This is Thin Privilege

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Fat and Pregnancy

Thin privilege is not having to feel like you have to constantly tell people how good your diet is, and how good your health is, when you talk about having your next child. Thin privilege is not worrying about what people are saying in the backs of their minds. I get my sugar, cholesterol, and heart checked every year even though I’m under 30, partially because I want to be able to tell naysayers that they don’t know everything about fat health. I wear my really low cholesterol, excellent sugar and excellent heart rate like a ‘I TOLD YOU SO’ badge to the world. That shouldn’t even be necessary.

I’ve seen a lot of stuff on fertility and pregnancy in this blog and it absolutely breaks my heart. So I just want to lay down some reassurances to all of the readers struggling with the idea of getting pregnant or being pregnant and facing discrimination. I’m speaking only from the point of view of an overweight, straight, CIS woman, but I hope everyone can find some empathy here.

I am 350 lbs. I’ve been 350 lbs for ten years. In 2008 I got pregnant and lost a baby, only to get pregnant a month after that miscarriage. Needless to say I conceive very quickly. I carried the next baby to full term. My doctor had faith in me, never once mentioned my weight as a possible cause of my miscarriage, and never once said I was putting my child at risk. I feel this is partially due to the fact that he understood my health on an individual basis instead of the broad overreaching assumptions the prenatal industry makes on overweight women. The results: I had an emotionally and physically healthy pregnancy with little complications, none of which had to do with my weight.

Here I am at six months pregnant (in case anyone would like to know what a large woman can look like while pregnant) on a hiking trip with some friends.

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Here I am after a long and normal labor that ended in an emergency c-section due to the time frame:

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And here’s what happens to a woman who happens to be overweight when she has a child. (note no apocalypse or dire problems as a result of my fat ass. Hidden face because she’s just a child and this is a public blog) It can be JOYFUL

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Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t create the life you so want to create because you are fat. If that’s the only reason, or there’s an assumption of health BASED on your size…naysayers can kindly GTFO.

And about fertility…well…that is a load of overblown assumption as well. I stopped birth control on February 26th. I am now 11 weeks pregnant.

FAT DOES NOT EQUAL UNABLE OR UNDESERVING OF THIS KIND OF JOY

Who are you to say who can or can’t have children? Guess what — EVERYONE has some risk of developing complications, and complications for fat people are incredibly overblown (like most health ‘information’ about fat folks). It’s riskier for older people to have children. Does that mean older people should be sterilized? Do you think fat people should be sterilized? Because people don’t need doctors to have babies. Doctors are there to assist in a healthy delivery, not to dictate whether patients can be parents.
And by the way, who the fuck made YOU dictator? Do you go around on the streets telling very fat or thin people that they shouldn’t “dare” get pregnant because your healthist ideology (which is about as factual as most ideologies) forbids it?
Fuck you. And don’t have children or come close to a situation where you can infect anyone else with your hatred. I’m much more fucking worried about people like YOU being parents than I am about a slight percentage increase in “risk” (which is a correlation you fucking shithead, not a prophecy) that very fat or very thin people have pregnancy complications.
-ArteToLife
(made rebloggable by request)

Who are you to say who can or can’t have children? Guess what — EVERYONE has some risk of developing complications, and complications for fat people are incredibly overblown (like most health ‘information’ about fat folks). It’s riskier for older people to have children. Does that mean older people should be sterilized? Do you think fat people should be sterilized? Because people don’t need doctors to have babies. Doctors are there to assist in a healthy delivery, not to dictate whether patients can be parents.

And by the way, who the fuck made YOU dictator? Do you go around on the streets telling very fat or thin people that they shouldn’t “dare” get pregnant because your healthist ideology (which is about as factual as most ideologies) forbids it?

Fuck you. And don’t have children or come close to a situation where you can infect anyone else with your hatred. I’m much more fucking worried about people like YOU being parents than I am about a slight percentage increase in “risk” (which is a correlation you fucking shithead, not a prophecy) that very fat or very thin people have pregnancy complications.

-ArteToLife

(made rebloggable by request)

Regarding your post on "fatphobia in medicine" and why a doctor wouldn't allow someone clearly in risk of diabetes or heart failure to have children: he's doing his job, and he's doing it correctly. This isn't "fat phobia" or your warped perception of sexism, here. If you can't have a baby without endangering YOUR health, then you shouldn't be having a baby until you can be pregnant without putting yourself OR your child at risk. You think thinner women aren't at risk for similar complications?

Asked by
lesbomancer

Who are you to say who can or can’t have children? Guess what — EVERYONE has some risk of developing complications, and complications for fat people are incredibly overblown (like most health ‘information’ about fat folks). It’s riskier for older people to have children. Does that mean older people should be sterilized? Do you think fat people should be sterilized? Because people don’t need doctors to have babies. Doctors are there to assist in a healthy delivery, not to dictate whether patients can be parents.

And by the way, who the fuck made YOU dictator? Do you go around on the streets telling very fat or thin people that they shouldn’t “dare” get pregnant because your healthist ideology (which is about as factual as most ideologies) forbids it?

Fuck you. And don’t have children or come close to a situation where you can infect anyone else with your hatred. I’m much more fucking worried about people like YOU being parents than I am about a slight percentage increase in “risk” (which is a correlation you fucking shithead, not a prophecy) that very fat or very thin people have pregnancy complications.

-ArteToLife

This argument is riddled with assumption fallacies. You get your basic premises wrong, and I would be arguing against a straw man if I attempted to refute them.
So instead, I’ll refute your premises.
Fat pregnancies aren’t necessarily less healthy than thin pregnancies, all things being equal. The thing is, they’re often NOT equal.
Fat people are bullied and put under stress and told to diet (or not gain weight) their whole pregnancies. They’re told their babies will die or develop complications if they dare to be fat while pregnant. Fat people are told THEY will die if they dare to be fat while pregnant. They’re induced early because of ‘fat baby’ scares, then pressured to tie their tubes so they don’t get pregnant again. They’re pressured to terminate their pregnancies because, ‘No fat woman can have a healthy pregnancy.’
Fat people are told their pregnancies are high-risk by virtue of them being fat. Bariatric obstetrics threatens to take low-risk care options away from fat women completely. Risks associated with ‘obese’ pregnancies are distorted and magnified.
Fat people are often bullied into C-sections and/or denied access to alternative non-hospital birthing options like waterbirth.
Fatness can be a symptom of an underlying disorder that might have an effect on whether or not someone can carry a healthy pregnancy. In many studies these disorders are assumed to be caused by fat, and the chain of causation is writ: FAT -> DISORDER -> RISKY PREGNANCY with FAT as the base case, when really it’s the DISORDER that makes the pregnancy risky. 
Please peruse The Well-Rounded Mama for a more critical eye on the trope of fat high-risk pregnancies. The author’s posts are replete with references, so you can read the studies she discusses and references for yourself.
Fat people are having our reproductive rights threatened. We’re told we 1. can’t get pregnant and we won’t be allowed the same access to fertility services as thin people, and when we do get pregnant that 2. we shouldn’t stay pregnant, and when we stay pregnant that 3. we can’t possibly have a healthy pregnancy, and if we have a healthy pregnancy that 4a. we’re ‘lucky’ and should get our tubes tied so we never ‘run the risk again,’ and if we have an unhealthy pregnancy that 4b. our fatness caused it, no matter our other underlying disorders, family history, stressors, and the fact that not all thin people have healthy pregnancies either. 
You’re young. You’ve got a lot to learn. I encourage you to start waking up to the lies you’ve been fed about fatness and health NOW, before they infect you any further. 
-ArteToLife
(made rebloggable by request)

This argument is riddled with assumption fallacies. You get your basic premises wrong, and I would be arguing against a straw man if I attempted to refute them.

So instead, I’ll refute your premises.

Fat pregnancies aren’t necessarily less healthy than thin pregnancies, all things being equal. The thing is, they’re often NOT equal.

  1. Fat people are bullied and put under stress and told to diet (or not gain weight) their whole pregnancies. They’re told their babies will die or develop complications if they dare to be fat while pregnant. Fat people are told THEY will die if they dare to be fat while pregnant. They’re induced early because of ‘fat baby’ scares, then pressured to tie their tubes so they don’t get pregnant again. They’re pressured to terminate their pregnancies because, ‘No fat woman can have a healthy pregnancy.’
  2. Fat people are told their pregnancies are high-risk by virtue of them being fatBariatric obstetrics threatens to take low-risk care options away from fat women completely. Risks associated with ‘obese’ pregnancies are distorted and magnified.
  3. Fat people are often bullied into C-sections and/or denied access to alternative non-hospital birthing options like waterbirth.
  4. Fatness can be a symptom of an underlying disorder that might have an effect on whether or not someone can carry a healthy pregnancy. In many studies these disorders are assumed to be caused by fat, and the chain of causation is writ: FAT -> DISORDER -> RISKY PREGNANCY with FAT as the base case, when really it’s the DISORDER that makes the pregnancy risky. 

Please peruse The Well-Rounded Mama for a more critical eye on the trope of fat high-risk pregnancies. The author’s posts are replete with references, so you can read the studies she discusses and references for yourself.

Fat people are having our reproductive rights threatened. We’re told we 1. can’t get pregnant and we won’t be allowed the same access to fertility services as thin people, and when we do get pregnant that 2. we shouldn’t stay pregnant, and when we stay pregnant that 3. we can’t possibly have a healthy pregnancy, and if we have a healthy pregnancy that 4a. we’re ‘lucky’ and should get our tubes tied so we never ‘run the risk again,’ and if we have an unhealthy pregnancy that 4b. our fatness caused it, no matter our other underlying disorders, family history, stressors, and the fact that not all thin people have healthy pregnancies either. 

You’re young. You’ve got a lot to learn. I encourage you to start waking up to the lies you’ve been fed about fatness and health NOW, before they infect you any further. 

-ArteToLife

(made rebloggable by request)

So, would you consider being able to carry a healthy baby to term an example of thin privilege? A side effect of being obese (not overweight, there is a difference) is that pregnancy complications are common and many otherwise capable women are unable to bear healthy children. ('Healthy' in this context meaning not premature, without birth defects, or of the like. Not referencing weight.)

Asked by
wulcan

This argument is riddled with assumption fallacies. You get your basic premises wrong, and I would be arguing against a straw man if I attempted to refute them.

So instead, I’ll refute your premises.

Fat pregnancies aren’t necessarily less healthy than thin pregnancies, all things being equal. The thing is, they’re often NOT equal.

  1. Fat people are bullied and put under stress and told to diet (or not gain weight) their whole pregnancies. They’re told their babies will die or develop complications if they dare to be fat while pregnant. Fat people are told THEY will die if they dare to be fat while pregnant. They’re induced early because of ‘fat baby’ scares, then pressured to tie their tubes so they don’t get pregnant again. They’re pressured to terminate their pregnancies because, ‘No fat woman can have a healthy pregnancy.’
  2. Fat people are told their pregnancies are high-risk by virtue of them being fat. Bariatric obstetrics threatens to take low-risk care options away from fat women completely. Risks associated with ‘obese’ pregnancies are distorted and magnified.
  3. Fat people are often bullied into C-sections and/or denied access to alternative non-hospital birthing options like waterbirth.
  4. Fatness can be a symptom of an underlying disorder that might have an effect on whether or not someone can carry a healthy pregnancy. In many studies these disorders are assumed to be caused by fat, and the chain of causation is writ: FAT -> DISORDER -> RISKY PREGNANCY with FAT as the base case, when really it’s the DISORDER that makes the pregnancy risky. 

Please peruse The Well-Rounded Mama for a more critical eye on the trope of fat high-risk pregnancies. The author’s posts are replete with references, so you can read the studies she discusses and references for yourself.

Fat people are having our reproductive rights threatened. We’re told we 1. can’t get pregnant and we won’t be allowed the same access to fertility services as thin people, and when we do get pregnant that 2. we shouldn’t stay pregnant, and when we stay pregnant that 3. we can’t possibly have a healthy pregnancy, and if we have a healthy pregnancy that 4a. we’re ‘lucky’ and should get our tubes tied so we never ‘run the risk again,’ and if we have an unhealthy pregnancy that 4b. our fatness caused it, no matter our other underlying disorders, family history, stressors, and the fact that not all thin people have healthy pregnancies either. 

You’re young. You’ve got a lot to learn. I encourage you to start waking up to the lies you’ve been fed about fatness and health NOW, before they infect you any further. 

-ArteToLife

Thin privilege is attending a water birthing class and not being told that you cannot have a natural birth because your weight alone puts you at “high risk”, and having everyone stare at you. Thin privilege is when your OB/GYN tells you that you are, in fact, high risk because he acknowledges that your sudden high blood pressure is from toxemia, and treats you instead of leaving you to suffer for two months from the side effects. Thin privilege is when no one tells you it was your body’s fault that you got ill during your pregnancy, and no one is “helpful” about everything you ingest. Thin privilege is when your own mother doesn’t tell you to lose a hundred pounds three months after having her first grandchild. Thin privilege is simply being told you look good after having the baby because you’re back to your pre-pregnancy weight. 

When women get pregnent in movies, does anyone else hate how they always show the women only gaining weight in her stomach. Yes, some women do that. But others also gain in the hips and butt. Or all over. They never show that. Ugh.

Asked by
cynical-as-hell

Yup. And it’s not impossible to show pregnancy weight gain distributed in different ways. You just include fake fat sleeves or butt or whatever in the fake pregnancy suit. 

But no, it’s usually just one kind of pregnancy, and it completely shapes what people expect a pregnant person ‘should’ look like. The idea that a pregnant person ‘should’ look like anything is rather ridiculous on its face, but there’s the body-policing, sexist, transphobic, fatphobic culture for you.

-artetolife

I'm reading a book that deals with pregnant protagonists and it reminded me of how often, especially in the media, fat-hate is manifested in women's fear of gaining weight/looking fat because they're pregnant and berating themselves because of how their bodies have changed. You're creating human life INSIDE YOUR BODY, its essential to gain a few pounds.

Asked by
awmanohjeez

If I had $10 for every time a pregnant protagonist, especially in some obnoxiously sexist rom-com, turns sideways and bemoans how “fat” they’ve gotten…

"Look at me, I’m big as a HOUSE!" says the thin pregnant person with the basketball-shaped baby bump to their partner. "Do you still think I’m sexy?" they ask their partner, in a fearful tone.

"Of course I do," their partner replies unconvincingly. 

Ugh.

-artetolife

nenona:

thisisthinprivilege:

Thin privilege is not getting hassled at your OB appointment, not getting told that you’ll be “allowed” to try for a vaginal birth, but your vagina might be too fat so don’t count on it. It’s not having to be lectured about how dangerous your (presumed) c-section will be because you’re just so fat. It’s not having the ultrasound tech write rude comments on your report about how any errors on the report are due to the fat on your body, not her skill. It’s not being placed automatically into a high-risk category regardless of prior excellent health, activity level, blood pressure, and good diet. It’s not having the assumption that you’re a diabetic who’s going to kill her child by eating nothing but bacon-doughnut sandwiches for 8 more months. It’s generally being treated like a decent human being who is gestating a tiny human, not a lazy, gluttonous, unhealthy freak who somebody pity-fucked. 

Thin Privilege is going along with a pregnant sister and having the doctor sniffingly mention “Well your sister might already have a child if she wasn’t so BIG.”

Offended me on so many damn levels after I mentioned I was older than her.

I don’t want kids.

I don’t want to be pregnant, ever.

And I don’t fucking appreciate your shit combo of “well fat people are unfuckable” and “Well if you were thin you might be doing your duty to make more babies, because that’s all women are good for.”

Fuck you, people. From now on I’m just sitting in the waiting room with a comic book and earbuds.