This is Thin Privilege

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Thin Privilege is not being labeled as an unfit mother

Thin privilege is not being labeled a bad mother because you are fat.
I’m fat so that automatically means my children are at risk for obesity.
I know what it’s like to grow up fat. I know what it’s like to be teased constantly and to never be able to shop at regular stores. I know what it’s like to not be wanted because I’m fat. I know what it feels like to be labeled lazy, greedy and ugly because I am fat. Do I want that for my children? Absolutely not.

Thin privilege is not having someone hope that my children get taken away because I look like an unfit mother, because I am fat.

Thin privilege is not having your family assume your bad eating habits will rub off on your children, when you are trying to eat better because of them.

We all know that being overweight can and usually just isn’t healthy.
That isn’t the point we are trying to make.
The fact is, fat, skinny, black, white, yellow, brown, gay, lesbian, trans or otherwise, we are all human beings capable of being loved and giving love. Even the biggest douchebag you can think of is deserving of love. If someone so hated can be loved by someone else, why can’t fat people be loved?

If I want to be fat and I am happy and I have people that love me, then what the hell is it to you? 

I’m submitting this here because I’ve seen this both on personal blogs on my dash and through you guys today and you have a wider readership than I do.

Fun Fact of the Day: Unless you are either stalking them, or they are reporting back to you every second of the day, you have no idea what any person other than yourself is doing with their time or how they get through the day.  Therefore, you have no business making assumptions about how they eat, how they exercise, or why they don’t exercise.

Bonus Fun Fact: Unless you have an actual PhD to your name, you have no business complaining about non-doctors giving out solicited medical advice while, in the same breath, giving out unsolicited medical advice.

The thing about bodily autonomy is that no one gets a say in what any one else can or cannot, is or isn’t doing with their own body.

The thing about personal responsibility is that it’s personal and that sole persongets to decide what they want and can be responsible for in their own life and with their own body.

And unless you’re going to start complaining about your tax money going towards the fire department when you’ve never needed their services and don’t participate in behaviors that would make you more likely to need their services, then let’s just skip over the “BUT MY TAX DOLLARS” argument.

Love you folks. For everything you do.

These tone policing arguments are those I received from my abusive family as well. If I couldn’t articulate what I was saying about how they hurt me *just right* they would turn it around to be all on me. But there was never a just right. I learned that it was far safer and easier to take whatever they had to say and not stand up for myself to even explain how I was feeling about it. It cowed me into submission and allowed the abuse to continue and worsen.

I am angry though, because the position that emotionally charged language weakens your argument is exactly what I was taught in university as well. Even high school. We were taught that emotionally charged language erodes the speaker’s validity and ultimately point. 

I never realized how much of a systemic tool that was to help discredit oppressed groups at the time. It hadn’t even occurred to me and since using emotionally neutral language lessened the abuse I’d suffered than if I tried to contest it, I bought into it.

While I haven’t in a long while now, your blog helped reinforce how bullshit that whole concept is. And how absolutely oppressive the perpetuation of it is. Sometimes I feel like I’m wrong. Perhaps my bio-fam is right, after all their mentality was pretty much brought up in university courses. But that’s not the case and you help me remember that. 

Thank you all so much.

You do a lot of good in my life. Much love!,

Pom

Thin privilege is not having men start conversations with you for the sole purpose of attempting to use you for their own sexual gratification (regardless of whether or not you want it), and then calling you fat when you refuse to participate.

[12:47 AM] chatwithu4evr: If you had a son and caught him looking at nude pics - take web away? ignore?
[12:47 AM] h———-: you’ve asked me this question literally dozens of times over the course of the previous six months.
[12:47 AM] h———-: i’m not sure what part of “I’M NOT INTERESTED IN HAVING THIS CONVERSATION WITH YOU”
[12:47 AM] h———-: isn’t getting through to you.
[12:49 AM] chatwithu4evr: its ok u r kinda fat anyway
[12:49 AM] chatwithu4evr: haha fat cunt
[12:50 AM] chatwithu4evr has left the chat.

Fat Shamed By Employer

I’ve been fat ever since I can remember. I was a larger girl when I was young and I was bullied nonstop. It didn’t get better as I got older, it only gets worse.

I applied for a job at a large fortune 500 tech company and was asked to come in and interview. I have over 5 years of experience in the field and am a near expert at what I do.

The other interviewees for the position were all sat outside the system architechts office. 4 of the other 6 applications were also people of size. 5 female and two male. The men were both skinny. We all went in and interviewed one at a time.

The interviewer made passive agressive remarks about my weight and how the company will need to accomodate for me. I acted professinal and chose to ignore the remarks. The interview went well other than the fatphobic jokes. I was told if I met their requirements, which I aced, I would be given a call within 48 hours.

It was only 3 days later that I realized what had happened. Everyone of the interviewees met the qualifications for the position. We all went above and beyond when it came to our requirements. They interviewed us all to see which one of us best fit their “ideal” look for a systems manager. I was absolutely outraged.

They purely based their decision off of who “looked the part”. It was a fairly public position, meaning many meetings with investors and occasional public appearances at company events.

I was so angry at these fat phobic assholes for choosing a employee completely based off looks.

Thin privilege is having a SHOT of even getting a job.

Thin privilege is not being judged as a possible employee based only off of your looks.

Thin privilege is being able to speak your mind without worrying that people will ridicule you for your weight because they don’t agree with you.

Earlier today, a girl that I am friends with on Facebook posted a picture set of screen grabs from the show “my 600 lb life”. (If you haven’t seen or heard of it, it’s a show that follows around  super obese people who have decided to undergo weight loss surgery. They’re followed for a year, pre and post-op) The screen grabs were from a particularly controversial episode in which a woman was bedridden and ended up making lots of excuses about why she was still eating like crap after surgery, and not walking, and not losing weight. 

Anyways, this girl on Facebook posted the link to the screen grabs and said “This is disgusting. Thanks to the ‘health at every size’ movement, these people think they’re healthy, too.” I immediately was angered by her comments and by the comments of the people who responded, chiming in with colorful language and derogatory comments. I started to formulate a response, saying that this woman CLEARLY doesn’t believe that she’s healthy, or else she wouldn’t have sought out this surgery in the first place, and then to respond to the comments of how thin privilege doesn’t exist, as I know firsthand that it most CERTAINLY does. 

I am not a thin person, if this hasn’t been made clear yet. I’m a size 26/28 in most clothes and i’ve been fat most of my life. I live the reality of watching thin privilege happen every day when people make comments about what I’m wearing or eating, when my doctors refuse to treat me and just tell me to lose weight. I know this exists because I live it. 

However, my profile picture is a photo of me and my beautiful best friend at her baby shower, and it’s a full body picture of the two of us, where you can clearly see what my body looks like. So instead of stating my opinions, I just decided not to say anything, knowing that no matter what I said, the response back would always be something to the tune of “just another disgruntled fatty. Lose some weight, fat ass!” I know that may sound silly, but it’s what happened. I’m just so used to shame, and it hurts.

Thin privilege is not being afraid that your Facebook profile picture will undermine your values and opinions. 

Thin Privilege is not feeling obligated to risk your mental health to please your parents

   [TW: abuse, eating disorders, weight loss, body policing]

Hi, I recently found this blog, and I wanted to share something that happened to me.

   I’ll start off by saying that I’ve always been big. I’ve always been tall for my age and I am fairly stocky and muscular despite my height; I’m a big girl in pretty much every sense of the phrase. When I was about 11 years old, my parents separated. The divorce that followed was tumultuous, messy, and something no 11 year old should have to go through. This caused me a lot of grief and stress, so I took comfort in food. Middle school was when I started gaining a lot of weight, and I hated my body as a result. I would daydream about waking up one morning and realizing that all the fat had disappeared overnight, and now I was skinny and pretty like the other, more petite, girls. But this never happened; I have been chubby ever since.

   Once I got to high school, I started to accept my body a little more. I decided that, unless my weight was directly affecting my health, there is no reason to worry about it. I was much happier after I adopted this attitude, and I felt like I had finally made peace with my body.

   However, this didn’t last for long. In the spring of my sophomore year, I was 5’9”, 15 years old, and weighed 196 lbs. I felt fine and I wasn’t experiencing any health problems related to my weight. I was even on the swim and water polo teams at my school. But my (thin) parents suddenly decided that my weight was negatively affecting my health and making me feel like crap, even though I had never even mentioned my weight to them. They sat me down in this weird intervention and told me they were going to put me on a dieting program. They said they were concerned about my health and they told me I would feel much better once I lost weight. I didn’t want to do it, but being reminded of the years of hating my body made it so all I could do was cry and reluctantly agree to it. Looking back, the whole thing involved a lot of manipulation and coercion, despite their good intentions.

   We went to the center for this weight loss program (it’s a well-known one, but I won’t say the name), and after weighing me and measuring my height, they determined (using BMI) that I needed to lose 46 lbs. Long story short, I ended up eating nothing but frozen microwave meals from this company for the better part of a year. I became miserable and depressed. I missed my dad’s home-cooked meals. I hated not being able to eat what everyone else was eating and I felt excluded. I began to hate my body again, too. When I stopped losing weight as rapidly as when I started and my weight plateaued, I felt like a failure. It didn’t help that I was also dealing with undiagnosed depression and anxiety at the time. People kept asking me if I felt any better after losing 20 pounds, but I didn’t feel any different physically, I just felt worse mentally. It got to a point where, after meals, I would think about going to the bathroom and forcing myself to vomit. I never actually did, fortunately, but I thought about it all the time. It scared me.

   About 8 months in, my dad told me he could no longer afford to buy the planned meals anymore, and I stopped the program. This may have been true, but I think he also sensed how unhappy I was. I am now going on 17, I have not been on a diet since, and I am so much happier. Since then, I sought treatment for my mental problems and am learning to accept my body again. I’ve probably gained all the weight back, but I don’t care. I much prefer the feeling of being able to order a milkshake unapologetically and without feeling like a sinner (This is partially thanks to the body positive movement on tumblr. And people say “sjw’s” don’t accomplish anything…). I’ve realized the diet programs are bullshit and they profit off of people who have been taught by society that they won’t be loved or valued unless they are skinny. My problems haven’t disappeared, but leaving the toxic “dieting culture” behind was a great, big step in the right direction. However, it still makes me fucking livid that I was pressured into doing it in the first place, by people who care about me.

The Pendulum Never Swings as Far for Thin Shaming

I had a fat swim coach in HS. He was a great guy and knew a lot about swimming. I was definitely a lot thinner than him as a HS swimmer, but guess what, I would have been a shit coach back then. I am definitely slower and chubbier now than I once was, but I have some damn impressive coaching experience from my brother’s swim team by now. If you looked thin-HS me and picked that for a swim coach rather than than chubby-adult me, you would not be dropping much time next season.

I guess this is a roundabout way of mentioning that being fast != being a good swim coach. Being thin != being a good swim coach. Knowing how to coach == being a good swim coach. People seem obsessed with the idea that this is not true for being a personal trainer. I think it is just hard for people to admit that their exercising and their personal trainer is more about vanity than being healthy and fit.

For me, fat was the symptom, not the cause, nor the cure

In childhood, my asthma was so bad my parents were advised to make funeral arraignments ahead of time to save themselves stress when I passed away.  Although things improved a bit in adolescence, I remained a severe case.  Worse though, my insurance would not cover a pulmonologist.

My family doctor would see me frequently when I was sick.  Each time, I heard the same things.  The first was that it was impossible to increase my dosages of asthma control medications, as this would ruin my already damaged liver and kidneys.  The second was that my asthma would magically go away if I were just to lose some weight.  This was always said snarky and mean, and I left every time feeling lower than dirt, sure that my condition was my own fault.

I was beyond sedentary.  Any activity was taxing, made breathing difficult.  I avoided the outdoors with its allergen triggers, and frequently begged off of events with friends as I couldn’t keep up.  I suffered from depression because of this.  I knew I emotionally ate, but it was both a cure for depression and it gave me a reason to be sitting.  (after all, having to take a break shopping is weak, but its nice to pause for a nice slice of cheesecake!)

Then insurance changed, and I found myself in the office of a pulmonologist, who was staring in horror at the results of my peak flow.  She decided to start me on drastically higher dosages of medication.  When I parroted the concern for kidneys and liver she laughed and said she wanted me to live long enough to have those issues.

It took a few trials to find medications and dosages that worked, but six months later I felt better than I had all my life.  People commented on my improved color, attitude, and said how much happier and more lively I was.  It was at the doctor when they told me I had lost weight.  I hadn’t noticed that and wasn’t trying, and it was completely a result of my lifestyle changing when I had normal respiration.  But what was most important was that I am now able to live a normal, healthy lifestyle.

But people are completely willing to miscredit my new found health TO the weight loss, as though losing weight somehow fixed my asthma.  It in no way did.  Trust me, my medication was lost with luggage a month ago, and I found myself in the hospital within a week being intubated.  My asthma hasn’t improved, I just have a treatment that works.  

As far as I’m concerned, my healthy lung self just happens to weigh less than my asthmatic lung self.  Compared to my happiness and longer life, that’s a small, small issue.

Here’s my message to anyone whose doctor is telling them to lose weight as though it will magically fix them:  Don’t treat the symptom, treat the disease.  And if you can’t get your doctor to listen, find a new one.  The issues your doctor is brushing aside as being symptomatic of your weight could be the very issue that takes your life.

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. 

Pretty Ugly

        When I was 15 years old I was a fat kid. Nobody really assumed there was anything wrong with me I had lots of friends and a fun personality but I was fat. (Like 16 stone kinda fat) At the time I was battling being secretly physically abused by my step father and over eating was apparently my way of dealing with things.

But out of all that it was always the things random people said to me that hurt me the most. I’m sure people reading this can relate to that feeling of anxiety when you know you have to pass a group of people in the street. I used to find myself scouting them to see if they had any larger people with them and only then did I feel I could relax. Anyway, one story that stuck with me was when I was walking home with my friend after school…

My friend had always been super slim but lived off a diet of chicken nuggets, chips and cola haha. Anyway, a younger boy came up to us while we were passing through a housing estate and immediately I felt that anxiety especially since I was with someone else.

 I remember he was a cute little kid he had a football and was about 11/12 years old.  He was on his own and I half expected him to just run past us but he stopped and pointed directly at my friend and said “Pretty” she smiled and started to walk on.

Then he pointed at me. “Ugly” he said bluntly. My friend just kind of laughed, I filled with embarrassment and the kid swung his arm from her to me shouting “pretty, ugly” over and over. I asked him why he told me it was because I was fat.

We carried on walking home, she forgot about it, I didn’t.

So I guess…thin privilege is being able to walk home without being insulted for my body shape.

I’m now in my 20’s and in no way overweight. I don’t miss being fat but in a way I’m glad I was because maybe I wouldn’t have had the understanding I have now. People are people thin or fat and I know both ends of the spectrum get abuse but I have never been under weight only over ….and although I don’t carry any extra pounds now I still carry the anxiety and sometimes it shocks me when I don’t get yelled at.

Japan passes new law forcing employees to lose weight

"Under a national law that came into effect two months ago, companies and local governments must now measure the waistlines of Japanese people between the ages of 40 and 74 as part of their annual checkups. That represents more than 56 million waistlines, or about 44 percent of the entire population.

Those exceeding government limits — 33.5 inches for men and 35.4 inches for women, which are identical to thresholds established in 2005 for Japan by the International Diabetes Federation as an easy guideline for identifying health risks — and having a weight-related ailment will be given dieting guidance if after three months they do not lose weight. If necessary, those people will be steered toward further re-education after six more months.”

"The mayor of one town in Mie, a prefecture near here, became so wrapped up in the anti-metabo campaign that he and six other town officials formed a weight-loss group called “The Seven Metabo Samurai.” That campaign ended abruptly after a 47-year-old member with a 39-inch waistline died of a heart attack while jogging."

"Companies like Matsushita must measure the waistlines of at least 80 percent of their employees. Furthermore, they must get 10 percent of those deemed metabolic to lose weight by 2012, and 25 percent of them to lose weight by 2015.

NEC, Japan’s largest maker of personal computers, said that if it failed to meet its targets, it could incur as much as $19 million in penalties.”

—New York Times: Japan, seeking trim waists, measures millions

Thin privilege is not having the government and your job try to force you to lose weight at any personal cost.

My boss is disgusting

I have been chubby all my life. My parents were chubby, my sister was chubby, hell even my grandparents were chubby. Because of this, I have always faced bullying, throughout my life at school, I have faced a lot of fat shaming and people hating me for my shape. After rapidly gaining weight at the age of 14,  I faced even worse bullying, people seemed to actually hate me for my weight, not just bully me. 

The only reason I kept going, was because people kept telling me it would get better when I was older. And for a while it did, in collage I got along great with a lot of people. I got a job in an office building, making decent money. But this is where the problems started again.

My boss was a real asshole, he made fun of me to other employees, he denied me food when people brought it in, and was an over all asshole But the real final straw was what just happened. I was sitting in my office, doing my work on a project HE assigned me, when he came in. He said, exactly in these words: “Marie, can you please leave the office for a few hours, we have important guests coming and I don’t want them to see you, you know, because you are fat.”

It was fucking disgusting. I have read these subs before, but I didn’t know it was so bad in real life. This is thin privilege. Not having to worry about being forced out of your workplace because your boss doesn’t want to be seen with you.