I recently wrote a post about being called “Not fat” (Not a compliment, btw) and it got me thinking, which is always dangerous. I’ve read a lot of interesting articles recently about thin-privilege and I thought it was important to note that even though I self-define as fat, I also have to recognize that I benefit from thin privilege. Here are some ways I personally benefit from thin privilege:
- I can shop in almost any store and find something that fits. This is a relatively new phenomena for me. For most of my life I could only shop in plus-size stores or stores with plus-size sections. I appreciate this every single time.
- I can fit into most seats, on airplanes, at movie theaters, at amusement parks, in restaurants with booths. Sure, some are small and a tight fit, but no one suggests I can’t go somewhere because of my size.
- I can run in spandex and tank tops and not get constantly moo-ed at, yelled at, cursed. (All these things happened to me regularly when I started running.) I still get yelled at occasionally, but not so frequently or aggressively. I’m not made to feel that the clothes I choose to wear are an affront to someone else.
- I can order dessert or any other food I want without fear of aggression. I can’t tell you how many times I would choose not to eat something in public rather than risk a “Do you really need to eat that?”comment (or something much worse).
- I am not discriminated against at work due to my size. I work in education, a field that is less discriminatory than other fields in terms of size, but I don’t think I would have the job I have now if I still weighed what I did 3 years ago. I know for sure that I’ve been denied jobs and promotions in the past due to my size.
I can visit a doctor and expect to be heard, rather than getting a knee-jerk (lose weight) reaction.Well, not quite yet. The last time I went to get an annual physical my doctor looked at all my stats. Blood pressure? Perfect. Hear rate? Perfect. Respiration? Glucose levels? Cholesterol? All perfect. So what did my doctor say? You need to lose weight.
I’m due for my annual again and just don’t want to schedule it because I don’t want to deal with this.
In the absence of any medical issues (other than fat) why do I have to lose weight anyway? What in my health data gives you the idea that I need to lose weight? You know, other than I’m fat… Which is apparently a devastating medical condition that needs to take up all my time and energy.
Want to learn more about thin privilege? Here are some of my favorite resources:
- How People With Thin Privilege Can Fight Body Terrorism from The Body Is Not An Apology
- 22 Examples of Thin Privilege from Everyday Feminism
- What’s This Thin Privilege Thing? from Dances With Fat