Last night actress Octavia Spencer won a Screen Actors Guild reward for her supporting role in the movie The Help. Even though Spencer couldn’t be in a better place professionally, having also won a Golden Globe a week earlier, she still seemed to have some concerns about her weight. Backstage at the awards show Octavia told reporters:
“I am not healthy at this weight. Any time you have too much around the middle, then there is a problem. [And] when you reach a certain weight, you are less valuable.”
Of course Octavia also recognized that the stigmas society places on looks can be too much pressure for women of any size to handle adding “I feel for the overly thin women as much as I do for the overweight women. It … has to change.”
We may not all work in Hollywood like Octavia where the pressure to look your best is high, but we do work in an image conscious society where how you look can mean the difference between a promotion or remaining stagnant.
Many companies won’t even hire overweight candidates because they fear the weight will come with certain health issues that can be murder on the company’s health premiums and slow productivity if the employee is constantly out sick or leaving early for doctor visits. It may not be right, but weight can make or break your career.
Has your weight affected your career?
Do you feel pressure to lose weight in order to get ahead?