Thin Privilege, Fat Shaming, and Everything in between
Earlier this year, I wrote about my experience of being fat and how my body has always been open for public comment and critique because I am fat.
People always think that my trouble breathing while exercising has been due to being fat, not to the fact that I’ve had a mild form of asthma since I was 7 or 8 years old. It doesn’t matter that I spent a good chunk of my childhood on steroids and medication for my asthma and breathing troubles because my labored breathing after exercise just has to do with my weight.
And don’t even get me started on clothes shopping – I’m so weirdly proportioned, especially with being fat, that I can’t go shopping for hours because I usually have an anxiety attack and end up crying in a fitting room because nothing fits or looks good. I wear the same clothes for much longer than I should because if I can’t I’ll have to go shopping again.
So when I read Everyday Feminism’s article on 9 Facts that Shatter Bullshit Stereotypes About Fat People, I felt an incredible amount of relief. Here’s an article that breaks down some of the shit that people throw in the faces of fat people all the time and argues against fat shaming. Because like I’ve said before, it hasn’t really mattered how active I am – the extra fat has always been there. I’ve always been fat and no amount of exercise has changed that in my life. There was an almost two year period where I was constantly active all year round with three different sports (cross country running, soccer, and horseback riding – all three of which are incredibly active).
And while I was reading that article, two more articles caught my eye – 5 Reasons Why We Need to Stop Thinking of Skinny Shaming as Reverse Discrimination and Let’s Talk About Thin Privilege. This also resulted in a sigh of relief – finally there is more and more media covering the issues of body shaming in a way that doesn’t shame anyone or claim that privilege isn’t real.
All of this reminded me about a blog post an acquaintance wrote a few months back about her thoughts on being thin and thin privilege. Honestly, it was incredibly frustrating to read through because she spent most of the time saying that skinny shaming was oppression and that she had worked hard to be thin and all the comments like “hey eat a burger!” were again, part of that thin oppression. While I’m all against body shaming in any capacity, I don’t really agree with her interpretation of thin privilege.
I definitely think that there is an incredible push for people to hate their bodies – because without there isn’t much money in body love. Hating ourselves fuels a market that appeals to making us look more like the heteronormative, white centric, skinny norms. Shaming someone, regardless of size; however, there definitely seems more of a push for fat people to hate themselves than the opposite.
Eventually I’ll also write about heteronormative and white supremacist views on beauty because both of those things have completely built the societal views of beauty.