“Privilege is a set of unearned benefits given to people who fit into a specific social group. Thin privilege is backed and promoted by a multi-billion dollar diet/wellness industry.” » Cori Rosenthal
I’ve been meaning to expand a bit more on what thin privilege actually is, but @cori_lmft has said it beautifully here. I’ve had a number of people object to the entire concept of thin privilege because they think it’s meant to make people in thin bodies feel guilty, or to judge people based on their (thin) appearance.
It doesn’t have anything to do with guilt — the entire idea of privilege is that it’s not something you asked for or “deserve”/don’t deserve. It’s a systemic advantage given to some people over others.
That doesn’t make the people with a particular privilege bad people or guilty or anything, and it doesn’t mean people with that privilege have easy lives, but it does mean that if they have difficulties in their lives, at least it’s not due to that.
For example, I have white privilege. My life isn’t magically easy, but it does mean that any issues I have aren’t due to my skin color, and it does mean that I have (in a very general sense) power that a person with darker skin doesn’t.
I also have a certain amount of thin privilege, since privilege is a spectrum. Since at a size US 30, I can rarely shop in brick-and-mortar stores, I have thin privilege over someone who wears a size 36 and can only buy clothing online. It doesn’t mean that I have an easy time finding clothing, but I do have an easier time than someone who’s fatter than I am.
So no one is saying that people in thin bodies are bad. When I talk about thin privilege, I’m asking people in thin bodies to be *aware* of this privilege and all the ways it helps them move through the world.
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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 bodyliberationphotos.com.