Why are fat men often paired with hot wives on TV, anyway? Well now we know. There's fresh new research into how women choose men and men choose women, and whether money plays an asymmetrical role. Here's key conclusion from the abstract:

An additional unit of husband's (wife's) BMI can be compensated by a 0.3%-increase (0.15%-increase) in husband's (wife's) average (predicted) wage. Interestingly, these findings suggest that female physical attractiveness plays a larger role in men's assessment of a woman than male physical attractiveness does for women.

Wait. Are you telling me that a 20-pound weight gain could be "compensated" by a 1 percent raise?


Let's flesh this out. The study literally says that each BMI point I gain can be compensated by a .3% increase in my wage. The researchers translate this into English: "A 10kg-increase (22 lbs) in weight for the average husband can be compensated by a 1%-increase in husband's average wage." Really?

I don't doubt that scientists could find a relationship between human features and wages to determine some scientific measure of attractiveness to the opposite sex. But you're telling me that if a man put on an extra 40-lbs, it would be compensated by a two-percent (two percent!) increase in wages? That seems way, way too low.

I'm not going to hazard a guess on what the proper wage compensation for a 40-lbs weight gain would be. But I do think that the same way there are BMI calculators everywhere online, the Internet is ready for a WWC -- Weight-to-Wage Compensation -- calculator for men and women to "find out" just how much extra weight their next raise can pay for. It's an impossibly dubious thing to try to quantify, but hats off to these researches for giving it a shot.

Ultimately, this BMI-to-wage ratio suggests that small increases in wages can compensate for astronomical increases in weight for men. So that's it. That's why big men with big wallets get all the girls. CBS comedies... finally, I understand you.
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*Lathart dubs this conclusion "The Tiger Woods Phenomenon," which is a little weird because Tiger Woods isn't 90s-era John Daly. He's a decently svelte guy, who is unfathomably loaded and famous and idolized in a way you probably can't capture with anthropometric and socioeconomic characteristics. Probably better to call it "the CBS comedy effect" for the network's past addiction to "humorous" shows with large leading men and attractive wives.

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