Weight Bias & Friendliness of the Obese: The Hidden Advantage.

It’s no secret that overweight individuals often face discrimination and negative stereotypes in society. Health concerns aside, the stigma attached to being overweight can have a significant impact on one’s self-esteem and overall well-being. However, recent research suggests that there may be a silver lining to weight bias: obese people may be perceived as friendlier or more approachable than their thinner counterparts.

Finding the Silver Lining

At first glance, this may seem like a small consolation prize. But given the pervasive weight bias in our society, any positive change in the way obese people are perceived should be celebrated. So, why do overweight individuals tend to be seen as friendlier? And what can we learn from this phenomenon?

Of course, it’s important to note that these positive perceptions are hardly a silver bullet when it comes to weight bias. Being seen as approachable or friendly does not necessarily translate into better job opportunities, higher salaries, or greater respect from others. Weight bias is a complex and pervasive issue, and more needs to be done to address it.

That said, the fact that overweight individuals may be perceived as friendlier does offer some hope. It suggests that people are not entirely blinded by negative weight bias and may be capable of recognizing positive traits in others regardless of their body size. This is an important reminder that everyone has value and deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, regardless of their appearance.

Psychological Reason:

Happy obese Person weight bias

We must also consider the fact that some people feel drawn towards individuals that are larger than life, this may amplify the mentality that all obese people are loved and appreciated. An overweight person might create a sense of safety and emotional comfort for some individuals, helping them to feel protected and secure. Therefore, there may be an unconscious preference for larger individuals. One explanation may be that overweight individuals are subconsciously perceived as less dominant. In our culture, thinness is often associated with power and success, while obesity is seen as a sign of weakness or lack of control. However, research has shown that people tend to approach those who are less dominant in social situations. This can lead to overweight individuals being seen as more approachable or friendly, which may be why they are often perceived this way.

Some other Factors:

But there may be other factors at play as well. Some research suggests that overweight individuals are more likely to be perceived as warm and caring, which can translate into a greater sense of approachability. Such approachability leads to even a skinny friend gaining some pounds. As is the case with giant friends they feed themselves and friends well. Additionally, overweight individuals may be viewed as more relatable or down-to-earth, which can also contribute to their perceived friendliness.

Obese People May Be More Favored in Some Jobs and Sports
Sumo Wrestlers obese people
In Professional Sports:

Professional Sumo Wrestling is an excellent example of a sport where being overweight is favored. In this sport, the heavier you are, the more advantage you have over your opponent. In fact, many Sumo wrestlers become icons and are loved and revered for their size. These athletes are known to have excellent physical strength, body control, endurance, and incredible balance given their sheer size. Clearly, being overweight is more of an advantage than a disadvantage in this particular sport.

In Professional Jobs:

Similarly, there are jobs and industries that require a significant amount of manual labor and heavy lifting that favor overweight individuals. For instance, it would be easier for someone who is overweight to carry heavy loads when employed in moving companies, heavy equipment operation, or construction jobs. It might not be for all careers, but having more body mass can sometimes lead to an advantage in some jobs.

While these advantages may seem meager in comparison to the negative stereotypes that overweight individuals encounter, it’s imperative to take note of the silver linings. There are indeed some professions and sports where being overweight is considered an asset. Understanding and embracing these differences and making them a healthy part of our society signifies a massive step towards promoting equality, appreciation, and acceptance for individuals in all shapes and sizes.


While weight bias is a serious issue that still faces society today, there is a silver lining in the way that overweight individuals are sometimes perceived as more approachable or friendly. We must not let go of ideals of self-care, but need to ensure that logic and compassion guides our perceptions of others.

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