This is Thin Privilege

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[tw: abuse, fat phobia, eating disorder]

Thin privilege is being worried about if you have an eating disorder.

I never ate right, I eat maybe one meal a day and for two weeks, I didn’t eat. I lost twenty pounds. People congratulated me.

I had been malnourished, and I was weakened to the point of exhaustion when I walked to class.

Of course, it was assumed I was lazy. I’m was actually stronger than most of the student body. 

Not to mention my doctor telling me that I /had/ to lose weight.  She didn’t care about my state of health, she was “worried” about my “obesity.” I’m 180 and 5’3”.

The only person who mentioned that I should eat /more/  was my therapist.

Even the church I went to had people passively saying I should work out or do this or that.

I did.

That’s thin privilege.

I was talking to my university halls’ resident tutor (like a DA) yesterday and we were both talking about our weight since we both had insecurities about it (I’m short and about 140lb, I wouldn’t put her as more than 20lb bigger than me if that). She mentioned the last time she went to the doctor for a sports injury completely unrelated to her size and how he’d said to her “you’re not the thinnest patient I’ve had today” and “I can’t say this because you’re a woman and you’d get offended by it, but if you were a man I’d say you were fat”.

Thin Privilege is:

*Having serious hip pain and not being told, “You’re just fat and lazy, and everything would get better if you’d just go for a walk once in awhile!” 

*Finding out your hip pain is actually caused by sciatica and not being told, “You’re just fat and lazy, and everything would get better if you’d just go for a walk once in awhile!”

*Finding out you actually have a torn spinal ligament and a hernated disc which is causing the sciatica and the pain, and not being told, “If you weren’t so fat and lazy, and would just go for a walk once in a while, you wouldn’t have this problem…

But here! Let me, your naturally thin relative, tell you all about how I had the same exact problem when I was your age, and how awful it was!”

Thin privilege is never having your employment agency blame your weight as the reason you are unemployed.

A few months ago I was forced to quit my job because all the heavy lifting was starting to give me back problems. My employment officer (I think that’s what they’re called?) was not very happy when she found this out. According to her, ANY job is better than no job…even if that job causes you physical harm. But I digress. I recently had an appointment with them to catch up and let them know if I’ve had any luck finding a job. And half-way through the appointment, she asked me: “Have you been….having any health problems?” I was confused by this question because it came out of nowhere, and is none of their business to begin with. I said no, and she went quiet for a while before finally saying, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but have you thought about losing weight? It might help you get a job faster.”

Excuse me?

Thin privilege is being able to go to the store and buy 10 bags of candy without the clerk smirking and muttering under her breath “i can’t believe this fatass is going to eat all of this.”

Actually, for your information, I eat candy very rarely. That candy? Was for Easter  Baskets and the candy basket at work.

I just realized that whenever people ask me why I’m vegan/vegetarian (I used to be full vegan but I eat eggs now), very often they also ask if it’s for health reasons, without waiting for my answer.  At first I barely noticed it; then I was like “huh that’s weird people keep asking if it’s for health reasons and nobody ever asks if it’s for animal rights;” now I’m beginning to think people are assuming it’s for health reasons because why else would I be a fat vegetarian? Or they think fat people only make food decisions based on losing weight and not like, ethical concerns or anything.  

I also am not sure how to respond, if this really is because people are trying to reconcile the existence of fat non-dairy vegetarians—I’ve been saying that no, it’s for ethical reasons, but now that I’m realizing this is probably a microaggression I kind of want to point that out without actually being like “NOT ALL VEGANS/VEGETARIANS ARE TINY OK AND FAT PEOPLE CAN BE HEALTHY!” Just because often this question is coming from people I’m meeting for the first time, who are well-meaning and completely unaware of how offensive/prejudiced that question is.  It’s also tricky because I feel like I have to counter fat stereotypes in addition to vegan stereotypes (vegans are militant, judgmental extremists, etc). 

Have any other fat vegans/vegetarians had that experience?  Am I being paranoid? Or is this just another instance where “health reasons” is code for “to lose weight?”  And if you’ve had that experience, how do you handle it? Do you try to draw attention to that assumption? Do you let it go?  Are you incredibly frustrated about people acting like fat vegans/vegetarians don’t exist and want to vent? This happened to me last weekend and now that I’m realizing there’s a pattern this (and how I’m not supposed to exist in general) is bothering me.

[TW: ED]

Thin privilege is being taken seriously at the doctor’s office after developing bulimia. 

At the age of sixteen, I was considered to be of average size(5’9, 185 lbs, size 12; technically overweight according to the BMI scale, which is flawed to begin with). At a check-up with my general doctor, my mother told her about how I had developed bulimia; she proceeded to advise me to change my diet and suggested that I try loosing weight in a healthy way. Never once did she take my ED seriously, simply because I wasn’t thin. You don’t have to be a doctor to know that bulimia affects men and women of all sizes. Long story short, several months went by; I lost a significant amount of weight and was diagnosed with anorexia by the same doctor who completely minimized my ED months prior.

Thin Privilege is being included in clothing sales

Today I received an email from a clothing company from which I frequently purchase. The email advertised a time-limited sale, offering a discount on clothing items that are from the company’s own brand (the store also carries some clothing items from other brands). When I went to the site, however, I found that, while most/all of the company’s regular-size items were available at the discounted price, none of the plus-size items were. (And I have only ever bought plus-size items from the in the past.)

Thin privilege is assuming that your clothing sizes are included when an advertisement suggests the presence of an across-the-board discount.

I was referred to a rheumatologist for a genetic condition, and when I arrived at my appointment the receptionist barely glanced at my chart and told me to go sit in waiting area C.  I went over and sat in the seating area she told me, and sat right under a sign that said “Dietician.”

Five minutes later a nurse came over from waiting area A and said, “There you are. Your doctor is over by waiting area A,” and showed me to the doctor’s office for my appointment.

The receptionist had taken one glance at me and assumed that I was there for the dietician, never even considering that I might be there for some reason other than losing weight.

Whee! More trolls!


Oh golly gee gosh, I post about a troll and some more jump on the bandwagon.


*sparkle* 8D *sparkle* <--we remember what this means, yes? Good!

Let's take these from the least offensive to the most, shall we? Fair warning to anyone who'd rather scroll past this:
we've got more tone policing, fake concern, but-what-about-the-chillllldrennnnn, and somebody would like me to die.

anonymous:
Saw your TiTP (and your response to a troll). I'm sorry that this happened to you and that the saleswoman was harsh. As a recent bride, I was also directed to the shapewear section of the lingerie store and I am a size 0. The reason I bring this up is because often times the wedding dress needs smooth lines from the lingerie not being lacy and needs proper support, particularly if you are going strapless. I really do mean well, but I must go anon because my blog is not personal at all.

melredcap:
*shrug* Well, if you hadn't gone anon and had asked me to reply privately I would've. Given that the saleswoman had asked no questions at all about what my dress looked like or needed in the way of underpinnings, and she was - I repeat from my last post - MIMING FAT ROLLS AT ME - I rather think that if I had been a thin size she would have helped me find all the lacy frilly sexy undies I wanted.

anonymous:
Hello. Before anything else, let me just say that I am not a troll, and I am genuinely curious. After coming across a post with some pretty heavy fat-shaming and being raised in a society that valued thin bodies, I decided I wanted to hear the other side of the argument. Among other things (but this first), I would just like to understand why bigger women think being big is healthy, when there are statistics showing otherwise. I apologize if anything I offended you, and I hope nothing did.

melredcap:
Hmmm, anonymous, starts out with "I'M NOT A TROLL", asks a question that could have been answered with a few seconds and one click on the page they presumably found me from, asks a question phrased to 'subtly' show that they're already right, mentions ~STATISTICS~ supposedly supporting their position without actually citing or linking to any, annnnnd finishes with a nonapology. If it quacks like a troll and anons like a troll... hi, troll. For anyone else who is HONESTLY thinking "but the media keeps telling me it's unhealthy to be fat" and is too POLITE to ask a fat woman instead of doing a little research themselves, allow me to direct you to http://thisisthinprivilege.tumblr.com/faq#whatabouthealth

sciencefitness:
Hi, I was just wondering if you know that "shaming" doesnt exist? Nobody can make you feel ashamed about something you are ok/proud of. They can remind you of something you are already ashamed of but thats not shaming since you were ashamed of it in the first place. Greetings, sciencefittness.

melredcap:
Wow, that's a lot of pics of nude women and Game of Thrones posts for a blog supposedly dedicated to 'bullshit-bashing'. Huh. Okay then. And no, 'shaming' does exist. Society tells everyone from babies on that FAT IS BAD, and when you grow up marinating in that it's pretty damn hard not to absorb some. Even if you do manage to reach adulthood without that horrible self-hate and fear that everyone sees you as disgusting - about a million topics, not just fat - if someone tells you you're disgusting and you don't accept it, it's still shaming even though it didn't work.

anonymous:
Your collarbones are supposed to show. So if at the time you were "skinny fat" (what the fuck does that even mean, if you're fat, you're fat) does that mean that now you are super whale fat?

melredcap:
If you're referring to me saying that the saleswoman's collarbones and wrists were 'prominent', I didn't mean that they just showed - mine show just fine too, honey - I mean that they stuck out pretty far, in a "you can't tell the state of someone's health just by looking BUT..." sort of way. Also, what is it with trolls and bad reading comprehension? I said I was a 'small fat', not 'skinny fat'. That means that although I was overweight according to society's measurements and BMI, I was still small enough to get a lot of thin privilege as compared to fatter people. And I already said what size I am now - wow, you didn't read my post much at all, did you? - I'm bangin'. (For your information, that means AWESOME.)

anonymous:
Hi. Sorry, but calling a thin person a twig isn't that cool, and we both know that is what you meant when you wrote that you were 'wider than a twig'. It's just not cool, so therefore, that other anon called you out on it. Maybe you're not body+ and don't care about that by 'giving no fucks'. You can call me a troll and tell me to 'fk off and die' to make MG proud, but truth still stands that twig is a derogatory term for someone thin, and your use of it was not cool.

anonymous:
Plus, I'm just telling you that because to might help you be a better person, more body+ and create a more better community for all of us. I hope you're having a lovely day. Oh, and hope that your wedding was/will be wonderful! :)

melredcap:
Whee! Tone policing! Fake concern! Oh my god, saying the word 'twig' in a fat-positive space is totally skinny shaming! Call the Internet police! I am body positive, anon dear, that's WHY I give no fucks. Thank you for the (probably included to make you sound more legitimate) nice words at the end of your (tone policing trollish) message! My wedding rocked! I shall not tell you to die, because only asshole trolls do that! Now fuck off, that'll create a 'more better' community. *sparkle* 8D *sparkle*

anonymous:
there are children dying all over the world and somehow you still find the time to bitch about a woman directing you towards something you didn't want in a store. hon, WELCOME TO RETAIL. hahahahahahahhaahahah oh my god what a joke. oh, darling, please take your head out of your cellulite filled ass and grow up. youre a victimizing cunt and the world would be a better place without you. again... hahahahahahahahahahahahhahahhaa you're a JOKE (another disgusted anon just for you)

melredcap:
There are children dying all over the world and somehow you still find the time to write vicious anon messages to a fat woman who dares to complain about someone being rude to her? I post a grumpy submission to an online blog and that makes me a 'victimising cunt' who deserves to die? Meanwhile you're... ah... what is it you're doing again? Oh, yes, you're somehow championing the cause of dying children everywhere by sitting at your computer typing shit that you don't even dare put your name to, you cowardly fuck. Why does the idea that fat people might want to be treated politely threaten you so much (there in your little troll mind palace lit by the light of your computer screen and your own glowing bile) that you have to try to pummel us back down into what you think of as our place?


*sparkle* 8D *sparkle* <--it's not working, sorry. ;)

A question (sorry to submit, but I don’t have tumblr)

I have a friend who is engaged and gay. She and her partner were discussing children and the prospect of a child’s future as a gay/straight adult. Although she would of course accept and love her child regardless, she hoped for a straight child so they would not endure the ridicule, heartache, and oppression that she has faced as a fat-bodied gay woman. This is more of a question for the mods (or whoever wants to answer really) if you were to have children, would you wish them to be fat or straight-sized? I know ideally we would live in a world where fat people are not oppressed, but if you had to have a child with thin privilege or one who is adorable and fat yet ridiculed, what would you choose? I think this is worth considering in the current social climate, gay parents wonder if their child will be gay, biracial parents wonder what “race” their child will identify with, what do fat parents think?

——————

I wish for a world that doesn’t oppress gay kids/adults and privilege straight kids/adults, where passing for white doesn’t convey privilege, where random strangers don’t sit next to my white cousin in a clinic and berate her for marrying and having children with a black man (happened to her last week), or where being fat in a public school means you’ve got a good chance of being physically and emotionally abused by your peers and teachers, etc.

While I understand the compulsion to want your children to pass for a member of a privileged group because it will be easier for them, hoping that they will pass sets you up for disappointment if they don’t, when really, the child has absolutely no control over the social soup they’re born into. 

Instead of saying, “I hope you pass,” I’d prefer to say, “I’ll brave all the slings and arrows of the world to love you.”

In my particular case, if I were to have a fat child I would do my best to not send that child to a public school, because public schools are incredibly toxic for fat kids at present. It would take me having the means to have them schooled alternatively, where I could monitor the messages my child is getting, whether they’re being bullied, etc. Not everyone has these means. I’m only speaking for my particular (childless and not planning to have children) situation. 

I might be naive. But that’s my take with the information I have at this present moment.

-ArteToLife

Fiction: (from Mean Girls) Thin Privilege is shopping where you want

The post below is based on the movie “Mean Girls”

Thin privilege is being able to shop where you want, and not be mocked by the [thin] shop attendants in front of 3 of your best friends

It was a week before prom and I was doing the final try on for the most gorgeous dress. It was one I’d had my eye on for months - a beautiful peach silk dress with a stunning black belt. It perfectly suited my skin and my hair, and my friends agreed it was perfect.

Unfortunately a while back I broke up with my long term boyfriend. I was devastated, and gained a fair amount of weight as a result. I wasn’t thrilled, but I wasn’t starving myself, unhappy or putting my body through pain so I didn’t mind. I was happy with my body and this dress was absolutely sublime.

This meant that the dress didn’t fit me. I was mortified and totally put on the spot in front of my friends. When asked if there was a bigger size available, the shop attendant sneered at us and before she walked away told us to “try sears”. Excuse me? This was for prom, the biggest night this side of college and you don’t go to any effort to help me, and just palm me off to a lower class store because that’s all I deserve?

Thin privilege is being able to get flattering dresses in your size

Thin privilege is being treated with respect by shop assistants

Thin privilege is being able to shop anywhere and not relegated to “cheap” stores

I ended up starving myself to fit in the dress. It was awful and painful, and while it made me look like a rockstar, it was an awful, painful experience

Thank you to the troll for finding this story from the movie mean girls. Ya’ll are boring but we appreciate you giving us submissions that relate to real things people go through due to fat stigma. -FBP

I have to dress formally for casual situations due to my weight… Or else, I’m crow food!

Like a lot of girls, I spend a good amount of my prep time in the morning putting on makeup and doing my hair. Making sure my clothes “Flatter me correctly”. Making sure my hair and makeup is “Perfect”. I HATE doing this, but I have to. I have to make sure that I’m “socially acceptable”.

And every morning, my fiance’, the man who thinks I’m beautiful no matter WHAT just stares on in total and utter confusion.
"Why are you putting on makeup? We’re just going to the store"
I simply reply;
"I honestly don’t feel like getting into a fight. I don’t feel like provoking superficial assholes. Today, I’d like to AVOID the trolls, thank you".

Why? Because me leaving the house without makeup starts FIGHTS. People yell at me, tell me to kill myself, and even try to beat me up just because of my size. People are openly rude to me, and if I’m not having the best of days, *I* could end up retaliating, which you know would result in jail time and having to go to a court that’s NOT ruling in my favor.

I have to ignore the fact that the only person I need to impress is already impressed regardless of my weight, what I wear, or ANYTHING. He thinks I’m beautiful because he loves me, and I’m forced to completely ignore that FOR MY OWN SAFETY (And his freedom, since he’s willing to start a fist fight with any man who trash talks me).
Not to mention, I, too, think I’m pretty… But I’ve been fat shamed and bullied to the point where I simply say;
"You gotta turn them on to survive out there".
Which should NOT be true; but it is. I think I look just fine without the makeup or the “fashionable” clothes, but without dressing up, I’m treated like shit. The shirt I wear can determine whether or not I’m verbally or psychically abused, and even then, it doesn’t always help. At best, when I try my best, I get a “At least she tries”. Like, they feel sorry for the fact that NO MATTER WHAT I DO, I’ll NEVER be “Beautiful” DESPITE THE FACT THAT I *KNOW* I ALREADY AM.



Thin privilege is being ALLOWED by society to leave your house to a casual situation without having to dress up to hide your “flaws”. You can leave without makeup and still be considered attractive, even if you’re currently undergoing an acne breakout. Oh, and you can wear whatever the heck you want, too.

Thin privilege is not having an every day fear that somebody will verbally and/or psychically abuse you due to your looks. Thin privilege is being able to feel safe because you KNOW you’re not a target to trolls, bullies, and bigots. You can COUNT on everyone being nice to you. Meanwhile, girls like me really have to just pray we don’t run into the wrong person.

Thin privilege is knowing that you’re beautiful, and having the world respect your self esteem (Or tell you you’re beautiful if you DON’T have that self-esteem). But girls like me aren’t allowed to love ourselves because we’re NOT “Beautiful”, and thus LOVABLE to everyone else. We have to try hard to impress people, anyway, even if we don’t want to. Even if we know our worth. Even if we don’t NEED their validation in our own minds, we still need their validation just to live a “Normal” LIFE and to get the basic respect we ALL deserve!



Girls with thin privilege wear makeup to stand out and receive attention.
But I? I wear makeup to fit in, and to NOT receive ANY attention.


Thin privilege is when my sister said to me that someone being mean to a 17 year old girl when she doesn’t play a sport very well is as bad if not worse than being told not to eat again. 
I reminded her that even if the girl never played the sport again, it would still be better than never eating again, seeing as you would die. (That’s not to say I think what the person who was mean was correct in their comments. I thought they were rude and wrong.)
Her response? “Yeah but not playing sports could lead to obesity which could lead to death or other health issues!”
I just wanted to tell her that a) we are talking one sport here, not all sports, b) stopping playing sports may or may not cause weight gain, but refusing to eat will certainly cause death c) weight gain is not bad in and of itself, and d) Is “obesity” or pretty much any other health concern it “causes” really worse than death? (I put cause in quotations for obvious reasons).

She didn’t understand how damaging such a statement could be because she has never been fat a day in her life. She has always eaten whatever she wants. She now eats “healthy” because she’s a vegetarian who likes to cook lots of dishes, but it wasn’t always so. I, on the other hand, was not so lucky with the genetics.

Now I love my sister, but her ignorance on the experiences of being fat angers me more than I can express. For example, she can’t understand why I find it very annoying and am not flattered when men call me pretty. According to her I need to be nicer about it and say “thank you” or something, because the men are trying to be nice. She doesn’t understand that when I was fat, the same men that call me pretty now were horrible towards me and would never be “nice”. Sorry, they’re not “nice”. And I will not be all thankful for someone pointing out a trait of mine that I don’t care much about. Where were all of these nice men when I was fat? (I’m not even going to get into why I find such “compliments” mysoginistic and devious in nature, and how a lot of times my sister doesn’t notice that the compliments are more geared towards her and then just bounced on me to get her attention. Example of something someone says to her: “Oh, you’re so pretty! And your sister, too!”)

Having the luxury to be unaware of fat phobia and fat discrimination is thin privilege.