This is Thin Privilege

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Fat Privilege Contest - Results

Here are the top 10 I chose. Some of the examples may be triggering.

Fat privilege is having stores only sell your size range without it being considered “discrimination.” – The fact that only 14-21% of the clothing industry sells plus size clothing with sizes normally ranging from a 14-24 (a range problematic in itself), does not really hold this as a good example of “fat privilege.” Thin privilege is having an industry treat your body type as the norm and the majority retailers catering to people your size. *Note that the small range of sizes in plus size retail also reflects thin privilege because it still others fat people above a size 24, who have an even harder time finding clothes.

Fat privilege is having the entire world put your health above everyone else. – Since this example relies on fatness being pathologized and medicalized shows how it is truly an example of thin privilege. Thin privilege is having your body not be considered a site of disease and having your body be the basis of every diagnosis.

Fat Privilege is consuming more healthcare resources (Even just mechanical things, bariatric beds, more complex surgery) on the taxpayer dime. – Arguments like this rely on the belief that fat people do not participate in the same system that thin people do, completely ignorant of the fact that isn’t true. Having to remind people that fat people not only have jobs but also pay for health care is pretty ridiculous. It also shames people who are sick, regardless of their body size. Do these people make these arguments against the elderly or women? Seeing as how old people obviously use more health care since as you age your change of having an illness increases. Similarly, while women on average live longer than men, we are also more likely to have long term illnesses or be disabled in our lifetime.  Thin privilege is being considered a productive contributing member of society.

Fat female privilege is never worrying about being sexually objectified because most men think you’re another species entirely. –This kind of response is always incredibly nauseating for me on so many levels. Not only does it erase the sexual violence fat people experience, it shows how when fat people are sexually assaulted / objectified people don’t believe them. It also relies on rape culture suggesting sexual violence has to do with being considered attractive not about power while at its core based on the idea that fat people are not attractive. Thin privilege is having your experiences of being sexually objectified or assaulted taken seriously and not put into question due to the size of your body.

Fat privilege is being allowed to take up two seats on public transport without being berated – People who say stuff like this don’t live in reality. They are also the first people to try and say forcing fat people to buy two seats on an airplane isn’t discrimination. I’m sorry but just no. Not only does taking up more space than you are “allowed” in most public spaces make fat people run the risk of facing a confrontation, the idea that it’s a form of privilege is so far outside of reality that I don’t even need to rewrite it but simply change the first word of the sentence. Thin privilege is being allowed to take up two seats on public transport without being berated.

Fat privilege is getting to ride the mobility scooter around the store instead of having to walk – This is a really good example of how thin privilege and able bodied privilege intersects. It relies on the assumption that fat people are not disabled and merely using a scooter because they are lazy, while also completely erasing fat people with disabilities and often turns into arguments where fat people are blamed for their disabilities. When a thin individual makes use of a mobility device (such as a cane, wheelchair, or motor-chair), their use is automatically ascribed to the presence of a disability. Meanwhile, if a fat person makes use of a mobility device, they are either assumed to be lazy or affected by a disability directly caused by their weight.The Intersectionality of Thin Privilege and Disability 

Fat privilege is not having to worry about what you look like or how you’re dressed when you leave the house because it wouldn’t make a difference anyway. – While the way someone dresses is not going to change that they are marginalized or oppressed, it can lessen the way they experience prejudice. This is a really good example of how white, cis, straight, male, able bodied and thin privilege intersects or has similar impact on marginalized people. White, cis, straight, male, able bodied and thin privilege is not having to worry about how you dress because your worth or experiences in the world are not based on your physical appearance.

Fat privilege is comparing being made fun of as a child to civil rights of minorities – When people say stuff like this I wonder, do they realize that fat people exist among “minority” groups? Fat people exist in all marginalized groups of people and many discuss how fatness intersects with other identities. Also, the trivializing of experience is just super. Thin privilege is being able to deny systemic oppression by trivializing the well documented discrimination fat people experience.

Fat privilege is to be considered less shallow and vain than thin people – Some of these made me roll my eyes. Go into fat positive tumblrs and see the responses from trolls who freak the fuck out when a fat person DARES to have confidence. The reactions are normally disgusting because the idea fat people can love themselves or find themselves to be beautiful is mind blowing to people. Thin privilege is people not being surprised when you have confidence. Male privilege is not having people call you shallow or vain when you are confident in your appearance.

Fat privilege is being able to out last thin people in a period of famine or emergency where food is made unavailable – I was waiting for someone to make this argument. For some reason people with privilege really revel in the ability to create apocalyptic type scenarios where all the food in the world disappears and fat people rule the earth for the extra days their body weight will let them hold out. Aside from the fact that fat people face food insecurity in our own country, I wonder if water still available when the apocalypse happens? Regardless of size most people only last 3-4 days without water. This is also a really good segue into people in first world nations using incidences of people starving to death, including developing nations that have widespread famine, to deny thin privilege by denying the privilege of living in a industrialized nation or those of us that like to pretend class status is not directly linked to the amount / kind of food people have access to. Even if we were dealing with the apocalypse, what we would actually see are specific groups of people, probably those with more access to power or class status surviving longer because they have more resources at their disposal to protect them from the downfall of the world. You can actually look at history to see how this plays out and why fatness was historically considered to be a sign of wealth. First world, class and even white privilege is finding no issue with using the atrocities that happen to people living in developing nations to deny the space you take up in the world.

Understanding privilege isn’t about apocalyptic type scenarios but instead discussing how social institutions systemically privilege specific groups of people. I prefer to deconstruct fat experience by talking about the realities of living in the world right now.

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Notes

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    The worst part about some of those comments is that they inherently show the idea that fat people are automatically...
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    WOW
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    I’m not sure if I want to A. Go on a rant (similar to the epic Twilight rant I can do), or B. Laugh. For days. DAYS....
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