Alexandra Olivier: Leaner bodies for fatter pockets

A recent study that found leaner women earn more money is discouraging. Ladies striving for leaner bodies could possibly lead to fatter wallets, according to a study published in the fall issue of the Journal

A recent study that found leaner women earn more money is discouraging.

Ladies striving for leaner bodies could possibly lead to fatter wallets, according to a study published in the fall issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology.
Alexandra Olivier

First, women were competing against their male counterparts for fairer wages, and to this day, they still are. Now we have to wage war against our bodies and the bodies of our female co-workers to earn the wages we deserve.

Not only does this study, conducted by Timothy Judge and Daniel Cable, raise a concern, but the idea is ridiculous. The United States’ view of beauty and health are subjective. If we are being judged on what we look like, why bother paying thousands of dollars to attend college?

Skinny often refers to people described as productive, hard working and healthy, whereas the term overweight is often associated with laziness. These stereotypes negate the fact these personality traits can’t be linked with weight – a heavier person can be very active and a thinner person can be extremely lazy.

“Some companies will give promotions to women who appear ‘healthier,’ which in this society means ‘skinny’ to represent them,” Nicole Goolsby, a sophomore human resources management major, said. “A company wants its policies to be taken seriously. Skinny, attractive women are taken seriously, not overweight women.”

Discrimination cases in the workforce regarding this topic require more attention and should be taken more seriously.

Women are fed the stereotypical images of beauty every day in the media, and this study reinforces that these notions are true.

Even comedian and Academy Award-winning actress Mo’Nique Imes is affected by this beauty image. The actress has lost a significant amount of weight and now has her own show.

“Mo’Nique has always been a great actress, but who was giving her a show when she was crazy obese? No one,” Goolsby said.

Even female television anchors, such as the “Today Show’s” Meredith Vieira and Ann Curry, are tall, petite with straightened hair. This gives a clear example that women who want to be on air have to fit this stereotype.

One popular female host who isn’t considered skinny by American standards is Wendy Williams. She is a thick, average-sized, tall woman and represents a different scope of females who are underrepresented in the media.

“A job is going to find a way to discriminate regardless of its belief, race or even body image,” Sadora Thomas, a sophomore human resource management major, said. “You just have to fight to make sure you are getting exactly what you work [for] and deserve and not take no for an answer.”

Work-force politics continues to become more competitive and forces you to embody more qualities than in previous years. Although Williams isn’t the typical “skinny,” she is a loud, blunt and brash woman who tells it like it is.

“Business, like anything else, is about negotiation,” Goolsby said. “It’s more about your skills, knowledge and what you can bring to the company first then other factors can be considered.”

Despite the skills you acquire at school, there are other factors that are taken into account when looking for a job which include image.

“They don’t say ‘OK, this woman is skinny, I’m going to give her a raise,’” Teresa Rothausen-Vange, a management professor at the University of St. Thomas, told the Washington Post in a Jan. 29 article. “But research has shown that if you have two résumés, if all other qualifications make the candidates equal, the more physically attractive one – whether it’s a skinny woman or a muscly man – will have the leg up.”

If the idea that a woman has to be skinny in order to earn more money, then cases, such as the two United Kingdom women flying to Philadelphia for buttock-enhancement injections and only one surviving the illegal procedure will be more frequent – a dangerous hazard for women and society.

Alexandra Olivier can be reached at


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