I’ve been reading the back and forth debates you and some people have been having about thin privilege, and I agree that thinner women have privilege and that the shaming comments they receive about their bodies are a different type of wound, and in many cases much less severe than the wound left by fat shaming. But given that I’m neither conventionally thin or fat, I feel a little bit lost as to where I fit in with privilege, and just don’t feel like I fit in with either community :/
I’m a size 9. I have wide set hips and large thighs and a chubby stomach. But I’m not considered fat by any standards, medical or cultural. I don’t even know what I am and that makes me feel lost :/ I feel like there is always a lot of talk about people on the super skin or fat side of the spectrum but never much discussion about the people in between, where they fit in, what their privilege is, and how they feel/experience the world. And that bothers me :/ I’m not in any way attacking you. I just wanted to share what was on my mind and ask for some guidance because I feel very lost about where I fit in body wise :/ Thank you so much.
Well first of all, the beautiful thing about fat and body acceptance/positivity is that it really is all inclusive. It may seem like it’s very much fat or thin because that is where the biggest differences in privilege lie, but there is such a wide spectrum of different body sizes that exist in this world and none are safe from oppressive societal beauty standards and ideals.
If you have ever felt shamed for living in the body you inhabit, if you have ever hated your body, if your body was ever publicly shamed or wronged - really, any negative experiences with body image are all completely important and valued. Everyone has experienced self hate and shame and guilt regarding their body.
Looking at privilege is a way of breaking down how our culture has these ways of shaming built into it. Fat discrimination is welcomed and encouraged. This obviously directly impacts deathfatties (“morbidly obese”), fatties (“obese”), and inbetweenies or chubby bodies (“overweight”) in different ways. Deathfatties getting the brunt of hate from society at large (aka: OMGZ obesity is going to take over the world, fat catastrophe is imminent, let’s treat all obese people like unhealthy subhuman beings) etc.
I was an inbetweenie for most of my life and tipped into the fat range about five years ago so I can understand where you are coming from. You have some thin privileges, but not completely. There is a certain feeling of being in limbo when you are in-between fat and thin.
Most of the time in our culture, fat bodies are not given a proper voice, or spaces of safety and acceptance. In society, online, in the media…fat bodies are unequivocally discriminated against. So that is why I focus on fat bodies here. I of course welcome submissions and discussion from all bodies, but as a fat person who feels passionately that fat bodies deserve a safe space and a soapbox to be heard from - fat bodies will always be a focus. But there is room in the world for everyone.
Write about your experiences. Share them. Think out loud and contribute to a discussion, just as you’ve started here. If you feel lost, create a level of understanding - seek out like-minded people who share in your experiences. You are not alone.
Above all else, trust that your body is a good body. I hope you can.