Thin Privilege DOES NOT Exist

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.

Thin Privilege DOES NOT Exist

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".

Thin Privilege DOES NOT Exist

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."

Thin Privilege DOES NOT Exist

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.

Thin Privilege DOES NOT Exist

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.

Links:
https://everydayfeminism.com/2012/11/20-examples-of-thin-privilege/
https://www.theodysseyonline.com/thin-privilege
https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3051&context=all_theses
https://www.healthline.com/health/obesity-when-it-genetic#lifestyle
https://www.forbes.com/sites/freekvermeulen/2011/03/22/the-price-of-obesity-how-your-salary-depends-on-your-weight/#369ef5a03d9a

#thinprivilege #fatphobia #sizeism


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Most Helpful Guys

  • So, call it what you want, but thin people are treated better than fat people.

    If you're trying to argue that, you're misled.

    That said, I agree with you, its not exactly privilege, because it is something you can control. To argue that the bias isn't in your favor though? You're just making yourself an easier person to hate.

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    • What Im trying to get through is that it isn't a privilege. I stated: "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."

  • Most of your take is a justification for fat shaming, not a rationale for why you think thin shaming doesn't exist. And those few examples you do have of thin shaming involve extraordinarily thin people. The vast majority of thin people aren't assumed to be anorexic or bulimic unless they're VERY thin, which is a teeny tiny portion of the population.

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    • Please point out where I justified fat shaming. My intention was not to justify fat-shaming, because that is very real. I stated that: "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." I'll do my best to explain my views.

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    • I try not to insult people unless I think they aren't going to return the favor. I can see where you're coming from, too. For instance, I think it's totally fair for a doctor to bring up diabetes with an overweight patient. It's what I would do.

    • I can see the price-problem. It is indeed an issue that needs to be solved. The average American woman is a size 16-18, which is considered plus-size.

Most Helpful Girls

  • mmm I disagree with some of what she said and some of what you said. Being thin or average sized does put one in a better spot than someone who is overweight. This is just known.
    "Again. Drug addicts and eating disorders. Both are unproffesional." I don't quite understand why you said this though. Is unprofessional really the correct term to describe an eating disorder? It's more like a serious illness... :/

    Mmm, I was listening to the radio recently and it was a panel on weight. Doctors who are overweight-their medical advice is not taken as seriously (when regarding weight loss) because it is assumed they are not the best source of advice... and I would agree this is confirming negative stereotypes that everyone who is overweight is simply lazy.

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    • I meant that it is looked upon as unprofessional.

    • I've never looked at something like bulimia and thought about what an employer would say... you have your opinion and I have mine

    • I don't think its unprofessional, it's a serious mental illness that more people should be informed about. What I meant is: A lot of people think it's unprofessional to have an eating disorder because "you made yourself that way".

  • As someone who has been both chubby (upper end of healthy BMI) and way too skinny (way below healthy BMI) in the past, I can promise you that thin privilege is very real. Especially as a girl, people are far nicer to you when you're skinny as opposed to when you're fat. I have experienced it first-hand and I was never even actually fat.

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    • My argument was that both underweight and overweight people experience judgement, and that the article here have points that I believe is wrong. I based my "thin privilege does not exist" on this article alone. As I stated "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. "

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    • @princessfromjupiter stepping out of the shadows to say I really appreciated your perspective and the insight it provided. lol @the man who kinda said only thin women are actually women...

    • @vishna thank you I appreciate that! :)

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What Guys Said 26

  • Agreed fully!
    Being a thin guy I would like to additionally add:

    Thin people are SUPER FRAGILE!
    Even if you are fully combat trained, our bodies have MUCH less cushioning and therefore making even the smallest injury or impact rather major.
    <3
    Great take though by the way :)

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  • Overweight people are treated badly so instead of 22 feel good sentences to make fat people feel less embarrassed (I doubt many read up to 22)
    Let's come up with one solution to fix everything.
    Advance the technology of liposuction or make gyms compulsory.
    Increase the price of fattening food. There are so many ways to stop these problems but no... rights and shit lol

    Cool take anyway

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  • 6d

    Thin Privilege... How about spoiled to much time on our hands, ignoring real problems coming up with thin privilege and hundred like it and worse. If this is top your priority list your a sheltered life and refusing to see the world and much better you can do... really people..

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  • Its this lashing out defence thing - Accept that once you go above a certain weight it is unhealthy in the same way being under a certain weight is unhealthy - Maybe shaming is the wrong course of action but concern isn't - As long as a person is healthy I won't notice in a negative way

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  • It's not privilege it was their choice of lifestyle that got them that way. Sure genetics could play a role in body type. That just means you have to work extra hard to get the body you want. It's not like white privilege you can't change the color of your skin or ethnic background.

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    • I have a thyroid problem and have lost weight and gained it back numerous times it is not the same for me and some guy who eats burgers all the time and stays naturally thin even when I work at it unless I am eating fat free or starving myself I could never stay at a good weight I kept 50 lbs off in almost 2 years but for all the nights I go to bed hungry I should way a lot less it is not easy my friends can eat like a pig and don't get fat if I even eat normal without really watching I gain weight so it is not just about working for it.

  • I agree. As a man who is 6'1" and weighs 125 lbs, I agree with you that thin privilege does not exist. I can barely find pants in my size, shirts are either too long in the shoulders or too short in the height. People assume I never eat/am starving. People tell me I need to put on some weight. I'm Canadian so comedians make fun of me either way, idgaf. I'm perceived as looking weak as a result.

    AND SOME WOMEN FETISHIZE MY BODY TYPE! (Sarcasm, I found that one funny)

    I'm not actually complaining, but people of all sizes, especially on either end of the spectrum, will be judged/mocked for their body size/shape at some point, that's just the way it is.

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    • You are way underweight.

    • Really? Last I checked I was just above being underweight, but I lost a few pounds since then.

    • Yeah, you're right, just calculated my bmi and even rounding up to 130 lbs I am underweight. Only slightly though, I have had a way lower bmi before. I've always been too skinny, having a high metabolism kinda sucks sometimes.

  • I actually agree a lot on what you are saying, although I have to add that 'less calories, more exercising' really is downplaying the whole 'losing weight part'. Companies put a lot of stuff in their food to make it taste better, which are not always that good for the human body or not good in that quantity. Think of sugar, for an instance. So it isn't really a matter of just cutting down on the Mc Donalds, because most 'healthy' food isn't actually that healthy as well.

    However, I do think that fat people are capable of losing weight, by just doing their research, which everyone with a connection to the internet can do. So yeah, in a way, if you don't do that, you can objectively be viewed as lazy.

    All in all, I think you are right about there not being a thin privilege.

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  • there should be some legislation sentencing anyone for two giant slaps to the face if using the term privilige or shaming. people, get up and face responsibility dont be fck entitled crybabies..

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  • Still think being skinny and having a high metabolism is better than being fat and having a slow metabolism...

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  • Well-said for the most part. If you don't want to be fat, don't be fat. Try smarter and try better and try harder, rather than whining and complaining and blaming other people.

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  • Fat is privllage, if you have the money to buy 99 hamburgers a day you're defientley rich. But it's like paying to kill yourself. Being smart isn't a privilege it's something you build

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  • Good Points in this Take, as anyone who has been "skinny-shamed" knows.

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  • Sorry, I've just about had my fill of shaming and privilege. I just hope they aren't fattening.

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  • Most social privilege doesn't exist, it's the SJW movements and all that that shine a light on things that just didn't need it to begin with

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  • None of these newspeak terms exist. They are made up. What people don't understand is they are not made up to actually support any of the groups they claim to be supporting. The intent is to trick people into supporting the far leftists by pandering to them. It's easy to do because the activists out using these terms have been lead to think it's real. Here is what will happen when the far left politicians take over by someone that was on the inside. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3qkf3bajd4&t=173s

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  • Thin privilege... this is a new one. What side of the internet are you on again?

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  • Nice take.

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  • Shaming is shaming and shaming is fucked up yo!

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  • Good mytake

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  • Good Mytake. Eat in Moderation. Thats the only way

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What Girls Said 10

  • You have good points. However because i used to weight 250lbs and now weight 120 lbs, i have a unique perspective. When I was fat vs. Now:

    People never held the door open for me
    People always watched what I ate
    Sizes were impossible to find in common stores

    Now, I've lived it and know it's true to some extent. The important part is how I felt. I was sexy then and I'm sexy now. I never allowed society to define me. I had many people say things like "Not many women who are as large as you are so confident" as if they were commending me for some honor usually only reserved for the thin. I laughed because that ignorant opinion did not define me either. I honestly get angry now when people fall over themselves to open the door for me or my not as skinny friends and coworkers say "you are so thin you make me sick". I consider it shallow as hell to judge based on size or looks and I am not impressed when a guy calls me hot or sexy. It's a turn off for me because I know they wouldn't if I were still fat and my size did not change the beautiful person I have always been so their shallow opinion does nothing for me.

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  • You want to eat unhealthy because you enjoy it, that's all fair enough. But it's stupid to assume that's the best choice to make.
    People don't want to take responsibility for their own actions. The whole "thin privilege" crap irks me as well, despite not being skinny myself. I know damn well what I put into my body, and I'm not about to bitch and moan to somebody else for it.

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  • Very nice mytake.
    I have to agree with most of your input on the whole body shaming.
    Regardless of eating disorders or genetics.
    Why can't people just mind their own business and allow other people to live their own lives these days?
    Sad.

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  • i think we should do something about all this unhealthyness.. want to start with the fact that fat shaming should stop bc people r mostly hating on fat people bc of their looks not bc they are unhealthy... my primary concern is their health... why not raise taxes on unhealthy foods and make gyms more accessible, make healthy diets a focus in health class for high school, make it easier to get health food I don't know anything lmao america sucks

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  • Sorry I couldn’t read your whole take but I think the term “thin privilege” is ridiculous.

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  • I agree. I've been "skinny shamed" and I always take it as a compliment.

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  • Great Take. Personally, and this is and sounds very harsh, obese people need to stop complaining. I’m sick of hearing about “fat genes” and “slow metabolism” as an excuse for being very overweight, while they shovel McDonalds into their mouth.
    HEALTHY is beautiful, at any size. You can be a size 2 or a size 14, and still be in great shape. (search “Iskra Lawrence”)
    You can be comfortable with your body at any size- but don’t expect society to be; and don’t get ridiculously pissed off when they aren’t.

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  • Good myTake! :D You make a lot of interesting points and touch up on eating well.

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  • Nice take

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  • I agree with another poster, princessfromjupiter. I have experienced the same thing as her and can confirm as well that people have been nicer to the thinner I got. Strangers were nice to me even when I was unhealthily thin, because I was "pretty". Only people who cared about me tried to convince me to gain weight.

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