By MELISSA A. FABELLO
I am 162 centimetres tall, 57 kilograms heavy.
My measurements are 36-28-38.
I wear size medium shirts, size seven jeans, and (in case you were wondering) size eight shoes.
I have never walked into a clothing store unable to find items in my size.
I have never been asked to pay more for a seat on an airplane.
I have never had someone dismiss me as a dating prospect based on my body type, nor had someone scoff, openly, while watching me eat French fries in public.
I have never experienced a doctor dismissing my concerns with a “lose weight, feel great!” remedy.
And I can open an article with my measurements without fear of judgment.
I walk through this world as a thin person.
And as such, I have never experienced fat discrimination.
That said, I want you to know two things:
1. I am writing this article from a privileged perspective; and
2. I am not here to damn, guilt, or embarrass thin people.
But I think we need to have a talk.
Because it’s so easy to fall back on tired old excuses for why we’re not privileged – and I see this a lot when the topic of thin privilege is broached.
“How can I have thin privilege? I feel like shit about my body all the time! That’s not privilege! Besides, someone called me out on my ‘chicken legs’ the other day, and how is that different from calling someone fat? And I’m only thin anyway because I have an eating disorder, and trust me, that is not a privilege.”
And I hear what you’re saying.
But I think it’s time for us to look at these excuses (and how they don’t hold up in the grand scheme of things) a little more closely.
Grievances vs. Oppression
Let me start off by saying this: having your feelings hurt sucks.
And I would never tell you to just “suck it up” or “get over it.”
Because yes, sticks and stones may break your bones, but damn it, words really can hurt you. And so can the general attitudes and behaviors of others.
I’m not here to tell you that your personal grievances don’t matter.
Rather, I’m here to put those feelings into perspective.