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Washington, Feb 5 (ANI): 'Men should be big and strong, and women skinny' - a cultural lesson drilled into our heads ever since we were tots.

Unfortunately, that's how it has to be if you want to earn a fair salary.

According to a recent study, men who are skinnier than average cash smaller paychecks than normal-weighted men, while thin women are paid significantly more than their average-size counterparts, reports the Washington Post.

Experts say it is just another sign that as a society, we have internalized the unrealistic, media-driven physical ideals that show up in the workplace - and, therefore, the pocketbook.

Researchers Timothy Judge and Daniel Cable found thin women earned about 16,000 dollars more a year on average. In contrast, thin men earned about 8,000 dollars less than their more muscular male co-workers.

They said that much of the problem is the result of subconscious decisions based on entrenched social stereotypes.heir report cites studies in which obese individuals were identified as 'undisciplined, dishonest and less likely to do productive work'.

Conversely, the researchers pointed out that employers and fellow employees associate values of self-discipline, thrift, hard work and positivity with thin individuals.

The researchers suggested that employers look at their assumptions about employees' weight, because they may be rooted in prejudice.

The study is published in the Journal of Applied Psychology. (ANI)
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