I saw a tweet a couple weeks ago that has really stuck with me. I’ve thought about it and thought about it, and it’s still annoying me.
Trigger warning: this blog discusses bodyshaming and EDs.
The tweet compared “What about teh menz?” to “What about teh thinz?,” suggesting that these were similar complaints.
What I took from this is that people who oppose bodyshaming of any body types are the same as men who complain because they feel excluded by feminism.
I disagree. You could say I disagree because I suppose I’m considered one of “teh thinz” so of course I would say that.
I’ve written about my difficulties with eating and weight before. I know many of you might get angry because I don’t truly understand what you go through. But I *felt* and *still feel* like I am overweight. I haven’t been persecuted in the same way since I was a teenager (even a few kilos means a lot at that age, and I was definitely considered unattractive by my classmates) – but I do persecute myself. All the time.
When I was researching this post, I found this blog – This is Thin Privilege. I learned a lot. I understand why it would be eye-rolling and offensive and “shut the fuck up” for many people that I’m even talking about this. But I just felt like I had to respond.
I guess the first thing I thought when I read that tweet, was that thin people can suffer body shame too. Not to the same extent necessarily, but a remark about my weight to me, with my history and my health, can be incredibly damaging – even if it’s what the giver might consider a positive remark.
Since I got sick, I’ve had people tell me I “look great” because I’ve lost weight. (which is insane because I’m SICK). I’ve had people tell me I need to eat more. I’ve had people call me “skinny minny.” I’ve had people wrap their fingers round my wrists and tell me it’s unhealthy that they can do that. Every doctor I go to wants to know what I’m eating, and how much of it. I know that’s because of my digestive condition. But, since I got sick – it feels like my body is public property. It might be considered impolite to tell a fat person they’re fat – but because someone may think I’m thin, it’s fine to comment and criticise?
I guess what it comes down to is no body type should be shamed. You don’t know what anyone else is going through. Maybe people don’t have a choice about their body shape – or they maybe they’ve chosen to be exactly the way they are, and they’re happy and healthy, and it’s really none of your business.
Body shaming can lead to the same difficult place for anyone regardless of their body type. That’s why I don’t think excluding thin people from the body shaming discussion is fair. I understand that some types get shamed more. This post on This is Thin Privilege “But Thin People Get Shamed too,” helped me understand this. But I also know personally how damaging personal comments and advertisements and just general fucking society can be. That’s why I’m still resisting drinking the nutritional supplement that is meant to help me get better. That’s why I keep throwing food away. That’s why I eat late at night once I’ve taken my pills and when no one can see me. Because I’m terrified of putting on weight. So if that’s not shame to you, then I’m sorry. But please don’t tell me thin people don’t experience body shame too.