This may come as a shock, but many people treat thin women better than heavier women. I know—it seems unbelievable! But it's not just that thin women are treated better—they also make more money. How much more?

According to a new study that examined more than 20,000 German and American workers, very thin women—defined as weighing 25 pounds less than the group average—earned some $15,572 over their average-weight peers. And women weighing 25 pounds more than average earned $13,847 less.

Weirdly, or maybe not, the opposite held true for men. Very thin dudes earned $8,437 less than average, and earning increased as weight increased beyond the average, all the way up to the level of obesity. In one study, the peak weight for high paychecks was 207 pounds.

Why do skinny women and heavy guys make so much money? Possibly because we are a vain and superficial people, obsessed with sex but disgusted by bodies, clinging desperately to archaic ideas of beauty and power, unable to separate the clinical mechanics of capitalism from our own open-mouthed reactions to deviation from wholly theoretical norms. Another theory, floated by the study authors, is that "people who conform to others' ideas about the ideal body image may actually perform better on the job, because they can wield more influence over other people and get more things accomplished."

So, one of those two, probably.

[WSJ; image via Shutterstock]