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#Thinprivilege, Why skinny-shaming Is Ok

#ThinPrivilege, Is skinny-shaming the same as fat-shaming?

I first noticed the term thin privilege being thrown around on twitter, People online were talking about the privileges skinny people have in life, many using the term were expressing opinions based on how easier life was for thinner people, which I believe is untrue for several reasons. I honestly thought it was a joke at first, till I realised that social justice warriors had added another term. Also this article is my own experience and my own point of view, an opinion piece, I respect and value other peoples opinions and I know this is a controversial topic.

"He also used to tell me that one day I would fill out and become a “real” woman. I couldn’t win one day I was too thin the next I had cellulite, I took no notice in the end, I realised he was just trying to make me self conscious about my body."

My Hinge 2020 - I had enough of people body shamming me so I started snapping back.

I never asked to be skinny but I have been my whole life, I was born that way and cannot help it, much like people on the other end of the spectrum who cannot help having a bigger body type. I never saw myself as stick-thin growing up I only took notice of my weight because everyone would tell me about it without me even asking. When I was between the ages of 4-5 my overprotective mother repeatedly took me to the doctor's office, she was worried about my size I would eat more than my family and gain no weight at all. The doctor reassured my mother that I was healthy and normal it was just a genetic thing.

I have had many people in my life throughout the years express concern and often shame me for my size. I had just moved from London to Hertfordshire when I was little, I started a new school and was settling into my new life nicely, my year 2 teacher took a lot of interest into my diet, for the first couple of weeks at my new school she would check my lunch box to see if I had eaten everything. Being a 7-year-old child I didn’t understand the reasons behind doing this, but I guess it’s a good thing she did I see it as just following safe guarding protocol even though she never contacted my mother with any concerns as there was nothing to be concerned about in my case, I was safe with my family, loved, fed well and from a good home.

It wasn’t until a few years later when my mother found out one of my live-in Au pairs, a 21-year-old Russian girl was at the time suffering from Bulimia Nervosa she would binge eat large amounts of food and them make herself sick, she would then try to cover up what was going on. My mother only found out what was going on when she came home from work early and caught her in the bathroom, it was sad and I’m glad she got the help she needed in the end. I never knew what eating disorders were and how serious they can be until that experience, also after being repeatedly questioned by people if I had one.

“Stop now it’s getting silly, please eat.”

I had one of my maths teachers in secondary school keep telling me after lessons “stop now, it’s getting silly, please eat.” I was shocked every time, I knew I was healthy and that I wasn’t doing anything to make myself thin. Other people have said similar things which have made me feel awful about how I look, I always find it so rude. I have experienced both sides of the coin it's also not just women who say these things, men also do.

I remember one of my mums friends constantly telling me to put weight on, I could tell she was the same type of women who would also tell me she thought I was overweight if I took her advice, I never knew how to respond to these people, I was 14 after all.

I also remember being 17 and getting ready to go on my first girls holiday, my boyfriend at the time tried to convince me that I had cellulite under my bum at the back of my legs, he also used to tell me that one day I would fill out and become a “real” woman. I couldn’t win one day I was too thin the next I had cellulite, I took no notice in the end, I realised he was just trying to make me self conscious about my body because he was very insecure about himself. This taught me from a young age that people who body shame are usually insecure and trying to hide something in themselves.

This is why I always try to accept myself and the body I have even though I may not like some parts of me, which is normal, I’m not going to change myself to try and make others happy if I did that it wouldn’t work anyway. Since everyone has different preferences and beauty ideals, I would be constantly changing to make others happy instead of learning to love myself. As long as I like my body nobody else’s opinion on it matters.

The society we live in also plays a huge role in body image and how we perceive ourselves, slim has been seen for the past century as the ideal body shape to have, so many people who believe in thin privilege do not see skinny-shaming as the same as fat-shaming. The tides have been changing though and for some time now curves have been creeping back in, the ideal body type which many aspire to now if they don’t already naturally have it, is an hourglass shape, coke bottle figure, flat stomach and a nice juicy plump bottom with hips for days.

A dangerous surgery called the Brazilian butt lift has become largely popular with lower prices and such high demand countries like Turkey have been cashing in on the booty popping trend. I know people personally who are skinny like me and feel the pressure to fatten up, many have successfully done so by drinking Apetamin (BBC Apetamin: Get Thicc, Get Sick? | Dangerous Curves) a weight gain supplement to make them plumper. I myself even have felt the pressure to become slim thick, but I realise that this is just a trend, when I look back over the decades when in the early 00's big breasts and small bums were in, have you ever watched a film from twenty years ago and heard the female characters asking "does my bum look big in this?"

Clothing sizes in some shops are made for curvier types, I have struggled for most of my adult life to find trousers length of my legs because i'm tall. So I do roll my eyes at people who say thin people have the privilege to walk into any shop and buy exactly what they want then and there. I am also a black woman so I sometimes feel that I am expected to be thicker due to how the media portrays black females, from music videos to social media. Everyones bodies are different and it is not easy for most of us.

My point of this article is to basically vent and to say social media seems to give people the impression that if they change the things they don’t like about themselves their whole life will change and get better at the same time. The only thing standing in their way is something they need to fix about their appearance, instead of doing the inner self-work and fixing the problem within, they look to repaint the outside image to try and change how they feel on the inside, instead of doing things the other way around. No matter what size or shape we are.

There is a clear double standard when it comes to body/size shaming, people are allowed to put thin people down and critique their image but if a skinny person was to turn around and call the person shaming them fat, all hell would break loose. I believe people should think before they speak and not comment when it’s not needed or asked about someone else's appearance no matter what size the person is. Body positivity goes both ways.


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