This is Thin Privilege

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So I don’t really think this is thin privellege but I know your followers are used to getting hate for their size and was wondering if they could help me

Just to paint the scene. . 
I’m an ”average” sized girl 5 foot and slim I suppose.
My boyfriend is a big guy… like 6’4 and over 300lbs. 
I of course find him attractive and awesome, but people are always making fun of him even to his face and I’m not sure how to handle it.
My own parents call him ”tubby” when he’s around, I know he laughs along but I’ve asked them not to.
It seems like everyone who meets us wants to make comments about our relationship based purely off his weight, and I know you probably think I’m just being whiney but it actually does upset him. 
My friend out right asked me ”so do you have a fetish for fatties or something”, and she couldn’t seem to understand that I genuinely found him attractive and loved his personality without it being a fetish.
He recently told me he wants to go on a diet, I asked why and his reason was because he is sick of other people laughing at his weight, other people trying to flirt with me and talk down to him.
He’s genuinely the best guy I’ve ever ever ever ever ever had. Everytime someone says something I ask them not to but damn nobody ever f*cking listens.  I don’t know what to say anymore.

I don’t want my guy to change because other people make him feel like he is the problem when the fact of the matter is THEY are the problem making him feel like crap.

So anyway I’m not even sure if my question is how can I make him feel more comfortable or if I just need some sassy come-backs when people are being horrible… I don’t know, I just hate seeing him being miserable because other people think they’re better.

This is my first time posting something like this, so hopefully I’m doing it right! Anyway, I’m not really “fat” myself  (my BMI is about a 26), but I am against body-shaming and I truly believe in loving people for who they are and not judging people based on how they look.  However, I have some friends who are not like this and I see how thin privilege and fat-shaming really plays out.  It is plain bigotry.  Anyway, I tend to find that guys my own size or guys who are super thin often are too much for me too handle because I can constantly read what is going on in their minds.  One day while I was at work this guy came in, who I am now dating, (let’s call him Bill) comes in.  Immediately I was attracted to him.  He’s larger.  However, he’s also really smart.  He’s interested in many of the same things I am.  He’s a true gentleman.  He’s mysterious.  And he definitely knows how to treat a lady.  However, dating him we have faced such discrimination.  I’ve been called a “chubby chaser.”  My friends always make comments about how “He must have a lot of money.” I’ve even gotten comments from some real assholes about how we should not be allowed to marry because of the risk of reproduction.  I can be myself with him and he can be himself with me. I feel beautiful and loved and as if he would do anything for me.  

This is just the stuff my “friends” and “family” say to me.  When we are out in public I see strangers stare.

Thin privilege is getting to be a couple without question.

I've done searches and looked around, but I haven't found anything to help that isn't tinged with fatphobia (sometimes Google sucks). Do you know of any good resources to help a thin person with zero experience of fatphobia write a fat character in a novel? The heroine of my novel's fat and I really, really don't want to fuck it up.

Asked by
sergeant-thundershield

I had a post about this a while ago

Basically, every character has three considerations: Internal motivation, history, and present context. A person who has been oppressed and/or discriminated against might find each of those considerations affected by her oppression.

Her internal motivation (what are her goals? What makes her act, love, run, sit, dream?) might be skewed because she has been told she can’t or shouldn’t do certain things, or that she should value passing and gaining privilege more than the goals that privileged people get to have. You need to determine how (or how not) and why her internal motivation has been changed due to her membership in an oppressed group.

Her history has certainly been affected, which itself might be the reason her internal motivation was changed. Build that history. Has she been sheltered from fatphobia and only when, say, entering college experienced it? How did that affect her? Was she bullied for her weight her whole life, and to what extent? 

And finally, there’s the present context. What kind of fatphobia does she have to deal with (or not) now? Why? Who leans on her the hardest, and to what extent is damage being inflicted upon her? 

Now, it might sound like in order to write a fat character you have to make her fatness the focal point, but that’s not what I’m saying here. Maybe she’s an opera singer, and her unusual voice and style is the focal point. Maybe her fatness won’t even come up in the narrative but a few times. But don’t make her the fat unicorn who has never come across any fatphobia or is blithely unaffected by it — it’s unrealistic and will make the character ring hollow to a reader. Perhaps her story is one of aftermath, occurring after she’s come to terms with how her fatness is denigrated by the culture. Perhaps she comes from a culture that does not denigrate fatness and has been newly placed in one that does. Whatever her context, she deserves one, as any character who is a member of an oppressed group deserves one. 

I hope this helps somewhat.

-ArteToLife

Blog/moderator updates, and a note on submissions

Hi all,

I just wanted to note that those of you who have noticed that TITP isn’t taking submissions at the moment are correct — we aren’t. 

Why this is: Mainly, because the moderators are too busy at the moment. I’m starting a PhD program, and the other mods are also too busy to carry the moderation load without all three of us chipping in a significant amount.

It actually takes a lot of time and emotional resources to moderate TITP. We get a lot of stories here that cut right to the quick of the fatphobia in people’s lives, stories about trauma, death, and persecution. Often these stories are long — which isn’t a bad thing, a story is the length it has to be, as writers like to say — but which necessitates some serious time to moderate them. Answering questions and making original posts takes longer. And when there are trollwaves even tangentially related to fat issues, we usually get blowback spam that takes some time to kill. 

We’re still publishing posts, but of submissions that were sent in quite a while ago. We will certainly open to submissions again sometime in the future, but it is unclear as it stands when that will be. 

Thanks for reading, and for making this blog what it is today. 

ArteToLife

Don’t forget I’m too busy writing my thesis after collecting all the troll messages we got from May of 2013-2014! The trollwaves are being utilized. :)

FBP

My Apologies

First, I want to start off by saying that I was raised by two parents who are both in the medical field. My dad is a doctor while my mother is a nurse. I was brought up to believe that fat = unhealthy and that somehow being thin makes a person better than a fat person. 

I know now that is no longer the case. For months I have constantly stalked this blog and read through so many pages of posts that I am now beginning to understand and accept that it’s not okay to shame someone because they are bigger. Coming from a few years ago this is a huge step for me and now I cannot help but admire this blog. It causes me to think about an idea that I never truly thought of before. 

This blog as helped me accept other people’s bodies whether they choose to be fat or not. Thank you so much for opening my eyes. 

The Pendulum Never Swings as Far for Thin Shaming

I had a fat swim coach in HS. He was a great guy and knew a lot about swimming. I was definitely a lot thinner than him as a HS swimmer, but guess what, I would have been a shit coach back then. I am definitely slower and chubbier now than I once was, but I have some damn impressive coaching experience from my brother’s swim team by now. If you looked thin-HS me and picked that for a swim coach rather than than chubby-adult me, you would not be dropping much time next season.

I guess this is a roundabout way of mentioning that being fast != being a good swim coach. Being thin != being a good swim coach. Knowing how to coach == being a good swim coach. People seem obsessed with the idea that this is not true for being a personal trainer. I think it is just hard for people to admit that their exercising and their personal trainer is more about vanity than being healthy and fit.

For me, fat was the symptom, not the cause, nor the cure

In childhood, my asthma was so bad my parents were advised to make funeral arraignments ahead of time to save themselves stress when I passed away.  Although things improved a bit in adolescence, I remained a severe case.  Worse though, my insurance would not cover a pulmonologist.

My family doctor would see me frequently when I was sick.  Each time, I heard the same things.  The first was that it was impossible to increase my dosages of asthma control medications, as this would ruin my already damaged liver and kidneys.  The second was that my asthma would magically go away if I were just to lose some weight.  This was always said snarky and mean, and I left every time feeling lower than dirt, sure that my condition was my own fault.

I was beyond sedentary.  Any activity was taxing, made breathing difficult.  I avoided the outdoors with its allergen triggers, and frequently begged off of events with friends as I couldn’t keep up.  I suffered from depression because of this.  I knew I emotionally ate, but it was both a cure for depression and it gave me a reason to be sitting.  (after all, having to take a break shopping is weak, but its nice to pause for a nice slice of cheesecake!)

Then insurance changed, and I found myself in the office of a pulmonologist, who was staring in horror at the results of my peak flow.  She decided to start me on drastically higher dosages of medication.  When I parroted the concern for kidneys and liver she laughed and said she wanted me to live long enough to have those issues.

It took a few trials to find medications and dosages that worked, but six months later I felt better than I had all my life.  People commented on my improved color, attitude, and said how much happier and more lively I was.  It was at the doctor when they told me I had lost weight.  I hadn’t noticed that and wasn’t trying, and it was completely a result of my lifestyle changing when I had normal respiration.  But what was most important was that I am now able to live a normal, healthy lifestyle.

But people are completely willing to miscredit my new found health TO the weight loss, as though losing weight somehow fixed my asthma.  It in no way did.  Trust me, my medication was lost with luggage a month ago, and I found myself in the hospital within a week being intubated.  My asthma hasn’t improved, I just have a treatment that works.  

As far as I’m concerned, my healthy lung self just happens to weigh less than my asthmatic lung self.  Compared to my happiness and longer life, that’s a small, small issue.

Here’s my message to anyone whose doctor is telling them to lose weight as though it will magically fix them:  Don’t treat the symptom, treat the disease.  And if you can’t get your doctor to listen, find a new one.  The issues your doctor is brushing aside as being symptomatic of your weight could be the very issue that takes your life.

[tw: weight loss talk, possible ED-like habits]

In college, I met the most incredible person. We connected immediately and became inseparable practically the moment we introduced ourselves. We stayed friends for a few months before I confessed that I had romantic feelings for him. He told me he loved me but ultimately rejected me, saying that he didn’t find me physically attractive. I was confused and upset and made the mistake of probing him for why, and he finally admitted that it was due to my weight. I asked if he would reconsider if I were thinner and he said that he might, so what did naïve little me do? I looked up the average BMI of an Asian 20-something woman (he is from an Asian country and I was aware that there is pressure in some countries to be very thin, so I was afraid that even if I hit a “normal” BMI I would still be too large to him) and spent the next eight months losing some 60 pounds, through exhausting vigilance.

He cheered me on so much through the process and we began a relationship after I lost 40 pounds (with the understanding that I would lose a bit more). I’ve maintained my weight for a few years now and though I’m very happy to be with him, our relationship is great, and there are some instances of thin privilege that I have enjoyed a little too much (people are nicer, clothes fit better, and I feel like I can leave the house in sweats and no one will care, to name a few), on the inside, I still am a fat person. I worry constantly about when and how the weight will come back, what I’ll lose when the weight comes back, if my boyfriend will leave me….it’s always in the back of my mind, how temporary this could be. I watch my food intake religiously and jog several times a week (I know some people come to love jogging/running, but I’m two years into it and STILL hate it but I have to do it because I’m so afraid of what will happen if I stop). I can’t enjoy food anymore. It’s just a necessity now, no joy. I hate going out to eat with friends because they like going to small restaurants that don’t have nutritional info anywhere. I hate cooking now. I have to wake up at 5 to go on my jogs so I can’t enjoy sleep anymore. So many of life’s simple pleasures, I can’t enjoy anymore. I haven’t told my boyfriend anything because our life is so great otherwise, I don’t want to be seen as a whiner…but it weighs on me.

I’m getting upset so I’ll wrap this up. Thin privilege is getting the guy. Thin privilege is not worrying about your relationship crumbling over some extra pounds. Thin privilege is a million little things that I’ve gained (that I’ve only gained through losing a million other little things).

Thin privilege is, apparently, going home after 2 years of absence and not hearing “OMG you got so fat, what is wrong with you?!” from your fat mother, before anything else is said. 

I went to my home town after 2 years of not being able to travel. And apparently my fatness is more important than the fact I am home after so long. 

This so called fatness is me regaining my normal size after having lost half of myself due to anorexia. It means fuck all to my mom that I am fit now, that I am strong and healthy; all that matters is that I don’t fit in cute clothes from mainstream shops. 

Thin privilege is your family and your home being a safe zone, not a battlefield. 

[tw: Mild fat shaming]

Sometimes I don’t know what’s worse, being with my mom in public and having to yell at people for commenting on her weight or not being with her in public and having people recognize me as “the fat lady’s daughter” and having to yell at them. I have no problem with defending my mother, I love her to death! What I do have a problem with, though, is the fact that it’s 2014 and I and many others STILL have to do this. I am a gymnast and slightly under weight so you’d think that I wouldn’t be shamed either, but my (now ex)coach came up to me and once said, “You’re very pretty. I can almost see your mom in you except you’re a hell of a lot prettier because we can actually SEE your waist.” Seriously. I quit that gym within thirty minutes of the class ending. 

My mom pushed out three children, works in a call centre and goes to school part time and yet, people expect her to be thin like me. It’s disgusting. I hate it. My siblings and I have never seen our mom as any different than any of our family because of her weight, so why should others?

I’m sorry if this offended anybody and I’m sorry if it seemed like I was boasting. I just really wanted to get this off my chest. It’s been bugging me for such a long time and I really love my mom. Should I continue to get after people or should I just start ignoring it? I love her and I want her to be happy and not have to deal with people being stupid. 

newsflash: fat gays exist

I’m so fucking sick and tired of hearing shit in hetero media about how all gay guys have “perfect” bodies, work out constantly, and must obsess over thinness, as if there’s no WAY a fat guy can be gay. Shit like “straight thin but gay fat” and “you’re too fat to be gay.” I’ve heard this shit, personally, and it’s ridiculous. And if it’s not bad enough that straight people perpetuate this stereotype, we do it to ourselves as well. On dating websites meant for heavier gay men, you’ll see things like “no obese,” etc. There’s just no escaping it. Ugh.

Re: The Asshole Fatphobic Boss

A lot of people have suggested that the woman with the fatphobic boss who told her to stay out of view of clients seek legal recourse. Unfortunately, discrimination based on weight is entirely legal in most places. She might or might not be able to get HR to do anything about it based on hostile work environment, but even if she lives in a place where weight discrimination is illegal, a lawsuit is unlikely to get much done, but will be both stressful and expensive.

-MG

Thin privilege is the fact that there is an upcoming show in Australia called “Bringing Sexy Back”. And yep, you guessed it - it’s about people losing weight.

So according to this show, fat people can’t be “sexy”! We need to lose weight in order to “bring sexy back”! Ugh, it’s such fatphobic bullshit.

Pretty Ugly

        When I was 15 years old I was a fat kid. Nobody really assumed there was anything wrong with me I had lots of friends and a fun personality but I was fat. (Like 16 stone kinda fat) At the time I was battling being secretly physically abused by my step father and over eating was apparently my way of dealing with things.

But out of all that it was always the things random people said to me that hurt me the most. I’m sure people reading this can relate to that feeling of anxiety when you know you have to pass a group of people in the street. I used to find myself scouting them to see if they had any larger people with them and only then did I feel I could relax. Anyway, one story that stuck with me was when I was walking home with my friend after school…

My friend had always been super slim but lived off a diet of chicken nuggets, chips and cola haha. Anyway, a younger boy came up to us while we were passing through a housing estate and immediately I felt that anxiety especially since I was with someone else.

 I remember he was a cute little kid he had a football and was about 11/12 years old.  He was on his own and I half expected him to just run past us but he stopped and pointed directly at my friend and said “Pretty” she smiled and started to walk on.

Then he pointed at me. “Ugly” he said bluntly. My friend just kind of laughed, I filled with embarrassment and the kid swung his arm from her to me shouting “pretty, ugly” over and over. I asked him why he told me it was because I was fat.

We carried on walking home, she forgot about it, I didn’t.

So I guess…thin privilege is being able to walk home without being insulted for my body shape.

I’m now in my 20’s and in no way overweight. I don’t miss being fat but in a way I’m glad I was because maybe I wouldn’t have had the understanding I have now. People are people thin or fat and I know both ends of the spectrum get abuse but I have never been under weight only over ….and although I don’t carry any extra pounds now I still carry the anxiety and sometimes it shocks me when I don’t get yelled at.