Let’s talk a bit about thin privilege. I think that it is real and a problematic foundation upon which our society rests. I think the way that women feel they need to conform to some sort of ideal is baseless, irrational and harming future generations of women.
I mean that for the women both with and without this privlege.
Let me explain my thoughts out loud.
As someone who has varying levels of thin privilege, I think it is neccessary to explain the difference between what thin privilege is and what images come to mind when we hear “thin privilege”.
When I hear thin privilege, I see beautiful women both thin but with curves in clothing that excentuate their figure. I see open doors, happiness and golden opportunities. I see this because I used to believe that being thin or beautiful or strong meant good things. Whatever those things were, they were good.
The feminist media I read reinforce this belief that people with thin privilege automatically have such a better life than those without it because they fall under a certain BMI. I am not saying this is untrue, but I think it’s also important to validate the experiences of those with thin privilege and understand that they have crap days. Bad things happen to them for no good reason. They are turned down for things. They feel bad about themselves for other reasons that have nothing to do with the way they look.
For example, I work in customer service. Sometimes, people are really mean. They just are. I could weigh 10 pounds or 10,000 pounds and they would still tell me I suck at making their coffee or sandwich. They go out of their way to make the people who serve them feel like a load of dung. I am not sheltered from this because of my thin privilege.
Another example, some of my coworkers and people I would consider my best friends and able to connect to others better because they play the “fat” card. I mean this not in a negative way other than it makes me the outcast because I do no engage in the way they make fun of and harass their own bodies. Becuase I do not think saying cruel things about my own or each other’s bodies is healthy, I do not readily agree with them when they attack themselves for being overweight. I do not tell them, “yea, you should really get to the gym.” I will not take the bait. My other coworkers however who are also a bit overweight themselves readily engage in this and through some sort of womanly bond, are better friends. They can connect to each other on a harmful, but more deep level.
Thin privilege means keeping a distance from people who speak negatively about themselves because I know it’s not healthy. My thin privilege is being unrelatable because I am my size. My thin privilege is not being able to talk to my friends about body insecurity because “I shouldn’t have any, I’m in shape.”
I want to write more about this, but I have to work in 5 minutes. Help me sort this out. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I am in no way downplaying the discrimination others feel, I just wanted to get this off my chest. This is part of the thin privilege that people don’t talk about. It may not be the popular side, but it is there right along with everything else.
No questions, just thoughts.