Verbally attacked today over 'Thin Privilege'? I can't.

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 17
431 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

So many things divide rather than unite. As someone who has struggled with weight (I’ve been 4 sizes lower than I am now),  this is so sad. I don’t condone her reaction to you, it was rude and she had no right, but maybe she is super hurt inside. You don’t have to extend an olive branch, but you could and maybe you could be just one more person helping to heal. I am so sorry this happened to you. 🙂

Post # 18
9580 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

she obviously is over sensitive.

But she was right about the clothing thing being absurd–standing up for that didn’t do you any favors. The fact you can walk in to any store and expect them to have clothing in your size, but women who are actually closer to the national average can’t is ridiculous.  It’s not your fault, of course, but defending it wasn’t a great idea.

The health thing I agree with you: it really is just a statistical thing.  Smokers pay more, people with risky jobs pay more, etc..  That said, given the situation, it probably would have been a good idea to let that one go too.

Anyway.. I’d just avoid her from now on.  She has some personal issues that you can’t fix for her.  I avoid people who give me shit about my weight (I’m actually completely average–but some people like to make me feel fat, others like to criticize me for being thin!).  People who get upset about your body are projecting 99.999% of the time, In My Humble Opinion.  Unless you really are going around telling people to lose weight or whatever.

Post # 19
757 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Wait what?? When you shop at the clothing store, size 36 costs as much as size 44. Sorry but her argument isn’t correct even.

And also, damn, what a bitch! Just cause she isn’t happy about her weight doesn’t give her a right to be aggressive towards people who are happy and healthy

Post # 20
1104 posts
Bumble bee

yourhandinmine :  oh yeah, this is totally a thing now. 

i’ve been hearing about thin privilege a lot lately, it’s part of the body positivity movement which is also sometimes called “health at every size”. so, i think it’s important to understand how different people think, it makes it easier to navigate these scenarios. it really doesn’t matter if you agree or disagree, because this is a trend now so it’s best to just inform yourself and try to avoid this kind of ridiculousness in the future. 

basically, body positivity/health at every size people tend to believe that being fat is not unhealthy, that statistics about size and disease are faulty, and that it is completely possible to be healthy at every size. they do not think there is any direct negative health impact of being fat. they believe they can be super physically active, eat well, and they will still always be heavier. they think that some people are just meant to be thin, some are meant to be average, and some are meant to be fat.

they believe the reason that dieting is so unsuccessful/unsustainable for most people is because they’re fighting their natural shape. they believe that dieting is basically perpetuated by the patriarchy, and that anyone who participates in this type of thing is essentially being suckered into it by male ideals of beauty. they believe their bodies have the ability to do anything at any size and celebrate their physical lives. they expect their romantic partners to be equally interested in them sexually at any weight. their goal is to feel perfectly healthy and positive about their bodies no matter what they weigh, they do not believe in the virtues of using BMI as they believe it is completely inaccurate for most people. 

so, that’s kind of the gist. there are tons of blogs and body positivity writers you can find out there to learn more. but, yeah, prepare to get roasted here for this post. i’m so over the whole privilege thing at this point that i essentially just avoid any conversations about health because it’s so politically charged now. best of luck! 

Post # 22
1566 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

Holy moly! Who instigates a fight like that with no justification for her assumptions?! My jaw is on the floor right now. I feel a little bad for her as it’s clear she has a lot of insecurities and anger that caused her to lash out like that in front of her co-workers. Still, that doesn’t justify taking it out on you and I don’t see that you did a single thing wrong. I’m sorry you had to deal with such a crappy experience.

By the way, your “salad” sounds amazing! Wish you could offer me a bite because I’d happily accept.

Post # 24
1566 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

Ugh, and I wasn’t even going to speak to the criticism of your being concerned about your partner’s weight gain but I urge you to just ignore those comments. I’ve seen several threads like yours on here and there are always people who think it’s some sort of mortal sin to be concerned for your partner’s health and to bring up weight in a sensitive and caring way. Screw that. Maybe that works for some people in some relationships and good for them. Live your life the way that works for you. Personally, my husband and I made it clear early on that we’d like the other person to let us know if our weight gain starts affecting any part of our lives and relationship. Anything from energy level to attraction. Those things matter to us and were issues in previous relationships with previous partners so you can bet your ass that I’d want him to speak up if anything changes to negatively affect us. That doesn’t make us fat shamers or shallow people. And it’s completely different from caring about the weight of some relative stranger. 

Post # 25
2180 posts
Buzzing bee

yourhandinmine :  I did not ignore brands and if you think “healthy people” are an antithesis to overweight people…yiiiiiikes.

This is from a couple years ago but here:

“[….] I’ve read more studies about weight and health than probably any other topic I’ve ever researched. And every time I see someone wail about health I am just like

Did you know that in post-mortem examinations there is zero correlation between weight and levels of arteriosclerosis and related diseases found?

Did you know that people with an overweight BMI have the longest life expectancy, that those with an “ideal” and an “obese” have about the same life expectancy, and that being “underweight” raises mortality rates more than being “morbidly obese”?

Did you know that losing weight and then gaining it back is worse for your heart than remaining at the weight you started consistently? [….]

Like I have read The Obesity Myth by Paul Campos and Rethinking Thin by Gina Kolata and Big Fat Lies by Glenn A Gaesser (Ph.D!) And Fat!So? and several other books that I don’t own and so don’t remember all of their names I spent like four years reading every single study coming out and looking at the methodology and noting which ones had huge holes or terrible methods and which didn’t (the holes were almost always in the pro-weight-loss studies) and like

Big Fat Lies has 27 pages of bibliography. 27 pages worth of scientific citation. The book content itself is only 197 pages. That’s a page of references for every 7 pages of book. Reading the book is just reference after reference and study after study. Most of these doctors (like Linda Bacon, author of Health at Every Size) started out the same way. They wanted to use the scientific method to find a real weight loss program or health solution that worked and could be proven to work, and so studied everything they could about weight and fitness only to find out that we didn’t need weight loss in the first place. That all the studies calling for it were lacking or nonexistent. That weight and underlying metabolic health have very little relation. That the history of our relationship with health and obesity has little basis in fact and a LOT of basis in capitalism, politics, and fashion. No, really, the association between weight and health was first proposed by insurance companies looking for ways to charge people more by claiming risk. They also charged tall and short people more. And people with different skin colors. When they got in trouble for charging people for things they had no control over and had no bearing on their health, they set out to prove that weight was controllable and that fat was unhealthy to make money

These are also a lot of the same people who went on to invent the President’s fitness program, so if you went to public school you probably already hate them. 

Anyway, if you want a place to start reading about the issue, this article is a pretty good launching pad.” x

Post # 26
682 posts
Busy bee

How is it a privilege to not be treated like crap based on your weight? That’s a right.

Anyway, she obviously has an astounding amount of issues that she decided to take out on you when she should’ve just happily eaten her pasta and had a good time. You didn’t do anything wrong; logic just doesn’t work on hysterical people.

Growing up, guys, overweight girls, and my parents used to give me so much crap about how thin I was. People think it’s okay to comment on women’s bodies, especially when it comes to their weight. It’s ridiculous. I’d recommend avoiding her in the future if you can. Dealing with her would be too much of a chore.

Post # 27
8861 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

yourhandinmine :  You also seem to have more conversations than most that end with someone who LOST IT and/or WENT OFF (allcaps yours) and stormed away. Seems odd is all and if that happened often enough to me, I would do some introspection.

Post # 29
78 posts
Worker bee

yourhandinmine :  If your story is completely true and you’re not leaving anything out, then absolutely, your friend was being ridiculous. She obviously has insecurities that she was projecting on you and she should have just enjoyed her freaking meal. That salad does sound delicious by the way.

With that being said, yes, thin privilege is a thing. Thin people, maybe more so women, are assumed to be more active, more motivated, and yes, healthier, than those who carry some extra poundage. Growing up I was always heavier than my sister, which I was always getting flack for. My parents tried to control everything I ate under the guise of “health” and my grouchy outspoken grandmother never missed an opportunity to tell me how chubby I was. However, my size 4, gangly sister had a decent amount of health issues because she ate like absolute crap and never gained a pound or expanded an inch. As a teenager she had high cholesterol and chronic bowel issues because she never ate fruits or vegetables. I on the other hand, couldn’t get enough fruits and veggies, played four sports, but was just naturally bigger. Interestingly enough, no one ever outwardly expressed concern about my sisters crappy health, but every morsel of food I put into my mouth was watched like a hawk and critiqued. Aside from my personal anecdotes, plus sized women’s clothing is less fashionable and much harder to find. I’ve visited four stores in one day that don’t carry professional dress slacks over a size 14 EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE PLUS SIZE SECTIONS. Last year I needed to look professional for a big job interview but I couldn’t find any pants that fit on my size 18 ass, so fuck me, right? 

Ive been dieting for a few months now and I’ve lost almost 40 pounds. I cheat once a week. Once on my cheat day I went to Wendy’s and got a ton of delicious crap and the “she shouldn’t be eating that” looks on people’s faces were less than subtle. Little did they know it was the one day in that week I was eating junk. A skinny girl eating a huge burger is “She’s so down to earth!” whereas a fat girl eating the same burger somehow gets reduced to “She must be lazy and so unhealthy!”

Yeah, thin privilege is a thing, but also yeah, your friend was being a little nutty. It’s possible she was having a terrible day and that triggered her. If she attempts to, give her the chance to explain herself. You don’t know what she could be going through.

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors