In the United States, women already earn significantly less per year than men – 20 percent less, in fact. And that’s only if the woman is a normal weight. Forbes reported that a woman who is only 13 pounds overweight could earn about $9,000 dollars less than their averaged-weight counterparts.

According to a study by Jennifer Shinall, assistant law professor at Vanderbilt University, the level of an overweight woman’s education isn’t a factor. “What is going on is being driven by the employer side of the equation; by employer preferences,” said Shinall.

The study mentioned that overweight women are more likely to work in lower-paying and more physically demanding jobs and are less likely to get higher-wage positions that include interaction with the public. They make less money in either case compared to average size women and all men.

What’s more, the United States has ranks 20th on the gender wage equality scale, behind countries like Nicaragua and the Philippines. The average American woman who works full time, year round makes 78 percent of what a man working the same job makes. American women also spend more than four hours a day, on average, on unpaid work, while men spend a little more than 2.5 hours.

The lawmaking body of the country isn’t much better. Think Progress reports that only about 25 percent of Congress is women. The representation of feminist ideals is at a loss in the government.

The United States, as a progressive country, still has a long way to go in reaching true equality.


Alex Chastain is a writer with Ring of Fire.