Inspired my my dear friend Ali over at Mean Fat Girl, I want to expand upon her post That Thing Thin People Do. The thing is, we see you, thin people. You think you’re being OH SO SUBTLE in your little judgements and smirks and insincerity towards us, but there’s one thing I can promise you – you’re not subtle. You’re not even original. Because when I sit down and talk to other fat people, particularly fat women, I hear the same things over, and over, and over again. So perhaps if I lay them out in a nice, easy to read list, you can all see just how blatantly obvious you are with your cruddy behaviour, and maybe you’ll understand why so many of us simply don’t trust you, or even like you.
Oh you might not do all of these things, nobody is saying that. But I’m quite sure you do some of them, because I and other fat people have seen you do it. Time and time and time again. And if you are one of the few who DON’T do these things, then this is not about you. Don’t get all “not all thin people” at me – it’s no different to #NotAllMen or #NotAllWhitePeople
Things Thin People Do
- Expect their fat friends to hang out with them for hours on end while they try on clothes that are not available to them, without ever returning the favour, or being cognizant of how fat people are excluded from clothing
- Scowl at fat people in public
- Laugh at the idea of fat people dating, being in love, having sex.
- Laugh at fat people in public
- Assume that fat people are all lazy gluttons
- Decide how much and what fat people should eat. Those “Are you sure you want that?” comments.
- Nudge their partners, friends, family and point out fat people in public
- Take photographs of fat people on their mobile phones
- Talk about our bodies to other thin people, particularly about whether you think we are lazy or gluttonous.
- Say things like “If I ever get like that, kill me.” In reference to our bodies
- Inspect our shopping carts and baskets
- Watch us eating, staring, following every morsel of food from our plate to our mouths.
- “Compliment” us only when we wear dark colours, or clothes that hide our bodies, but if we wear anything colourful or that shows skin, you’re suddenly silent.
- Talk about how fat you are, in front of us, like being fat is the worst, most disgusting thing you could be.
- Use us to make yourself feel better about yourself – “at least I’m hotter/better/thinner than her.”
- Speak to us as if you’re our intellectual superiors.
- Assume we’re exaggerating or over-sensitive when we talk about how rude and hurtful people are to us.
- Talk over us about fatness, bodies and eating disorders, as if you have more expertise on our bodies than we do.
- Tell your children “You wouldn’t want to get fat now.” Right in our hearing, again, as though that’s the worst thing that a human being could be.
- Laugh when your children parrot the hateful things to us that you have taught them. As if saying something mean to a fat people is funny or cute.
- Do absolutely nothing when someone says something hurtful or hateful about fat people in front of you.
And most tellingly;
- Get offended when fat people point out the many ways that you behave rudely or hurtfully towards us.
- Make excuses for all of the above.
That’s right. Ask yourself right now – has the list above pissed you off, or offended you? If the answer is yes, then I’m talking about you. If you’re bothered that I and others are pointing out all of these appalling behaviours, then perhaps ask yourself why you’re so invested in being “allowed” to treat fat people with such disrespect and hate. What kind of person are you that you think any of the above behaviours are acceptable towards another human being? Would you accept people behaving like that towards you? Would you respect, trust or want to be around people who exhibited those behaviours towards you?
As I said at the beginning of this piece – fat people see you doing this stuff. It’s not subtle at all, you’re not sneakily engaging in something that nobody will notice. We see you. And instead of internalising your disrespect and hatred of us, we’re learning to shine a spotlight on it for what it is. That might make you feel uncomfortable, or ashamed. Good – that’s how you’ve been making us feel about our own bodies for so long. The difference is, our bodies are not harming you, they are just that – OUR bodies. None of your business.
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