Arment Dietrich

Overweight at Work

By: Arment Dietrich | October 22, 2007 | 
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I’m getting really tired of the news being splattered with new studies every day. Half of them are crap, and the other half probably couldn’t pull their own weight if they were given a good look.

Penelope Trunk’s recent article, “Is your image hurting your career?” discusses how appearances rule the workplace and is an interesting article to display my distaste for studies.  Trunk claims, and attempts to back up with data, that being overweight or dressing sloppy is worse for your career than performing poorly.

It’s true that people have prejudice surrounding weight and appearance, and I’d even go as far as to say that everyone is judged by this at some point during the workday.  But let’s be serious here; the study that Trunk tries to use to support her claims is a bit of stretch.  Trunk says, “According to a 2005 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, good-looking people make more money than average-looking people for doing exactly the same work.” Just out of curiosity, who got to decide who was good looking?

On some level, I could agree with what Trunk is saying. If you’re not putting off a professional demeanor through your appearance, you may not be taken seriously in the office. But to say that being a little chubby would affect you more than shredding the boss’s only copy of this month’s big report is another story.

Let’s not forget that attractiveness is 100 percent dependent upon opinion. Let’s not also forget that while opinion pieces are supposed to be based upon opinion, those opinions should be supported by facts.  — Angela Loiacono

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