Thin privilege is not having your body used as a shorthand

Thin privilege is not having your body used as a shorthand for a long list of negative qualities, characteristics and traits.

Dolores Umbridge. Ursula. Kingpin. Jabba the Hut. The Dursleys. Fat lawyers and politicians in 150 years of political cartoons. It’s no coincidence that so many villains in books and movies are fat. Their weight tells us a great deal about their characters in the first instant we meet them. They’re gluttonous. They’re greedy. They have no sense of restraint. They’re messy, slobbish and lazy. They’re jolly. They’re clumsy. They’re slow. They probably smell.

These depictions are both descriptive and prescriptive. They’re *descriptive* in that they portray existing cultural tropes about far bodies. They’re *prescriptive* in that they preserve and perpetuate those stereotypes, teaching generation after generation that fat bodies are a marker of a long roster of negatives.

People in thin bodies are allowed to be heroes, villains, and every role in between in television, movies, books and more. Their bodies aren’t an automatic marker of moral (or physical) worth or value. Portray us — and allow us to portray ourselves — with the same wide array of traits and motivations. Stop using our bodies as shorthand for negatives.

I talk in depth about topics like these every week in my free Body Liberation Guide.

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Hi there! I'm Lindley. I create artwork that celebrates the unique beauty of bodies that fall outside conventional "beauty" standards at Body Liberation Photography. I'm also the creator of Body Liberation Stock and the Body Love Shop, a curated central resource for body-friendly artwork and products. Find all my work here at