When you see an overweight man and an equally overweight woman odds are you will judge the woman more harshly. Unfortunately, it appears this is a truth-based scientific fact.
Not only are women more likely to receiving more stinging evaluations, they’re also more likely be the harshest critics, according to a study in the journal Economics and Human Biology. In short, overweight women are judged twice as harshly as overweight men and their peers don’t make it any easier on them.
The study reveals women battling the bulge are generally viewed as less attractive by both sexes. However, men often don’t impart the same level of criticism on other men who are overweight.
“When it comes to ‘beauty’, being an overweight woman is judged negatively by both sexes whereas men are a lot more forgiving towards each other,” said University of Surrey Professor Sonia Oreffice, who authored the study. “[W]omen are the harshest judges and most harshly judged.”
According to this research, it should be no surprise that it was a woman who fat shamed me at Taco Bell when I was nearly 400 pounds. As a matter of fact, the only person working there who didn’t laugh when the woman verbally shredded me was a man.
Still, there was never anyone more critical of my enormous girth than myself. I’m sure it’s that way for the vast majority of people suffering from obesity.
Researchers also examined the link between vanity and wages. The study reveals body size and perceived beauty play a role in the amount of money a person earns.
“While we are not entirely surprised with the results that correlate BMI and attractiveness, what is remarkable is that gender of the interviewer makes a difference and that body size matters for wages not simply as proxy for beauty,” Oreffice said.