Anyone out there who’s worked in the service industry can probably relate to how tough it can really be.
You can end up working insanely long hours, dealing with absolute bullshit from irritating members of the public and despite all this, getting paid next to nothing for the privilege.
But new research from the University of Strathclyde shows that this becomes a whole lot tougher when you’re a woman.
They found that ladies who wanted to get into a customer-facing role in this industry were more likely to land a job if they were skinnier compared to their curvier counterparts.
Researchers carrying out the study found this out by creating two images of a man and a woman and asking 120 people (60 of each gender) who they were more likely to hire for this particular job.
The woman and man on the left had a chubbier face with a thicker neck, while those on the right were noticeably skinnier- but most importantly they were all equally qualified.
Results of this study were a sad sign of the times on how much emphasis we put on looks and appearance, as researchers found that candidates were more negative towards heavier-looking women and less convinced about their suitability for a client-facing role.
What makes this all more deeply troubling is that weight had very little impact on how the men were viewed, even when they were considerably overweight.
On that basis, researchers came to the conclusion that these subtle changes in BMI can seriously reduce a woman’s chances of employment, but this is part of a much wider issue.
Across the gender divide there seems to be a great amount of ‘fat phobia’, with Dr Nickson concluding:
The main conclusion of this paper is that women within the normal BMI range appear to suffer greater weight-based bias than men who overtly overweight. This research speaks to the challenges that women (and to a lesser extent men) face in what appears to be a highly ‘weight-conscious’ labour market.
It’s easy to see why we’ve become such an image conscious generation, faced with constant pressures from the fashion world and social media to look a certain way, but we need a societal change from top to bottom to rid ourselves of this discrimination once and for all.