Have you ever wondered why some people seem to have doors opened for them whilst others face closed doors socially or professionally? In a world that seems to be open and accepting there is a shameful habit that you may have faced more than once. You may not have even put much stock in it. What happens to you in the workplace and socially is often affected by your ‘social currency’.
So what is social currency? Social currency is the value placed upon you by the community at large. This is often based on gender, education and, unfortunately, your SIZE. Social currency is used to decide if you are employable, datable, well educated, confident and your social status. The current social climate seems to revere larger people but in reality, it is on limited terms. Drilling down in each area, it can be revealed that size is a great influencer on social currency and without a factual basis. If you are overweight, many will assume that you are lazy, slovenly, idle, selfish, depressed, self-isolating, amongst other negative assumptions.
Employment is a highly competitive area in modern life, With high unemployment rates and much less expendable income in the economy (further limiting employment options), it is crucial that the ‘first impression’ at an interview is the right one. Many prospective employers will assume that you are less worthy of a job if you are larger in girth. Employment can be held back completely or partially.
Promotions and other benefits can be with-held with little basis other than that ‘you are not suitable’. Suitability is not always based on qualifications or aptitude, it can be secretly judged by your size.
Partner suitability can also be decided upon with your size as a factor. You may be compatible with a profile on the internet dating sites, everything may seem to line up as if you were a match made in heaven. You pluck the courage to meet and wonder why you’re waiting for your prospective partner. Where are they? Maybe they’re running late? Unfortunately, it has been revealed in recent surveys that prospective partners catch a glimpse of their ‘date’ and turn back after seeing their size. It appears that size can command dating success (as shallow and fool-hardy as that is).
Assumptions are often made in relation to your education in relation to your size.
Many assume that you are less intelligent than slimmer individuals. This fallacy also carries through to your personal habits. Larger people are considered lazy and less reliable. In fact, this has been disproved over centuries of human history. Larger or comfortably sized people were affluent, well-educated leaders. Larger women were considered more desirable and this is most graphically depicted from the Rubinesque period of art.
The most alarming of recent trends is that social status is often based on size. Many are judged by their appearance when told that they are accepted or not on the basis of their personality. The more plump in our society are often categorised as jesters in popular media instead of intellects or leaders. In current film and television media, larger folk are represented by leading comedians or vocalists. Rarely, is the lead dramatical character a larger person. This disturbing trend is sure to wain. For now, it is a refection of society’s beliefs.
It is time to create a new social currency, one where social currency is based on values, on charity and on actions. Over time, society will again evolve, however, this requires leaders and visionaries. Stand up and take charge of your own life, inspire others to see you for who you are, not your size.