This is Thin Privilege

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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.

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.

Before I lost 65 pounds, I wasn’t allowed to talk about food

About a year ago, I lost 65 pounds in rather drastic ways. When I was big, I couldn’t talk about being hungry or about loving food because I instinctively knew how people would perceive that. It’s like they look at you with ‘well that’s why you’re like this’ written all over their face. Like you should do everything but bring attention to your size and being honest about wanting to eat does that. Whereas guys love a ‘skinny girl’ that ‘likes to eat’ they find a ‘bigger girl’ that likes it too lazy and weak-minded, because she should obviously deprive herself of what she wants to be smaller.

Soon as I lost weight, I felt comfortable making jokes like ‘oh I’m craving an apple and maybe 5483 chicken wings’ and people found it funny or guys claimed to love how honest I was, or that I liked eating. But it’s not like I’ve forgotten anything. Those were the same guys that made me ashamed and sometimes paranoid about going for seconds, or even saying I was hungry. I’ve seen so many chubby girls that normally enjoy their food claim otherwise in public to appear thinner. It’s sad. The public perception of your size should not dictate what you’re allowed to enjoy, or your cravings and need. Because after all, what people forget is that even ‘fat people’ need to eat.

Thin privilege is being allowed to want to eat as much as you want, and whatever you want, without having your honesty about it regarded as a shameful taboo. 

[TW: Weight loss]

I’ve lost 7% of my bodyweight in the past month due to malnutrition- my pay got cut recently and I’ve barely been able to afford food, and it’s even more difficult because of my allergies. 

All my friends have been telling me is how good I look, asking what my secret is, and congratulating me. None of them have made note of the fact that my hair is significantly thinner, or that I can barely stomach anything more than a cookie. Nope, the only thing of significance, to any of them, is that I’ve lost weight. 

Oh, and as a bonus- the one friend to whom I confided in about my pay cut and the resulting lack of grocery money just said “Wow, so it’s a really cheap diet, too? You should share it with me, I need to lose a few pounds before my vacation.”

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.

I don’t really know how to phrase this in a thin privilege sort of way, but I saw something that actively kinda pissed me off earlier. In Supernatural S9E08, Sam and Dean go to a chastity support group as part of their investigation. One of the women in the group is fat. After the meeting while they are talking to some of the people who were present, the larger woman is seen in the background at the snack table taking some cookies. At that point the camera actually zoomed in to show that she was wrapping up six cookies into a napkin and placing them in her purse, at which point the group leader excused herself to go stop said fat woman.

It was never brought up again, and the character was not seen anywhere else in the episode. She literally just existed for a “lol fatties hoard all the junk foods!” moment. Totally ripped me out of what is normally one of my favorite shows.

Hm…

So I was watching the first episode of Drop Dead Diva because my friend recommended it to me. I was, however, a little disgruntled by the fact that the first time you meet the lawyer—an intelligent, pretty ‘overweight’ (the show’s blurb’s word choice) girl—is when she’s reaching into a fridge, right past a grapefruit and straight for a cinnamon roll. She bites into it and makes a big show of how much she’s enjoying it. Contrary to that choice of breakfast, the thin and perfect girl who [quote] has never been more than a size two [unquote] (even though she looked more than a two to me….) was eating grapefruit. 

Could that get any more insulting or stereotypical? Because she’s fat, she HAS to be eating a cinnamon roll, and she HAS to make faces while she eats it because she’s enjoying it SO much. 

Reading your blog has called to my attention these kinds of things, things I perhaps wouldn’t have noticed before. The stories featured on here are heartbreaking but I’m hoping that due to the bravery of the individuals who have shared their stories, more awareness will spread. This sort of stereotyping shouldn’t even exist, but unfortunately it does. 

Today I spent a lot of time on the internet reading rider requests (the list of stuff the musicians and their teams need at a venue to perform, including technical equipment, security, transportation, dressing room stuff, etc.) because I am incredibly nosy and quarantined with pinkeye.  They’re all pretty similar after a while—pork-free deli platters, SUVs with drivers and captain seats, throat coat tea, nice booze, clean dressing rooms.  Adele’s stood out, because she asked that everyone who received a complimentary ticket to one of her shows be required to donate twenty dollars to charity.  But all the commenters on her rider wanted to talk about was the food on her list.  I’m no music-industry expert, but from the hour I’ve wasted reading this stuff I’ve learned it’s expected for A-list performers to request a shit ton of food and drinks, not just for themselves, but for their crew, entourage, and guests.  Adele, because she is an A-list performer, requested the usual shit ton of booze and food for herself and her people.  But she’s fat, so she must be hording ALL the food, and eating ALL of it, by herself, every night, at every show.  Obviously.  The comments are filled with crap like, “she’ll never lose weight eating and drinking like that,” and “why didn’t she include workout equipment?” (a request I have yet to see on ANY of the riders I’ve seen so far for musicians, fat or thin).  All because she had the audacity to ask for two bottles of nice red wine and bite-sized assorted chocolate bars, like every other freaking famous musician like her, ever.  Because no matter how talented, hardworking, and successful someone is, they are are always FAT first.

Thanks, brother

Thin privilege is the ability to talk about moving out of your house, without having someone tell you if you stopped eating so much you could afford it.

I’ve always been a big girl, and I’m recently trying to change my hatred of myself. However living in a family full of large people who are also as self hating as yourself, it’s extremely hard. I was discussing moving out of the house into an apartment, and my brother decided to chime in with his two cents. “If you stopped buying so much food you could actually save money and move out.” When I come back with how I’m trying to live my life in a body positive mind frame and that his opinion wasn’t needed or requested, I got a scoff in return followed by “I’m in a lot better place than you right now,” (he’s lost some weight because he works in a warehouse) “but whatever keep living in the dark. It’s health advice, I don’t care if you’re fat, you aren’t healthy.”

Thin privilege is the ability to feel comfortable to talk about anything money related without being told to not spend money on food. Thin privilege is being openly body positive without having someone’s ‘concern’ about your health because they think you’re too heavy.

(On mobile, so can’t just submit)
Thin privilege is you family not hounding you when food disappears at a regular pace. 
My family consists of somewhat big people, but my mom had been sick, my dad had to change his diet because of diabetes, and my brother is playing football and lifting weights. So they have all been losing weight… I’m on hormonal birth control, so I have been gaining weight. 

My dad bought some boxes of yoohoo (for my mom, brother and I). This was the first time we have had them. My brother had his last night.I had mine that morning. My mom had yet to have one. My family saw that there was one yoohoo left and instead of realizing that this is how elementary school math works, they stay yelling at me demanding to know how many I had instead of just asking if my brother had one, and start telling me that I eat too much of everything (even though I eat about as much as them)and that I’m just greedy and lazy which just makes my depression worse when they already know I’m suicidal…

the societal challenge to end obesity among children, the number one nutrition-related problem in the US” <—- Actual text from federal research website. This sort of thing is incredibly common in research and the way researchers talk about obesity (when I am in the room, even) is still upsetting every time.

Maybe I’m missing something, but I’d rank things like, say, food insecurity a little bit higher on that list. 

And yes, I get that from a purely numbers-game perspective, there may be more fat people than people dealing with food insecurity (btw overlapping groups) but I think it shows pretty clearly how the US prioritizes these things. 

I had a job last year, working as a cook in an Italian restaurant. My job was making the desserts; gelato, fancy cakes, mousse, tiramisu, and chocolate truffles. I enjoyed the work and I was quite good at it. We reused a lot of old containers to store things around my workstation, and they usually weren’t labeled, because whatever was put in them that day was used up by that night. I kept a good tally in my head about which container contained what, cookie crumbs, or decorations for various desserts. On any given day, I might have 20 different containers of components to decorate with, and I have to remember what each one has. 

One day, I made a new batch of 4 dozen chocolate truffles and put them in a container. There they sat for a few hours until dessert orders came pouring in. My boss came over to help me when things got slammed and fill orders for me. Suddenly, he needs truffles. I point out the exact container they’re in and he fetches it, only to open it and discover cookies. What on earth? But I knew the truffles were in THAT one. I’m so baffled, I open the next few on the shelf and come up empty handed every time. 

My boss starts screaming, “WHERE ARE THE TRUFFLES [MY NAME]?!” Again and again, every time I open a new container. I went through every container we had, and started going through containers that were in a different area, absolutely panicked. What happened to them, I know I put them here just four hours ago. “WHERE ARE THE TRUFFLES,” still going off a foot away, with my boss more and more enraged that they’re not where I left them. I’m confused too. 

My thin coworker walks up, with a container in her hands and gives it to me, “they were over there,” she says and points at her own workstation a good ten feet away. No explanation how they got over there, no apology, no nothing. Just that they were “over there.” and I never saw her or anyone else take that container over there. Finally, we get the truffles down and everything proceeds smoothly. 

Later, I excuse myself to the bathroom, but it’s occupied so I return to my station to continue my job and wait for the restroom to be free, when I overhear my boss tell the female coworker, “For a minute there, I thought [my name] had eaten all the truffles!” Coworker responds with, “With her body, I’d be worried too.” 

I was so shocked, hurt, confused and stunned, I spent an extra amount of time in the bathroom, wondering what had just happened. I’m good at my job, I don’t graze from my work, that’s cutting into my own wages and is quite literally, stealing.After my shift, and talking to a different co-worker, I find out that thin coworker stole the truffles from my station and was eating/stealing them for hours until we needed them. 

Yet, was my thin coworker ever accused of eating all the food from her workstation? From stealing food of customer’s plates? 

This is thin privilege, to not be guilty of stealing food when you are literally guilty of it, and I’m automatically guilty simply because I’m fat. 

I was later fired from that job, with the implication that a lot of food was going missing and that it wasn’t cost effective for them to keep me on the payroll. Thin coworker still works there to this day.