This is Thin Privilege

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What is thin privilege? THIS is thin privilege.

Thin (and other forms of) privilege is expecting fat people to educate you about why fat discrimination is wrong.

Discrimination and bigotry is feeling justified in your uneducated opinion when fat (and other marginalized) people choose not to educate you about your bigotry.

So when you send asks or submissions to this blog demanding I educate you about why fat people aren’t just terrible lazy broken humans making themselves fat and hence burdens that need to be eliminated in some form or another, and I choose not to educate you, that doesn’t mean that I can’t educate you and you’ve called my bluff (I can, and you haven’t), or that I’m a jerk if I don’t respond to you.

You don’t have any right to expect me to tell you why you shouldn’t hate or think less of fat people—reasons that you’ll ignore anyway, so you can continue to feel good about being privileged, so you can avoid the discomfort that comes with realizing that you have a whole hell of a lot of unearned advantages in your life.

You want to believe you’ve ‘earned’ thinness and thin privilege and fat people have ‘earned’ fatness and fat bigotry, but the truth is: you’re wrong. Factually, and morally, wrong.

Educate yourself. There are plenty of resources out there: Gina Kolata and Paul Campos and Marilyn Wann and Linda Bacon have decent accessible books; there are the archives of the Junkfoodscience blog, which link to a ton of good studies and debunks a ton of bad ones; hell, just search Google Scholar and try to find one study NOT funded by a drug company trying to shill a diet product/procedure that shows dieting works for most people long term (post five years), and that surgical weight loss procedures don’t cause more harm than good.

But no. You don’t carry the burden of proving your bigoted beliefs, because you have them reinforced by junk science articles and news reports almost every day, diet commercials full of “it’s so easy!” before-and-afters (that’s MARKETING, not science!), and not a fat person portrayed in a positive or realistic way pretty much anywhere in TV, film, and books. 

Don’t you get it? THAT IS THIN PRIVILEGE.


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