I’m not going to spend too much time analyzing this article for you. I read it three times, trying to understand why the logic of the piece made no sense to me. I would have more easily accepted the thesis if Penelope Trunk simply said that the skinny people of the world hate fat people, so we naturally discriminate against them in the workplace. Instead, the author brings up SCIENCE, much like James Watson’s iffy “proof” that blacks aren’t as smart as whites.
From Penelope Trunk’s “The Brazen Careerist” at Yahoo! Finance
Before you get up in arms over how unfair it is to discriminate against people who are overweight, consider that there may be some rationale behind it. If you’re overweight, you’re probably not exercising every day. But regular exercise increases peoples’ ability to cope with difficult situations in the workplace and, according to University of Illinois kinesiology professor Charles Hillman, might even make people smarter.
And the same self-discipline we use to make ourselves exercise regularly and eat in moderation carries over into other aspects of our lives. This is probably why, in a study from Leeds Metropolitan University, people who exercise regularly were found to be better at time-management and more productive than those who don’t.
Exercise makes a worker more productive, and fat people don’t exercise, so they are “perceived” as lazy workers. But wait a minute — aren’t there fat people who are exercising? Aren’t there people who aren’t fat, like me, who are lazy as shit and rarely go the gym? The conclusion I got from this article isn’t that fat people are lazy, but that employers should require you to take gym classes as part of the job. Or that they should just hire Olympic gymnasts.
This article represents the worst type of career advice — give in to the irrational stereotypes of today, so you can “get ahead” to the detriment of the next guy who can’t get the fat off. There’s the winners (the skinny) and the losers (the fat). Don’t be “perceived” as the loser! And there is “science” now to explain away the status quo!
Remember when everyone thought that women were created to have babies and make dinner?
I’d like to see this author write a piece telling ambitious blacks to try to pass as “white” so they aren’t perceived as being “less smart.” After all, there is a study that backs this up. Who knows — it might help their career?!
I know I’m still thinking of becoming Christian to perfect myself (see previous post).