FACT: If you’re skinny, you’re treated better. What thin privilege is, and why we need to talk about it


bodied  • 

FACT: If you’re skinny, you’re treated better. What thin privilege is, and why we need to talk about it

Thinner girls have always had a leg up and that’s just the truth, sis

Whether you want to admit it or not, your overall appearance is how many people will gauge your worth before they even know your name.

The same way people have preconceived notions and prejudice against people based on race and gender, bigger body types are treated a completely different way than their thin counterparts. If you're smaller, you have privileges and access some of us can only dream of, and it goes beyond playground insults and "skinny shaming."

I'm sure there will be a lot of women who shop Forever 21 regular who are going to give me a lot of shit on what fat women can do to lose weight to be treated like a human being, but there are real societal hinderances on overweight and even slightly-above-average women.

You never have to worry about finding your size, because it'll be sold at literally any and every store

I've said it once and I'll say it again: Plus-size shopping is the fucking scavenger hunt I didn't ask to participate in. Some smart-ass straight-size girl will probably comment that I should bend my back to meet retailers in the middle and lose weight so I can fit into their clothes, but fuck that.

Fashion corporations are meant to represent the people and offer us their problem-solving products and services instead of only serving women who can fit in their very narrow perspective of who's worthy of clothes. Right, H&M?

Clawing through racks of ugly pieces expected to cover you up is not what I'd call a shopping spree — that'd imply a level playing field for both fat and straight-size women. Shopping while plus-size means you're competing for sizes with every other plus-size babe searching for the same chic lewks because sections for curvy girls are sometimes tinier than the children's department.

Let us not forget that with thin privilege, you pay less for your apparel. There's more fabric needed to design bigger clothing, so plus-size girls are forced to dig deeper in their pockets for their next #ootd. And regardless of the fact that there are far more plus-sized women than straight-size women in America, thickies still pay more for their fashion.

Do you get lectures from your doctor? Oh right, that's just us

I get that it's a health practitioner's job to tell you all the ways you can be the best you, but not being at an "ideal" weight doesn't necessarily mean you'll die tomorrow. Not to mention how rarely fatter patients get taken seriously when they complain about body pain — doctors always turn it around to weight, and blame us for our own discomfort.

Doctors don't realize what kind of mental anguish this level of dismissal can inflict on us. It doesn't even matter if you're actively trying to lose weight! You're immediately dismissed out of hand. Remember when Kourtney literally passed out in the gym after working out too hard? That's the level of "commitment" we fat girls should all be on to even get a seat at the table. I'm pretty sure that's not the way to do it.

A study conducted by PLosONE found that physicians had the same strong anti-fat bias as the general public. As a result, it's thought that doctors might treat overweight patients differently, according to Janice Sabin, an assistant professor in bioinformatics and medical education that the University of Washington in Seattle and head researcher.

Your body is the norm, not a fetish

Phrases like "I've never been with a skinny girl" don't exist in your dating lifestyle because it's expected that all guys typically only have sex with girls smaller than they are — despite 70 percent of women being classified as overweight.

Some people want to ~try something different~ besides the idolized straight-sized girl, and that's part of the problem. Fat women are just a taste tester, but never the first choice to buy and devour long-term. The principle idea of beauty is to have a thigh gap or you're automatically ugly, and that's a huge disconnect between thick and thin.

Being plus-size means competing with your straight-size friends sometimes. That's primarily because there are some men who already having a predetermined image of what they plan on scoping out and scooping up upon entrance in a social venue. And most times, it's not someone with stretch marks and cellulite.

Society teaches that fat is automatically associated with ugly. Try to date in a world that tells you you're intrinsically undesirable, and that your partner (if you snag one) made a poor choice in selecting you.

In the same way white people have been held up as the only race that matters in this country, it's unsurprising that fat people are also seen as underdogs in any dating scenario.

Airlines don't charge you just for existing

The fact that airlines make their seating flyable to only smaller human beings with shapeless figures is appalling in its own right. It's a fact that airline seats have actually shrank over time in order to cram in as many bodies as possible, so them charging more for "customers of size" isn't some kind of health and safety issue — it's a cash-grab, plain and simpIe.

A fat girl makes a spectacle of herself simply walking down the aisle. It's literally a walk of fat shame as eyes follow you to your bite-sized seat, and you can tell what they're all thinking: please don't sit by me. Straight-size women don't get ogled trying to squeeze into a middle seat that'd be a struggle for anyone who's not pint-sized.

I don't know about you, but I highly doubt there's any airline who can't afford to redesign seats for actual comfort.

Your body type is always represented in pop culture

If there's a new female-led movie coming to theaters near you, it comes as no surprise to anyone that she's a straight-size woman. Whether or not it's an action movie, a rom-com, a fucking historical drama, the representation of plus-size women in media is smaller that my aereolas—and they're some tiny little things! We virtually don't exist in media, and when we are, we're portrayed as an underdog who against all odds! succeeds and gets a guy, or as comic relief.

To my thickies reading this, you were probably stunned watching This Is Us and stoked to find out that curvy binch Chrissy Metz was a main character. That kind of breath of fresh air is the same response your Black friend had after watching Black Panther. Now if we can just get a show about a fat woman that doesn't dedicate most of its plot to weight loss.

Whether in private or public, you aren't judged for what's on your plate

Women who don't look like runway models are targeted when it comes to food, point-blank. Even if you're a fat girl eating a salad and trying to make "healthier" food choices, you can still expect someone to make a comment on your diet.

"Is that green on your plate?" or "I see you finally decided to take my advice!" and "That's some healthy eating you got there!" are only some of the comments made by my own family about my food choices.

If you eat a burger, you're shamed for perpetuating an "unhealthy" lifestyle. If you eat something light, you get those "who does she think she's kidding?" looks. It's a no-win scenario and I'm fucking sick of it.

Enjoying food (like everyone else) while being fat is also worthy of judgmental eyes. No one bats an eye if gorgeous, straight-size people like Jennifer Lawrence get caught ripping open mints and talking ad nauseam about her obsession with Doritos and pizza. People think it's cute, a refreshing and adorable perspective. If you're fat like me, it's open season.

We always talk about how fat people should consider eating less and working out and staying healthy. That's all fine and dandy, but we never talk about whether or not a woman's mental health and overall happiness is compromised to appease society's expectations of the female body—produce offspring, but stay skinny and look hot while doing it.

As women, all of us are subjected to critique and struggle. But part of being a good feminist is understanding that some of us are subjected to problems you've never experienced. Sorry to my skinny sisters, but sometimes you need to step aside.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

I’ve got some shocking news for you people: Not all fat girls want to lose weight

What it’s really like trying to masturbate as a fat woman