How Does Your Weight Affect Your Salary?

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We live in a shallow society, and this trend is evident everywhere- from magazine covers, to movies, and the comments that people make about someone who loses or gains weight quickly.

According to a study published by the Journal of Applied Psychology, as well as a variety of other studies, a person’s weight can also influence the amount of money he or she makes in a year. Although most employers are not supposed to make decisions based on a person’s appearance, often someone’s appearance plays a much larger role in their salary than most people believe.

Surprisingly enough, the size to income ratio is not the same for men and women. Women and men command their maximum salary when they are at different weights from each other.

Lighter Women Get Paid More

According to the study, women who weigh about 25 pounds lighter than the average weight for a woman can make up to $15,000 more than a woman weighing an average weight. Oddly enough, if a thin woman gains a few pounds, her salary has a chance of dropping significantly due to the few extra pounds of weight that she has put on.

Women who are below average size, somewhere in the size 0 to size 4 range, are much more likely to receive job offers, higher salary increases, and other benefits over heavier women. This is due to our society expecting women to remain thin throughout life. Employees that match society’s body ideals are able to have more influence than employees that do not.

Muscular Men Get Beefy Salaries

Men, however, see their optimal income spike when they weigh about 25 pounds more than the average weight of a man. Even though most men in the media are slim and muscular, a little extra weight on an average man does not harm his salary and can actually cause it to rise.

However, muscular men who are also on the heavier weight spectrum received the highest income spikes. This is due to a larger, attractive man being seen as a more influential figure by society.

Obese Men and Women Get a "Lighter" Paycheck

Income for both men and women drops significantly when they reach the status of "obese". Both obese men and women are seen as less powerful because they are perceived as having less self-control and positive traits than thinner people have. The obese are seen as weaker-minded, which is never an attractive quality in the workplace.

Still, if a woman starts to lose weight from obese to average size, her income can quickly rise. In some cases, a woman who is obese may still receive a higher salary than a woman who is only a few pounds overweight. This is an interesting psychological conundrum that can only be explained by society’s strange view of a woman’s attractiveness versus power.

If you want to maintain the ideal salary in the workplace, the best thing you can do is try and remain in the ideal weight for your sex. Men should seek to gain muscle mass by working out and bulking up.

Women should try and remain as close to the physical ideal for women as they possibly can, or at least dress in a way that makes them appear thinner. This will help maximize the salary of both men and women.

Most employers make salary decisions based on appearance, although usually unconsciously. Therefore, as an employee, you shouldn't overlook the effect of your physical appearance. It is an extremely important part of any job and can make a big difference in your total earnings potential throughout your career. 

About the Writer: Simon hails from Europe as a Blog owner and regular contributor for various Blogs, among others the financial Blog of the UK based same day payday loans provider Poundaccess.  He also likes to write in various other topics and fields and prides himself in being a versatile professional writer. (attribution link has been editorially removed because site is not opening)

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