2484 posts tagged fat discrimination
Ok, I like to visit a site called funnyjunk because their front page is filled with, usually, funny content. But recently, a new trend has started on FJ; Fat Shaming Fridays. Every Friday there are multiple posts abusing and making fun of fat people, all for the sake of “luls”. Stay away from funnyjunk.com! I have completely stopped going on the site and have deleted my account.
(disclamer: I am not fat and I am not trying to speak for fat people. I just wanted to share my observations)
I turned on the tv the other day and the channel was set to TLC. The show Sister Wives on, and even though I don’t really like it I watched it for a few minutes because whatever, I was bored. This entire episode was concerning how one of the wives had been trying to lose weight, without much success (I have to point out here that she wasn’t that fat to begin with, but I do believe the is the largest among the wives) Apparently after a while of attempting to diet/exercise, she had ended up gaining instead of losing weight. Her personal trainer was being VERY rude to her at her weigh-in, saying things implying that she was a failure, didn’t care about her body, etc. What shocked me most was during the interview/commentary afterwards, she was very upset and said something along the lines of “I wonder how long I will keep this up before I finally give up and accept that I will always be fat and nothing will change that.” She said this in a way meaning that to accept her body the way it is would mean failure, that thinness is the only option for her. I thought that was extremely harmful and turned off the tv after that.
(submitted by anon)
When I was little, my sister and I were underweight because we were constantly sick, though just with a cold or strep or ear infection, since we had such large tonsils. Food tends to taste funny when you’re sick, so we didn’t eat very much, either. After we got our tonsils removed when we were 8, we struggled for a bit with recovering and people kept begging us to eat, even dessert foods. But once we got better, we started to gain weight rapidly because we could finally eat and enjoy food and we weren’t ill all the time. No one begged us to eat anymore. We both became overweight, and at our next doctor’s appointment when we were 9, they told us we needed to slow down. My sister said, “I like being able to eat now!” and the doctor responded, “Well, eating all the time isn’t a good thing”. She told us we needed to exercise more and control our intake or we’d continue to be overweight, like it was the worst possible thing. Finally we’d done what people had always asked us to, and then it was wrong? I’m against anyone trying to dictate another person’s diet, but I can still remember hearing that as a child and thinking I’d done something wrong, and it stuck with me til now.
I’ve seen, firsthand, how this shit can really, really mess a person up.
FatPhobia and thin privilege have sort of been background radiation in every relationship I’ve ever been with, but it was never so prominent as it was with one particular one. She was significantly fat, and had been most of her life. She had gotten endless shit about it from her own mother…”you’ll never find anyone if you’re fat,” that whole awful rotted chestnut. Her mother used to be fat herself, until she indulged in some exceedingly sketchy-sounding surgery, and now she expected her daughter to follow suit. In complete spite of the fact that her doctor said she was in fine health. She was fat. She was healthy. You can be both.
Everyone she had dated till then had either been fetish-tastic or a polite fatphobe…had either liked her strictly because of her body, or strictly in spite of it. We were a breath of fresh air for each other. Then I made the mistake of introducing her to my own mother.
I have plenty of faults with her, but one of her good points was that she was always very open-minded about people who were somehow “othered.” She taught me to never make fun of other cultures, or people who looked or acted different…but apparently drew the line with a secret fatphobia that was unleashed that day. The introduction was more or less pleasant. The minute she had left, less so. Immediately, I was bombarded with questions and statements I would not have been asked if she wasn’t fat. “Did you know that’s how she looked when you met? Aren’t you just settling? Why are you doing this to yourself?” And my favorite: “You’ll be disappointed when she dies an early death.” She said that to me. To my face. It only could have been worse if she’d said it to hers. I know she would have been fine if I’d come home with someone of a different race. Of a different orientation. If I came home with a damn space alien. But her child dating a fat girl? Unacceptable. The insistence that her doctor had given her a clean bill of health—something I shouldn’t have even had to bring up—was flat-out ignored.
And said fat girl heard about it anyway, since I would tell her about these fights with my mother. I didn’t want to hide them from her. Perhaps I should have, or at least toned down the retelling, I don’t know. But now she had disapproval and shaming from two mothers. Eventually she would end the relationship, partly as a nuclear option to stop the unceasingly mounting tensions between her and my family, and it was there that things really went downhill.
We had gotten into fat activism during our relationship. We had both been vaguely aware of it beforehand. It was a source of strength for us. Her hurt and confusion post-breakup saw her break from that and begin to identify more largely with the fetish culture that often lurks at its edges. She began to engage in exceedingly self-desctructive behavior just to have someone’s, anyone’s, approval. When that finally went sour and her clean bill of health was no longer clean? Then her own mother finally had every weapon she needed to convince her daughter to become “acceptable.”
She’s getting her perfectly healthy stomach carved up to “fix” it and won’t hear anything to the contrary. And that’s heartbreaking.
Fuck fatphobia. Fuck it forever and ever.
And thank you, and others on tumblr, for still fighting a good fight. The world needs it.
TW: eating disorders, weight loss, medical bias
I am thin. I never really realized what sort of privileges my weight gave me until I came across this blog. Thank you for opening my eyes.
I have struggled with EDs for nearly a decade now, mostly bulimia. I can go to the grocery store and buy 6000 calories worth of junk food and no one bats an eye. They SHOULD, because I am going to stuff myself and make myself sick, which is WRONG. But since I’m thin, I must be healthy, right? (sigh). I was recovered from my EDs until a few months ago, when I developed an unknown illness that causes chronic (unintentional) vomiting, forcing me on what is literally a starvation diet (saltines, bland soup, gatorade…yeah, that’s pretty much it), which triggered the bulimia relapse. Because if you starve yourself long enough, you’ll end up binging, especially with my history. Anyway, I lost 16 pounds in a month, vomiting every day at least once.
I expected concern, which I did get. But what I wasn’t expecting was the compliments. Even the backhanded “eat something” comments, I could tell were thinly veiled jealousy. And when I called my prospective boss to tell him I could not accept the job offer (too sick to work…or stand for more than a minute), when I explained my symptoms he commented that it was “quite the diet.”
I’ve been reading this blog for the past two days and I can’t help but shudder at the stories, particularly the ones involving doctors. My husband is pre-med and just turned in his application. I plan on sharing these stories with him in the hope that there will be one more doctor who treats patients as people. (He plans on becoming an osteopathic doctor. I’m not sure if anyone has had experience with these but they take a more holistic approach to health and I believe have a few more courses in nutrition. Maybe this might help? They have a D.O after their name but take the same tests as an M.D. to get their license.) I can’t help but be horrified at the idea of my eating disorder not being taken seriously or my illness and subsequent weight loss being encouraged if my BMI was higher.
I hope I’m not out of place submitting (though I know by default I kind of am). I just hope you know that, despite the flood of hate you all must get, you are slowly but surely helping people by spreading awareness. I plan on sending this blog to a wonderful former professor of mine in my teacher education program. She teaches Gender and Education, but the class covers sexuality, class, and many other issues that affect students. I hope she might carve out a spot in the class to discuss thin privilege and fat discrimination.
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.)
Thin privilege is having your mental disorders taken seriously and never brushed off by people telling you to “lose weight and you won’t be x anymore”.
Thin privilege is being able to make submissions using your username and not getting death threats.
I have to get surgery soon, so today I met with the surgeon for my pre-op assessment. I’m thin, and as soon as he walked into the room, he told me how happy he was that I’m “not a fatty”, and that it’s really not that much harder or dangerous to operate on fat people, he just hates them because his first love was a fat girl and she rejected him. I explained to him that this was not okay and directed him to this blog. Just goes to show how prevalent and dangerous thin privilege is!
My name’s Jess, I’m 26 and a size 22/24.
My (very thin) sister-in-law has started her own line of fashion basics, something that piqued my interest as there aren’t many stores in my town that cater to my size. As a favour, I have spent weeks completing hours of (unpaid) branding and design work (I’m a graphic designer) for her and have been actively contributing to the whole process since the beginning.
Now, all of that is fine and well. However, with the launch approaching she has started to become distant. My sister-in-law told me she was planning on having a group of her friends attend the launch wearing the line with the ‘launch day’ design (created by me). I asked her when she was going to receive the shirts we would be wearing (I wanted to find some cute tights to pair with it) only to be told that she was ‘sorry’ and that she didn’t want her potential customers ‘getting the wrong idea’ about her line.
..the wrong idea.
My body is not a fashion no-no. My body is not a negative association.
After everything I had done for her, after all the time and unpaid work I had provided her, that is what she gives me in return.
Thin privilege is never being insulted for giving money to a homeless person.
The other day I was eating lunch at the front of a coffee shop, when a homeless man approached me and asked for some change. I happily obliged, giving him a few dollars (it was all I had left in my purse). But instead of thanking me, he said, “That’s all you’re giving me? What, are you saving the rest of your money to stuff your fat face some more?!”
I was so shocked, I almost felt like crying. Even when fat people do a good deed, we are still faced with hatred and fatphobia. It’s sad how a single comment can ruin an enjoyable lunch break. :(
Thin privilege is the fact that the terms “Summer body” and “bikini body” automatically make people envision thin women.
Because having a few extra pounds apparently means my body should never be seen during Summer, let alone in something as skimpy as a bikini. *rolls eyes*
There has been a sudden rise in students taking crystal meth and other hard drugs at my university. To combat this, my university has put up a lot of anti-drug posters around campus, featuring “before and after” pictures of people who have done meth with typical “don’t do drugs” and “meth ruins lives” slogans.
I was recently walking to class when I walked past two girls looking at these posters. One giggled and said, “She looks better in the ‘after’ picture. At least she isn’t fat anymore!” and the other responded with, “yeah! If meth can make you that thin, then more fat people should try it! haha”
Thin privilege is seeing dangerous, life-threatening, and illegal drugs as a positive thing because “at least they make you thin”.
Thin privilege is being treated like a paying customer when you go shopping.
Given the well documented fat shaming history of Lululemon, it’s obviously not a store I would support or a place I’d ever shop for myself (not that there’s anything there that fits me anyway…) however my 14 year old niece desperately wanted a pair of lululemon pants for her birthday. Perhaps I was stupid for going into that store in the first place and expecting anything other than discriminatory treatment, but I need a place to vent so here goes:
My niece is a small fat and barely over 5’1” so usually fits into a size 10/12 (which is the largest lululemon carries) and apparently all the other girls at her school wear lululemon so she wants to fit in. My sister (her mother) and I took her on a lunch/shopping date for her birthday. Since life is tough for a fat teenager at school and my niece is a sweet, kind, generous young lady, I really wanted to help make the day special for her. A $100 pair of pants is not generally in the budget for my sister, so my niece was so excited to pick out her “lulus”. We got there about 10 minutes after the store opened so it was almost empty with only one other customer and the discrimination started right away. First of all, there’s almost no space between tables and racks, making it awkward for my sister and I to move around. Then there were the glares for the employees. We made our way over to the pants section to find that the “larger” size 12s were buried at the bottom, with only a couple colors if any. My niece picked out a few 10s and 12s to try, and took them to the fitting area where there were about 4 attendants milling around chatting. The only other customer in the store area was a tall, slim girl and they were positively doting on her. Suggesting styles, giving her advice on fit, taking clothes away, running all over the store to find sizes, etc. Meanwhile, my niece stood there awkwardly and finally had to approach someone to even get a changeroom. The 10s did not fit her, and the only 12s were in the cropped version when she really wanted the long. Noticing that the employees were running to the back to look for shades (not even colors, shades of colors, like the blue grey instead of the steel grey) for the thin girl, and then helping her order in anything they didn’t have, we asked a man if there were any 12 pants thinking maybe they were in the back. He practically sneered at us and asked if we’d checked the shelves. When were said yes, he didn’t offer to look in the stores or order in, or suggest a style, or anything, just said “whatever’s out there is what’s it. We don’t specialize in big sizes” and turned his back. Of course this all happened in front of the thin customer and she just stood there like a smug ice queen. My niece is already self conscious and i could see her eyes welling up. I suggested going to another store entirely, but she was desperate for lululemon so we ended up having to buy the cropped version which only came in plain black without any of the colored bands she was admiring. It broke my heart to see her special day ruined even if I KNOW I should have expected better from a misogynist fat shaming store like lululemon.
[Image Description: Series of “before and after’ shots. The before pictures consist of a thin person wearing plus sized clothing from thrift shops. The after pictures consist of the same person wearing the same clothing refashioned and cut down to their size.]
I found this great blog today and had to share it :D
Refashionista is an amazing seamstress who refashions awful thrift-store finds into new clothes and some of these results are so amazing?? Check her out! :D
she is a goddess
So she’s taking plus sized clothing and making it into hipster wear for people who aren’t fat? Ok.
looks ten times better on her anyways
that is besides the point. She’s taking resources from plus sized people who likely need it more than she does. If she was really any good at her refashioning, she could use clothing that was her size(or close to it) and make her hipster monstrosities that way.
She’s not just taking plus sized clothing. She’s taking plus sized clothing for people who don’t have even have the option to buy into the monopolized world of plus size shops. I have friends who get 90% of their clothes from thrift stores. I get this is just one person, but fuck, you don’t need to be getting thrifted clothes that are more than twice your fucking size to repurpose them.
YOU ESPECIALLY DON’T NEED TO MAKE HUMILIATING CARICATURE-LIKE STANCES IN EVERY BEFORE PICTURE THAT MOCKS THE STANCE/POSTURING/AND SIMPLY THE SPACE FAT PEOPLE EXIST IN.
like how much do you have to hate fat people to do this.
I dunno i thought she did a great job
it’s not about whether she did a good job or not, she used plus sized clothes from a thrift shop to do this. It’s really hard to find plus sized clothes in the first place, and it’s even harder if you’re not wealthy. She’s taking away limited resources from people who actually need them. Plus in the before pictures she decided it would be cool to mock fat people by making weird caricature like stances as queenmerbabe said.
glad to hear poor fat people count as “nobody” in your mind. and tumblr is not a monolith.
Really?! Like A+ for creativity lady, but why didn’t you just go to a fabric store to get the supplies to make your clothes? It is really hard to find affordable plus size clothing. You’re what, a size 4? Go shopping in one of the thousands of other stores tailor-made for women your size. thisisthinprivilege This is super irritating.
I was hanging out with some friends the other day, we were messing around playing video games and having pizza when we decided to go on Resident Evil 6.
I’m not sure how many of you have played them before, (its a zombie killing game but also has mutated monsters in it that are created by biological weapons). One of the latest editions was a creature called the Lepotitsa. I’ve included a picture below for reference (its gross but important to the story!
Anyway, they were joking about how disgusting it was. I assumed they meant the gore and general gross factor. They weren’t bothered by that. No, they were bothered that it looked like a fat woman. Even the description of it from Capcom describes it as “less actively aggressive and more actively contagious and horrifying. Its shape and design was modeled after a “pear-shaped” womanly figure as it is like a “mother” to the zombies that it produces”
This was written for the creature summary.
They thought this was hilarious. I did not.
Thin Privilege is being able to understand why an overweight person gets visibly upset when they start chanting ‘Kill The Fatty’. I wish I was making this up.