Have you ever felt like you were given more or less opportunities in life based on the way you look? If so, you’re not alone. The internet is abuzz with the opinion that skinny girls are getting away with far too much based on their weight, whereas their fuller-figured counterparts are getting the bad end of the deal. This buzzword is called thin privilege.
If you’re not yet aware of the social media phenomenon that is thin privilege *or should I say social media phenomenon*, then prepare to be enlightened. The term thin privilege refers to the privileges thin people receive in society strictly based on their size. The website, “This Is Thin Privilege,” refers to it in this quote: “Lowest difficult setting of body size.”
So, is it true? This debate is heated, and there’s plenty of hate going around on both sides. Thin privilege is real, but it’s not as one-sided as you might think. Let’s put the rumors to rest about what thin privilege really is.
True or false examples of thin privilege
True or false, thin people have more societal privileges than overweight people? If you’re still confused on the subject, here are the most popular examples of thin privilege.
#1 TRUE OR FALSE: Shopping for clothes is easier for thin people.
Thin privilege dictates that those who are of thin or “normal” body types will be able to find reasonably priced clothes in their size at every store they visit. Not only will your size be readily available, it will also be in the latest, most stylish trends.
This is opposite of overweight or curvier sizes who end up spending way more for a 1X shirt than she would for the same shirt in a size small, medium, or large. Curvier sizes may also have to shop at a “plus size” clothing retailer instead of just heading to the local mall.
Furthermore, plus size women usually end up with shapeless garments meant to hide their bodies instead of embracing them.
#2 TRUE OR FALSE: As a thin person, your family will be less critical of you.
Both sides of the coin are frustrating regarding this rumor. Families will be critical of nearly anything they can get their hands on: your job, your relationship, how you spend your leisure time, and most definitely your weight – big or small.
#3 TRUE OR FALSE: People won’t judge your grocery habits.
Odds are that nobody is going to come up and slam you for your choice in groceries if you are thin. Whether your cart is filled with green veggies and hummus, or bags of chips and soda, the likelihood is absolutely miniscule that anyone is paying attention to what’s in your grocery cart.
#4 TRUE OR FALSE: People won’t make health assumptions based on your weight.
The argument here is that no one will ever look at a thin person and make assumptions about how unhealthy they are based on weight. People will generally assume that thinner people take care of their bodies, exercise, and eat right.
I do not find this rumor to be true, and have witnessed many thin people being ridiculed for their small size and told that they are unhealthy because of their appearance.
Granted, heavier people most definitely have it worse in this department. Having things thrown at you, your health status assumed, being called out publicly, and having who you are as a person completely disregarded because of a person’s weight, is wrong and disgusting on so many levels.
#5 TRUE OR FALSE: Society finds thin women more attractive.
In Western society, at least. Thin women are plastered all over movies, TV, and media with thin waists and perky breasts. If an overweight or curvier girl is shown on television or movies, instead of giving her s*x appeal or a shot at a main storyline she is usually the “fat, funny friend,” or the butt of a joke.
#6 TRUE OR FALSE: You will earn more as a thin person.
ANSWER: True *Unfortunately*
A study by the Journal of Applied Psychology found that a woman’s weight has an effect on how much money she will make at her job, and that women who gain weight may damage their earnings. This study, explained by Forbes, said that very thin women earned an average of $22,000 more than an average sized woman. Heavier set women lost between $9-19,000 than their counterparts. Yikes.
The fight against fat-shaming and thin privilege rages on over the internet. Skinnier girls argue that #honormycurves is offensive to naturally-born thin women, while bigger girls argue that skinnier girls don’t know what real offense feels like.
I assure you, thin privilege exists, but that doesn’t mean thin-shaming doesn’t. Can we all just agree that nobody should be mocked or made to feel bad about themselves based on their appearance? Body shaming goes both ways.