Thin Privilege: Yes, it's Real
Privilege is a controversial topic in this day and age. In the news, more specifically, we see the word privilege used in a lot of contexts. White privilege, male privilege, socio-economic privilege are a few among many. But what exactly does the word privilege even mean?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, privilege is “a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group”.
“Okay, so what does this have to do with body image?”
-Thank you for asking! Let me explain.
Thin privilege is a commonly overlooked privilege in our society, more so in western culture. Thin privilege recognizes that the world accommodates to and praises thinness.
Let me give you a visualization. I am a soul that lives in a thin privileged body. When I go to a store, I have no problem finding something in my size. When I go to the doctors, I am given an adequate diagnosis, not a weight diagnosis. When I look in the media, I can instantly spot someone who looks like me in ad campaigns, movies, television shows, etc. If I walk into a restaurant, classroom, movie theater, really any public space, I can find proper seating that suits my body. If I fly, I am not charge more nor asked to get off a flight because of my “uncomfortable” seat-mate.
These are only some examples (click here for more). They exist, and they happen. Every. Day. It often goes overlooked because it is seen as a norm to scold large bodies and praise thin bodies. This is not okay.
As I mentioned, I am someone who has thin privilege. When I first figured it out, I really didn't want to have it. It made me feel upset about my position in society, especially when realizing what trials it causes large bodies. However, this isn't about me. It isn't about anyone in a thin body. It's about what we can DO with our privilege. It means we stand up when someone is being prejudice to someone with a large body. It means we fight against the fat-phobic society and help push for a more inclusive world. It means we question beauty standards, the media, our peers, our parents, the internet, everything! Because REPRESENTATION MATTERS! If we don't stand by each other through battles, then we've already lost. It's 2019, it's time we start speaking up and standing up for the things we believe in.
Home/Body is exactly that for me. I hope to be able to use my thin privilege to speak out on the societal crisis surrounding body-image. I'm still learning many things, however, I hope I can create a space on the internet that can at least change the thinking of someone. Thin privilege is very real and it's time society stops pretending like it's not.
To help enforce this post, I recommend reading this article written by Melissa A. Fabello PhD. It talks about how thin people CAN hate their bodies, but also what that means in society when it comes to fat-phobia.