179 posts tagged advice
[tw: abuse, concern trolling, intersections with sexism, ageism, and ableism]
Thin privilege is being able to go the grocery store without an employee making a point of commenting on your nutrition and appearance. Fat phobia + sexism involve how no matter how fat or “not conventionally attractive” a man can be, he still thinks a woman’s looks are his business and he’s entitled to commenting on how fat she is.
Today, I went to buy a few drinks at the local grocery store. The (fat) sales clerk (who also insists on calling me “Miss,” by the way) insisted on me buying bread “as usual,” but I refused because I had other plans. He then commented loudly on how concerned he was because I used to be “so skinny” and all this bread I buy was making me so fat. I told him it was none of his business and that I felt pretty good in my skin. He didn’t apologize.
It’s the second time it’s happened with the same seller, too. The first time, I gave him the benefit of the doubt —it helps that I had body image issues. I’ve been a regular at this store for over five years, but this time I won’t be going anymore, except to tell the (fat) owner exactly why. Years ago, I put on weight because I developed health issues as a result of being harassed at my previous job. I’m on anxiety medication, and now my weight (along with my relatively young age) is an excuse for harassment at my new job —the real reason being that people are jealous I have a graduate degree from abroad— so fuck this guy. Excuse my French, but fuck this guy’s face. Because of course all I need during my free time is more abuse and sexism.
Also, bread is such an outrageous food item. How dare I eat bread?
tw: eating disorder
Thin privilege is people acknowledging your eating disorder and not saying you look “better” or “healthier” because you’ve lost weight.
I am fairly thin right now, but I believe I am developing an eating disorder, anorexia. I have been depressed for many years, and through those years have been losing weight. I have been encouraged by most people to continue losing weight because I look “better” that way. They also say that I look “healthier,” even though my bones are starting to stick out.
I wanted to thank this tumblr and all the submissions for allowing me to feel better about myself and to eat more healthily because my body is mine. It is no one else’s. I shouldn’t and don’t care what other people think. I want to eat healthy foods and gain weight. I don’t care if people think I’ll look “fat.”
My older sister has had an eating disorder for many years, bulimia. She has never been very large, but my father (evil) had convinced her that if she gained any weight (during puberty, the years when people are supposed to be growing and changing), she would get “too fat.”
When she confessed to him that she had enough self hate to be cutting herself, he told her to “get over it.”
Because of that, I’ve always been paranoid that my father would stop loving or even liking me if I gained any weight, and thus developed a different, “less noticeable” eating disorder than my sister.
Thanks to you guys I’ve gained the confidence to say “f*** you” to what my father thinks. I can eat whatever I want and look however I want to because no one else has power over my body.
This doesn’t have to be added to the blog, I just wanted to say Thank You, you have all helped me realize that I don’t have to be “skinny” just to please my father. He should love me no matter what I look like, and if he doesn’t it’s his problem.
I saw this online and was disgusted and saddened by it. Apparently their own daughter’s wedding is less important than their “dress investment”.
My friend has a daughter who recently began kindergarten.
Her daughter is six.
She received a call from the school nurse that her daughter had been throwing away most of her lunch. Concerned, her mother told the girl to bring home what she didn’t finish, and she would eat it for her lunch the next day. When the lunchbox came home with the girl, she noticed her sandwich, cookies, and juice remained untouched. The only thing eaten were the baby carrots. My friend also noticed the small container of ranch dressing she packed for her was unopened. This was surprising, as prior to kindergarten, she wouldn’t eat vegetables without it. She became more worried when she learned that the girl had begun to use her recess time to go for a “jog” with her friends (also 6 and 7). Instead of eating cookies and playing hide-and-seek, she was eventually informed by her child that she was on a DIET.
Her school is proudly and actively fighting childhood obesity. They were all sent home pamphlets about it the first week of school. My friend asked her daughter if she knew what “dieting” meant. She said it meant “not being fat”. When questioned what 2 tablespoons of salad dressing had to do with a diet, her daughter informed her that it was just “empty calories”.
The final straw came last week, when her daughter got into a tiff with another girl in her grade. During their back-and-forth, her daughter called the other little girl “fat”.
She was punished by my friend for name-calling, and asked, once again, if she knew what these words meant.
So lets recap:
-This 6 year old “knows” that her sandwich, juice, and 2 small cookies are unhealthy.
-This child “knows” that being fat is a bad thing. In another young person, it is akin to being naughty or mean.
-This child “knows” that in order to keep herself from being fat, she needs to devote her free time (recess) to exercise, instead of any other activity.
-This child has begun to use the word “fat” to describe someone in a hostile, insulting way (the other little girl, by the way, was not fat)
-This child is pleased with herself for “dieting” and thus, in her own words, “not being fat”
I’m not exactly sure how the concept of childhood obesity is being taught to children. But I’m pretty sure this type of “programming” will lead to nothing good.
I work at a call center that offers various insurance packages to bank customers. I already get a lot of abuse because I am “telemarketing”, even though that’s not true, but after today I am about ready to quit.
I was in a call with an older gentleman and offering him a hospital plan. At one point I asked him to hold for a moment so I could drink some water, since I’d been talking all day and it had been about two hours since a break. He replied, “just how fat are you? You’re out of breath from reading? And I’m supposed to buy health insurance from you?” and slammed down the phone.
Thin privilege is not being harassed for having a sore throat for talking all day. Thin privilege is not being belittled for trying to improve access to insurance for people who need it.
Okay so I just felt like I should warn anyone going to the movies anytime soon. Tonight I accompanied my family to see Free Birds in the theatres. It was a terrible movie, for many reasons, but the reason in particular I want to address here is that there is a major case of fat shaming and anyone who wants to avoid being possibly triggered should not go see this movie.
One of the characters is clearly fat, and the portrayal of him is disgustingly stereotyped and wrong. He is always talking about how he’s hungry, how he needs/wants food and how he has to prevent everyone else from getting at it. At one point someone calls him fat and he replies with “It’s a glandular problem!” In a movie set in 1691, he says he has a glandular problem? Clearly, this is a prime example of an anachronism used only to discriminate.
And besides, the movie is really terrible even aside from the fact that it fat shames. It’s not worth seeing anyway.
Sorry for the long post I am just really upset!
I am a person who likes to go to the gym because I want to be stronger. But some people there REALLY don’t understand the concept that you can be healthy and fat at the same time. Weight lifting is one of the things I really enjoy, despite comments from fatphobic “friends” that I am getting fatter/bigger. (Like thats a bad thing!)
Yesterday I was at my local gym doing lifts to build strong muscles that was built by a fellow person of size (Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe for those who would like to explore this amazing program!) Needless to say the amount I am able to lift has gone up tremendously and I am experiencing great gains. But one guy at the gym has ruined all my confidence.
I am doing my routine trying my hardest and the last thing I have to do is squats. This helps build strong leg muscles and power. So I start to walk over to the squat rack. From across the gym I see your typical (white male) frat bro-looking person. He first looks at me. Then he looks at the direction I was walking. I don’t know what was going on in his narrow-minded brain. Perhaps he didnt think a fat person can be healthy or that a fat person would be lazy and take too long. But he literally sprints to the squat rack that I was about to use and starts putting weight on the bar front of me.
Since I am finally getting some confidence lately because of my gains (and this site!) where normally I would be silent and accept this. I muster up the courage to ask him politely how long will he will be using it for. He literally looks at me and replies like I am some subhuman scum of the Earth “a while.”
The worst part of the whole thing was he started doing lift called Overhead Press in the squat rack. A lift that is not even supposed to be done in the squat rack! In fact in the UK (where I am from) it is actually considered extremely rude to do OHP in the squat rack and you will be asked to stop immediately. I literally think he just wanted to deny me it just for his own personal satisfaction!
So here I am the fat person now standing around waiting in the gym for him to leave the squat rack. And instead of letting me use it after he was done he started doing another lift! He started doing curls! By this time I had been standing waiting for 15 minutes and I could hear the snickering of others. (God forbid a fat person stand in the gym for even a second when they could be exercising. /sarcasm) I had to leave the gym because this guy and the snickering of others was starting to send my mind into a tizzy.
Thin Privilege is being able to do the exercises you want. Thin Privilege is not having people literally sprint to take something away from you. Thin Privilege is not having people make fun of you for getting bigger even though you are getting stronger. Thin Privilege is being able to stand around doing nothing for a few minutes without people making jokes about you. Thin Privilege is not being shamed at the gym.
Thin privilege is when your mom asks you how SHE looks that day, then tells you your stomach is too big and you should do something about that. BUT I DIDN’T ASK.
(Some context, my mom is a bit smaller than me (I’m a US 14) after losing something like 100 pounds, and I grew up with her always putting her body down. She’s a 12 now and still thinks she can’t wear certain things, and she’s actually made me go change if something doesn’t flatter and hide my stomach in the exact right way, when I was a kid up till now and I’m 23.)
The kicker, I’m going to New York Comic Con with four costumes, two of them show the stomach, and one of them is Teen Titans Starfire, tank top and teeny skirt. I wanted to do it partially because Starfire kicks ass, and partially because I wanted to take a leap in accepting my body how it is, which has taken me a hell of a long time to do.
Now I’m terrified.
[tw: abuse, healthism, ableism, stoopidness]
Fat phobia at work, middle school teacher-style:
-Having people assume you binge all the time even though they hardly ever see you eat in the first place since you’re usually too stressed out to do so.
-Having people stare in shock on the only two occasions where you actually munch on cookies or chocolate because these are the only things you can swallow without puking from the stress. Also, having people react as if you were trying to contaminate them with AIDS when you propose food to them out of politeness. These people work with teenagers.
-Having a fourteen-year-old girl look excitedly at the calorie count on your zero Coke bottle (I’m not on a diet, I’m addicted to this shit)… poor kid.
-Being nicknamed “Free Willy” by pupils yet being told they’re “nice kids.”
-Being told off by one PE teacher because you were asking for the elevator key (to carry about thirty pounds of books and photocopies to the fourth floor). Being told she’s superior for exercising and being healthy, assuming that you aren’t. (She’s actually fat too, but I guess she thinks it doesn’t count because it’s baby weight?)
-Having people assume you’re unfit even though, let me reiterate, they see you carry 20-30 pounds of stuff all over the place.
-Having another PE teacher (what’s up with PE teachers?) brag about being able to walk the ten-minute distance that separate the school from the subway station, once again assuming you can’t. It’s great studying PE for five years at uni enabled her to walk for ten minutes, sarcasm sarcasm. (Also, she openly hates unfit pupils, those who don’t like running, etc..)
-When you’re with said PE teacher and another skinny staff member and the latter starts feeling ill (possibly as a result of an eating disorder, by the way), seeing the PE teacher help her and knowing deep in your heart she would probably humiliate you instead if the same happened to you. Wondering why the staff member was assumed to be in great health and shape even though she suffers from fainting and spells of dizziness. Still listening to her tell you she wishes she had the time to hit the gym, all the while probing to know if you work out.
-Hearing from colleagues the racialized fat boy who’s been bullied for years “is really just looking for it,” “has a victim mentality” and “has a face you just want to punch.”
-Wondering about whether the comments about your clothes being inappropriate (even though there are so many styles among the teachers) aren’t actually about how fat people supposedly shouldn’t wear bright colours.
-Being genuinely surprised the doctor declared you fit to work without any problem and didn’t comment on your BMI, and the nurse respected your wish not to know your weight. (So all hope isn’t lost I guess)
And I could talk much more about the hazing, the intense ageism against young teachers, the heterosexist pressures to conform, the random insults…
So we just got yet another anonymous submission about diabetes and how “Doctors aren’t telling you that you’re at higher risk of getting diabetes as some kind of witch hunt. They are telling you this because it’s true”, blah blah blah…
I wanted to respond with this video, which can’t be done with the video as the feature (and they didn’t say anything particularly enlightening, witty or original anyway), so I thought I’d just make this response post. I’m way more interested in other people, who aren’t sheep, being exposed to various information and making up their own minds.
So here it is (probably again): Surgeon Peter Attia talking at TED about diabetes, obesity and thin privilege.
(I’m tagging this post the way the submitter tagged it)
I work in a menswear store and believe it or not, men get just as embarrassed and self conscience about their bodies as women do. I love my job, but some days I can’t help everyone get what they need, and that makes me sad. Last weekend I heard a young man quietly crying in the changeroom when he tried on the largest size and it was too small, and thats what sparked me to write this post.
I get so mad when I hear mothers talking about their young boys who are a little bigger at their age and are already shopping for mens clothes, as if it’s their fault. “My sons got a bit of a belly”. That’s your son that you’re making feel like shit in front of a stranger. I’ve spoken up a few times and say that everyone is different, but it’s usually still considered a problem to them.
I see young men getting upset when the largest size is too small and their embarrassment when they hand back the items and tell me, “they didn’t fit”.
This happens to women too (myself included), but I just wanted to remind people that fat-shaming goes both ways.
As a retail assistant, I would like to offer some advice on helping to cater to EVERYONE, not just the people who happen to fit the “normal” sizes. Even if your store doesn’t stock everything, you can still help.
First up, do some research;
Check out the competition and see their sizings. See what else is available. There are at least 5 other menwears stores in my town and I know who does smaller makes, who carries larger sizes and where they are. This also makes you more informed and better at what you do!
Know YOUR sizings in your store.
Are they a smaller make? Larger make? True to size? I show them the options that are best for them, and when I don’t have the size they need, I refer them to the next best place.
Don’t be a butt about it!
They got feelings too, ya know? It’s the worst feeling in the world when you love a piece of clothing but it doesn’t come in your size.
I tell them which items are a smaller make, what kind of cut would suit them best (more research, but it’s worth it) and the best place to go. Sure, you might have lost a sale, but you can give them the best service you can so they at least leave your store in a better mood. (I have blacklisted stores and refused to refer my friends to stores that are unhelpful and rude, so don’t let it happen to your store.)
Think about the language you’re using.
"Sorry our sizes don’t go that high."
"I don’t have anything bigger"
"thats our biggest size"
Don’t blame the customer because they didn’t fit. The clothes didn’t fit them, so try to reword it so no one feels bad about themselves.
"I’m sorry I don’t have anything in at the moment, but I know that store X stocks a few more styles than us".
And finally, talk to your employer and/or Company about stocking larger sizes. Keep asking, because its that sort of pressure that ensures change. Once a upon a time the largest size we stocked was an XL. We now do 3XL and sometimes a 4XL, because people kept asking for it!
It’s just a number on a swing tag, so don’t let it define yours, or anyone elses worth.
The one store can’t have everything, but you can do your part as a retail assistant to ensure that fat-shaming culture dies out for good.
This is partly me seeking advice, and partly an example of thin privilege.
I have known my best friend and college roommate since we were in seventh grade (she and I are 19 and 18 now, respectively, going into our sophomore year). We roomed together last year and plan on living together all through college. She’s been a wonderful, supportive friend in many ways.
There is just one thing that has been bothering me lately. I recognize I have a great deal of thin privilege, but I am definitely not thin, certainly not as thin as my roommate. I’ve always been on the chubby side, and that didn’t change in college. She, on the other hand, lost a great deal of weight from being clinically depressed for about a year before finally seeking treatment. We’ve both engaged in plenty of random hookups/casual sex, as is fairly typical in college.
She talks to me about her encounters with men in a pretty detailed manner, and quite often. But when I try to do the same, she either bursts out laughing or covers her ears whining “ew, ew, ew”. She insists it’s because she’s known me since I was 11, and it’s weird for her to hear that sort of thing from me because she thinks of me as a sister (although my actual biological sister, who is four years younger, has no such issue). She has no problem listening to any of our (thin) friends talk about their guy experiences (in graphic detail). I can’t help thinking maybe she is just like the good portion of society who finds fat people having sex totally hilarious or totally disgusting.
Am I making too much out of this? I’m trying to understand where she’s coming from, but she sometimes makes me feel completely desexualized, like sex does not exist for me, like all the sexual experiences are totally invalid. “Invalidated” could be another good title for this post.
I guess thin privilege is being able to talk about your sexual experiences without fear of laughter or disgust from your peers.
I would be wary of any person who doesn’t give you the same kind of treatment back that you give to them. That goes for most situations, not just ones like this. Fat women, specifically, are often desexualized (or hypersexualized depending on the situation) and it makes it so that people we encounter are unable to see us as sexual beings. That could be what is happening and if I were in your situation I would question your friend more, especially considering she probably expects you to listen to her own experiences but doesn’t want to listen to yours. That alone, outside of why she might be doing it, is a problem. -FBP
Thin privilege isn’t being advised to put your much-loved lifelong companion (a beautiful and energetic spaniel named Darby) to sleep.
A bit of back story - Darby is fat. She’s also an older dog but very active, happy and healthy. I sometimes walk her on the beach or toss a ball around her her in my yard. Admittedly I don’t walk her every day but for the slew of judgmental healthists who will no doubt tell me that I’m slowly killing my dog, I work long hours and am a part-time student. I juggle a lot in my everyday life and I’m usually exhausted by the time I get home.
To get back to the story though, I took Darby to the vet for a check-up since she’s recently starting limping on her front left leg. The vet took one look at us and had already made up his mind - we were fat, I was feeding her the wrong things, I didn’t care about my health or hers and she should be put down straight away.
He barely even examined her before telling me that she was in poor condition and suffering from severe joint pain due to her weight. HE DIDN’T EVEN X-RAY HER LEG. When I told him that the limping was recent and she’d always been active, he looked disbelieving and then told me some bullshit about how her weight was only just now starting to affect her joints. She’s been fat almost as long as I’ve had her, so I don’t buy that.
He kept insisting that I consider euthanising her as she was “suffering and unhappy”. This is the dog who greets me with a wagging tail every day when I get home from work, who climbs into bed with me at night and who devours all of her meals happily. I didn’t for one second even consider putting her down of course, but other fat pet owners who have faced this sort of discrimination might feel pressurized into making a snap decision which could lose them their lifelong friend!
In other words, fat animals should be put down simply for being fat. Fat animals deserve to die - and the leap from that to fat humans deserve to die isn’t very long at all. If we can accept this kind of prejudice towards innocent, loving animals then can you imagine how easy it will be for doctors to start saying that fat humans also should be “put down”?
Sorry for the long rant, but I am shaking, furious and actually fearful of taking my dog to another vet in case I receive the same reception.
Thin privilege is being seen as girlfriend material by a guy you like.
When I went on vacation with my two naturally thin friends we met a group of guys our age who were almost all pretty cute. We all hung out through the vacation and got to know each other well. There was one guy in particular, let’s call him Lucas, who I really liked. We had a lot in common - I was interested in learning mountain climbing and he took me seriously and shared stories of when he went mountain climbing without making me feel like a fat girl who never exercises. He was also naturally thin but seemed very attentive and friendly to me in particular. However, all of the other guys (and my girl friends) kept pushing me and the only other fat guy together as though we were destined to be a couple simply because we were both fat.
Towards the end of the vacation I saw my friend kissing Lucas. I was devastated of course as I really liked him but had never said anything for fear of him laughing at the thought of a fat girl crushing on him. When I mentioned to my friend that I was very upset as I had really liked Lucas a lot, she didn’t apologize - she just simply said that she thought me and the fat guy were a better match. I was shocked and angry - fat people belong together simply because they’re fat? Way to dehumanize and desexualize fat bodies, not to mention thinking that as a thin person she had a right to decide who I should be with.
Thin privilege is pushing fat people together because you can’t even entertain the thought of a fat girl being with a thin guy. Thin privilege is ignoring your friend’s feelings. Thin privilege is getting the guy you like and not being pushed to be with someone you don’t like.
I don’t really see a lot of male stories on here, and I’m fairly new to tumblr, but just the knowledge that someone who understands is reading this is good enough for me.
As a kid, I went to a small country school of about 200 kids. Most of them were thin, rich white kids, and I was literally the only black kid there. I was only there because my previous school had said I needed more of challenge, and it was the only school that offered the program they recommended. I started school in the third grade, as a happy, outgoing, overweight little boy.
By the eighth grade, I was incredibly anxious, reserved, so quiet that weeks went by where I only said a few words, and of course, terribly insecure about my size. The five years I spent in that school had transformed me from an incredibly easy going child to the adult I am today - a man struggling with a speech impediment, identity issues, and a curious habit of holding my breath and sucking in my stomach whenever I walked past a stranger on the street.
I won’t go into the details of those five years. Its enough to say that they taught me the truth about racism and fatphobia, even at the young age I started there. But I like to think I’ve grown past that small country school, and that I am slowly becoming a person that is not only comfortable with their skin, but also with their size. I still have a lot of work to do, ironing out the years of trauma that have shaped me into a reserved and sorrowful loner, but I’d simply like to encourage everyone that it is possible, though it isn’t easy, to overcome the troubles of the past.