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? 

[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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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.

This is my first time posting something like this, so hopefully I’m doing it right! Anyway, I’m not really “fat” myself  (my BMI is about a 26), but I am against body-shaming and I truly believe in loving people for who they are and not judging people based on how they look.  However, I have some friends who are not like this and I see how thin privilege and fat-shaming really plays out.  It is plain bigotry.  Anyway, I tend to find that guys my own size or guys who are super thin often are too much for me too handle because I can constantly read what is going on in their minds.  One day while I was at work this guy came in, who I am now dating, (let’s call him Bill) comes in.  Immediately I was attracted to him.  He’s larger.  However, he’s also really smart.  He’s interested in many of the same things I am.  He’s a true gentleman.  He’s mysterious.  And he definitely knows how to treat a lady.  However, dating him we have faced such discrimination.  I’ve been called a “chubby chaser.”  My friends always make comments about how “He must have a lot of money.” I’ve even gotten comments from some real assholes about how we should not be allowed to marry because of the risk of reproduction.  I can be myself with him and he can be himself with me. I feel beautiful and loved and as if he would do anything for me.  

This is just the stuff my “friends” and “family” say to me.  When we are out in public I see strangers stare.

Thin privilege is getting to be a couple without question.

The Pendulum Never Swings as Far for Thin Shaming

I had a fat swim coach in HS. He was a great guy and knew a lot about swimming. I was definitely a lot thinner than him as a HS swimmer, but guess what, I would have been a shit coach back then. I am definitely slower and chubbier now than I once was, but I have some damn impressive coaching experience from my brother’s swim team by now. If you looked thin-HS me and picked that for a swim coach rather than than chubby-adult me, you would not be dropping much time next season.

I guess this is a roundabout way of mentioning that being fast != being a good swim coach. Being thin != being a good swim coach. Knowing how to coach == being a good swim coach. People seem obsessed with the idea that this is not true for being a personal trainer. I think it is just hard for people to admit that their exercising and their personal trainer is more about vanity than being healthy and fit.

[tw: weight loss talk, possible ED-like habits]

In college, I met the most incredible person. We connected immediately and became inseparable practically the moment we introduced ourselves. We stayed friends for a few months before I confessed that I had romantic feelings for him. He told me he loved me but ultimately rejected me, saying that he didn’t find me physically attractive. I was confused and upset and made the mistake of probing him for why, and he finally admitted that it was due to my weight. I asked if he would reconsider if I were thinner and he said that he might, so what did naïve little me do? I looked up the average BMI of an Asian 20-something woman (he is from an Asian country and I was aware that there is pressure in some countries to be very thin, so I was afraid that even if I hit a “normal” BMI I would still be too large to him) and spent the next eight months losing some 60 pounds, through exhausting vigilance.

He cheered me on so much through the process and we began a relationship after I lost 40 pounds (with the understanding that I would lose a bit more). I’ve maintained my weight for a few years now and though I’m very happy to be with him, our relationship is great, and there are some instances of thin privilege that I have enjoyed a little too much (people are nicer, clothes fit better, and I feel like I can leave the house in sweats and no one will care, to name a few), on the inside, I still am a fat person. I worry constantly about when and how the weight will come back, what I’ll lose when the weight comes back, if my boyfriend will leave me….it’s always in the back of my mind, how temporary this could be. I watch my food intake religiously and jog several times a week (I know some people come to love jogging/running, but I’m two years into it and STILL hate it but I have to do it because I’m so afraid of what will happen if I stop). I can’t enjoy food anymore. It’s just a necessity now, no joy. I hate going out to eat with friends because they like going to small restaurants that don’t have nutritional info anywhere. I hate cooking now. I have to wake up at 5 to go on my jogs so I can’t enjoy sleep anymore. So many of life’s simple pleasures, I can’t enjoy anymore. I haven’t told my boyfriend anything because our life is so great otherwise, I don’t want to be seen as a whiner…but it weighs on me.

I’m getting upset so I’ll wrap this up. Thin privilege is getting the guy. Thin privilege is not worrying about your relationship crumbling over some extra pounds. Thin privilege is a million little things that I’ve gained (that I’ve only gained through losing a million other little things).