Yeesh, thin privilege is just rampant isn’t it?
Before we continue, if you’re not sure what thin privilege is, don’t expect me to educate you on it. You’ve got access to the internet, you know what Google is, clearly you have enough literacy to read this blog, so you can go and educate yourself on the subject. And if you think it doesn’t exist, then you haven’t educated yourself enough yet. I’ll still be here when you have, no need to hurry, but please, don’t waste my time and that of everyone else reading this blog in arguing it in the comments. NOT GONNA HAPPEN PEOPLE.
I will throw you a bone though and share this link with you:
http://thisisthinprivilege.tumblr.com/ with particular attention to this post please.
So, after getting a message via my Fat Heffalump FB page last night asking me to recommend fat acceptance blogs for women who are “not obese” (after all, who wants to have to look at and hear from those ICKY FATTIES, EWWWWWW!) and then got shitty at me when I told her she was being incredibly offensive, thin privilege has been at the front of my mind.
Today this article was published on the otherwise excellent Lip Magazine. I don’t normally link to bad stuff, but Lip is usually so very good that I’ll give it this time.
First off, let’s acknowledge how transphobic that image is at the header of the article, and I won’t get started on that topic, we’ll save that for another blog.
What I really want to talk about is how INCREDIBLY privilege denying the piece is. I was going to comment on the article but I think it needs expanding upon, so here we are.
Yes, I agree, the “real women” trope should die in a fire. Besides, I’m not curvy, I’m fucking fat. Big ole fat, fat, fat, Fatty McFattersons. I don’t have “curves”, I have rolls and lumps and thick bits and chunks. I’m just as real as any other woman.
Yes, I agree, nobody, thin, fat or in-between should be judged on their body shape or size.
But I have a real problem with how the author has framed this as supposedly unacceptable to comment on a fat person’s body. To quote:
“Why, though, is it OK to tell someone that their natural shape is too skinny, but not that they’re too fat?”
I’d like to call bullshit on this particular assumption. As a fat woman, not a day goes by without my body being used as a representation of greed, laziness, gluttony. Not a day goes by without my body being held up in the media as an “epidemic” to be cured/prevented/eradicated. Not a day goes by without someone making some kind of rude statement about my body. Every day I deal with complete strangers calling me a “fat bitch” (or worse), people spitting at me, throwing things from cars, supposedly respectable adults making comments about how I am “disgusting” because I have a fat body. Doctors refuse to treat fat patients, insurers refuse to insure fat customers, we are kicked off flights or forced to buy second seats, we are discriminated in the workplace, vilified by the press and generally just treated as less than human.
It IS totally culturally acceptable for people to judge fat bodies, but not just judge them – vilify and demonise them. In fact, I’d go so far as saying it’s currently culturally mandatory – because look at how people react when fat activists dare to stand up and say “No, I am a human being and deserve to be treated as one!” The amount of vitriol and hatred any visible fat person gets is testament to that.
Thin bodies do not get this kind of social stigmatisation at a systemic level. So PLEASE do not imply that it is “not ok to tell people they are too fat” – when it is EVERYWHERE in our culture.
This is not a matter of thin vs fat. It is a matter of reclaiming our bodies as acceptable no matter what size or shape they are, and getting rid of tropes that label one type of woman as more real than another. But until fat people are treated as equal human beings to not-fat people, thin privilege will always exist.