Thin privilege is not being scared to go to a new doctor because you don’t know if they will take your problems seriously and if they’ll immediately dismiss any issues as being weight-related.
Accurate. More people need to understand this.
This is one example of a privilege issue that has been bugging me this week - while it was totally well-meaning, someone really upset me the other day by hijacking comments in a post about fat-shaming with the notion that “all women are real women” and going on a rail against the “real women have curves” idea. This happens constantly. Every time a blog or article about fat-shaming problems appears online, there are comments warning of a slippery slope in which we need to be careful of celebrating fat women and be more sensitive and inclusive to validate the body struggles of all sizes and shapes of women, even those that are considered “normal” by the mainstream.
The thing is, we can’t be actually inclusive before without acknowledging the difference. I completely agree with that sentiment and it’s an important related conversation, HOWEVER it’s not the same conversation. There is further yet, another related conversation about regulating trans bodies and transwomen needing to “pass” as a certain ideal. That’s also an important conversation, but again, not the same conversation.
My entire life I’ve had to hear about the diet and workout struggles of “normal” girls and their own frustrations and reactions to living in our diet culture are completely valid. But so is the fact that “feeling fat” and being viewed as fat by our culture are two VERY different states of being and of being punished or judged.
It must be acknowledged that there is an entirely different element of fat discrimination and set of real-life issues that fat people have to deal with that other people just don’t have to deal with.
Calling for more women of size or even a spectrum of sizes above 8 to appear in media and ad-campaigns is not oppressive for thinner body types, which are already privileged.
It is true that all women have varying degrees of things they want to change and body image issues and naturally very thin women or even the average size 10 woman, have problems and stereotypes and are judged horribly and painfully as well. I get that. I want things to change for everyone.
But it is also (and just as importantly) true that most women who are not fat do not encounter the same level of daily and large-scale systemic discrimination that fat women do. Buying clothes, dealing with the healthcare industry and getting jobs are exponentially more difficult. Interacting with people in public from riding public transportation to going to the gym or the beach or enjoying a meal in a restaurant - it all has different rules and implications.
We live in a world that still privileges being thin and allows people, depending on their proximity to the thin ideal side, to walk through it completely differently.
Acknowledging this truth and discussing it doesn’t invalidate the levels of painful bullshit and discrimination stacked against all women, so I’m tired of having to explain and differentiate when the level and particulars of my lived experience of bias and judgement is dismissed as “all women deal with body image issues in our society”.
Note: I understand that fat people of all genders are affected by this, here I’m specifically wanting to address the pushback about including “all women” when talking about celebrating curves etc. because there is a pushback happening that is unique to fat women and does not happen to fat men.