Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Exploring Thin Privilege & Size Acceptance

People are so offended when they see fat women with confidence. Fat women in form-fitting dresses, bathing suits, and any other revealing clothing that doesn’t hide their bodies from the world draw tons of attention. But why are people so offended to see fat women accepting their bodies? Well, it boils down to America’s value system that is used to rank women. Fat girls always seem to end up at the bottom of the totem pole.

Recently, I went on a Twitter rant explaining what it means to have “thin privilege,” a concept that is based solely on the size of a person’s frame. Thin privilege has several advantages; for instance, a thin woman is automatically perceived as healthy, active, desirable, sexy, and intelligent because in western civilization, thin equals beauty. In media and advertising, thin sells and we perpetuate this in our society over and over again.

Thin privilege allows skinnier women to make rude comments about size under the guise of concern – as if by virtue, having a thin frame makes someone a health expert and having a larger one means we can’t be trusted with our health. When you are thin, the world assumes that thinness is a virtue and fatness is a major characteristic deviancy. Wrong. Fat women aren’t ugly, lazy, and stupid and smaller women aren’t better.

One of the worst values in western societies is fat hatred which leads to the mistreatment of full-figured women. Fat women are the butts of the jokes in the dating world; we are the coyote uglies in the movies; and in the world, we are pitied for being outcasts or hated for developing meanness as a defense mechanism. There are tons of men who are attracted to larger women, but because of the way we’re portrayed in society, it is difficult for a man to commit to a fat woman in public – even when he loves her! Men aren’t interested in larger women because we’re not ideal trophies, but it is impossible for them to ignore their own personal attraction to us – so we’re objectified instead. Yes, thin women are objectified occasionally, but it’s frowned upon and doesn’t happen nearly as often as it does with us. After all, objectification occurs so much that it composes about 90 percent of our romantic relationships with the opposite sex.

But it doesn’t end there. Fat women are also discriminated against in the work environment, volunteer opportunities, and even club memberships. We are denied raises at our jobs and often, we make less in our lifetimes than thin people. For instance, I’ve ventured to public lakes to swim and caught three different people taking photos of me while my back was turned. All because I dared to wade into a lake, in a swimsuit, like everybody else.

Oh, and let’s venture into the weight loss corporations who profit off our pain and society’s fear of being overweight. These companies release commercials subliminally declaring that fat is ugly – while also making sure that there aren’t positive representations of full-figured women in the general area – before telling us how fat we are and that we should invest in losing weight. We are threatened with death, though NutritionJ.com has determined that size doesn’t deter health. These corporations have the nation believing that people are dropping like flies from the obesity epidemic. Yet, a thin woman can almost die from eating an unhealthful diet of chicken nuggets and the world is surprised! These weight loss campaigns have created a warped problem are making a killing from selling the solution; but they are selling thinness, not health and fat hatred is the culprit. Thin privilege is also an accomplice.

However, a solution is on the horizon. The fat/size acceptance movement is an awesome campaign that encourages women to embrace and love their bodies regardless of their size. It encourages fitness and healthiness without demanding women to lose weight or spend their whole lives unsuccessfully dieting. This powerful movement encouraged fat, chunky, and thick women to love their jiggle. It is doing wonders for the self-esteem, self-worth and overall mental and physical health of full-figured women.

On a personal tip, fat acceptance has helped me to sincerely love my body; I love all of my curves, my flab, and my cellulite. This movement has taught me that I am human and I deserve respect and love not “in spite” of my size but because of my size. I would love to see this movement spread further because it tells full-figured women that we are gorgeous without telling thin women that they aren’t. The fat/size acceptance movement doesn’t subtract beauty from one category of women for the sake of the other; it declares that every woman of every shape and size is physically attractive.
If you can convince yourself that you are beautiful, you will be the LAST person you EVER have to convince!

This article is courtesy of the blog FatFemPinUp!


  1. "Well, it boils down to America’s value system that is used to rank women."

    It's not just in the U.S., as a matter of fact I would say I feel more comfortable stateside as I'm more likely to be accepted than here in Denmark. Eating in public is difficult, people are disgusted and they make no effort to hide it.

    1. People in America can be the same way. Although being overweight is more accepted in the U.S., It is still viewed in a negative way to some.