4537 posts tagged thin privilege
one of the top free games in the iPhone app store this week is called “fit the fat”. basically, you start off with a cartoon of a man you’re told is 400 pounds, and you have to make him jump rope. for every 10 jumps, he loses 1 pound. you “win” when you get down to 150 pounds.
i dont understand how people think that this is ok! first of all, why is 150lbs “better” than 400? and why is he referred to only as “the fat” (he’s never given a name)- it’s not ok to refer to other people based on their physical appearances, so why is it ok for so-called fat people? also, it’s pretty bad that it sends the message that jumping rope 10 times will make you lose a pound, when this clearly is very far from the truth. it disgusts me that this is a popular game when it’s clearly so discriminating.
[tw: abuse, fat hate]
I recently had the privilege of visiting the Red sea riviera in Egypt, and booked myself in for a scuba diving lesson. Things got off to a bad start when I needed to put a wetsuit on; I overheard the attendants sniggering as they got out the largest wetsuit in their collection. It was considerably less flattering than the smaller wetsuits; while I couldn’t be 100% sure, I think I heard one of the other customers say “I thought we were going scuba diving, not whale watching”.
Because the human body is buoyant, even when wearing the scuba apparatus everyone needs to wear a weight belt. When it was my turn to be fitted for a belt, the attendants asked me how much I weighed, which I would have preferred not to have had to say out loud in front of all the attendants and the other divers. I said my weight as quietly as possible, but the attendants claimed they couldn’t hear me until I had to practically shout it. I found this really triggering- how hard is it to have a warning at the start of the trip that it is necessary for the attendants to know your weight, and given that they obviously know they need this, have a form to fill out so some modicum of privacy is left?
Then, they brought out a weight belt that was obviously too small, and it didn’t go around my stomach. I am absolutely sure they brought out this belt specifically to shame me; it wasn’t even close to being able to fit. I then had to watch as they strung together two of the belts, and all the other divers were watching- it was mortifying.
Thin privilege is not being laughed at by diving instructors
Thin privilege is being able to take an active holiday and being encouraged, not shamed
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.
In Australia we have these two comedians called Hamish and Andy, and they do a series of “gap year” shows where they go to different countries and experience the culture. At some point during the show they will do some sort of race through one of the cities, and it’s usually pretty funny- except for tonight’s episode. Tonight the race was called ‘corporate fat cat racing’ and it was disgusting. The two of them dressed up in fat suits and had to race through tight spaces, making light of the fact that those of us with large bodies sometimes struggle to fit through the small spaces that society allows us. Might be funny for you two, but for us that’s every fucking day of our lives.
Thin privilege is never being told to buy two plane tickets due to your weight.
Thin privilege is never having the woman behind the counter at the airport look you up and down, before saying “Your body would take up too much space to be comfortable in one seat….No offense.” (I’ve been perfectly comfortable on other planes, thank you very much!)
Thin privilege is never having the woman behind the counter call over her supervisor who then explains to you in a patronizing tone that the plane has a very specific weight limit for its passengers and that your body could cause the plane to fall out of the sky! (Yeah, right! I’m sure my fat butt is going to cause a 60+ tonne metal machine to suddenly drop out of the air! *rolls eyes*)
Thin privilege is never having your vacation ruined by a fatphobic airline who would rather shame and embarrass fat people than just install a couple of bigger seats.
Last night my boyfriend and I went to a gay night. As usual, given our small glbtqia community, I was the only trans guy there, and one of the only afab ppl there who wasn’t cis het. (I am actually intersex, and was given massive amounts of estrogen at puberty and had surgery after my birth, so I guess I’m cafab). Anyway. This guy started flirting with my bf, then grinding against my ass. My bf said “hey, he’s my bf, stop it” seeing how uncomfortable I was. The guy said to my bf, “pretty boy, what are you smoking? That’s a fat bitch ass, you’re in for a nasty fish sandwich if you bring this fat midget home!” My boyfriend insisted I was a guy but at that point I lost it and just ran outside. I wish I could say I realized that I’m still a hot trans guy deserving of respect no matter how short I am and how wide my hips and ass are. Instead I spent the night crying out of hatred for that guy and jealousy of all the trans guys who have sexy boy stomach fat instead of what I have, or who don’t have to deal with this at all! Then, my bf had to lie to me and tell me my hips and ass aren’t fat. I’m trans and dysphoric about where my fat is, not stupid. And he can’t understand how I feel, because his (stomach) fat doesn’t make people misgender him and, in the case of cis het men, say triggering things to him (the day before, some creep yelled to my bf “I’d wanna bang that big ass you got walking besides you”). Finally, my mom admitted to me tonight that she is scared that I will never be accepted as a man with my body and that is why she refused to accept me as trans for so long: “men just aren’t shaped like you, you have a beautiful curvy petite woman’s body”. This made me hate my body and myself even more. Tl;dr: thin privilege is being able to express your gender identity without scorn based on the placement of your fat…(intersects with height privilege since I am not even five feet tall which makes it even harder to maintain a weight that this shit society finds “acceptable” for cafabs who aren’t read as men and can’t find a doctor to prescribe t due to “health reasons”, i.e. liability and the refusal to let me make decisions about my own body, at this point dysphoria will kill me long before “obesity” or “liver problems”. Sorry so long I’m just so sad and so tired after almost forty years of being conscious of this shit and feeling like I have no way out. Thank you so much for this blog and the way you include fat trans people’s experiences too.
Thin privilege is not having your weight be the subject of every conversation.
My senile grandmother, although I cannot blame her, says the exact same thing every day. “Wow, you lost so much weight and gained it back two-fold. When are you going to finally keep it off?”
Thin privilege is being able to fit into those paper gowns at a doctor’s office. My doctor herself is incredible, a wonderful person who has never questioned my weight (other than an initial “You’re over the weight the chart says is healthy, but it’s not affecting your health at all. If you have any questions about weight just ask”). However, when going to her recently for a physical and pap smear, I couldn’t cover myself with the paper gown I was given. It left my back and butt exposed, and the plastic tie that was supposed to keep it closed couldn’t even reach around me. I’m so glad I’m comfortable with my doctor because I can’t imagine having half of myself exposed in a medical situation if I wasn’t. Physicals are stressful enough.
(This is my first time submitting, so I really hope I don’t screw it up)
Thin Privilege is being complimented without your weight being brought into it.
From the end of 2011 until Sept of 2012 I worked as an English teacher in China, while I did indeed experience a lot of fat-phobia and comments from strangers over there, the main issue was the dirty environment and conditions. As such, I had to leave China before my year contract ended because I was suffering severe stomach problems and hair loss. I made many friends over there (among the foreign teacher population of the city) and kept in contact with them after coming back to the states.
When I arrived home, I found that I was suffering from complications with my diabetes (type 1.5), but, also parasitic infection and arsenic poisoning. As I tried to work on these problems, I was never consciously trying to lose weight, I tend to fluctuate quite heavily between size 14-18 and have always done so since I was first diagnosed with diabetes at 12. Anyway, as I started to get treated and started taking many things for my ailments, including many herbs, supplements, etc I started to lose weight, I think while in China, I had stayed kind of a steady 16-17, but I dropped more into a 14-15 range after being sick for a while.
Anyway, I’ll get to the point, after I had started to recover and feel better, I posted a picture on facebook, with my thinner and pale looking face (only a face shot), again my purpose had nothing to do with weight loss, I’m not on some quest to drop to a small size or anything. I had someone who I considered to be a good friend, a kind man I’d met in China, message me kind of out of the blue and say “You are looking so beautiful, I knew that if you lost weight, you’d be a man killer”
I found this surprisingly insulting, and as stated I believe that thin privilege is being complimented without your weight being part of the compliment.
[tw: fat hate]
Thin privilege is not having to see posts like this http://thetolkiengeek.tumblr.com/post/91466624258/coldwinterrose-spoken-not-written on your dashboard. Post that are riddled with false concern for the “health” of “obese” people. Post that have lines like “People become obese for many reasons, and not all of those are necessarily their fault. Some of them are even mostly outside of their own control, and those people deserve sympathy, not hate.” No I don’t deserve your hate or sympathy and who the fuck cares why I’m fat? It’s none of your fucking business. And posts like this hurt even more when they come from people who follow who post wonderful feminist and anti-racism commentary. Look, I love your blog, but if you continue posting fatphobic propaganda I’m gonna have to unfollow you.
(disclamer: I am not fat and I am not trying to speak for fat people. I just wanted to share my observations)
I turned on the tv the other day and the channel was set to TLC. The show Sister Wives on, and even though I don’t really like it I watched it for a few minutes because whatever, I was bored. This entire episode was concerning how one of the wives had been trying to lose weight, without much success (I have to point out here that she wasn’t that fat to begin with, but I do believe the is the largest among the wives) Apparently after a while of attempting to diet/exercise, she had ended up gaining instead of losing weight. Her personal trainer was being VERY rude to her at her weigh-in, saying things implying that she was a failure, didn’t care about her body, etc. What shocked me most was during the interview/commentary afterwards, she was very upset and said something along the lines of “I wonder how long I will keep this up before I finally give up and accept that I will always be fat and nothing will change that.” She said this in a way meaning that to accept her body the way it is would mean failure, that thinness is the only option for her. I thought that was extremely harmful and turned off the tv after that.
(submitted by anon)
When I was little, my sister and I were underweight because we were constantly sick, though just with a cold or strep or ear infection, since we had such large tonsils. Food tends to taste funny when you’re sick, so we didn’t eat very much, either. After we got our tonsils removed when we were 8, we struggled for a bit with recovering and people kept begging us to eat, even dessert foods. But once we got better, we started to gain weight rapidly because we could finally eat and enjoy food and we weren’t ill all the time. No one begged us to eat anymore. We both became overweight, and at our next doctor’s appointment when we were 9, they told us we needed to slow down. My sister said, “I like being able to eat now!” and the doctor responded, “Well, eating all the time isn’t a good thing”. She told us we needed to exercise more and control our intake or we’d continue to be overweight, like it was the worst possible thing. Finally we’d done what people had always asked us to, and then it was wrong? I’m against anyone trying to dictate another person’s diet, but I can still remember hearing that as a child and thinking I’d done something wrong, and it stuck with me til now.
Thin privilege is not only getting complimented after you starve yourself.
I had EDNOS up until last year. I lost a ton of weight due to starving myself and I was miserable. People complimented me left and right, encouraging me to lose EVEN MORE weight than I already had, giving me tips for how to lose more weight, telling me I looked good.
My parents ignored it altogether. My friends encouraged me and didn’t say a word when I threw my lunch away at school instead of eating it, and they laughed when I called myself fat and disgusting.
It couldn’t believe it. I waited and waited for someone to tell me, hey, you look fine, you should stop losing weight or you’ll end up hurting yourself. That never happened. In the end, I took it upon myself to realize that I was hurting myself, and I’d never be able to please these people.
Basically, if you’re fat, any means of losing weight is good to thin people. Even when your meds take away your appetite, causing you to eat less and lose weight. Even if you starve yourself. Even if you throw up everything. It’s all going to be encouraged.