This is Thin Privilege

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Questions I Wish I Could Ask My Boss

1) How come you always make a big deal of me using the elevator, even though we’re on the third floor of the building?

2) How come you make comments about what I eat and when I eat?

3) Why do you think it’s a good idea to ‘inspect’ my lunch whenever I order out to eat?

4) Why did you reduce my performance review marks based on my ‘indifference’ to how I look? In the thirteen months since I got this job, my weight has never ever hindered my work in any way. 

5) Why should my weight be part of my appraisal at all? Why isn’t it enough to be judged on how well I perform on the job and all the ideas I’ve brought in so far?

6) Why do you think it’s appropriate to email me links on the latest fad diets during the day?

7) Why did you think that drawing up a contract for me losing weight was a good idea? And worse, saying that you were going to email it to the head of Human Resources to be part of my employee profile?

8) Why aren’t any of the other young women on our floor - all of whom are at a ‘socially acceptable’ weight - being treated like this? How come it’s okay for them to use the elevator, and eat what they like and be judged on their job performance and not have their personal appearance being brought into it at all?

Oh, wait.  I think I know the answer.

I joined the high school drama club because they did not have enough women in the cast to perform the play they had selected. A friend in the drama club suggested I come into the group to play the role of an attractive psychiatrist. I agreed that I would check the drama club out, and decide from there. To be clear, I had been in another play (and a few since this happened), and had been praised for my performance, so I’m not a terrible actress.

I enjoyed the club, so I did join. I was so excited to final get a role so exciting and different from the characters I get cast as.

My hopes were crushed when the director of the play decided that I wasn’t pretty enough to play the role. The director stated that the other woman in the group (a thin, conventionally attractive woman) could play multiple roles (despite the need for both characters to interact with each other), and that she would be fine. She then cast me as the mother, who had only two lines shouted from backstage; I’m guessing I was given this out of pity.

Thin privilege is being seen as a desirable woman, and being allowed to let your hard work and talent speak for itself.

An (Angry) Update, of sorts

Triggering warning: eating disorders, shitty doctors, weight talk

Roughly a year ago I submitted this post talking about my experiences of having an eating disorder as a fat person, specifically as a fat, japanese, young girl.

At the time of writing the post, the reality of the physical damage I’d done to my body was dragging me into a pretty dark depression. It is something that has taken - and is a process, and far from a completed one - me a long time to come to terms with: that this is the body I have now, that it will never function the way it maybe could have, had I not damaged it with starvation. The aches and pains and creaking bones that break far too easily, I often find it ironic that people will claim their hatred of fat people to be a concern for their “health”, when my path to thinness made me far more sick - horribly, painfully, irreversibly sick - than being fat ever did. 

But, I want to put all that aside, because that’s not the reason I’m submitting this.

I’m submitting this because yesterday I went to the doctors office. I saw a temp doctor because my regular doctor is away on vacation.

I was there to express concerns that I may be developing arthritis in my knees (I already have osteoporosis) because they have been causing me increasing pain over the last 6 months or so.

He asked there have been any significant changes to my health or body recently.

I said yes, I have gained 20lbs in the last 9 months.

He told me that perhaps that was the cause of my knee trouble. That perhaps I needed to exercise more and “lay off the cake”. Wink wink, nudge nudge.

This is a doctor with my entire medical file set out in front of him.

This is a doctor who has easy access to read about the eating disorder that literally almost killed me.

This is a doctor who decided to ignore all that because hey, maybe I’m a bit chubby for an asian girl my height.

(I’m 5’3” and 125lbs, by the way. Easily a “healthy weight” in the eyes of doctors).

This is a doctor who decided to tell someone who a few years ago literally tried to starve themselves to death that maybe I should eat less. Because gaining 20lbs could never be a good thing. Gaining 20lbs is obviously a bad thing. Gaining weight, unless you are unacceptably (read: unattractively) thin, is never a good thing.

I am clinging to my anger over this as a way to avoid spiraling back into the disordered behaviour that destroyed my teens. I am furious. I am raging.

And this incident with the doctor is not the first time. Everybody who knows me knows I had an eating disorder. Everybody who has known me since my teens has likely seen the extent of my eating disorder. And yet, the sly comments still come. The hints that perhaps I’ve gained too much weight now, that maybe I need to lose some again. Healthily of course. So healthily. Because aiming to lose weight is something anyone can ever do healthily.

It’s been a year and nothing has changed, in that respect. People don’t want you to be unattractively thin and will praise you from escaping that because you are “so much healthier now”, but the moment you begin to cross the line from “acceptably thin” into “a bit fat” again, suddenly they no longer care for your health. They no longer care that you are so much better off chubby than you are thin. They only care that you no longer look a way that appeals to them, and that’s a bad thing.

When I was 85lbs and I wanted another slice of cake I was praised for it.

Now I’m 125lbs and I want another slice of cake, I’m asked if I really “need” it.

[tw: eating disorder, depression, doctors, fat shaming]

A few weeks ago I went to my psychiatrist to get my medication refilled. They commented on my recent weight loss, stating that it was “good”. I told them that it was not good, as I had been starving myself due to being severely depressed the past month. He then said, and I quote, “That’s good. As long as you loose the weight.”

skinnytroubles:

What do people want skinny people to do about thin privilege? (If you think it exists)
Like how are we supposed to stop it? What do you want from us??!! I don’t understand. When someone tells me I’m privileged I’m just like…okay? What do you want me to do? Tell people to stop treating me like I’m privileged? I just don’t get it. They think it’s something skinny people can control. And when they use that as a reason as to why I can’t be shamed is ridiculous. If you’re making comments about my body, I have the right to get mad.

Wow, the first honest confusion I’ve seen from an anti-thin-privilege reactionary.

You aren’t supposed to do anything about your privilege. It’s not bad to have privilege. It just is. Society is bigger than individuals in that we have little control at the margin (or even in medium-sized organized groups) over meta-stuff like moral panics, waves of bigotry, and social norms.  

The point is understanding. The point is seeing the world for what it really is. The point is using this new information about the world to make better choices in your own life. If many people do the same, then change can occur over time, in the aggregate (kind of like a societal phase transition. And yes I’ve been reading a lot about complex adaptive systems lately). 

Societies are networks of individuals which experience large-scale emergent phenomena that often aren’t changeable by any particular individual. Societies may alter over time, however, through shifts in generation attitudes, or after cultural shocks. 

So, basically, if you understand what we mean by unearned advantages (privilege), and how having it better than some other person by virtue of characteristics that have nothing to do with your skill, personality, or whatever elements of a person that could be called the real definable elements of their selves (and not just the arbitrary stuff they were born with or lucked into) doesn’t mean you are objectively better than that other person, then you’re one tick closer to shifting society in the right direction.

-ATL

Thin privilege is dreaming of meeting Mr. Right. 

I have been fat (and a large fat, at that) since I was a child. I have been bullied by students and teachers alike. Through that pain I was taught to believe that I didn’t want a relationship, kids, and all the other things everyone is supposed to want. 
By the time all the hormones started kicking in I was well aware that I was not considered attractive or beautiful by conventional standards. I was not going to have the typical teenage experience; there was going to be no boyfriend for me, no crazy parties, no dances, no high school sweetheart. This was consistently reinforced by the increased bullying behaviours of the boys in my classes - boys, who up until “girls” became a thing had no problem with me playing with them. But now that girls were I thing, I was disgusting. 
So, as a self-defence mechanism I started telling myself that I wasn’t interested. There would never be a big wedding for me, a husband, or kids - because I didn’t want that, and I framed the argument that I was a better human being for not wanting those things. I would be stronger for having done it alone. This was my mantra starting in grade 7. It was my mantra throughout all of high school, all of university, and a good portion of my mid-late twenties. The truth though is that those words have closed me off emotionally. I live in terror of forming close attachments; because I feel that I just wouldn’t be good enough - that I wouldn’t be beautiful enough, and my heart would be crushed. Better to leave it stone cold than to have it shatter, right? 
It is ingrained into my very existence. I rarely let people into my life. The thought of sex is at times disgusting, and where I once dreamed I could be a good mom is now replaced by disgust at the idea of even conceiving a child. 

The times I did reach out, it was painful. I lost my virginity at 23 to a man I was sincerely interested in, but who promptly told me that that night was a mistake. 
I let myself get trapped in an emotionally and mentally abusive relationship because I believed that it was the best I could hope for. 
I allowed myself to debase all my standards by spending a summer having meaningless hookups with men who viewed me as a fetish, because it was better than nothing, right? 

Thin privilege is growing up believing that you will have all the appropriate coming-of-age experiences, and that you will meet Mr. Right. Thin privilege is not being told your body is an impediment to those dreams.

Thin privilege is being able to go to an amusement park and know that you’ll fit on every ride.

I live close to Six Flags and like to ride roller coasters. However, due to being a size 22, the bars don’t come down enough for me to be cleared to ride. What’s even worse, is that unlike other parks I’ve been to, there’s only one coaster that has a test seat. So I’m tempting chance every time I get in line.

I fit on the tamer coasters that don’t have much more than ups and downs, but it’s a tight fit. I’ve actually lost 30 pounds since last summer and I had to walk of shame off of a coaster.

Just a test seat for the rides would be enough- at other parks they make it look like a photo op place too so it doesn’t seem like it’s the fat person test seat specifically.

tw: weight loss talk

I joined a gym in October.  The membership I agreed to included a few appointments with a trainer/”fitness coach”, the first of which involved the trainer taking measurements and weight.  When writing down my weight my trainer said, “We don’t ever want to see this number again.”

Months later, my trainer spotted me and reminded me to make an appointment for a progress review.  I freaked out.  I stepped on the scale in the locker room three times in a row and saw a number higher than the one from the initial appointment. I felt disappointed, ashamed.  My mind told me I couldn’t make an appointment for a progress review having made the exact opposite of “progress”.  I stopped going.

I expressed my anxiety to a friend who is also outside of the thin privilege realm and received the reply, “well as long as you don’t break (number).”

(Sorry this is so long but I think it’s important)
I never noticed the lack of representation for bigger girls in music until now. And it’s annoying. I have never seen a chubby girl in a music video. Not even in the background.

Not only is it annoying, but it’s unrealistic. The average music video usually involves a party of some sort. At no party in real life would everyone have the same body type. Im probably not the first person to say this and maybe it’s petty/stupid but I feel I have to say it.

Why is it that the only desirable girl in a music video has to be stick thin? Isn’t it possible that a guy could have a crush on/be chasing after a girl who’s not exactly societies version of “hot.” I wouldn’t say I’m huge but I’m definitely on the chubbier side.

It’s almost like no one would even consider that a guy would be singing about a girl whose bigger. The point is that when the people who make these music videos do this, it’s like they’re saying you can’t be desirable and also chubby/fat/etc.

I’m in no way trying to insult skinny people. Skinny is beautiful and just because a guy finds skinny girls attractive doesn’t mean they’re a dick. I’m not saying that. I’m just saying that fat can be just as beautiful and it’s also possible for a technically hot guy to find a bigger girl attractive and I just wish pop culture would address/represent that a little bit more.

shakethecobwebs:

people will always call out people for saying “fuck skinny bitches” but when the diet commercial comes on, when the fat jokes are being made, when conversations about how fat people are detriments to society are underway, when a size 6 expects her size 26 friend to go with her to the mall even though there ain’t shit for her fat ass there, when girls are saying “i can’t cut my hair short because my face would look fat” & “when i learned that drinking alcohol could make you gain weight i felt like my life was over!!!”, and when family/friends/TOTAL STRANGERS are saying “we’re just worried about your health” y’all STAY quiet

because body-shaming someone who “doesn’t deserve it” would be the worst thing you could do, right? 

(via sugaredvenom)

the-goddamazon:

the-bitch-goddess-success:

I cant even find panties in a department store that fit me and you really wanna talk about shaming? 

Fuck you.

The world worships thin people.

One song that says “fuck skinny bitches” when you got niggas like A$AP Rocky talmbout “you stuck wit a fat ho and she wanna stuff her face” and countless other fucking songs degrading big people.

Nicki Minaj isn’t even fucking fat! That song is literally for curvaceous but acceptably-sized women. “Little in the middle but she packs much back.”

Yet you’re going on a rant against fat women acting like we fucking bully skinny women? NOT A SINGLE WOMAN IN THE ANACONDA VIDEO WAS EVEN FAT. FUCK YOU.

^^^^^^^^^^^^

(via capncaptain)