In Australia we have these two comedians called Hamish and Andy, and they do a series of “gap year” shows where they go to different countries and experience the culture. At some point during the show they will do some sort of race through one of the cities, and it’s usually pretty funny- except for tonight’s episode. Tonight the race was called ‘corporate fat cat racing’ and it was disgusting. The two of them dressed up in fat suits and had to race through tight spaces, making light of the fact that those of us with large bodies sometimes struggle to fit through the small spaces that society allows us. Might be funny for you two, but for us that’s every fucking day of our lives.
Thin privilege is never being told to buy two plane tickets due to your weight.
Thin privilege is never having the woman behind the counter at the airport look you up and down, before saying “Your body would take up too much space to be comfortable in one seat….No offense.” (I’ve been perfectly comfortable on other planes, thank you very much!)
Thin privilege is never having the woman behind the counter call over her supervisor who then explains to you in a patronizing tone that the plane has a very specific weight limit for its passengers and that your body could cause the plane to fall out of the sky! (Yeah, right! I’m sure my fat butt is going to cause a 60+ tonne metal machine to suddenly drop out of the air! *rolls eyes*)
Thin privilege is never having your vacation ruined by a fatphobic airline who would rather shame and embarrass fat people than just install a couple of bigger seats.
Last night my boyfriend and I went to a gay night. As usual, given our small glbtqia community, I was the only trans guy there, and one of the only afab ppl there who wasn’t cis het. (I am actually intersex, and was given massive amounts of estrogen at puberty and had surgery after my birth, so I guess I’m cafab). Anyway. This guy started flirting with my bf, then grinding against my ass. My bf said “hey, he’s my bf, stop it” seeing how uncomfortable I was. The guy said to my bf, “pretty boy, what are you smoking? That’s a fat bitch ass, you’re in for a nasty fish sandwich if you bring this fat midget home!” My boyfriend insisted I was a guy but at that point I lost it and just ran outside. I wish I could say I realized that I’m still a hot trans guy deserving of respect no matter how short I am and how wide my hips and ass are. Instead I spent the night crying out of hatred for that guy and jealousy of all the trans guys who have sexy boy stomach fat instead of what I have, or who don’t have to deal with this at all! Then, my bf had to lie to me and tell me my hips and ass aren’t fat. I’m trans and dysphoric about where my fat is, not stupid. And he can’t understand how I feel, because his (stomach) fat doesn’t make people misgender him and, in the case of cis het men, say triggering things to him (the day before, some creep yelled to my bf “I’d wanna bang that big ass you got walking besides you”). Finally, my mom admitted to me tonight that she is scared that I will never be accepted as a man with my body and that is why she refused to accept me as trans for so long: “men just aren’t shaped like you, you have a beautiful curvy petite woman’s body”. This made me hate my body and myself even more. Tl;dr: thin privilege is being able to express your gender identity without scorn based on the placement of your fat…(intersects with height privilege since I am not even five feet tall which makes it even harder to maintain a weight that this shit society finds “acceptable” for cafabs who aren’t read as men and can’t find a doctor to prescribe t due to “health reasons”, i.e. liability and the refusal to let me make decisions about my own body, at this point dysphoria will kill me long before “obesity” or “liver problems”. Sorry so long I’m just so sad and so tired after almost forty years of being conscious of this shit and feeling like I have no way out. Thank you so much for this blog and the way you include fat trans people’s experiences too.
Thin privilege is not having your weight be the subject of every conversation.
My senile grandmother, although I cannot blame her, says the exact same thing every day. “Wow, you lost so much weight and gained it back two-fold. When are you going to finally keep it off?”
Interesting new study. Abstract:
Using an ethical lens, this review evaluates two methods of working within patient care and public health: the weight-normative approach (emphasis on weight and weight loss when defining health and well-being) and the weight-inclusive approach (emphasis on viewing health and well-being as multifaceted while directing efforts toward improving health access and reducing weight stigma). Data reveal that the weight-normative approach is not effective for most people because of high rates of weight regain and cycling from weight loss interventions, which are linked to adverse health and well-being. Its predominant focus on weight may also foster stigma in health care and society, and data show that weight stigma is also linked to adverse health and well-being. In contrast, data support a weight-inclusive approach, which is included in models such as Health at Every Size for improving physical (e.g., blood pressure), behavioral (e.g., binge eating), and psychological (e.g., depression) indices, as well as acceptability of public health messages. Therefore, the weight-inclusive approach upholds nonmaleficience and beneficience, whereas the weight-normative approach does not. We offer a theoretical framework that organizes the research included in this review and discuss how it can guide research efforts and help health professionals intervene with their patients and community.
Thin privilege is being able to fit into those paper gowns at a doctor’s office. My doctor herself is incredible, a wonderful person who has never questioned my weight (other than an initial “You’re over the weight the chart says is healthy, but it’s not affecting your health at all. If you have any questions about weight just ask”). However, when going to her recently for a physical and pap smear, I couldn’t cover myself with the paper gown I was given. It left my back and butt exposed, and the plastic tie that was supposed to keep it closed couldn’t even reach around me. I’m so glad I’m comfortable with my doctor because I can’t imagine having half of myself exposed in a medical situation if I wasn’t. Physicals are stressful enough.
Thin privilege is not having to join Jazz, Ballet, Tap, African Dance, Step and Basketball at 8 years old (while dealing with chronic asthma) to prove to your mother that you’re trying not to be the ‘fat disgusting whale of a daughter’ she says you are.
(This is my first time submitting, so I really hope I don’t screw it up)
Thin Privilege is being complimented without your weight being brought into it.
From the end of 2011 until Sept of 2012 I worked as an English teacher in China, while I did indeed experience a lot of fat-phobia and comments from strangers over there, the main issue was the dirty environment and conditions. As such, I had to leave China before my year contract ended because I was suffering severe stomach problems and hair loss. I made many friends over there (among the foreign teacher population of the city) and kept in contact with them after coming back to the states.
When I arrived home, I found that I was suffering from complications with my diabetes (type 1.5), but, also parasitic infection and arsenic poisoning. As I tried to work on these problems, I was never consciously trying to lose weight, I tend to fluctuate quite heavily between size 14-18 and have always done so since I was first diagnosed with diabetes at 12. Anyway, as I started to get treated and started taking many things for my ailments, including many herbs, supplements, etc I started to lose weight, I think while in China, I had stayed kind of a steady 16-17, but I dropped more into a 14-15 range after being sick for a while.
Anyway, I’ll get to the point, after I had started to recover and feel better, I posted a picture on facebook, with my thinner and pale looking face (only a face shot), again my purpose had nothing to do with weight loss, I’m not on some quest to drop to a small size or anything. I had someone who I considered to be a good friend, a kind man I’d met in China, message me kind of out of the blue and say “You are looking so beautiful, I knew that if you lost weight, you’d be a man killer”
I found this surprisingly insulting, and as stated I believe that thin privilege is being complimented without your weight being part of the compliment.
[tw: fat hate]
Thin privilege is not having to see posts like this http://thetolkiengeek.tumblr.com/post/91466624258/coldwinterrose-spoken-not-written on your dashboard. Post that are riddled with false concern for the “health” of “obese” people. Post that have lines like “People become obese for many reasons, and not all of those are necessarily their fault. Some of them are even mostly outside of their own control, and those people deserve sympathy, not hate.” No I don’t deserve your hate or sympathy and who the fuck cares why I’m fat? It’s none of your fucking business. And posts like this hurt even more when they come from people who follow who post wonderful feminist and anti-racism commentary. Look, I love your blog, but if you continue posting fatphobic propaganda I’m gonna have to unfollow you.
(disclamer: I am not fat and I am not trying to speak for fat people. I just wanted to share my observations)
I turned on the tv the other day and the channel was set to TLC. The show Sister Wives on, and even though I don’t really like it I watched it for a few minutes because whatever, I was bored. This entire episode was concerning how one of the wives had been trying to lose weight, without much success (I have to point out here that she wasn’t that fat to begin with, but I do believe the is the largest among the wives) Apparently after a while of attempting to diet/exercise, she had ended up gaining instead of losing weight. Her personal trainer was being VERY rude to her at her weigh-in, saying things implying that she was a failure, didn’t care about her body, etc. What shocked me most was during the interview/commentary afterwards, she was very upset and said something along the lines of “I wonder how long I will keep this up before I finally give up and accept that I will always be fat and nothing will change that.” She said this in a way meaning that to accept her body the way it is would mean failure, that thinness is the only option for her. I thought that was extremely harmful and turned off the tv after that.
To start, I’ve been reading your blog on and off for a while. I wanted to say that it disgusts me how many stories I’ve read that talk about doctors focusing on weight as the major problem for most/all medical problems. As someone who plans to go into Physical Therapy, I wish I wasn’t almost done…
Hey, 4th year medical student here. I just want to start off saying that I fully support body positivity and that “lovely” comes in all shapes and forms. I see this as a separate issue from physical health. If someone has a high LDL cholesterol (which not all overweight people have, btw) and they have had or are at high risk for heart attack, diabetes, etc., I am morally obligated to advise them to try and lose weight or take a statin to lower their LDL cholesterol. I don’t say this to just anyone who is overweight, and I do my very best to do so in a kind manner. Please feel free to give advise as to what kinds of things doctors should and shouldn’t say when having this conversation.
Morally obligated? For fuck’s sake, it isn’t even clear whether weight loss lowers LDL cholesterol in the long term.
I feel morally obligated to inform you to learn a fuckload more before you advise anyone to do anything. And even then you should question every fucking thing you read, because half of it is statistical horseshit anyway.
Usually that kind of hate is reactionary. They’re desperate to validate the privation of dieting. I pity them, because I remember being there, always sizing myself up against my former fat self and other people around me. Even though gaining thin privilege was a trip (passing can be a trip) it wasn’t worth what you have to do to yourself, and how you have to start viewing other people (sizing them up against your fucked up measure). But that’s my perspective.
To start, I’ve been reading your blog on and off for a while. I wanted to say that it disgusts me how many stories I’ve read that talk about doctors focusing on weight as the major problem for most/all medical problems. As someone who plans to go into Physical Therapy, I wish I wasn’t almost done so I could change my major to become a GP. So then, I’d have a chance to be able to help diagnosis medical problems. I hope that eventually our medical system can be overhauled so that we actually focus on fixing problems, rather than trying to just promote unnecessary weight loss with little explanation or advice.
Why do all of your stories happen at the doctor? Either you’re lying, or you people spend way too much time at the doctor considering you “hate” them… You do know normal people don’t visit the doctor that often, right?
Oh, I do so love it when they supposedly read this blog and still manage to miss that there are submissions from thousands of people on here. Doctors and medical professionals have a demonstrate bias against fat people, so a lot of incidents happen at doctors. Every fat person I know has stories about how this doctor or that nurse. Of course we get a ton of them. But some people are so fucking busy stoking their own hatred that they can’t see what’s obvious.