Fat Pride Protester "climbing the barricades"

21 examples of Thin Privilege that are actually bullshit (and one that isn’t)

Some things are genuinely stupid, and one of them is fat people copying the call for social justice that historically mistreated minorities are making. In the US, fat people aren’t even a minority and obese people only a small one. Medical professionals call this development a problem for good reason. But we’re not going to go into that. We’ve recently learned that more and more fat people are climbing barricades in protest against ‘fat shaming’. We’ve also tried googling to get pictures of that – we desperately wanted to see what that looked like – but got diddly.

But, let’s assume the fat pride movement is righteously standing up against inequality between obese and non-obese people and that there are issues of weight to be dealt with. That still makes it stupid to just outright copy every bit of doctrine from another social issue. That brings us to ‘thin privilege’, a thinly veiled rip-off of ‘white privilege’. We found 22 things that some fat person complained about on the internet as being ‘thin privilege’. Now, the author of this piece has not got a perfect BMI, but let’s assume he does. For his own ego as much as the sake of argument.

1. You’re not assumed to be unhealthy just because of your size.

This is true, but it’s not ‘thin privilege’, it’s ‘not having visual indicators of being unhealthy’-privilege. Obesity is one of those indicators associated with not being healthy. Being a walking skeleton is another one.

2. Your size is probably not the first thing people notice about you (unless you’re being thin-shamed – the opposite of fat-shamed).

If you’re really short or extraordinary long people might notice that first. The rule is this: people notice the thing that sets you apart from the others most. Some of those things you choose, some you’re born with. And if you don’t have anything that people notice ‘first’, then people apparently don’t notice you at all. Also noticing something is not the same as shaming. Above all, this isn’t privilege. Not being noticed for your size doesn’t get you anything.

3. When you’re at the grocery store, people don’t comment on the food selection in your cart in the name of “trying to be helpful.”

We’re guessing you aren’t carting around a selection of fresh vegetables, a modest amount of meat, some fruit and a minimum of carbonhydrates when that happens.

4. Your health insurance rates are not higher than everyone else’s.

That depends on the country you live in, but it’s still not “thin privilege”. That’s profit-driven healthcare screwing you more than healthy people for being more at risk. Give them any other excuse and no regulatory provision to stop them, they’ll do the same thing. You might want to start working on that universal health care idea if that bothers you.

5. You can expect to pay reasonable prices for your clothing.

Have you heard of a little thing called the internet? A few minutes of Googling gave us quite a few ‘plus size’ results (Walmart, Macy’s). We’re sure you can do better.

6. You can expect to find your clothing size sold locally.

Have you heard of a little thing called the internet? Seriously, you might want to try it out if your backwater town is not carrying anything other than the three most common hillbilly-sizes.

7. You can expect to find clothing in the latest styles and colors instead of colorless, shapeless and outdated styles meant to hide your body.

You know what white privilege is about? Not getting shot or arrested for nothing. Not having a disproportionate chance of serving jail time because of the colour of your skin. This ‘example’ is probably the best reason ‘thin privilege’ isn’t a thing. Privilege is not about how well the market caters to your bland and boring let’s-follow-the-fashion taste in clothes.

8. You don’t receive suggestions from your friends and family to join Weight Watchers or any other weight-loss program.

This is just a “22 things I hate about being fat”-list. That’s it. “I am so underprivileged because my friends suggest I do something”. See? That’s stupid.

9. When you go to the doctor, they don’t suspect diabetes (or high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or other “weight-related” diagnoses) as the first/most likely diagnosis.

You know, doctors spend a lot of time studying to become doctors. The probable reason for them suspecting weight-related diagnoses as go-to causes is the commonality of these in overweight people and the fact that you’re fat. Other than that, it’s really not a lack of privilege to have fucking doctors check for weight-related diseases before moving on to tell you that you’re not going to die of cancer even if Dr. Google says you did and to walk it off. If anything, that’s special treatment thin people don’t get.

10. You don’t get told, “You have such a pretty/handsome face” (implying: if only you’d lose weight you could be even more attractive).

What. The. Fuck. Are. You. Complaining. About. YOU GET TOLD YOU’RE PRETTY. TAKE THE FUCKING COMPLIMENT.

11. People do not assume that you are lazy, based solely on your size.

You’re confusing privilege and prejudice, here.

12. You’re not the brunt of jokes for countless numbers of comedians.

Because that’s all comedians joke about. Just fat people. That’s it. There’s never been a comedian who made a joke about anything other than a fatty. Come to think of it, have you heard about the fatty who wanted to climb a barricade? Yeah, he didn’t.

13. Airlines won’t charge you extra to fly.

You can be pretty obese before being charged extra to fly. At some point you’re just taking up more than one seat. This is not ‘thin privilege’. United Airlines has a seatbelt-rule: if, with an extension of 25 INCHES, you can’t get the seatbelt on, you need an extra ticket. We’d argue that anyone in the extension range doesn’t qualify as ‘thin’.

14. You are not perceived as looking sloppy or unprofessional based on your size.

 Roacking a suit this way: not thin privilege

That looks neither sloppy nor unprofessional. Does the fact that you buy local, colorless shapeless styles that hide your body instead of going on the internet have anything to do with this particular complaint?

15. You can eat what you want, when you want in public and not have others judge you for it or make assumptions about your eating habits.

Once again guessing this isn’t about eating healthy food in moderation in public.

16. You can walk out of a gas station with a box of doughnuts and not have people yell at you to “Lay off them doughnuts, fatty!” (This actually happened to one of my friends.)

This is getting repetitive, like your doughnut-munching friend’s eating habits.

17. People don’t ask your partners what it’s like to have sex with you because of your size.

So, people are interested in what it’s like to have sex with you and somehow you’re complaining that this is a lack of privilege.

18. Your body type isn’t sexually fetishized.

Rule 34 says it is.

19. You’re more likely to get a raise or promotion at work than someone who is fat.

This is actually the one thing in this list that is a privilege, but it is for skinny women only (up to the point where they are no longer skinny, after that the difference is slim). Skinny men are actually paid less than their less-skinny colleagues.

20. Friends don’t describe you to others using a qualifier (e.g. “He’s kind of heavy, but REALLY nice, though”).

Once again, being fat is the only negative qualifier you can get. Muslims, black people, autists, unemployed, homeless people and what have you, or basically anyone slightly different from the norm of the friend and their conversation partner do not ever get this. Ever. Just fat people.

21. The media doesn’t describe your body shape as part of an “epidemic”.

Pretty sure the anorexic crowd disagrees. And both are of concern to scientists, given the fact that these trends stem from unhealthy eating patterns. That makes it legitimate concern and concern is not a lack of privilege.

22. You can choose to not be preoccupied with your size and shape because you have other priorities, and you won’t be judged.

The first part of that sentence is what you tell yourself when you cry yourself to sleep eating Ben & Jerry’s. The second part is when you wake up in the morning. We know. 

See. There’s fat-shaming, which is rude. But then there’s fat-complaining and it’s just whiny.

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