Women Are Paying A Bigger Economic Price For Being Fat Than Ever
Yes, I know I need to use sunscreen — and I do!
In December, The Economist printed an article with the main point being, in a number of wealthier nations, especially the U.S., women experience wage penalties for being overweight. The Economist drew heavily on a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report that concluded,
“an obese 43 year-old woman received a larger wage penalty in 2004 than she received at 20 in 1981 …. an obese 20 year-old woman receives a larger wage penalty today than she would have in 1981 at age 20.”
Thing is, the BLS report was published in 2007, over fifteen years ago. The article itself began by quoting Mirelle Giuliano, the elegant and — it should go without saying — slim — author of French Women Don’t Get Fat.
I remember when this book came out and Mirelle was on all the talk shows. My baby Anthony was five months old and I had been working hard to lose the “baby weight.” Being pregnant at 40 was difficult enough.
I felt much like a whale while pregnant and I did interview for jobs while pregnant: I had just started my job at Beyond Shelter in Los Angeles when Anthony died.
Anthony’s father Alan, the famous horror writer and editor, was a typical man of his generation. While he seemed happy that I was generally found to be attractive and could get higher paying jobs although I had and have a build that’s never going to be Kate Moss, he never failed to treat me like shit on a regular basis. One day when I was about 8 months pregnant, I was scheduled to have another Level III ultrasound at the Woodland Hills Kaiser, which was only a few minutes from our house.
Sadly, I finished grading papers and heaved my excessive bulk into the car and drove down to the hospital. As I shuffled to the lab, feeling like a blue whale navigating a narrow strait, I heard footsteps behind me. Then someone put their hand on my arm.