Thin Hatred in a Fat-Fearing World

Pinterest is my new distraction, though I'm not doing too much there yet.  One of the few (two?) people I follow is, of course, The Bloggess.  Here's one of her pins:

Jenny capped that with, "Unless you get hit by a car. This poster was written by someone who's never eaten a cookie. I don't like this poster. This poster needs to be burned. I'm pinning it just to remind myself to burn it later."  And much happiness ensued in my head.

Until I got to this comment under Jenny's pin:

"Skinny bitch needs to slow down and eat a cookie."

Lovely.  I just...  Can you imagine someone writing, "Fat bitch needs to speed up and put down the cookie?"  Yes, you can imagine that, because people write stuff like that all the time.  And innumerable readers of such comments recognize the words for what they are:  mean.

I've gotten into mini blog battles before about this kind of casual negation and deriding of thin women before (whether they are thin naturally, thin by physiological illness, or thin by mental disorder).  And I recognize that it's a different quality of disdain in our world, to be making cruel or cutting comments at someone whose body type doesn't fit into some arbitrary ideal, than to call a skinny woman a bitch.

But just like the "real women have curves" thing (I wasn't aware that I ceased to exist two sizes ago?), just because there is thin privilege in the world doesn't mean that arbitrary and thoughtless thin hatred is okay, any more than any arbitrary, thoughtless hatred is okay.  The only people I really feel comfortable with hating are...  I'm having a hard time here.  I mean, Osama bin Laden is dead, so...


I don't know quite what it's about, the impulse to erase or hate thin bodies in such a palpably different way that we (as a culture) feel the impulse to erase or hate fat bodies.  But I certainly do absorb it in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" osmotic process.


  1. Ah, yes, the "eat a sandwich, bitch!" comments. I consider explaining that I am chronically ill and it leaves me thinner than I'd like, but why should I have to bare myself like that for the benefit of some rude stranger?

    Also, considering what running does to the knees and feet, you may well regret that extra mile.

  2. It's the flip side of "justify every morsel you put into your mouth" that people over a certain size are subject to.

    And again, I'm not trying to say they're the same, or that encountering disdain from an already-privileged place is just like/worse than encountering disdain from a non-privileged place.

    I just get so frustrated by the apparent blindness. I imagine the person who wrote that comment on Jenny's pin wouldn't want someone to say something to her like that. Not if they meant it.

  3. I just dealt with this on an EPIC scale. Going Waaay out on a limb, I posted a before-during pic of my weightloss journey (trying to beat BED) on facebook to let me family know how I was doing. I was damn proud of myself!

    Instead of "oh you look so goods" (of which I got 1 or 2) I got a lot of "Wow. Do you really want to get THAT skinny?" and "Are you still healthy?" (I won't say my weight/BMI but suffice to say i'm NOT too skinny by any standard.)

    Um, excuse me, I don't comment on your pics and ask if you've been to the doctor lately because your waistline makes me worry that you are at risk for diabetes. THAT would be rude. But telling me my doctor-approved, heavily researched, carefully achieved weightloss goals are "extreme" isn't rude at all I guess. It's "caring."

    Hush you. You're just vindictive and mean and i don't like you anymore. Too bad I can't un-friend my whole family. :(

  4. Quite. It is the unseen other side of the "but aren't you worried about your ~health~?" coin that's flipped at people who are overweight or obese. I am not overweight at this time, but I enjoy following HAES blogs just to keep my mind limber around the twisty cognitive dissonance that can pop up around "skinny must equal healthy!!" thinking that is so prevalent. And also because the HAES movement is first and foremost rooted in the principle that our bodies are not public property, regardless of their size or what we put into them.


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