232 posts tagged food
My doctor recently diagnosed me with a syndrome and encouraged me to regulate it by eating lots of salty things like soup. His words exactly: “go to town on potato chips.” If I hadn’t had any thin privilege, would he have said the same thing? I don’t know for sure, but from what I’ve read here, probably not. Unfortunately, it is entirely likely that he would have dismissed me with a wave of his hand and a “go lose x pounds, you’ll feel better.” It’s very sad that this is so often the case. There is no good reason why anyone should treat anyone else any differently simply because of appearance or a private number on a scale. Thin privilege is getting care you deserve. It’s complete BS.
Listening to the radio this morning, there was a talk section discussing a man who’s a vegetarian and hates vegetables. The solution: he will only eat cheese pizza. He eats 1 large cheese pizza per day, nothing else. What really bothered me about it though, was the host of the talk section saying “And he’s not obese, he’s perfectly healthy! He’s a skinny guy”. How can you honestly say that a person who only eats cheese pizza for every meal is “healthy” just because they’re thin?
Thin privilege is being deemed “healthy” no matter what you eat.
Thin privilege is deeming fat people “unhealthy” no matter what they eat.
[TW: possible eating disorder, medication-induced anorexia, prescriptions, medical crisis, dehydration, starvation, potential for violence against authority figures, I may have missed a few because I’m too fucked in the head to recognize even my own triggers]
Thin privilege means calling an ambulance, or at least seeking some form of medical attention, when your blood pressure suddenly drops to the blackout point because you’ve simply failed to eat or drink even as much as a housecat for… I dunno, three weeks? Probably longer?
I don’t normally submit anonymously. I prefer to face any trolls that come my way head-on, and take them down with logic and solid fact. Unfortunately, both options have completely failed me in this situation, and I just don’t have the spoons to deal with any shit-flinging. People who know me, one in particular, will know who I am, and that’s fine. I may have a few things to answer for, but I know good and well I keep my problems to myself until they reach critical, and that needs to stop.
Yesterday night, I experienced a bout of postprandial hypotension. It just means a drop in blood pressure immediately after eating as blood is rerouted from the brain to the digestive tract. Now, in my case, it was due to prolonged accidental starvation and dehydration due to a truly mind-boggling array of anorectic prescriptions. (In other words, I daily take more pills than Studio 54 saw in all of 1976-79, and I do it legitimately.) This cocktail barely keeps me balanced on the knife’s edge of functionality, and I have terrible balance. I’ve never eaten much, so nobody really pays attention if I go a few days without more than a couple of pears or some bread and butter, or just a can or two of Red Bull. I only have alcohol once or twice a month (though my tolerance is spectacular), never touched anything illicit, don’t smoke, don’t abuse my prescriptions. I just… slowly succumb to side effects.
Anyway, I thought a shower might help my hypotension. I’ve always had low BP—my doctor says I have the BP of a child—so I figured it would get better.
To my credit, I didn’t completely black out. There wasn’t enough oxygen in the world, though, and in a rush, I ended up on my hands and knees, gasping for breath with the top half of my face submerged near the drain.
It took about half an hour to get out, get to my room, tell my parents the absolute bare minimum of information. (They’ve gotten onto me lately for keeping too much to myself. What am I supposed to do? You have a past like mine, you don’t advertise when you’re vulnerable. I’m the Queen of Looking Fine While Dying Inside.) I sat up for a while by force of will, finally had to go to bed whilst gasping like a landed fish, and within minutes either fell asleep or lost consciousness.
Rationally, I should have requested an ambulance or a trip to the ER after my spill in the shower. This was clearly a medical crisis (and I am going to be in SO much trouble with my girlfriend for not telling her all of this detail sooner). I know what caused it, it’s a situation that needed immediate treatment, and I need to be evaluated for a possible ED to make sure one hasn’t developed alongside the drug-induced anorexia.
But, no. Why? Possibly the most common cause of postprandial hypotension in someone my age is Type II diabetes. Never mind that I sit dead in the middle of the normal range, AND have multiple severe chronic health conditions that would be more likely to cause it in my case. No, I’d have to get tested again and again for something I don’t have. In fact, if anything, my glucose is low right now.
Normally, it would be a minor consideration. I’m pretty level-headed and rational, and once even slurred my way through an informed, mutually agreeable discussion with an ER doc on whether I’d had a stroke. (Nope, but I can never eat a Reese’s cup again.) Lately, though—and I’d bet it’s due to not eating, in fact being unable to force myself to eat without overwhelming nausea—I’ve had a temper. A bad temper. The kind of temper that makes me less likely to calmly explain just why I’d like to be put on an IV of fluids before my glucose is tested, and more likely to do a couple million dollars in damage.
Thin privilege is knowing you can visit the emergency room for a possibly life-threatening condition—that has yet to fully abate more than 24 hours later, did I mention that?—without fear of losing what little hold you have on your abraded temper.
Thin privilege is treatment before terror.
Thin privilege is not being so angry, so absolutely at the end of your rope, that it would be better to die with your good reputation intact than live with what you might have done.
Thin privilege is being able to look at a radio facebook page without seeing a headless picture of a body that looks like yours from the back; thin privilege is also feeling just fine writing or calling in a hateful comment about fat people when the show is about suing food companies.
[Possible TW: abuse, gym]
Thin privilege is being about to work with customers without being given an attitude simply because of your weight.
I work in a grocery store in the meat/seafood department. Our store is in the same shopping plaza as a large fitness gym. Most of the people who work out there will immediately come to our grocery store. They approach the seafood counter and when I come to help them, I’m given dirty looks.
There was a woman who was wearing sweaty gym clothes that was about to get some fish. She saw me come out of the back room and say hello with a smile on my face. The woman looked me up and down and gave me the most disgusted look and walked away. She came back a few minutes later and was happy to be helped by a muscular co-worker of mine.
Another time, one of the gym trainers (he was wearing the gyms logo that said “trainer”) came up to counter, looked me up and down and with a disgusted look on his face asked for salmon. I cut it for him and handed it to him. As required by my job, I must ask if they wish to also purchase an item on sale. I asked him if he wanted some tilapia as well. He again looked me up and down and with a disgusted look and said “That’s unhealthy fish” and walked away.
Thin privilege is being able to do your job without having to deal with thin people looking at you like your disgusting and should not handling their healthy food.
Thin privilege is judging a fat parent and child for eating junk food when you yourself are eating the very same food!
My daughter (who is chubby like me) recently had her first day of kindergarten, and as a treat I decided to take her to McDonalds. This isn’t something I do often. But I was so happy that my daughter saw school as a positive experience (I was worried because when I was her age, I hated school and would cause trouble just to avoid going to classes) so I decided to sweeten the deal by giving her a treat.
No sooner had we both sat down at a table with our food, that I heard another mother with her child mumble something like, “Ugh. No wonder her daughter is so fat. Just look how they eat!”
Firstly, I have never seen this woman in my life so she has no idea how I eat or whether that is the reason for my (or my daughter’s) weight.
Secondly, it’s none of her freaking business how I feed my child!
Thirdly, she herself was at McDonalds with her child. Pot calling the kettle black, much?!
Fourthly, how dare you insult my child’s appearance (or any child, for that matter!) She is only five years old, for goodness sakes!!
Thankfully, my daughter didn’t hear the nasty comment so her trip to McDonalds was a pleasant one. But it makes me so sad that she is so young, and already people are making judgments about her physical appearance. And you know the saddest part? All the nastiness she has encountered in life has come from adults. None of the kids in her class were mean to her. They just look at her and see a potential playmate; someone they can have fun with and become friends with. Though I’m terrified that, as they get older, they might start listening to their nasty parents’ judgmental comments and start targeting my daughter for her looks. It makes me sick.
Fat shaming in fiction submission.
Name of work: the movie “What’s your number”.
I remember going to watch it. I cannot say I am a fan of that genre but it seemed like a nice silly movie to spend a couple of hours. It wasn’t anything special but it was cute.
The story is about a woman who thinks she has had too many boyfriends in the past and doesn’t want to get more so she tries to get to dating her exes.
The thing that bothered me the most was what gave her the idea to do so. She met one of her exes and, according to her, he “got better”, he even managed to get a wife.
How did he improve? He lost weight. That’s pretty much it. They openly stated that the main character was “too embarrassed” to show up with him in public and that was the reason she learned to cook since apparently all he cared about was different food.
The movie is telling people that fat people are gross and only want food. It’s telling us that being around fat people is shameful. It’s telling us that losing weight improves a person.
To top it off, nobody, as I recall, ever calls anyone out on these statements. Every character in the movie accepts those as truth. It’s disgusting.
So my 6-year-old son told me last night that next week his kindergarten class will be giving him a “watch” that tracks his food intake and exercise each day for a week. Apparently all of the kids will be doing this. No notice was given to the parents about it. His father and I are not sure what to think about it. I cook many dinners from scratch every week and my kids eat their vegetables and whole grains and such … I’m annoyed at the school trying to find out how well he’s eating and exercising. **Submitter noted that their child is thin. Edited bc term used would make people angry. -FBP
(And thank you for this blog - I read it every day and it is a constant reminder to me to treat everyone in the world with respect and to not think negatively of my or anyone else’s bodies, regardless of size, shape, or manner.)
Hell, even vehicles don’t conform to the first law of thermodynamics/energy-in-energy out. Even accounting for differences in model and age, miles per gallon/fuel efficiency can and is affected by:
Condition of the road(s) travelled
Speed traveled at
Weather (cold weather, especially temperatures below freezing, reduce mpg)
Type of driving (idling long times and driving in stop-and-go traffic can all reduce mpg)
How the driver accelerates and brakes (doing quickly can reduce mpg)
How much weight is in/on the vehicle (more weight = lower mpg)
Running electronic items (such as A/C, radio, charging items, etc)
The condition of the tires (lesser tread and under- or over-inflation can affect mpg)
Maintenance/condition of the vehicle (a clogged air filter, for example, can reduce mpg)
Note the similarities to the human body, everyone.
Thin privilege (and class privilege) is me going into a panera bread in a “nice” area to meet a friend only to have a thin, conventionally pretty, white girl look at me and scream. It was a little scream like she was just startled or somethin. But I was like is this girl for real? Are you so used to youre boring world that a fat woman with blue croped hair and tattoos is such a shock that you react with a jump and scream???? She said sorry and moved the hell out of my way but it made me feel like a monster. Now thinkin abut it make laugh but come on little girl.
A girl I went to school with often posts statuses on Facebook about how “fat/chunky” she is, talks about how much she eats and how she “needs to do exercise to work off the fat lol”, usually met with heaps of likes and a heap of people commenting about how they eat heaps too and “ironically” calling themselves ‘fatties’. About an hour ago she wrote about how she “ate so much, I practically inhaled it!!” and hashtagged it with #fatlife and #fatty4ever. Thing is, she’s stick thin and always has been (as are the people who frequently comment on her posts), and I can’t help but think that if she actually was a fat person, her proclaimations of how much she’s eaten and how fat she is wouldn’t be met with such a positive response. She’d actually probably be faced with a shit-ton of hostility if she were fat. It really pisses me off.
It’s also quite literally appropriating actual fat lives — hashtags like #fatgirlprobs and #fatlife are overwhelmingly utilized by young thin women.
I mean, damn, we don’t even get to use our own fucking hashtags. Thin privilege is feeling entitled to both thin and fat hashtags, apparently.
I think the important thing to remember is that food does not convey any moral value onto you. It’s just food. Eating more or less doesn’t make you a bad person deserving of punishment, or a good person deserving of rewards or the best things in life.
Think of someone you consider a good person, who you would never call “disgusting.” An example for me is my mom. Now, imagine that person eats a heavier lunch than usual. Are they now “disgusting,” or do you consider them as awesome as you did before?
One of the hardest things I learned in my recovery from an eating disorder and trauma after an abusive relationship is that the person I need to esteem the most in my life is myself, and that esteeming myself does not fit with punishing myself. It was an especially hard lesson for me because I grew up in New England, where the concept of Puritanical self-persecution-as-goodness still lingers.
First of all — do you agree that it’s wrong for society to place moral value on food and weight?
If so, why do you want to extend society’s prejudices to yourself?
The #1 person who needs to care about you, and overall be fair and just to you, is yourself.
I understand that eating disordered behaviors are difficult to overcome. Spend some time every day thinking about all the good things you like about yourself that actually convey moral value. These are the only things that matter. Societal messaging often says the opposite, that the only things that matter are image, or perceived moral value based on wrong-headed ideas of morality (like food/health/body morality). Society is harsh, and unfair, filled with prejudices and false beliefs. You’re the only one who can save yourself from its bad effects. You need to be the general of your army, the top fighter for your cause. It doesn’t mean you’re actively fighting all the time. It just means that you put yourself first, all the time. And you can only learn to do that little by little, day by day, and sometimes only with help (like good friends, family, or a therapist). Good luck!
Note: the ideas about EDs in this piece are entirely reflective of my own experience, and aren’t meant to be generalized. If you find something valuable in here, awesome. If you don’t, don’t take my words as authoritative.
I am fat, but I don’t eat huge amounts of food in one sitting. I have repeatedly been accused of doing so by friends and family despite them having no evidence to support their accusations (other than my weight which “obviously” means I eat like a pig). My mother has even gone so far as to accuse me of having binge eating disorder which is really hurtful and completely untrue. Yes, I’m fat. No I don’t hoard huge amounts of food and eat them as soon as I’m out of sight of everyone.
Mod note: The importance of this post is understated. I think the “but why are you fat?” question, with the expectation that it must be behavioral/chosen while thin people can be thin naturally, impacts fat people all the time.
I’ve been around people who have sat with me at every meal, and in classes or study the rest of the time, and would still say things like how they didn’t know how I ate when they weren’t around.
Uh, exactly like how I ate when they were?
I know I’m lucky in that I’ve recovered from my restrictive eating disorder and don’t have problems eating in front of other people what I determine is right for me to eat in the amounts I determine are right. It’s possible that the expectation that fat people must be engaging in some kind of binge-type behavior behind closed doors is partly fueled by fatphobia and an eating-disordered culture, where most people (especially women) have restricted their intake at some point of time and have consequently experienced or given into the urge to binge brought on by starvation. So people have the tendency to project that behavior onto fat people who appear to be eating less than or differently than they’re expected to eat.
Note further: this isn’t to say that all fat people eat a certain way, or should, just like it isn’t saying all thin people eat a certain way, or should. I don’t do the good/bad fatty thing. Eat whatever you feel is right. Forget/too busy to eat often? I get it. That’s what cereal is for, amirite? Want to eat only smoked salmon and kale chips every day? Sweet! Like to go out to eat every night? Go you!
Food is food. It’s fuel, pleasure, and sometimes just the thing that makes the hunger pangs go away. It has no inherent moral value. Eating some kinds of food instead of other foods does not make you a better or worse person. The current cultural narrative does however support the inherent morality of food, that eating Paleo, low-sugar, low-fat, or low-cal makes someone a better person than everyone who doesn’t eat that way.”
*The morality of food is one of the primary tenets of Healthism, which for those who don’t know, is the cult of pseudoscientific health doctrine that would have its followers believe that if you exercise X minutes a day, eat the ‘right’ foods, and engage in other behaviors, that you can avoid most of the diseases of aging including diseases present in your family history.
Last night for dinner my family went out to a seafood buffet. The restaurant opens for dinner at 5, but we got there a few minutes early and went in to get in line. Once we got in, my mom loudly (in Spanish, but still) complained about how these “two gringos” walked ahead and literally took all the sashimi. I didn’t say anything yet since she hadn’t explicitly mentioned their weight at this point. I just pointed out that it’s a buffet that just opened, and I’m sure they’ll notice that they ran out of sashimi and put some more out.
As dinner went on, she kept bringing them up every time she came back from the buffet. She gestured to her own plate and showed that they got “this much” beef and crabs. She snidely mentioned, “I bet they’re able to break even” (the buffet was pricier than we thought at $30/person, which probably contributed to her complaints… not that that justifies anything). She talked about how “people of their size have such an advantage.”
At this point my sister chimed in, saying Americans have no idea how to have a healthy relationship with food, since “they invented McDonald’s and high fructose corn syrup” and “the big chains keep putting their profit over the peoples’ health, people are brainwashed into eating crap and getting fat”.
Thin privilege is being able to eat whatever you want in a public place without having it be a judgmental, 15-minute long topic of conversation for the people eating around you.
The image of the two women eating pizza and drinking coke made me think…
Thin privilege is any food you eat being acceptable in the eyes of others.
When thin people have pizza and soda, that food is totally fine and normal.
When fat people have pizza and soda, that food becomes “GARBAGE,” “TRASH,” or “JUNK FOOD.” Referring to food as trash, or something that is thrown away, also kind of intersects with another type of privilege involving living in a first-world country where food is readily available for people who can afford it.
(mod note: Excellent point. When thin people are consuming the same things, it is not “garbage”, “trash” or “junk food”. It’s just “food”. -Fatanarchy)