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.

[tw: dieting, weight loss, eating disorders, “thinspiration”, healthism]

This article [—backlash—well-deserved-or-political-correctness-gone-too-far-130047278.html] was on the front of my homepage today:

What is more, Richman’s main critic, a woman called Amber Sarah, has publically labelled herself “a fat activist.”

While she didn’t deserve to be called any names, we’re not convinced that the body image she advocates is any healthier than the one she is attacking.

Shaming someone for their use of the “thinspiration” hashtag, while lauding physiques that are obese by medical standards, doesn’t seem entirely logical.

Thin privilege is dismissing and demonising Fat Activism as “illogical, “unhealthy body image” and “attacking” and “shaming” of thin bodies in a single throw-away paragraph in an article promoting a healthist agenda.

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.

[tw: ed]

I have always been on the thinner side and unfortunately never really paid attention to thin privilege. That was until I became pregnant with my first child. I was blessed to have a healthy and happy pregnancy. Over the course of the nine months I put on about 50+ pounds, a bit more than what was recommended but my OBGYN never said anything negative about my weight gain. So everything was great until I went to the hospital to deliver my baby. The first time I saw my delivery room nurse, she literally looked me up and down, smirked and said I needed to step on the scale. On that day I weighed 198lbs. She commented multiple times on how heavy that was and asked if I had always been heavy or if I just ate too much during my pregnancy. I sheepishly responded that I gained more weight than I intended too. She scoffed and said it was going to very difficult for me to get back to a “normal” body weight. I was too overwhelmed by being in labor that I didn’t say anything to her. But I was extremely self conscious for the rest of my delivery. The day after my delivery, I was weighed and due to having an IV overnight, I only lost one pound. The nurse (a different nurse!)  who weighed me told me that after she gave birth to her son she immediately lost 20 pounds and wore her pre-pregnancy jeans home. It made me like a big fat failure. And I kept up with this self hate for the first few months after my daughter was born. I wasn’t one of those women who lost her baby weight in 6 weeks so I really struggled with my body image and would find my self starving myself and then trying to work out.  I would cover the mirror in the bathroom before I showered because I was so ashamed of my body. It got to the point where I was beginning to resent my baby because my pregnancy gave me this body. My family also added to this cycle of self hate. Every time I saw them and had lost a few pounds they praise me for starting to look like myself again and ask me what my secret was. (Uhm I was pregnant and now I’m not…). They were trying to be supportive but I felt that I wasn’t myself until I reached a certain number on a scale. And it was even worse if I went a few weeks without losing any weight. I would get comments like “you know everyday that goes by its just going to get harder and harder..” or “well I lost x amount of weight in that time frame, are you sure you are cutting enough calories?” And the absolute worst was when they would mention a certain celebrity that maintained their weight throughout their pregnancy and how 6 weeks after giving birth they now had a six pack. Thankfully, I had a very supportive husband who never once criticized my weight and helped me develop a healthier approach to body. I was fortunate enough to break this cycle of self hate and through a much healthier approach I lost some (not all!) of my pregnancy weight. I am no longer obsessed with losing weight and I now prefer my softer post pregnancy body.

This whole ordeal really opened my eyes on how fat shaming runs rampant in our society and unfortunately how common and how accepted it is in the medical community. My ordeal only lasted for about year so I can’t imagine how hard it must be to spend your whole life having these negative attacks thrown on you. I am also thankful that blogs like this exist because they are huge eye openers for people that have never faced body shaming. I wish that I would have paid more attention to thin privilege and fat shaming  prior to this event. But now I know the hard truth and will continue to educate myself on these issues and will do everything in my power to preach body acceptance and be a positive role model for my young daughter.

Free/Cheap Clothing

As a thin person but fat-positivism ally I just realized another privilege of mine I haven’t found on any lists so far: Thin privilege is rarely having to buy new clothes because you fit into old ones of relatives and friends they have grown out of. Plus, easily finding clothes that fit at give-away shops, flea markets and secondhand shops. I try and compensate them in some manner or other even if they don’t want/accept money. I was also thinking of accompanying others to events with a variety of sizes but I’m reluctant to ask as I’m not sure how they’ll feel about it. 

[tw: weight loss talk]

I got a job at a dog day care just last week. It’s certified Green, using energy efficient everything and no harsh chemicals for cleaning. It’s also a cage free environment with a very large indoor yard for the dogs to play in. I love everything about it except how they treat one black lab, Bella. 

Bella is a fat dog. All her owner and my coworkers talk about in relation to her is her weight. I’m not a vet and I haven’t seen her medical records, so she might have conditions that I’m not aware of, but to my eyes she’s basically fine. She has no trouble walking, running, or playing. In fact, she loves to play—she plays most of the time that she’s with us. She plays (running, jumping, rolling around on the ground) with various dogs in the yard. Most dogs get tired after about an hour and are put in a smaller pen to calm down and chill out. They also are put in these pens when they get cranky—as just about every dog does. Bella is one of the few who never needs a nap because her sweet temperament doesn’t get frazzled very easily. 

So this dog is fat. This dog spends the vast majority of her day being active, and in fact sleeps/rests LESS than the average dog. And yet, several times when I’ve been in the yard and she’s finally gotten tired after ~two hours of strenuous play and lays down, the humans in the yard call her. Because she’s so sweet she immediately gets up and runs to them, and then is even more out of breath. I’ve been told a few times to “keep her moving” because “she’s too lazy to play.” It’s like no one has been watching the same dog that I have. 

Unfortunately, I know how Bella feels. I’m the fattest person at the daycare to such a degree that I was honestly surprised to be hired. I’m afraid to speak up for her because people might think I’m just feeling awkward because I’m fat too. But I’m also concerned about how much stress they put Bella through. Right now the best I know how to do is let her sleep if she wants to whenever I’m in charge of the yard, but it’s not that much. 

Thin privilege is human bias being extended to an active, playful, healthy dog to the extent that she’s not allowed to lay down for even a few minutes after hours of physical exertion. Thin privilege is also being afraid to tell your coworkers about it because you’ve had previous employers attribute actual concern to bias because I’m also fat. 

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. 

I made a horrible mistake

[tw: fat shaming, diet and weight loss talk]

I recently moved back home for the summer where among my friends diet culture is pretty entrenched.  We’re all very good friends, and everyone is very caring - no one fat shames anyone else (most of us are at least smallish fat), no one passively aggressively suggests dieting to anyone.  Everyone is supportive of each other, whether they’re on a diet or not.  But dieting strangely served as a nice social bonding activity.  Me and one girlfriend would try out diets together, suggest tips and share stories, and I honestly found it fun back then.  Ultimately we never lost any weight, but it made me feel girly and normal to be trying to lose weight, I guess.

I moved away about a year ago, and got really into social justice and discovered this blog which changed my entire perspective on food and my body.  My focus now is just to get my disordered eating under control and figure out how to have a normal relationship with food.  But now I’m back for the summer in this dieting culture.  I often do things I’m not really into just to be social or get to hang out with friends.  Watched a football game with a friend and enjoyed her company and some beer.  Went out for karaoke and had a blast listening to my friends sing.  So I didn’t really think too much about it when these friends invited me to join a game called “DietBet.”  Basically you pay around $30 and if you lose 4% of your body weight, you win some more money.  I now felt pretty impervious to any diet schemes and knew from the beginning I wouldn’t be anywhere near capable of losing 4% of my weight.  With that in mind, I thought I would join just to be social and have fun, and maybe I could be a good, fat activist influence on my friends.  And then I got this email on the first day of the game:

Yes, looking at myself is just so painful.  Every time I pass a mirror or an old photograph I get these awful piercing cramps that can only be explained by the pain of my fat.  It hurts me to even exist.

I just can’t even—  I should’ve known better.  And knowing this is the same email all of my beautiful, fat friends got makes me cringe.  I’ve requested my refund from the DietBet group, and I will never make such a naive mistake again.

[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 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. 

TW Eating Disorders, Body Policing

Thin Privelege is working really hard and overcoming an eating disorder, one which your mother KNEW about, and yet, when you put on some weight your mother says you’re out of control.

I’m a US size 6 now.  I’ve probably put on about 45 lbs in the 2 years since I decided to stop being sick (after being hospitalized for it).  

Side note: I’d like to thank this blog…. You make me feel like I’m doing the right thing trying to beat this, and you’re helping me to not listen to my mom.  To accept my body.  Thank you.  It’s helping me to be less sad and mean to myself.