7,000 more.
Women defined as “heavy” earned $9,000 less than “average weight” women and those defined as “very heavy” earned almost $19,000 less.
While all women are punished for weight gain, “very thin” women receive the most severe punishment for their first few pounds of weight gain.
“This finding is consistent with research showing that the media’s depiction of an unrealistically thin female ideal leads people to see this ideal as normative, expected, and central to female attractiveness,” the study said.
The study also showed that for men, gaining a moderate amount of weight gain actually leads to higher pay until their weight gain reaches a level that is considered “above average.”