Small Business Trends Radio

Lean Body Mass: The Best Presentation

Only the dead have seen the end of gluttony.

With apologies to Plato. Unless you are skinny as a post don’t read this one. Read on if you need a reason to win the war with your weight. It’s not what you think.

Candy Crowley from CNN can get away with it. Rush Limbaugh did for a while.

But not you. Even though one-third of Americans are overweight and trending heavier, this should not be an excuse for you, the small business owner.

As you become a heavyweight in your business you will be speaking on radio and TV. And even on radio, you will have a publicity shot to advertise your interview. You better look good.

And as a public figure, you will soon learn the inverse rule that rules show bizziness:

The more weight you carry, the more you will be seen as a light weight.

Isn’t this, well, profiling? Is this fair? Would it be right to judge a book by its cover?

Nope. Not fair.

But why is this? My favorite answer comes from Joan Lindsey, a world class instructor from (where else?) LA.

Here’s the insensitive question: Is there a poundage penalty?

Lindsey uses a world-class vocabulary, dealing with micro and mass persuasion. She says that the most effective spokespersons must have:

Lean Body Mass

This is the issue framing that commands not-so-lean consulting fees.

The Lean Body Mass person is perceived as energetic, believable, smart. The not-Lean Body Mass (if you know what I mean, and I think you do) person is perceived as lethargic, deceitful, dull.

Always? Camryn Manheim won an Emmy. Churchill won a war.

Marilyn Monroe was a size 12. Go figure, so to say. And it didn’t seem to hurt their believablity.

Or maybe it helped her. Being overweight “symbolizes an inability to control oneself or to maintain personal health.”

The Boston Globe quotes Myrna Marofsky who runs a diversity consulting firm ”Size generates subtle biases as well as blatant ones…You might hear, ‘If she would just lose 25 pounds, she would have a better chance at that promotion.'”

And this is just not fair.

However, the purpose of this post is not self-esteem. BigFatBlog can do that and argues persuasively on the world of overweight.

I am concerned less about your psyche than your gravitas. What counts is that you, as the small business owner, are able to be liked, able to sell, to persuade.

Lean Body Mass sells. And communicates.

But didn’t Jackie Gleason communicate?

Indeed, but as Shakespeare’s ‘fat knight’ Falstaff says in Henry IV, “I am not only witty in myself, but the cause that wit is in other men.”

Unless you are running a small business comedy club, it might be best not to have people laugh at you.

David Lakhani and Jeffery Gitomer in their book Persuasion, write on this, perhaps subconsciously,

Over Sunday brunch you and your spouse decide it is time to buy a new car. You want something newer than you have, but you don’t want to spend the money for a brand-new model year car, so as you eat, you hear those magic words on the television from an overweight, mutton-chopped used-car salesman…

Emphasis mine.

Your Business Blogger can provide advice on most any topic — I will not pretend to tell anyone how to lose weight. Goodness, even marathon runner and blogger Brad Feld complains about losing that last 10 pounds.

But I can say that persuasive communication and selling is a thin person’s competitive advantage.

Creditable, likeable, believable. Your job is to sell.

At every meal, think, Lean Body Mass.

I hope to take your appetite away, and perhaps give you something better.

4 Responses to “Lean Body Mass: The Best Presentation”

  1. Chris Says:

    It’s a shame – but true. And your audience’s perception is everything if you want to be successful. What I often wonder is – how did these perceptions come to be? Who taught us to associate all of these negative terms to the condition? I suppose it’s a number of different reasons – but all disappointing nonetheless.

  2. Jack Says:

    Chris, you are so right — the Lean Body Mass is recent “demand” of our culture and times.

    Women depicted in paintings of an earlier era are described (favorably) as “Reuben-isk.”

    Benjamin Franklin is usually pictured as rotund. And could the 300+lbs Taft get elected president these days?

    But times are different and we seem to now require a different image. See:

  3. sarah Says:


    With all respect I can’t begin to express how much I disagree with you.

    Consider for instance these “non-rail,” overtly curvy celeb and business moguls…

    Katie Couric
    Susan Arnold (P&G)
    Ann Livermore (HP)
    Sir Elton John.
    Scarlett Johansson (recently voted the most beautiful woman by Esquire Mag)
    Emeril Lagasse
    Rachael Ray
    Rosie O’Donnell

    – sarah

  4. Jack Says:

    Sarah, the A-list celebs can get away with a non-lean body mass. Mere Mortals cannot.

    Remember, I would not disagree with your analysis of the double digit dress size.

    Not that I would notice such sizing on another woman. See:

    Thank you for your insight,

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