Throughout my work thinking about and looking at research on body image and psychology, there has been an interesting theme of privilege which has emerged. Privilege and I were first introduced during my time in graduate school, to assist in the understanding of racial injustice. Any privilege is a complex issue to understand, and can best be understood as benefits through no fault or merit of your own, as a result of systematic valuing of your own characteristics over someone else’s. White privilege, straight privilege, male privilege, American privilege.
Putting body weight in this category is controversial, as it should be. Research is still spotty on the truth or changeability of ideas about body weight set points, the efficacy of diet and exercise, medical interventions and different body types by genetics. It’s a wonder body weight is even being considered at all. Most health care offices one enters (including my own) have signs reassuring clients they will not experience discrimination as a result of race, ethnicity, gender, language, sexual orientation, [sometimes] ability to pay. Does weight belong there?
I grew up and have been trying to organize my thoughts on the matter for years. Having begun writing and expressing my own thoughts on the subject, it has again become salient for me. This piece from The Frisky does it better than I probably could.
I am a size 10 or 12, so I feel the same way. Although I am not thin, I have begun to take my own privilege into account. Recovery is for all sizes.
For now, enjoy pictures of fat women in bikinis (not real women, because as we’ve discussed, we are all real, no matter the size).