…that they think are proof of oppression but are really proof of our privilege:
#1) “People think I’m anorexic!”
This one is close to home. Even my doctors think I’m anorexic because technically speaking (based on the pseudo scientific BMI system) I am. In fact, once I was given a questionnaire when I had a check up about if I am depressed and if I feel like I have friends and how school is going and if I’m bullied. I thought that was routine and then I found out that it’s because they think I have an ED.
Soooo I know what I’m talking about when I say that this is not proof of a two way street when it comes to body image.
How can a thin person talk about being assumed to have an ED when really thin people are the least likely to suffer from ED’s because we already have the body that is considered ideal? Doctors don’t even recognize ED’s if the person does not have a thin body. In fact, ED’s are ***encouraged*** in non-thin people.
So a person thinks your anorexic and you’re not? Be thankful that they actually care about your health. Because they ascribe humanity to thin people. If you actually had an ED and were not thin, people would be less likely to care and in fact might even think it’s a good idea in order to lose weight.
#2) “People tell me to eat something!”
How can thin people complain about being told to eat something when eating is normal and healthy… meanwhile fat people are told NOT to eat when eating is NORMAL and HEALTHY.
I am supposed to sit around complaining about how people will give me whatever I want to eat because I need some “meat on my bones” (when the truth is I probably do) meanwhile if you’re fat people will look at you side ways every time you eat. Like you no longer need or deserve food.
The average person holds such pseudo scientific ideas about food and nutrition and there is the idea that you eat too much if you are fat and you eat too little if you are skinny. Which is not factual at all. But it’s not thin people who lose out by these commonly held myths.
#3) “People ask me probing questions!”
Welcome to the world. Where everybody is asked probing questions. Particularly, women! Thin people will be asked things such as “what do you do to stay so skinny?” “How do you exercise?” Even sort of weird questions like “How often do you poop?”
Most of the questions thin people will be asked will be by someone who wants that body so they want to know how you have yours.
The probing questions for a fat person will be very similar ***except*** they will be said with the intention to allude to the fact that they need to change their body type. “Are you sure you should be eating that?” & “How often do you exercise?”
I am often asked a lot of questions about my weight. It’s usually followed up with, “I’m so jealous! I wish I was your size!”
Not to mention that if I say I have a fast metabolism and it’s genetics because everybody in my family is thin the conversation ends there. But saying you have a slow metabolism is not considered an “excuse” if you’re fat. That’s called being “lazy.”
So how can you complain about probing questions when they’re round-a-bout compliments for the most part?
#4) “Men don’t like that I have no ass or boobs!”
This is my favorite one. Especially as a black girl, because many thin black girls like to pretend like the black community is anti-thin women and therefore we don’t have any privilege.
Besides the real fact that using men (who tend to be very confusing, oppressive, and fickle… for example: “I want to have sex with you but after I do you’re a ho lol”) to determine whether or not we as women have privilege is completely giving into the male gaze and problematic there are still more things wrong with this statement.
I am sure there are some men who don’t like women who are stick thin. Since men are not a monolith! And not all men are brainwashed by the media which tells them they should like thin women! If they were, as a dark skinned woman I would never get any male attention.
However, when I have come across men (and honestly this has been very rare for me) who actually say that they do not like thin women it is in terms of some objectifying, misogynist sense like “I need something I grab onto!” “I need a girl with an ass I can really feel up!” **but** it’s not like they look at me with disgust. It’s always said like it’s a preference. But that there’s nothing necessarily wrong with me.
Whereas, the idea of a fat woman is not even entertained. A lot of these men want thin-ish women who also have boobs and an ass. They want the hour glass figure.
That being said, I’ve had my fair share of male attention. And when I am with a man one of the TOP physical compliments I receive is my thinness. I’d like to think men like me because I’m pretty lol but honestly I think it’s because I’m short and thin. My thinness is often viewed as a commodity.
#5) “People make fun of me for being skinny!”
I’m sure people do. People are mean-spirited in general. And if you’re a woman, it’s common that people will always find something to make fun of you about. I’ve been made fun for being bony and having a collar bone that shows and things like that.
But I’ve also been complimented for the same things. Way more than I’ve been “made fun of” about them.
This would lead me to believe (as I look at magazine covers, TV, etc) that my body type is viewed as something deserving of compliments. And that yes, not every individual person I come across will automatically worship my body type but it’s still fair to say this is a general rule.
I literally hear thin people complaining about being made fun of and it’s like they expect every person they meet to be absolutely in love with their bodies which is already showing abuse of privilege. Why do you even have that expectation?
This is a really basic post and in no way comprehensive. Feel free to add/ correct anything.