Thin-privilege have been all over the internet lately, so I decided to check it out. After doing some digging, I came across an article made in 2012 by Shannon Ridgway called "22 Examples of Thin Privilege". I read through the entire article, and I am now going to share my opinion on the different points made.
What is privilege?
I think it's important to understand the word privilege. Privilege is, per definition: a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor. Especially : such a right or immunity attached specifically to a position or an office.
1. You’re not assumed to be unhealthy just because of your size.
I belive this is false. I am a naturally thin person with a fast metabolism and my body is small. People frequently assume that I starve myself, that I'm bulimic or have anorexia (all of these are unhealthy and all of these are assumed because of my size).There's a lot of people out there with the same problem. We get told that we are too thin and need to eat all the time. It goes both ways.
2. Your size is probably not the first thing people notice about you (unless you’re being thin-shamed – the opposite of fat-shamed).
Everyone notices other peoples face and body when they meet new people. What else would they look at?
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."
I can't say I have ever experienced this, and I can't say other people haven't. However, I think it's unlikely for a stranger to go up to you and say "you shouldn't buy that, you're obese." I believe it can happen, and if anyone does that, they're an asshole.
4. Your health insurance rates are not higher than everyone else’s.
Higher risk of health issues (Needing more medical resources) = higher health insurance
5. You can expect to pay reasonable prices for your clothing.
I live in Norway, and most things cost the same regardless of the size it's in. I do not know how it is over in America, but I would guess that you need to pay more because of the quantity of fabric being used.
6. You can expect to find your clothing size sold locally.
There are a lot of stores for plus-size people nowadays, especially in America. The majority of the population can't just go into a shop and pick out the first pants they see and fit in them. Some people have longer legs than normal, some people have shorter legs than normal, some people have broad shoulders, some people are short, have a tiny waist but big hips. Some people are tall, have a thick waist and small hips. You get the gest.
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.
There is clothes in every colour, style and shapes nowadays. This is the same as the above, we are all built differently, and we can't always find the exact clothing we want.
8. You don’t receive suggestions from your friends and family to join Weight Watchers or any other weight-loss program.
No, because we don't need to lose weight. How is this even a privilege? I guess that makes fat-privilege a thing too. "You don't receive suggestions from your friends and family to eat more food and go to the doctors to check to see if you're underweight".
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.
Obesity and overweight together are the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States according to the National Institutes of Health. People who are overweight/obese are more likely to have type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, heart disease and strokes, certain types of cancer, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis. gallbladder disease and gallstones. Doctors have misdiagnosed a lot of people because they think their weight may be the reason, and that is actually a problem. They suspect diabetes first because it's common.
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).
A lot of thin people (me included) have been told that we'd be much prettier if we had meat on our bones. People find different things attractive. There are people who like heavier women and would find a thin person more attractive if they'd put on some weight.
11. People do not assume that you are lazy, based solely on your size.
People assume you're lazy solely on your size because losing weight is: less calories in, more calories out (this is highly debated though). Overweight and obesity DO have a link with genetics, but a majority of obese people aren't obese because of genetics alone. Therefore it's possible to lose weight. Making healthy changes in your diet, lifestyle, and environment WILL make you lose weight if you're overweight or obese.
12. You’re not the brunt of jokes for countless numbers of comedians.
Eating-disorder jokes and drug addicts jokes are things we have to deal with. Besides, we also need to deal with people saying "all bodies are beautiful" and then proceed to insult us. "Bones are for dogs, meat is for men."
13. Airlines won’t charge you extra to fly.
If you take up two seats, you should pay for two seats. This reminds me of the story of that man who had to stand throughout a 7-hour long flight because an obese passenger. The passenger didn't do it out of spite though, he felt really bad.
14. You are not perceived as looking sloppy or unprofessional based on your size.
Again. Drug addicts and eating disorders. Both are unproffesional.
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.
Nope, niks, nada. If I'm eating a salad, people go "Why are you eating that? You're so thin!", If I'm eating unhealthy food, people go "Oh my god! How can you eat that and stay thin! Are you throwing it up?", If I'm saying I'm not hungry people assume I'm anorexic and starving myself.
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.)
I want to write "r/thathappened" but there is always a possibility that this happened. Just because your friend experienced it once, doesn't mean it's a common thing. I believe it's unlikely for a stranger to yell "Lay off them doughnuts, fatty!" when they see you solely because of your size.
17. People don’t ask your partners what it’s like to have sex with you because of your size.
I have never, in my entire life, heard people ask others how it's like to have sex with an overweight/obese person.
18. Your body type isn’t sexually fetishized.
Every body type is fetishized. Some people have a fetish for big boobs, small boobs, tiny waists, big hips, small hips, big butt, small butt, thick thighs, small thighs, the list goes on and on.
19. You’re more likely to get a raise or promotion at work than someone who is fat.
This is true. Women who weighs 50kg are paid much more than women who weighs 60-70kg. However, the difference between 70kg and 80kg was much less severe.
20. Friends don’t describe you to others using a qualifier (e.g. “He’s kind of heavy, but REALLY nice, though”).
People are into different things. Some people prefer skinny guys, and other people prefer heavier boys.
21. The media doesn’t describe your body shape as part of an “epidemic”.
An epidemic is an outbreak of a disease that spreads quickly and affects many individuals at the same time. That is what it is. Obesity is, as stated before, the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States according to the National Institutes of Health.
22. You can choose to not be preoccupied with your size and shape because you have other priorities, and you won’t be judged.
This is the one point where I can say that this is ABSOLUTELY FALSE. Everyone I know is preoccupied with their body, even me. In fact, you should be preoccupied and take care of your body. Thin people get judged based on their shape and size, people with small boobs get judged, people with big boobs get judged, people with small butts get judged, people with big butts get judged.
If this is what thin-privilege is, then there's fat-privilege, pretty-privilege, ugly-privilege and so much more. This article could easily be flipped and called fat-privilege. A lot of the points in this article boils down to common sense (ex: charging you extra to fly). I believe the people who thinks thin-privilege is a thing are the TUMBLR people who are overweight/obese, jealous, lazy and loves to put down others to raise up themselves out of insecurity. A lot of people compare this to sexual orientation and racism. Which is ridiculous. You can control your weight (if you're one of the few with a genetical disease, this may be difficult or impossible, point is: the majority can). You can't control your sexual orientation or your race.
Besides, according to "thin-privilege", starving people are the most privileged. Because: "the skinnier you are, the more privileged you are". That is one of the dumbest things I've heard.
I don't think the article was written out of hate, but rather jealousy and insecurity. The person writing this probably thinks people judge them based on the points. I don't think the problem is that thin people are treated better than anyone else in society (privileged), I think the problem is that overweight and obese people are treated badly. That doesn't make thin people privileged though. The advantages thin people have are actually just advantages healthy people have.
After reading through the entire article, I've come to the conclusion that thin-privilege does not exist.