Double standards apparent regarding peoples’ weight; thin privilege issue persists


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Because of societal pressures to lose weight, 50 percent of women use unhealthy behaviors to control their weight.

It’s not easy being big. In a society fixated on an extreme beauty standard, it’s hard to exist on the opposite side of the spectrum– less stores to shop at, more judgement from others and a devastating internal dialogue are what characterize the overweight experience.

It’s not that thin people don’t face their own struggles, but those on the heavier side face unique struggles that thin people never have to think about. Thin people have a certain privilege that is not necessarily their fault, but rather the collective impact of a society that is disgusted by anyone over a size 12.

When discussing the struggles of big people, it’s important to discuss how complex weight and weight loss is. Being overweight is not an easy fix, and people can gain weight in fashions outside of their control.

For those with polycystic ovarian syndrome, hypothyroidism or other internal imbalances, losing weight can be nearly impossible. Losing weight is much more than just simple diet and exercise.

To lose weight, one has to change their entire lifestyle, and it’s more of a mental struggle than a physical one. Even access to healthy food can be compromised, as healthy food is more expensive and processed food is cheaper. Losing weight may not always be tangible for those struggling with money, taking care of a family or living under the care of someone else.

Losing weight is not the solution to thin privilege. The solution is working through pre-existing biases to become a more inclusive society that accepts the things we cannot change. Being tiny is not the normal body size, as 68 percent of American women wear a size 14 or above.

In order to end the stigma around people who are overweight, we have to embrace a new normal. And as we embrace the reality of the average american body, diversity becomes a point of beauty.

Thin privilege is more than finding clothes in your size. It’s being the standard of beauty for a society that does not reflect it. Put on a pedestal, being small makes life simpler. The smaller you are, the better your treatment is in society.

Overweight people can be seen as lazy and disgusting based off something they can’t control. If a thin girl downs a pizza, she’s cool. If a fat girl downs a pizza, she doesn’t care about her health and wants to have a heart attack. This ridiculous double standard seeps its way into the big person’s life, whether at a restaurant, the gym or work.

Thin privilege is being able to walk in any store and expect to see your size, to be able to walk around and not be judged. There are plenty of struggles thin people go through, but these are not societally implemented and emphasized. It isn’t the thin person’s fault, but making an active effort to be inclusive not only in brand, but in mentality, is essential. There is beauty in every size, and all sizes should be treated the same.