This is Thin Privilege

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As a thin person but fat-positivism ally I just realized another privilege of mine I haven’t found on any lists so far: Thin privilege is rarely having to buy new clothes because you fit into old ones of relatives and friends they have grown out of. Plus, easily finding clothes that fit at give-away shops, flea markets and secondhand shops. I try and compensate them in some manner or other even if they don’t want/accept money. I was also thinking of accompanying others to events with a variety of sizes but I’m reluctant to ask as I’m not sure how they’ll feel about it. 

Thin privilege is, apparently, going home after 2 years of absence and not hearing “OMG you got so fat, what is wrong with you?!” from your fat mother, before anything else is said. 

I went to my home town after 2 years of not being able to travel. And apparently my fatness is more important than the fact I am home after so long. 

This so called fatness is me regaining my normal size after having lost half of myself due to anorexia. It means fuck all to my mom that I am fit now, that I am strong and healthy; all that matters is that I don’t fit in cute clothes from mainstream shops. 

Thin privilege is your family and your home being a safe zone, not a battlefield. 

[Potential tw for discussion of medical issues/reproductive health.]

I submitted my story about a year ago, shortly after it happened. At the time I was focusing on different issues. As time as gone on, I’ve seen different sides of thin privilege/fatphobia. 

A brief recap is that I had undiagnosed PCOS for an unknown amount of time. Several years at least, because I had an ovarian cyst that grew so large it was squishing my other organs. It was pushing out against my ribs. When it was removed, I lost 26 pounds. It had been fluid filled and benign, just a fluke of a cyst that never ruptured and grew to immense sizes. It would have been easily stopped sooner if I’d ever been tested. I had many symptoms, including abnormal hair growth patterns. Not all of the mistakes in my case were fat related. I was only told that PCOS causes heavier periods, and my periods were always extremely light and their irregularity was blamed on my weight. 

Basically, my diagnosis went “feel a lot of pain suddenly, wait a few weeks, go to the campus doctor, get sent to the ER, get an abdominal ultrasound, get a prescription and a scheduled date for surgery.” I really did. I only had one appointment before the procedure happened less than a month later, and it was to explain what the surgery would be like. If the cyst had ruptured inside of me, or if it had twisted the ovary it was growing off, cutting off the blood flow and letting it rot, I could have died. As it is, I have a very small scar. 

During the 5 months I was actively dealing with this, from first discovering the discomfort through the post-op recovery, I lost about 65 pounds. Obviously, a good portion of that was the cyst. The rest was pure stress coupled with the fact that the heavy painkillers I was on before and after surgery killed my appetite. There was a dramatic change in my body, and I was showered with compliments. I was told by awkward but well meaning people that “at least” I was losing weight through this. My first submission about this dwelt on my anger at my poor medical care (FOR YEARS) and how uncomfortable I was with people complimenting me for what pain, apathy, and stress had done. I did not feel like I was getting more attractive, I was sick and I felt sick. 

Fast forward a year, and I’m at the weight I would have been before the weight loss if the cyst hadn’t been there. However, my body is much different. I have a waist where I was just sausage-bloated with over 10 liters of fluid. My breasts have grown now that my hormones are more stable (I got on a hormonal birth control post-op). I still have a belly, and kind of a saggy one from getting all stretched out by the cyst, but it’s thick and flatter instead of very, very round. I weigh as much as I did before, but I look much less fat. The cyst took up a lot of room. I was wearing a 26/28 before and now at the same weight I wear a 20/22. And even though I still experience fatphobia often, I can say that I’ve gained an amount of thin privilege. All of a sudden I’m “curvy”. Suddenly I’m fat, but in a more accepted kind of way. When I’m wearing clothes so that people can’t see how saggy my belly is and how many stretch marks I have, I’ve become the kind of fat person that people think of when they think of fat people who deserve to exist. “Bigger” people. 

I’ve also made a lot of new friends this past year. I don’t know whether or not these two things are related; I can’t help feeling that it is. I know friends who never knew me as the unacceptably shaped fatty, and all of a sudden I’m on the right side of this line they draw in the sand. “These fats are acceptable, but these aren’t.” It’s constantly a surprise to me. They’ll talk about fat people in front of me (not often, but it’s happened) and then be shocked when I interject with my hurt feelings because they thought it was obvious that they meant people much, much fatter than me. Even though I’m the same weight. 

Now it’s all about my silhouette. I’m fat, but at least the fat falls where they think it should. I’m still shaped like a person in their eyes. 

Thin Privilege is not having to worry about finding new places to shop after moving.

I hate the clothes is mass stores. Target, Wal-Mart. They all make me feel and look so frumpy even though I’m on the lower end of the plus-size scale. I carry all my weight in my hips and legs, so my jeans range from size 14-18 (on bad bloated days) and I get so crazy self conscious that I tend to leave most stores empty handed and cry in my car. I just moved to Florida and I’m surrounded by malls with shiny stores and pretty clothes that will never look as good on me as the mannequin.

Thin Privilege is not leaving a store in near tears because you were so relieved to find a Torrid (ONLY plus-sized BEAUTIFUL clothing. Look them up!) in a nearby area. My boyfriend probably thinks I’m crazy after that but I don’t care. I hate feeling like I should hide the tags on my clothes because God forbid someone know the size I wear. I can’t handle that happening.

Thin Privilege and dresses

This weekend I decided to purchase a new maxi dress from the AX Paris curve range. I have a couple of different prints already and I like the fit and quality, however there are a few things that have really upset me.

1. The curve range is severely limited compared to the straight size range (however I acknowledge that its great this brand even does a plus size range compared to other brands that were established as straight size brands). AX Paris release approx 2 to 3 prints per year of the dress I like in the curve range, there are at least 10 in the straight size range at this time.

2. None of these particular dresses in the curve range are available on the brand website, they can only be found on selected 3rd party supplier websites. A thin person can go to one place to find the full collection, however a larger person has to shop around and hope they find the style in the suppliers they are able to find.

3. The cost for the thin person is lower. The dress I bought here is £42.00 plus shipping. The same dress on the brand website is currently on sale for £19.99 and the usual full price is £35.00. So my sister (who is straight sized) decided she liked it too and bought the dress for £22.01 less than me (so she could have bought two for roughly the same price as me buying one). I understand the concept of more fabric = higher cost. However this only makes sense if you only compare the biggest sizes to the smallest. Without taking into account the sale, a UK 16 pays £12 more (being forced to buy from the 3rd party supplier) that the UK 14 (able to buy from the brand website) when there’s only a 3ins difference in those two sizes. If fabric were really the issue wouldn’t each size pay incrementally more?

The same is true of the rose print version Curve Range £45.00 Straight Size £30.00. 

I realise these are different websites and actually the size 12 and 14 are also available from the 3rd party supplier at the inflated cost but the thin person at least has the option for the lower price. Another supplier that stocks a print from the curve range also charges £42.00. Again these are not available on the brand website.

Thin privilege is having a wider choice in one easily accessible place for a lower cost

There is a friend of mine that upsets me greatly every time we talk, because she always has to make weight an issue. She´s a cosplayer and was talking about other cosplayers that annoyed her. She talked about two incidents, one was about a group of girls standing around bookstore, which I fastly shrugged off. When talking about the other incident she started to change her language. How? She started out with describing their bodies, telling me in great detail how fat they were and that their clothes were to slutty for people with that much weight on their bones. She got on with how those two girls were kissing and more fatphobia and slutshaming followed. She was annoyed of those two because they dared to share affection and being dressed a little less, while being fat. 

I got deeply offended by that and asked her, why their bodies did matter in that case and she said she would start any description with how a person looks. I pointed out that she did not say anything about the bodies of the group of girls she talked about before. She hastily replied “Well yeah, they were thin!”. 

She ended her defense with “I was raised that way”. I told her, that she should maybe question the way she was educated. That ended the conversation. She also always tries to defend herself by saying that she dated bigger women in the past (I don´t know if she´s still dating the girl she was before), but at the same time she says that she would not date a women to big. 

I don´t really know how to deal with this anymore. I like her, but what she says makes me sick. 

Thin privilege is buying clothes without getting laughed at.

I went shopping at the new forever21 store in my city. It’s a really big store (3 floors). About ½ floor were plus size clothes, what is very much compared to other stores. I spent quite a long time there and every once in a while some thin women came along not realizing that they were plus size section.

Instead of just leaving they started to laugh and giggle about the “ridiculous big fatty clothes” well knowing that I (and other customers as well) could hear them.

In one hour this happened at least four times. Not all of these people were laughing, but they made disgusted faces at least.

TW: Rape, slut-shaming, fatphobia

A 19 year-old girl was raped last weekend on a nightclub here in Buenos Aires.

She happens to be fat so, besides the misogynists that justify the abuse on alcohol and clothes, there’s also fatphobic people that claim she should feel "thankful" because she was raped, especially by a “blonde man with blue eyes” (according to her description, though 3 more men joined that man to rape her after a while) and that she has "nothing to complain about".

(The following links are in Spanish.)

Link 1 (Twitter screencaps): https://www.facebook.com/stopgordofobia/photos/a.525580037496066.1073741828.524864217567648/670966626290739/?type=1&theater

Link 2 (Facebook page that defends the nightclub, lead by a woman that identifies herself as president and founder of “Lucky Star”, Madonna’s Fan Club in Argentina): https://www.facebook.com/events/1456714437914519/?ref=4

Link 3 (more abused and raped girls in that club came out to speak): http://www.infobae.com/2014/07/22/1582385-revelan-que-ya-hubo-varios-casos-abuso-el-boliche-congreso-donde-violaron-camila

Link 4 (they’re at least 12 different girls): http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1712118-una-docena-de-chicas-denunciaron-que-tambien-sufrieron-abusos-sexuales-en-el-boliche-de-congreso

Thin privilege is not having anyone tell you that you should feel “thankful” for being raped (or being called a liar) because of your weight.

Thin privilege is being able to go for your goals. I went into a massive sporting goods store because I’ve wanted to get into running for as long as I can remember and decided to finally go for my (very long term) goal of running a marathon. I couldn’t find any running equipment that even came close to my size. I couldn’t even find a sports bra. I’ve had this issue with everyday clothing before, but with the rampant fat shaming everywhere, I was really surprised I couldn’t even find anything intended to convince me to slim down.

Thin privilege is getting to act hurt because your fat friend gets upset in a clothing store because nothing fits them, and that makes the thin friend feel bad, because they can fit into all these clothes easily and buy a ton of cute tops for half price, while the fat friend gets to walk out the store empty-handed and with tears in their eyes. Then they complain to the fat friend that they hurt their feelings because the fat friend “killed their vibe” and “made them feel like they should feel guilty for being thin”. The fat friend (which is obviously me) was so shocked and angry that they could not say anything else but “IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU”. But the thin friend still held onto their right to feel hurt because fatty got so angry and fed up for not fitting into any clothes in said shop.

I love my friend dearly but I am genuinely horrified how little they seem to understand about something that is basically my life. They ended up playing it all down by saying why do I care so much, they’re just clothes! It’s just boring fashion! After buying A TON of cute things in the same store that had nothing for me. And I am still really upset that they tried to make it all about them, and I couldn’t bring myself to really say anything about that.

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.)

Trigger Warning! : Rapid weight loss, depression, 

Thin Privilege is not being surprised when clothes start getting looser and having everyone act like weight lose due to depression is a good thing. 

I recently fell into a depression because I had to leave my home and husband while we go threw immigration. Today I put on some shorts that were a bit tight when I first bought them and found them to be a bit saggy. My weight has always fluctuated but I have always remained a fat girl, this being said I was surprised because I had just wore these shorts a week ago and they were not this loose which means I lost a lot of weight in a little amount of time. When I brought this up to my mother she acted as if I should be happy that I am shedding so much weight so quickly. I’m not happy because it’s a side effect of my depression and loosing to much weight to quickly is more harmful that good. I’m fat because I love food and I love to eat and because my family is primarily fat people with the skinny ones being married and when I am unhappy, depressed, and miserable I don’t eat. I lose my appetite and desire to feed myself. This is NOT a good thing and I don’t appreciate people telling me that it’s a good thing to be depressed if it means I lose weight.

Fatphobic 4th of July with family

Sorry, this is gonna be a long one. I have to let it all out.

This 4th of July I had to spend with my grandparents and my mom. So we went out to dinner that evening. I thought it would be nice to be out enjoying the nice day. Anyway, the entire time, my grandmother kept focusing on my weight while I was eating stating that I was losing weight or some bullshit. I explained to her that I was not dieting and do not care to diet because they don’t work. She just kept focusing on my size the entire dinner. I felt so uncomfortable about it. It just made me so angry because instead of at least asking about other things in my life. The only thing she cares about is my weight. I love my granny, but she is a pain to deal with sometimes. She is obsessed with weight, I mean OBSESSED to the point that she says she needs to diet and only wants to eat grapefruit because she wants to stay thin. She is freakin 80 years old. Why is she so concerned about staying thin instead of worrying about other things? I just dont get it.

Later that night, she asked my mom what we eat and stuff and my mom said that we ate a burger the other day. My granny was like “you don’t need to feed her a burger ever. That is the wrong thing to be giving her!” Basically, because I am fat, I am not supposed to eat what is seen as unhealthy food, but they eat the SAME foods all the time. I am fucking 26 years old and do not need someone to tell me how to eat for my damn body. I know how to properly feed myself, I dont need a teacher. People seem to think that fat people are stupid and dont know how to take care of ourselves. I hate to say this, but I am sick and fucking tired of people concern trolling me and thinking that I want to be thin and that I should be thin.

The whole entire day was a mess because she constantly keeps focusing on my food intake and what I eat and how much I eat. Then she keeps talking about my body all the fucking time saying that my legs are big and how she has thin skinny legs. I feel like a fucking joke because she just thinks talking about me is alright. I have told her numerous times that I dont like the way she is treating me, but she says “I’m being too sensitive and that she didnt mean it.” I hate fucking thin privilege and I am really angry right now, because I want to be treated as a person not a caricature of stereotypes that people associate with us. I want to be HUMAN! I want to be real and I want to be treated like a person!!!! Is it that hard for people to understand? Even family members?