Thinness, Happiness, and the Problem of Unchecked Thin Privilege

‘Being visible, outspoken about weight bias and discrimination, and fat usually results in abuse. Ask Lindy West. Ask Tess Holliday. Ask ljeoma Oluo. Ask Roxane Gay. The world does not take fat people seriously, particularly not about their own experiences and bodies.

So, people who make a living spreading the gospel of Intuitive Eating and Health At Every Size, I salute you. I also ask that you not minimize the pain and suffering of fat people, minimize or deny our oppression, and please periodically ask check your privilege and ask yourself, “What am I doing to end the oppression of fat people?” ‘

Fluffy Kitten Party

I was browsing Instagram recently and saw this post from Isabel Foxen Duke‘s ‘gram:

Screen Shot 2018-09-05 at 6.18.20 PM

I sat with this for a minute. I thought about it. I closed Instagram. I wanted to comment, but I also wanted to think about why this post was so immediately troubling to me. I needed to gather my thoughts.

angry

And here it is: this post minimizes the pain and oppression of fat people.

Oppression Leads to Depression

This seems like a fairly simple concept, but perhaps it needs to be explained more. Fat people are systemically oppressed. Oppression sucks. Oppression is painful. And systemic oppression results in higher rates of depression, across the board.

The area where this connection has been studied the most is in class oppression, or poverty. “About 31% of Americans in poverty say they have at some point been diagnosed with depression compared with 15.8% of those not in…

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