Packing on a few extra pounds could mean less money in the bank, if you’re a woman.
Beyonce might say that pretty hurts, but at least pretty people have more money to wipe away the tears. That’s because being physically attractive doesn’t just give you more options in the dating game, it can also affect your career.
No matter how educated and capable someone is, multiple studies have found that more attractive workers get better beaks. There’s even a word to explain how beauty affects economics: pulchronomic.
The term was coined by Daniel Hamermesh, who wrote Beauty Pays in 2011. The book contained data from a study showing that employees with above-average looks earned three to four percent more than their less attractive co-workers. Over the course of someone’s life, that adds up to about $230,000 in lost wages just based on overall attractiveness. The effects can be mitigated with good grooming and a great personality.
When it comes to how weight plays into the wage gap, there’s not much that can immediately be done to trick people into thinking you’re skinnier.
A video by Vox.com highlighted findings from a 2009 study, which showed that women’s earnings could be related directly to how much they weigh. The information came from a 2009 study that found women with a BMI of 35 earn $2.62 less per hour than women with a BMI of 23. That’s far below the numerical limit for obesity.
It’s important to note that this wage gap cuts both ways. Ladies with a slightly lower BMI than 23 also earned a few less cents per hour. Still women on the heavier side of the spectrum are penalized more harshly for their weight.
While a woman at 21 BMI might earn about $0.30 cents less an hour, a woman at 25 BMI is down $0.95 in her hourly wages.