This is a post I’ve wanted to write for a while because it’s something that I’ve witnessed and have experienced before. No matter what the smaller pockets in society say, there is a pressure to be thin, or “skinny”. It’s bad enough that people (mainly women) may feel inferior because of their skin tone or economic status, but on top of this, they feel an enormous pressure to be no more than the circumference of a toothpick.
Just like there is white and male privilege, there is also a form of privilege that comes with being thin. Most decent clothing isn’t made above a certain size. The options for plus sized women wanting to look fashionable are few and quite abysmal. Having shopped with women that are considered “plus size”, I’ve seen the selections. There are very few retailers that cater to a fluffier woman. Let’s not even get into high end designers; some of their clothing won’t even fit an average sized woman, let alone a woman with more girth!
In addition to the whole clothing debacle, the way people look at you is different when you aren’t skinny. This includes the way the opposite sex views you. People will judge you on a lot of factors merely based on your size, like: work ethic, sometimes economic status, even personal hygiene! It also seems like men respond more to women that are thin. Heck, sometimes I even feel like nothing around women that are thinner than me, and I’m not considered fat.
There are also challenges that come with being what most would consider “skinny”. It mainly comes in the form of people serving you “haterade”. Folks, mainly other women, that know of this privilege envy you and start making snide remarks. If they don’t say anything, they’ll treat you coldly and may shun you. I’ve had this happen many times when I’ve lost weight.
The other thing that would bother me sometimes is when I would go away, and come back thinner because I wasn’t eating enough. People would say “you look good!”.
So… you’re encouraging me not to eat enough?
I think the worst responses I’ve ever experienced was when I lost around 20 lbs last year. Whether I needed to or had it to lose or not is arguable. I just changed some things about the way I ate, and was working 40 hr days in a job where you’re constantly walking and standing. The end result was weight loss.
Well, folks had a LOT to say about that. Some people said I looked great, other people thought I was too thin. One person even asked if I was sick! Yet another person made reference to my former size, making me wonder if my former size (which I was happy with at the time) was a decent size to be! I was dismayed by all of these comments! I was made to feel like I didn’t look good before I lost weight, and that I didn’t look good now either!
After the dust settled, it took me a few months to reconcile with the new size. I was given no moment to decide how I felt about it before the gallery started throwing their peanuts. For a long time thereafter, I thought I was ugly and skinny, and hated how I looked. Honestly, I would’ve felt better if no one had said a thing… but that’s not going to happen. Everyone has an opinion on weight and size, and some will boldly proclaim those opinions.
Even at my current size, and the size I was before, people thought of me as “skinny”. It just goes to show you that “skinny” is relative. I don’t know if this is just a United States problem or what, because I never seem to have thoughts and feelings of unattractiveness when it comes to men that aren’t American. No matter what size I am at the time, non-American men celebrate it, and love everything about this black American girl.
A girl in my acting class did a scene where she was at a party, and she catches her boyfriend cheating with a girl that’s thinner than her. Her reaction was “That skinny b—-h!” Then she proceeds to jiggle her stomach, lift up her shirt, and write “F— skinny people” on her stomach before ending the scene.
What’s sad is that “skinny privilege” has caused this divide, and has made women feel that way about each other. I know I’ve felt that way about girls that are thinner than me. Not all skinny girls are mean, and it’s not their fault that “skinny privilege” exists. For all you know, they could be feeling as awkward as I did when I got skinnier.
If you’re going to be angry about this, let’s be angry at those that instituted skinny privilege. Shall we?