Subtle increases in BMI within a healthy weight range still reduce women's employment chances in the service sector

Dennis Nickson, Andrew R Timming , Daniel Re, David I Perrett

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10 Citations (Scopus)
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Using mixed design analysis of variance (ANOVA), this paper investigates the effects of a subtle simulated increase in adiposity on women’s employment chances in the service sector. Employing a unique simulation of altering individuals’ BMIs and the literature on “aesthetic labour”, the study suggests that, especially for women, being heavier, but still within a healthy BMI, deleteriously impacts on hireability ratings. The paper explores the gendered dimension of this prejudice by asking whether female employees at the upper end of a healthy BMI range are likely to be viewed more negatively than their overtly overweight male counterparts. The paper concludes by considering the implications of these findings.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0159659
Number of pages14
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2016


  • adiposity
  • aesthetic labour
  • employee selection
  • face perception
  • weight
  • service sector
  • hireability
  • BMI

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