It’s been all over TV news today, reported by skinny, successful-looking women: Thin women bring home more of the bacon, but it’s the men who are eating it – all the way up to the top of the pay scale.
According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, women who weighed 25 pounds less than their average-sized sisters earned $15,572 more. Yep. You read that correctly. But wait, there’s more: Women who weighed 25 pounds more than average made $13,847 less than their normal-weight sisters.
Let’s do some math: This means that a woman, say, 40 pounds overweight could make as much as $29,419 less than her uber-skinny colleague.
Hang on, the news gets worse, for the opposite is true for men: The larger men get, the more they’re paid – until they become obese, when their salaries start to drop. Skinny men didn’t make nearly as much as their pudgy brothers.
Don’t know about you, but I’m having a hard time caring about this.
Maybe it’s because I’m so used to bias and discrimination in the workplace, I can’t get all hot-and-bothered by something I already believed was true. We all know about perceptions being mistaken for reality. How many of you have worked with a lovely, thin woman who was dumb as a box of rocks? How many of you have witnessed this same woman being consistently promoted to positions well beyond her capabilities?
Were you really surprised to see that happen? (I wasn’t.)
Don’t get me wrong: I absolutely hate, hate, hate discrimination of any kind, anywhere, toward anyone. And I’m not saying it’s not worth taking someone to court; not at all. In fact, I had to do something very close to that to a tenured professor during my senior year at Ohio State. I have no problem raking someone over the coals, but it’s like my father told me years ago: You have to pick your battles.
There are more sayings about this tactic that I’m sure you’ve heard. “Don’t let anyone live rent-free in your head” is one. The bottom line is, you can either get mad, or get even. I prefer to get even, but in the most positive, self-affirming way possible.
Mind you, I’m on the market as we speak, hoping to ditch my incorporated, sole proprietorship after landing a full-time position someplace. Being passed over for positions I thought I really wanted is not at all easy. Nor is it the end of the world. Do I ever wonder if I was the victim of bias? Absolutely. Does it matter? I refuse to let it, because at this point in my life, it’s just not worth my time.
Time is money, and my time is very valuable (as is yours). I’d rather spend it focusing on all the things in my life I’m grateful for, all the blessings, and then move forward with that positive mindset.
I believe it’s one of the most attractive attributes anyone can have, inside the workplace or out.
Onward and upward.
Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. ~ Malachy McCourt
Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.