We know that society has always valued looks over everything else. We see it all the time in the media: Female celebrities ridiculed for going to the grocery store makeup-free. Male celebrities made fun of for starting to lose their hair. Beauty ads targeted toward teens and young adults, worrying about their weight.
And there are many more. It's all tragic, really. But this one takes the cake.
A new study published in the British Medical Journal found that "being a genetically overweight woman or a short man is correlated with a lower salary," according to a report in Elite Daily.
The researchers' aim was "to determine whether height and body mass index (BMI) have a causal role in five measures of socioeconomic status." They looked at 119,669 participants in the U.K. whose genetic variances had such influence on their height and weight.
They found the following:
- Men: for every 2.5 inches of extra height, men earned $1,611 more annually, and 12 percent were more likely to have high-end jobs.
- Women: for every 4.6-point increase of their weight, they earned only an average of $4,200 less annually.
"These findings have important social and health implications, supporting evidence that overweight people, especially women, are at a disadvantage and that taller people, especially men, are at an advantage," the study concludes.
It's a rather depressing study, but remember that correlation does not equal causation. According to the researchers, this means that "taller stature and lower BMI may causally improve socioeconomic status through discrimination against shorter and fatter people or differences in self-esteem that affect employability."
According to TIME, this might mean that potential employers may display disbelief at a possible success for short men and overweight women, which, in turn, causes a self-fulfilling prophecy due to insecurity and doubt.
So, keep doing you regardless of what society deems as "beautiful." In the end, it's your accomplishments that determine your merit, not your looks.