Thin privilege is not having your “health” status be constantly the focus of, and scrutinized by, an entire culture.
A comment from @conceivingitall in a discussion we had the other day made me realize how much fat folks’ health* is a cultural obsession.
When you live in a fat body, your health is public property. People think they know its status by glancing at you. People feel entitled to judge it, comment on it and try to change it.
Because our bodies are seen as health indicators, we never stop hearing about health. Health, health, health.
“I’m just worried about your health [as measured by how attractive I find you].”
“But what about your health [as measured by how attractive I find you]?”
“I just want fat people to be healthy [as measured by how attractive I find you].”
It’s about oppression and control, not health, but “health” is a convenient and halo-laden proxy, so we hear about fat people’s “health” 24/7.
I’m so sick of having to talk about health and fat bodies. No other population’s health status is scrutinized this way.
*”Health” isn’t even a useful term, since it looks different for everyone, and certainly can’t be measured by appearance, but I’m using the term in its popular usage here.
Privilege is unearned, but it’s not something you need to feel bad or guilty about. Let’s work to extend those privileges to the most marginalized bodies, too.