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

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 61
7765 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

This woman is clearly unhinged. But thin privilege does exist. And thin shaming exists too, but it pales in comparison to fat shaming. The fact is that our society prizes thinness…look in any magazine, tv show, clothing catalog, etc – even in the posts on this board – the message constantly being promoted by society is that if you aren’t already thin, you should try to be. 

I say this as a very thin woman btw. Just as I’m able to acknowledge my white privilege, I can also admit that I benefit from thin privilege. 

However, the woman in the restaurant is a nutcase and had no business flipping out like that over a salad! 

Post # 62
2680 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I can’t get over the fact that this was such an incredibly inappropriate interaction between coworkers at a work lunch. 

Post # 63
555 posts
Busy bee

Ok I always thought being privileged is something you were BORN with: 

like hey: white men are privedged and I will never be able to achieve this because I am not a man (I am white though and aware of my privilege).

However, being thin or normal sized is something that most of us CAN attain. That is like saying: you got an A, omg you are so lucky. Like no, I worked for that and you can do too. Sorry, I know this will offend lots of people; I am aware that some people have illnesses but let’s not go crazy here, most people could lose weight I they tried.

Post # 65
9735 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

It is probably time to take this to HR.

Post # 67
1169 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

yourhandinmine :  it’s time to go to HR.  It’s not about fat/skinny or privileges anymore, it’s about a coworker talking shit about you.  Not acceptable in the workplace.

Post # 68
692 posts
Busy bee

Yeah people get weird when you’re skinny. I’ve had strangers yell at me to eat a sandwich (I yelled back “buy me one!” lol). I’ve also had (ex) friends say they wont go to lunch with me because I’m “anorexic”.. I literally eat more than they do every meal. It’s usually more about the other persons insecurity in my experience. Just brush it off and let her be upset, it’s on her not you.

ETA: Just read your update. Definitely contact HR. If you were texting about putting a “fat ass in her place” you would be reported to HR. Just because you’re on the other end of the spectrum doesn’t give her the right to attack you. That’s awesome your friends stood up for you though, good for them.

Post # 71
2800 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

Buymymixtape :  I agree with you 1000%. Just wasn’t bold enough to say it 😉 

Also, I have heard a lot about people “thin shaming” on the internet but have literally never seen or experienced it myself in real life. I kind of get the impression that it is more of an American thing, from areas where a lot of people tend to be overweight but that is just my personal perception. I could never in my life imagine someone telling me to “eat a cheeseburger” in Canada or the UK.  

Post # 72
2928 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

yourhandinmine :  I’m so sorry you had to go through this.  And this is a new girl at work?  F*ck her.  Her texts (in your update) are completely inappropriate.  I don’t think you can go to HR because she didn’t text you directly.

I am not thin.  I am 5’8″ and around 165lb so on most of those BMI charts I am in the overweight category.  I’ve lost 10lb by working my ass off and watching every bite that I put in my mouth.  I was fricken miserable.  My Fiance was concerned that I was becoming too obsessed about my weight and had severe body image issues (body dysmorphic syndrome or something like that) and it was really, really hard to try to let some of that go.  I am built completely differently than my sister and mom, who are both petite and a size 2.  It was really hard growing up like that.  I was always an athlete and measuring my wrist I’m told I have a “medium” build vs my sister who is “small”.

But, I do NOT project my insecurities on other people.  I order salads all the time when I go out because I like them, and you’re right, some have more calories than other dishes (I’ve been to Cheddar’s so I know the salad you got).  I don’t thin shame, I don’t fat shame.  Other people’s choices don’t affect me.  I think I am my own worst enemy.

Your best bet is to probably avoid this woman if you can for a while.  Your comment about bigger clothes costing more was probably not needed (but I understand why you said it) because it’s not true (it’s something clothing manufacturers use to justify charging more for plus size clothing).  But it’s also not your job to try to make this woman feel better about whatever issues she has.

I have a friend that is really, really thin.  Has been her whole life and when she was a teenager she saw several doctors to try to determine why she just didn’t gain weight.  When she went shopping for wedding dresses she got all sorts of comments from the consultants.  She has been thin shamed her whole life and it sucks, just as fat shaming sucks. 

Post # 73
9579 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

yourhandinmine :  doesn’t matter that it didn’t happen at work.. the texting puts it over the top.

I’d make your complaint purely factual.  I mean obviously it has to be true, but try to avoid opinions etc.. you included a lot of opinion, speculation, and so forth in your posts here, which is fine.. but for HR just keep it to:  ‘I offered her a bite of my meal, which prompted her to start yelling insults at me and accused me of being an, and I quote, “skinny bitch”.  After making a scene, she left the restaurant abruptly.’

You can even say you’re only telling them so it’s on the record because you’re afraid that this may only be the start of a troubling pattern and you don’t want it to go unnoticed if that is the case.  (Which IMO, is absolutely true–I doubt you’re the only person she is harassing, and I also doubt she’s going to stop now that she’s gone unhinged.)

Tell them what happened at lunch and the subsequent texts to all of your coworkers.  Just get it on the record.

Post # 74
7765 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

yourhandinmine :  So there is this movement called “health at every size” (HEAS) which I think is over the top. It’s argument, if I understand correctly, is that even if you’re 400 lbs you can still be healthy…which just doesnt add up to me. So I do think some people get carried away with body positivity and stuff, but I think that kind of stuff is the exception rather than the rule.

That being said, thin shaming and fat shaming are not remotely on the same level, and I get so irritated when I hear skinny people (like myself) complaining about how thin shaming is just as bad as fat shaming! It’s just not. As I mentioned before, we live in a world that prizes thinness and condemns overweight bodies. This context matters. If you are a fat person, the message you’re getting every single day when you watch tv, go online, walk around in the world, shop for clothes, anything– is that your body is unattractive and wrong. If you are a thin person (whether you’re that way naturally or as the result of lots of exercise and dieting), the message you’re getting is that you’re doing it right, bravo you!

So while, as a skinny person, you may occasionally encounter some asshole who says something like “eat a hamburger!” – in my experience, those comments are usually rooted in jealousy and they’re definitely the exception. For every person who says something insensitive about being skinny, there are probably 100 people admiring you for it. The reverse is true for fat people. Hence, fat shaming and skinny shaming are not the same and I think it’s ridiculous to act like they are.

Post # 75
702 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

YIKES. Food & weight are always such awkward subjects. I think she was completely out of line. I do agree that very overweight people are sometimes treated differently in a negative way…but I mean, c’mon. It’s like she thought you were personally lobbying for higher insurance rates for heavy people. Nope.

I do think there’s somewhat of a double standard or “thin shaming” when it comes to women talking about their bodies or food (and fat shaming is also very real). Like, for my heavier friends & family they feel perfectly entitled to talk about my body, and how I’m thin or small or whatever. They also like to make self depricating comments that make me cringe, and I just don’t know how to respond to it. I would never dream of making any comments about their bodies or their food choices, and sometimes I feel like how about we all just not even mention it.

The only other thing I’ll say about the lady’s outburst–my mother and grandmother are notorious food shamers. Like, seriously, complex inducing food shamers. My mom always has something to say about what other people are eating–it’s too “indulgent”, too much, not nearly enough. Every time I have to eat with her I have to mentally prepare for hearing multiple times, “that’s all you’re eating?” or “wow, you’re going to eat ALL that. I’m still full from lunch”…anyways, long story short, I am ultra sensitive about when people say anything about my food choices, even if it’s not malintentioned..and so in some ways I can understand her very misdirected frustration. HOWEVER, more importantly, I would never have an outburst on anyone about it. I’d just remind myself that my feelings are MY feelings, and I’m projecting.

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