3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community  

Go Back   3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community > Support Forum > Weight Loss Support

Weight Loss Support Give and get support here!

The professional perks of being thin

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-01-2007, 01:38 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Linnytunes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Hedgewood
Posts: 11

S/C/G: 199/141

Height: 5'2"

Default The professional perks of being thin

I had a co-worker who is a professional. She started working after I did and she was perplexed why none of the other executive staff took her seriously and she was being left out of business decisions and networking lunches. So she started asking other professional women that were at the top at other companies and all of them gave her the following advice.

They told her that it isnít fair but this is the way it works. No matter how smart you are, all men and even some women (even though they wonít admit it) do not trust or respect overweight women in the business world. That you really have to be underweight to advance in your career.

That sounded insane to me but my co-worker dieted to get 10 pounds underweight and guess what? She started getting invitations to business lunches on a daily basis, being included in all the meetings and her career started advancing at a rapid pace! Maybe people just want to help the underweight or something? LOL

She decided to lose another 10 pounds and the perks really started pouring in. She even got another job making almost double what she was making. As for me, I was eliminated from my job (I had gained a lot of weight in the years I was there) and I should have listened to her when she warned me that I have to get rid of all my fat in order to stay employed at a good salary!! So I guess I better quit venting now and start working my butt off to lose weight so I can get another job.
__________________
Linnytunes
Linnytunes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2007, 01:48 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 645

Default

Mmmm. Hate to tell ya...

This isnt just from my experience, but from my university psychology course -we've looked at many studies, and yes, absolutely...you are regarded as more competent (more attractive businessmen are rated as more able in one study for example), efficient, desirable in the business world..its all about Attributions, Attitudes and Prejudice.

Having said that, I don't think you have to be UNDERweight, just slim, to benefit from this stereotyping, as it were. Slim, healthy and well dressed people are favoured more highly in every walks of life. I am NOT venturing a personal opinion, just that your post was correct...its been shown in psychological study after study. Not fair but utterly true.

(On the other hand, it could have been that with her weightloss came CONFIDENCE!, and that too is very attractive, so it may have been a combo of the slimness and the new selfbelief).

Emily
xxx

Last edited by CousinRockingChair : 12-01-2007 at 01:49 PM.
CousinRockingChair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2007, 02:14 PM   #3
Just Yr Everyday Chick
 
JayEll's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 10,098

S/C/G: Lost 50 lbs, regained some

Height: 5'3"

Default

I'd like to know exactly how much she weighed and her height. "Underweight" is a pretty broad term, just like "overweight."

Still, given any pair of people of the same gender, wearing the same outfit (but sized to fit them), I would guess that the "normal" sized person would be thought more competent than the "obese" sized person--for no other reason than their weight. It really is a shame! But it probably won't change.

The only time this might not hold is in a company where the majority of employees and managers are overweight/obese. of course, I don't have any data at all--I'm just guessing.

Jay
__________________
"My religion is kindness." --His Holiness the Dalai Lama

JayEll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2007, 03:37 PM   #4
hara hachi bu
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,294

Default

This hasn't been my experience. I have seen business units where the only job requirement seems to be nice legs and a great smile, but I personally have not ever felt I've been discriminated against professionally (or held back from promotion) based on weight.
phantastica is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2007, 03:39 PM   #5
Future Wonder Woman
 
trooworld's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 821

S/C/G: 248/see ticker/145

Height: 5'6"

Default

As a college student getting ready to re-enter the workforce, that is totally disheartening. I've heard that there is bias in the workplace, but what your friend experienced is outrageous. Just one more reason for me to lose weight!
__________________
Chris

Still not giving up, fighting the fight of my life!

trooworld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2007, 04:06 PM   #6
Maintaining :)
 
CountingDown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 4,752

S/C/G: 215/117/120

Height: 5'4"

Default

While I firmly believe that some organizations DO discriminate and promote using weight as a criteria, and I DO believe that many people (bosses included) subconsciously treat overweight people differently, my personal experience is quite different.
I work for a non-profit organization (school district) and my weight has not affected my mobility, credibility, or popularity within the organization. I was heavy when I was hired, lost some weight after 4 years. Gained it all back, and have been at 190-215 for 8 years. During that time I have changed jobs 7 times - each time was a promotion. I now report to the superintendent (CEO) and am one of 2 trusted advisers in the "inner circle".
The attributes that I believe led to my promotions:
Honesty, integrity, dedication, work ethic, professionalism, assertiveness, self-confidence, tenacity, customer service oriented attitude, communication skills, professional attire and demeanor, and commitment to doing whatever I can to see kids succeed.

Nutshell version: I think in many cases (not always) that skill-set, personality, professionalism and self-confidence count more than physical appearance. How WE think about ourselves greatly influences how others see us and treat us.
__________________

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? ICor 6:19
My Pictorial Journey " " My Goal Story

Last edited by CountingDown : 12-01-2007 at 04:54 PM.
CountingDown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2007, 04:22 PM   #7
Just Yr Everyday Chick
 
JayEll's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 10,098

S/C/G: Lost 50 lbs, regained some

Height: 5'3"

Default

These posts are good! Both sides of the story--and a few others sides as well.

I think that professionalism and confidence can go a long way in any work situation. CountingDown--would you say you dress for success? I would guess that you always dress well for the workplace. Phantistica, is that true for you also?

Jay
__________________
"My religion is kindness." --His Holiness the Dalai Lama

JayEll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2007, 04:49 PM   #8
Maintaining :)
 
CountingDown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 4,752

S/C/G: 215/117/120

Height: 5'4"

Default

Absolutely! I always try to look professional. While I have a hairstyle that is no-fuss, it is stylish and flatters my face shape and hair type. I always apply make-up before going to work. Again, nothing over-the-top, but a little lipstick and mascara do wonders for me - LOL. While finding suits in larger sizes that flatter the figure is difficult, finding separates has always been easy. A print skirt with a jacket, a silk blouse, and some well-chosen accessories can look dynamite - even in a size 22. I know what looks good on me and try to dress professionally in a way that flatters my figure. Now that I am in "regular" sizes, thrift stores have been great sources for suits. Until I reach my goal weight, I have been rewarding myself (every 10 lbs. lost) with a trip to the thrift store run by our women's shelter. They have awesome clothes that make me feel wonderful.

I do all of these things - for me. All 3 affect the way I feel about myself. I really do think that loving ourselves, respecting ourselves, valuing ourselves, and believing in ourselves are important keys to success in virtually everything we do - whether it be our careers, our relationships, or our weight loss.
__________________

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? ICor 6:19
My Pictorial Journey " " My Goal Story

Last edited by CountingDown : 12-01-2007 at 04:53 PM.
CountingDown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2007, 04:58 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
bargoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Davis, Ca
Posts: 23,149

S/C/G: 204/114/120

Height: 5'

Default

I received promotions and was even hired to management positions when I was obese,. I did dress properly and was neat and clean and most important was qualified. Being overlooked for a position is discriminatory.
__________________
Goal 12/21/2007
bargoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2007, 05:00 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
bargoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Davis, Ca
Posts: 23,149

S/C/G: 204/114/120

Height: 5'

Default

ooops, left out the most important part . It is discrimation to overlook someone for a position because you are overweight, and some employers have been taken to court beacause of this.
__________________
Goal 12/21/2007
bargoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2007, 05:55 PM   #11
Moderator
 
Heather's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 11,475

S/C/G: 295/225/back to Onederland

Height: 5'5"

Default

Maybe she started getting ahead in her job because she THOUGHT she would, now that she was underweight. A sort of self-fulfilling prophecy.
__________________


My 5 C's of healthy living: Commitment to conscious control, with the understanding that choices have consequences
Heather is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2007, 06:07 PM   #12
I restore Teeth.
 
veggielover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: GOTHAM CITY
Posts: 1,194

Default

Well, I don't think its the TRUST. It's not like they can't trust individuals whom are overweight, but in terms of appearance, it only helps the company if the person is representative of the company. Which means that all the qualities are supposedly "good" (as all companies believe themselves to be), inside and out. If you had the choice as an employer to choose between 2 individuals, both well and equally qualified, both well-mannered and personally likeable with the exception that one "appeared" better overall than the other (the way they dress, the way they look), which one would you choose to represent your company? This would be more of an issue if the job qualification includes communicating and social networking.

This happened once with an ex-boss of mine. Except both girls were lazy. Only one was "hot" (slim, very thin) and the other was "not" (overweight) according to the male workers there.
__________________
Art is man's nature, nature is God's art.

- Phillip James Bailey

Last edited by veggielover : 12-01-2007 at 06:08 PM. Reason: pelling
veggielover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2007, 06:18 PM   #13
hara hachi bu
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,294

Default

JayEll, I have a very unobtrusive appearance. I have simple hair and seldom wear makeup, but I wear jewelry and dress fairly conservatively (but coordinated). I'm quite tall, so that may bring a different dynamic to it too.
phantastica is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2007, 06:40 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
baffled111's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,986

S/C/G: 209/209/160

Height: 5'9

Default

I'm still troubled by the use of this term 'underweight'. Why would you have to be underweight to be professionally successful? That makes no sense. People aren't discriminated against, to my knowledge, for being of normal weight--which is, as Jay noted--a large spectrum. In fact, I can imagine that subconscious discrimination could occur against very thin/underweight women. They might be perceived as not 'substantial' enough.

(In fact, Ms. Mentor, a sort of dear abby for academia, argues that female professors should be big. Her claim is that female academics receive more respect and are accorded more authority by students and colleagues if they physically take up a fair amount of space. But she is, I believe, an english professor, not a social scientist, and her argument is no doubt anecdotal.)

For what it's worth, I'm with Jay that a confident attitude and professional appearance can go a long way in overcoming people's unreflexive prejudices. It certainly doesn't hurt. The assumption that overweight people can't succeed professionally and an attitude consistent with that assumption will no doubt be more of a hindrance than the weight itself.

Last edited by baffled111 : 12-01-2007 at 06:43 PM.
baffled111 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2007, 07:15 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
lola06's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 105

Default

I think studies like this are just another way of trying to "prove" the inferior fat theory. It's sad when we have to say this is just the way it is, so I might as well lose the weight and play the game. I say create your own company and do things your own way, if that's the case.

At my current job, I got a promotion one year to the date I was hired. I think we as overweight and formerly overweight people have to begin eliminating our own personal ideas about fat being inferior, thereby making others understand. It's not easy fighting a system with so many -isms, but I think it's worth it.
__________________
lola06 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Posts by members, moderators and admins are not considered medical advice
and no guarantee is made against accuracy.


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:14 PM.






Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2