Beauty 1
How ‘Thin Privilege’ May Rule Your Social Media Feed

A tweet about ?€?thin privilege?€? ?€‘± specifically as it relates to svelte women getting social mediapraise for posting pictures of how they indulge in highly caloric food ?€‘± has been going viral.

The June 15 post, from UK-based YouTube star and writer Gracie Victory, author of the forthcoming memoir No Filter, notes, ?€?In case you wondered what fat phobia and thin privilege looks like,?€? alongside juxtaposing images: first, screen shots of a tiny young woman proudly polishing off a hideous mountain of burgers and fries, boasting, ?€?still had room for dessert.?€? Then there are images of a plus-size 13-year-old British girl, who recently made her own Instagram impact for facing her ?€?biggest fear?€? by wearing a swimsuit to the beach.

The thin woman indulging in fast??food inspired many impressed, supportive comments, including ?€?brain says marry her,?€? ?€?wife material,?€? ?€?my new hero,?€? ?€?this is sexy,?€? and ?€?f***in?€? boss.?€?

Meanwhile, the image of the British teenager in the swimsuit, whose name is Paris Harvey, elicited the following reactions (among many others of support): ?€?that?€?s disgusting,?€? ?€?I just see a whale,?€? ?€?good to know we encourage obesity now,?€? and ?€?it?€?s her fault for being fat.?€?

Victory?€?s post has resonated greatly, with more than 69,000 shares, 113,000 likes, and 640 comments ?€‘± many totally getting the point:

Others, of course, couldn?€?t help but use this moment as another fat-shaming opportunity:

Thin women getting kudos for stuffing their faces is not a new phenomenon, of course; this past spring, a Long Island?€‘°based beauty queen, Miss New York contestant Sarah Gould, went viral after posting an Instagram video of herself downing a two-foot slice of pizza. The post inspired praise and media coverage around the world; she?€?s since posted images of herself inhaling donuts, a huge pretzel, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, and massive pancakes, with no evidence of shaming.

 

It?€?s the rare social media user, in fact, who can get away with being both plus-sized and a proudly voracious eater. Mega-popular fat-pride activist Virgie Tovar has done it, becoming a body-image hero to her 27,300 Instagram followers who adore her cheeky foodie, skin-flashing adventures. But it was hard won, as she had to wade through a lot of hateful trolling along the way.

Still, Tovar noted recently, don?€?t mistake what she?€?s aimed for as acceptance.

 

?€?I don?€?t want acceptance. I want bigots to shut up and stop hurting people,?€? she wrote in anessay for Ravishly. ?€?I want the cultural forces that isolate and stigmatize people to cease. I want to be able to choose the life I want on my terms without fear of retaliation from mainstreamers.?€?

Tovar added that, ?€?in the conversation around body size, fatness is always constructed as the space left behind by thinness or thin people.?€? She called that a ?€?reductive binary,?€? and one in which ?€?fatness can never be a stand-alone existence that requires no substantiation. In this paradigm, fatness can never be a choice, a preferred state, a manifestation of wholeness and desire. Fatness is always what resides in the negative space.?€?

That?€?s not the way it should be, Tovar stresses ?€‘± and certainly Victory, who has been a Nike model and who collaborated with the brand on the launch of its plus-size line this past spring, agrees. ?€?Fat shaming me and my girl on our Nike campaign is hilarious,?€? she had tweeted at the time. ?€?We be laughing all the damn way to the bank.?€?

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