I was going to blog about something else today but then I saw this article on Jezebel and its really bugging me.
In case you don’t have the time or inclination to click the link, the gist of the matter is: – This woman, Britton Delizia, has started a kickstarter campaign to raise money to create a book celebrating “thin and beautiful women”. Fine, fine, that could possibly be done well, as long as it celebrates the women as people first, rather than bodies and doesn’t objectify them. As long as it’s saying thin isn’t the only acceptable shape…
But of course, it’s not at all body-positive or female-positive. It’s a pile of delusional, thin privilege denying fuckery. Because, apparently she and other thin women are being persecuted for being thin. Apparently we live in a world where “fat culture is protected”.
Thin Privilege exists. How can you not be aware of that? How can you deny that?! According to these figures on the ANAD website, 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat. As a thin person, Britton Delizia can open a magazine or turn on the TV and see people who look like her represented in the vast majority. Obese Americans make less than their thinner co-workers. For whatever it’s worth, Anti-fat bias gets a wikipedia article.
If you are thin, you are privileged over someone who is fat. Fact. Our culture holds much, much more positive views about thin people and this will positively impact on the ease with which you progress through life. Of course, having privilege in this one respect doesn’t mean your life will be wonderful. And sure, thin people can be body-shamed, too. And it sucks for everyone. No one is denying that by saying fat people in general have it worse. And guess what, changing our culture to be more accepting (even respectful!) of fat people does not diminish the acceptance and respect you have as a thin person. It’s not about fat versus thin, it’s about accepting all bodies and also looking past the body and seeing the person. Pitting fat against thin in some ridiculous adverserial contest is not helpful, it’s a distraction from the real enemy – a culture that defines people (especially women) by their bodies and keeps us striving to conform to a shallow and narrow beauty standard just to feel worthy of existing.
It’s telling that when someone wants to insult a woman, most often the first insult of choice is one relating to weight. Usually that happens to be calling them fat, sometimes it’s calling them them thin. Either way I’d rather have my intellect, my moral character, my politics insulted if only to acknowledge I’m more than just a body to be looked at.
OK. Rant over. I just had to get that off my chest.