This is Thin Privilege

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My family…

I come from a big family. I have one sister, four brothers, and a genderqueer sibling. For the most part, we all get along, but my father has a nasty habit of calling me a glutton whenever he talks to me. I’m a small-fat, 5’2” and 358 pounds, but my father continuously insists on fat shaming me for my weight. My siblings all do the same thing, and even strangers will sometimes call me a glutton. The thing is, I’m actually one of the most active people in my family. I have an older brother who lays around and never does anything, but he has really good genetics and never gains a pound. Meanwhile, I run and do a lot of martial arts, but I’m still “the fat one” in my family. My older sister is one of the only people in my family who is willing to be around me, but even she calls me a glutton and tells me what I can and can’t eat. 

Thin privilege is not having your own family shame you and call you hurtful names based on your weight. 

I had a job last year, working as a cook in an Italian restaurant. My job was making the desserts; gelato, fancy cakes, mousse, tiramisu, and chocolate truffles. I enjoyed the work and I was quite good at it. We reused a lot of old containers to store things around my workstation, and they usually weren’t labeled, because whatever was put in them that day was used up by that night. I kept a good tally in my head about which container contained what, cookie crumbs, or decorations for various desserts. On any given day, I might have 20 different containers of components to decorate with, and I have to remember what each one has. 

One day, I made a new batch of 4 dozen chocolate truffles and put them in a container. There they sat for a few hours until dessert orders came pouring in. My boss came over to help me when things got slammed and fill orders for me. Suddenly, he needs truffles. I point out the exact container they’re in and he fetches it, only to open it and discover cookies. What on earth? But I knew the truffles were in THAT one. I’m so baffled, I open the next few on the shelf and come up empty handed every time. 

My boss starts screaming, “WHERE ARE THE TRUFFLES [MY NAME]?!” Again and again, every time I open a new container. I went through every container we had, and started going through containers that were in a different area, absolutely panicked. What happened to them, I know I put them here just four hours ago. “WHERE ARE THE TRUFFLES,” still going off a foot away, with my boss more and more enraged that they’re not where I left them. I’m confused too. 

My thin coworker walks up, with a container in her hands and gives it to me, “they were over there,” she says and points at her own workstation a good ten feet away. No explanation how they got over there, no apology, no nothing. Just that they were “over there.” and I never saw her or anyone else take that container over there. Finally, we get the truffles down and everything proceeds smoothly. 

Later, I excuse myself to the bathroom, but it’s occupied so I return to my station to continue my job and wait for the restroom to be free, when I overhear my boss tell the female coworker, “For a minute there, I thought [my name] had eaten all the truffles!” Coworker responds with, “With her body, I’d be worried too.” 

I was so shocked, hurt, confused and stunned, I spent an extra amount of time in the bathroom, wondering what had just happened. I’m good at my job, I don’t graze from my work, that’s cutting into my own wages and is quite literally, stealing.After my shift, and talking to a different co-worker, I find out that thin coworker stole the truffles from my station and was eating/stealing them for hours until we needed them. 

Yet, was my thin coworker ever accused of eating all the food from her workstation? From stealing food of customer’s plates? 

This is thin privilege, to not be guilty of stealing food when you are literally guilty of it, and I’m automatically guilty simply because I’m fat. 

I was later fired from that job, with the implication that a lot of food was going missing and that it wasn’t cost effective for them to keep me on the payroll. Thin coworker still works there to this day. 

Thin privilege is not having your body type put on display as something disgusting and repulsive

With the recent Steam video game sale, my boyfriend suggested we buy The Typing of the Dead: Overkill, because it’s supposed to be a funny game where you fight off zombies by typing in words. We did end up getting it, but after playing to the second level I literally can’t bring myself to even consider touching it again. 

The second level you play as two stripper girls (hooray sexualization in video games), and the strip club you’re in is being attacked by zombies. To escape, you have to find your motorcycle keys, which unfortunately are being held by the boss of the level, a stripper-turned-zombie. Sounds alright, right? 

It’s really not, and please skip this paragraph if you’re sensitive to really horrendous depictions of fat people. Since becoming a zombie, the stripper has transformed into a giant, slimy fat zombie woman, and the keys are stuck in-between the folds of her giant belly fat rolls. She’s portrayed as so fat and big she can’t even stand up and move around to fight, she just throws objects at the player without getting up. She’s still in her stripper bikini, but she’s shown as having every roll possible hanging out of it, with even one saggy breast flopping out of the top the whole time (way to hypersexualize while desexualizing at the same time). When you finally defeat her, you have to pull the keys out of her belly folds, and it’s depicted as this disgusting spectacle that they have to touch her at all, and that it’s a difficult task, like her stomach fat is consciously holding onto the keys, with a loud squelching pop when they finally come out. 

The boss of this level, as a fat zombie woman, is meant to disgust the player in every way possible. As a woman with a body type really similar to hers, it was unbearable watching the display they made in doing so. It literally got to the point where I had a breakdown and couldn’t continue playing at all. Fortunately I have an understanding boyfriend, and he hasn’t suggested playing it since. 

Thin privilege is not having your body and body type shown as being the epitome of disgusting, and too repulsive to even consider touching. 

Thin privilege is being able to play a video game meant to be fun and hilarious, and not have it specifically target you and people that look like you as the joke.  

Thin privilege is having your body type represented in video games, and not just as a hyperbolic representation of sloth/greed/gluttony/general disgust.

(Side note on this game as well: it also has some really disgusting displays of ableism. Please avoid this game at all costs.)

Dr. Andrew Novak isn't a real person. He's a fictional character cited by the satirical group The Onion.

Asked by
bachvevo

Thanks to all who wrote in about it. I think all of us were off tumblr for most of the day and didn’t see it.

Thin privilege is never worrying about going to a train station, fairground, or sporting event where turnstiles are used.

Thin privilege is never having to sheepishly ask the nearby attendant if you can use the disabled entrance because you can’t fit through the turnstile.

Thin privilege is never having people mock you or laugh behind your back when they see you struggling to get through a turnstile.

p1. i was wondering if you know anything about fat people and breast reductions? i feel really uncomfortable having such large breasts. they're like f cup or probably larger. i can't find comfortable bras. bras are painful. and all clothes look bad in them, but the clothes i prefer, the more masculine clothes (button down shirts, high necked tops etc.) look absolutely terrible. and recently i've been trying to dress more like that because i have this inexplicable urge to. i was a tomboy as a kid

Asked by
gentlenight

fatuglygeek:

thisisthinprivilege:

p2. i now realise it’s how i feel the most comfortable. i’m trying to come to terms with my sexuality and also kind of my gender which i’ve felt weird about recently and i’ve realised that these enormous boobs just complicate everything. i can’t go anywhere braless even at home. i really want to. but i dont feel like a trans man like i don’t want no breasts but like idk… anyway, not important. my question is this. i told my mum i wanted a reduction w/o mentioning gender/sexuality stuff and

p3. she got annoyed and said that if i lost weight then they might get smaller anyway. but the thing is i’ve always had big boobs. and i’ve gained weight and i don’t think they got much bigger. but what if she’s right? what if she’s right and i waste money on a reduction because as i get older i gain weight and they just get big again? do you know anything about this kind of thing? i know roseanne got a breast reduction and she was fat so…. but that’s like a tv show so idk. any advice? thanks

Yeah, I know some. I wear FF or G cups, and am planning on getting a reduction after I either have a kid or finally decide I’m not going to (because they’ll just get bigger again if I have a kid; these days they can preserve lactational capacity). I am, btw, a cis queer femme woman; it’s not just tomboys/butch women/trans men who want reductions.

First — and I’ll get to other considerations later, this is just about bras as an immediate stop-gap — if you cannot find comfortable bras, you are probably not being fitted properly. That’s because most places don’t do proper fittings, or often fittings at all. I’ll recommend to you what I recommend to my friends: Go to a nice department store that does fittings (Nordstroms, Macy’s, Dillard’s; DO NOT go to a Victoria’s Secret under any circumstances). Get a fitting. Tell your fitter you want sports bras or minimizing bras. If you can’t afford $65+ per bra, take notes, tell the nice woman you’re going to have to think about it, and get thee to the internet. (If you can at all manage it, but one thing at the store. It’s not her fault the bras are too damn expensive, and she needs to sell things to keep her job.) You can find a number of sites to get them at better prices, and even ones that will help you convert from a size in one brand to the appropriate size in another. Proper support for your breasts is very important, and can help prevent all kinds of problems.

Your mother is wrong. If you’ve always had big breasts, and they haven’t changed with your weight, they’re unlikely to shrink if you lose weight. (Mine never have.) Some people’s breasts do shrink as they lose weight, some don’t, but them not changing as you gain weight is a good predictor of them not shrinking as you lose it. You may have trouble finding a doctor who won’t tell you to lose weight, though.

More importantly, weight loss doesn’t work long term; even if you lost weight and your breasts shrank, you’d gain the weight back and your breasts would get bigger again. It’s not a long-term solution.

Even more important: It’s YOUR BODY. You get to make that decision. Tell your mother so.

If you are having back problems or serious breast pain, and you get a reasonable doctor, there’s a good chance you can get breast reduction entirely or mostly covered by insurance if you have it. Talk to your doctor.

Depending on your band size, you might investigate sports bras at Title Nine. Their cup sizes don’t go up to very large, but I used to get DDD sports bras there (still at size G) and found they made good minimizers when I was working in kitchens.

You can also investigate binders, which aim to completely eliminate the silhouette of breasts. Some people find them comfortable, others find them uncomfortable. For some people, it can aggravate acid reflux and other digestive issues. But you might find it worth it, especially as you explore your gender. They can be pricy, but there are a number of small charities out there that exist to help people get them.

If there’s a chance you might want a complete mastectomy later, you might want to wait on reduction if minimizing bras and/or binders will work ok for now, just because surgery kind of sucks, and keeping your number of surgeries down is usually a good idea. But it’s your body, and that’s your decision to make.

-MG

A note on bra fittings: I HIGHLY recommend the free consultation here: http://www.butterflycollection.ca/free-bra-size-consultation/ I had been wearing 42DDD, because that was all I could find in the store, and was always in pain, and none of my clothes fit right. When they told me I was a 40J, I was horrified, and convinced they were wrong, but bought a bra anyway. I have had SO MUCH LESS back pain, my clothes fit a million times better, and I have a much better idea of what my shape actually is because I can see my waist again. That site has no obligation to buy from them, and their fittings are very accurate. Hope this helps!

Thin privilege is not having a mental schedule of when it’s “safe” to eat. 

Thin privileged is being hungry, but wondering if enough time has elapsed for you to be “allowed” to eat again. 

Thin privilege is not having to weigh how hungry you are versus whether or not it’s worth it to have to get food in front of your parents, and how likely you are to be harassed for it. 

This privilege is apparently being able to walk into a grocery store?

I was at the Union Square Food Emporium in NYC for the first (and probably last) time today and on side of the building opposite the subway entrance they have these bars on either side of the entrance and exit doors.

Clearly these bars are meant to keep people from taking the carts outside.  But they also, surprise surprise, make it difficult — if not impossible — for people with wide hips to walk through them.  I’m a relatively small fat myself, and even I had to squeeze sideways through these bars; I can only imagine what it’s like for people with even bigger hips than me.

fair warning to anyone who is contemplating a breast reduction: my GP referred me for one and the doctors at the hospital flat out refused to operate on me before I'd lost enough weight to be in the "normal" BMI range citing anesthesia risks as a reason. (unlike for WL surgery)

Asked by
screaming-towards-apotheosis

Yeah. It happens with all kinds of surgery. Good luck finding someone who’ll actually give you the treatment you need!

p1. i was wondering if you know anything about fat people and breast reductions? i feel really uncomfortable having such large breasts. they're like f cup or probably larger. i can't find comfortable bras. bras are painful. and all clothes look bad in them, but the clothes i prefer, the more masculine clothes (button down shirts, high necked tops etc.) look absolutely terrible. and recently i've been trying to dress more like that because i have this inexplicable urge to. i was a tomboy as a kid

Asked by
gentlenight

p2. i now realise it’s how i feel the most comfortable. i’m trying to come to terms with my sexuality and also kind of my gender which i’ve felt weird about recently and i’ve realised that these enormous boobs just complicate everything. i can’t go anywhere braless even at home. i really want to. but i dont feel like a trans man like i don’t want no breasts but like idk… anyway, not important. my question is this. i told my mum i wanted a reduction w/o mentioning gender/sexuality stuff and

p3. she got annoyed and said that if i lost weight then they might get smaller anyway. but the thing is i’ve always had big boobs. and i’ve gained weight and i don’t think they got much bigger. but what if she’s right? what if she’s right and i waste money on a reduction because as i get older i gain weight and they just get big again? do you know anything about this kind of thing? i know roseanne got a breast reduction and she was fat so…. but that’s like a tv show so idk. any advice? thanks

Yeah, I know some. I wear FF or G cups, and am planning on getting a reduction after I either have a kid or finally decide I’m not going to (because they’ll just get bigger again if I have a kid; these days they can preserve lactational capacity). I am, btw, a cis queer femme woman; it’s not just tomboys/butch women/trans men who want reductions.

First — and I’ll get to other considerations later, this is just about bras as an immediate stop-gap — if you cannot find comfortable bras, you are probably not being fitted properly. That’s because most places don’t do proper fittings, or often fittings at all. I’ll recommend to you what I recommend to my friends: Go to a nice department store that does fittings (Nordstroms, Macy’s, Dillard’s; DO NOT go to a Victoria’s Secret under any circumstances). Get a fitting. Tell your fitter you want sports bras or minimizing bras. If you can’t afford $65+ per bra, take notes, tell the nice woman you’re going to have to think about it, and get thee to the internet. (If you can at all manage it, but one thing at the store. It’s not her fault the bras are too damn expensive, and she needs to sell things to keep her job.) You can find a number of sites to get them at better prices, and even ones that will help you convert from a size in one brand to the appropriate size in another. Proper support for your breasts is very important, and can help prevent all kinds of problems.

Your mother is wrong. If you’ve always had big breasts, and they haven’t changed with your weight, they’re unlikely to shrink if you lose weight. (Mine never have.) Some people’s breasts do shrink as they lose weight, some don’t, but them not changing as you gain weight is a good predictor of them not shrinking as you lose it. You may have trouble finding a doctor who won’t tell you to lose weight, though.

More importantly, weight loss doesn’t work long term; even if you lost weight and your breasts shrank, you’d gain the weight back and your breasts would get bigger again. It’s not a long-term solution.

Even more important: It’s YOUR BODY. You get to make that decision. Tell your mother so.

If you are having back problems or serious breast pain, and you get a reasonable doctor, there’s a good chance you can get breast reduction entirely or mostly covered by insurance if you have it. Talk to your doctor.

Depending on your band size, you might investigate sports bras at Title Nine. Their cup sizes don’t go up to very large, but I used to get DDD sports bras there (still at size G) and found they made good minimizers when I was working in kitchens.

You can also investigate binders, which aim to completely eliminate the silhouette of breasts. Some people find them comfortable, others find them uncomfortable. For some people, it can aggravate acid reflux and other digestive issues. But you might find it worth it, especially as you explore your gender. They can be pricy, but there are a number of small charities out there that exist to help people get them.

If there’s a chance you might want a complete mastectomy later, you might want to wait on reduction if minimizing bras and/or binders will work ok for now, just because surgery kind of sucks, and keeping your number of surgeries down is usually a good idea. But it’s your body, and that’s your decision to make.

-MG

I agree with your "Fat does not equal unhealthy" post, but what if you are well function in metabolic even though you're fat. However, wouldn't it also be a risk for bones to be having an excessive amount of body fat? If this is an irrelevant question or misinterpreted, I apologize in advance.

Asked by
m0destsonyah

z33r0:

thisisthinprivilege:

There’s no evidence of it, it’s just a fucking assumption by fatphobic assholes. You can tell this by the simple fact that they never harass bodybuilders about how bad it is for their bones, even though, say, Dwayne Johnson is much heavier than most fat people.

I seriously suggest you go read up on these things, if you genuinely care. We have links all over this blog to studies and articles in actual journals.

-MG

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/3/527.full

Here’s a study with a sizeable sample indicating that fat has a protective factor for bones in post menopausal women. At least, I’m pretty sure that’s what it says, it can be hard to parse the really technical language in these things.

"In this issue of the Journal, Varenna et al (4) conclude that a low dietary calcium intake may increase the risk of osteoporosis in early postmenopausal women, but this negative effect can be offset by a high body mass index (BMI).”