Thin Privilege: A Sample of its Manifestations
- Thin folks don’t have to go into a clothing store and experience the awkwardness and embarrassment about the limited or non-existent plus-size section; sometimes the plus-size section is really small and placed in a special area of the store, which can be convenient and/or humiliating.
- No one
- assumes you’re single because of your weight.
- No one makes ableist assumptions about you because you are fat (i.e. you must in a power chair because you can’t control your eating).
- Thin folks don’t have to worry about clothes and shoes, especially the stylish ones, being priced beyond what they can afford.
- You’re less likely to have to shop on the internet for stuff that nice or actually your size, be it boots/shoes, undergarments, and clothes in general.
- Thin folks don’t experience comparing themselves or being compared to their thinner relatives in their immediate family or friends because they actually are fat.
- Seats everywhere being just right or too big for you, from planes to classrooms to school auditoriums while fat folks have to squeeze in or get out.
- Thin people aren’t looked at funny, talked about, or pointed at when they eat a lot in public and if they are it isn’t because they fat but because they are thin and people don’t expect them to eat a lot.
- Thin people are more likely to be hired than fat folks by potential employers and paid more, so pay disparity and general disparity in the job market.
- Yeah, there’s the airplane thing with seats and seat belts. And just space in general. I have so much anxiety and embarrassment over the moments when I get on a plane and I might have to ask for one of those extenders. It happened once. Then I developed a nasty habit of guesstimating how much weight I’d lost by how well I fit into the seat and if the seat belt was tight, snug, or kind of loose.
- Using the word “fat” gratuitously as a joke or to describe things, entities, or people that aren’t actually fat even though it is potentially triggering for people who actually identify as fat or who aren’t within the range of the prescribed weight/height for their age (usually people who prefer not to be called fat because of psychological/physical abuse or bullying, like I used to be)
- There are images of thin people everywhere and less fat-positive images and role models.
- You are typically not charged for your weight, like when stores up the price on one of two identical outfits because the other “took more fabric to make”.
- No one will most likely ever suggest that you get potentially life-threatening surgery to lose weight or invasively quiz you about your weight during a doctor’s visit.
- If you say you’re being bullied, people will most likely not tell you to lose weight to make it better.
- Comedians and actors don’t put on body suits and prosthetic makeup to humiliate and dehumanize you.
- If you’re not working class or living in poverty, no one will question your diet/eating habits, judge you as a glutton or slob from a glance.or questioning your grocery shopping habits.
- If you’re not a person of color, your thin privilege is even more invisible.
- Your sexuality is not silenced, ignored, made fun of, fetishized, or erased because thinness is typically socially invisible/acceptable even if your health is in danger.
- You are not silenced, ridiculed, ignored, or erased because of your weight [or at least not in the same systemic and socially normative ways].
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