I'm 36. I love pizza, coffee, and cruciferous vegetables. I live in Colorado.
This conversation has brought up some things I’ve been thinking about a lot over the last while. Bodies, privilege, fatness, thinness, etc.
I would definitely say that I have thin privilege, but would never call myself thin. I feel like I more closely identify as a fat person, but I know there are a lot of people that would disagree. So how much of one’s thinness or fatness is self identification, and how much is what society decides for us?
I’ve been struggling with my weight and my body for many many years. Even though these days I’m not restricting, counting calories, or obsessively over-exercising, I’m still suffering from an eating disorder/body dismorphia. I’m not as thin as I used to be, so I feel fat, but I’m not as fat as a lot of people.
In trying to embrace my body, I’ve attempted to immerse myself in the “fat culture” of the internet, and I don’t feel comfortable there. I feel like if I were to, say, submit some photos for Fatshion February, folks would be offended. The one person I saw doing Fatshion February that had a body close to mine received a lot of angry attention. People said they had no right to be there because they weren’t fat “enough”, or had too much thin privilege.
So what’s to be done if you’re someone that is too fat to to be considered “average size”, but not fat enough to be embraced by a body-loving community?
I guess I’m just trying to say I agree with (what I assume is) Jesse’s point that it’s not so simple, you can’t just be a thin person with thin privilege. I believe I have thin privilege, but I think it’s something totally relative. I am the fattest person that lives at my apartment but quite a bit (like the dance class analogy), but at work they had no problem ordering a uniform for me out of their limited sizes available.
This is hard stuff.
If you’re not thin
and you’re not fat
then you’re probably an inbetweenie/of average body size
and you’re upset
because fat people
want their own space
You can be apart of fat acceptance and body acceptance and body positivity without claiming safe spaces of fat people as your own. Yes, it’s confusing for inbetweenies because they are often left out of these conversations. BUT that doesn’t mean that you don’t have average-size privilege and that doesn’t mean that you have to be let into fat people’s spaces.
And feeling fat isn’t the same as being fat. It just isn’t. Even if you’re bigger than you used to be. Even if you’re not as small as some people you know.
A size 10 person feeling fat isn’t the same as a size 28 person being fat. Because your mental status and struggles with dysmorphia aside, you are still of average size to society. They don’t look at you and think “they look like they feel fat.” But people look at me and immediately think “she is fat.”
As for the other dude’s point - no, there’s not some magical bunsen burner that sorts people into classifications of thin or average sized or fat. But you’re the biggest person in your apartment? I’m usually the fattest person in a lecture hall of 150 people. Can you say the same?
I don’t need some magical scientific definition of thin to tell you that being the biggest person in a dance class (which, lets be honest, is usually a non-fat body space anyway) is completely different than being the biggest person in a space open to everyone/hundreds of people at a time.
i swear to god there’s something in the e-air tonight
if you are a size 10 and below then you’re just NOT FAT, no matter what your body dysmorphia may say believe me i’ve been there (albeit very briefly)
honestly i don’t CARE if you ~feel fat~ if you are not actually fat. (i care if you have an eating disorder, but i’m not going to let you be an appropriative shit, either.) i am just fresh out of fucks to give for a size six person who feels sad because they’re surrounded by a bunch of size two people. go cry me a river in an h&m where both you and your size two friends can find clothes to fit you easily, on every single fucking rack.
if you’re thin, you have thin privilege. it’s cut and fucking dry.
tl;dr shut up and let fatties have their space, SANS YOU
Great discussion going on here - in the notes as well. It brings up something I was thinking about last night, that nudemuse’s post put me in mind of: not all fat spaces are for me. Meaning, although I am definitely still a fat woman, I am not as fat as I used to be, and that means that I need to acknowledge and be aware that where I fall right now on the fat scale (hee) means that I have some privilege (and I’m also white and middle class, which also affords me a lot of privilege). Not all spaces are for me!! I can support them, read them, learn from them, make friends…but I don’t need to stomp in and and try to make those spaces mine.
The Fatshion February thing…I’m glad to see that brought up. I was really put-off to see one thin body submitting over and over…I didn’t see any of the blow-up over that (if there was one, I’m assuming that is what is alluded to in the post above) but it did make me uncomfortable to see a thin, white body pop up on my dash almost every day under the “Fatshion February” tag.
Fat shame and body policing hurt EVERYBODY, absolutely. It’s a toxic culture and almost no one escapes unscathed. But specifically fat positive spaces, or deathfat spaces, or fat POC spaces, fat queer spaces, or whatever… need to be for those people first and foremost, and their needs and wants have to come first. There’s nothing wrong with trying to keep them safe spaces.