Anonymous said: You're thin, and a feminist. And you seem to be pretty opposed to fat phobia. I'm just wondering if you had any thoughts on the "fuck the skinny bitches" line in Anaconda. Just curious on your personal opinion. Thanks!
So here’s a bit about me, as some background:
I’m a public health professional who is appalled at the fact that my field is an eager and active participant in perpetuating stigma against fat people. I am constantly struggling with colleagues about the shoddy science they rely upon to justify anti-obesity campaigns. I successfully lobbied my program director in my MPH program to change the focus of our semester-long project from “obesity in urban environments” to “malnutrition in urban environments”.
As a professional I’ve arrived at the conclusion that it’s absurd to assume that you know ANYTHING about someone’s health by looking at them. Size is not a proxy for health.
The ableism, racism, classism, and misogyny endemic to anti-obesity campaigns, diet culture, and fatphobia, are all very clear to me, and it’s something I am vocal about both personally and professionally.
I’m also a thin person who will be in lifelong recovery from eating disorders.
Here’s the thing:
I’m not going to sit here and cry skinny tears and act like thinphobia is a thing or that thin privilege isn’t a very real phenomenon from which I benefit greatly.
I think thin people have to really start checking ourselves and examining our roles in perpetuating fatphobia, both in our personal lives and on a larger scale. I think thin people should shut the fuck up with their condescending concern trolling about other people’s health. I think thin people should not learn that we have to start treating all other people with respect, not *in spite of* how much they might weigh , but because all human beings have the same inherent value regardless of size.
I’m not going to pretend that the phrase “skinny bitch” is generally said with remotely the same amount of venom and misogyny and intent to shame as “fat bitch”.
I know that I can turn off that song and go turn on the television and see my image reflected back at me and be reassured that I am performing my femininity in a way that is universally endorsed. My body type, especially with my white skin, is prioritized as the default standard of beauty.
I am acutely conscious of all of this. And I try to live my life in a way that reflects how conscious I am of all of this.
Even though I like Nicki, a lot, and think she’s a freaking role model and a fabulous, gorgeous woman, I’m not going to pretend that I think it’s okay to hurl around misogynist slurs at thin women.
I’m not going to pretend that I think it’s a remotely feminist thing to do. And it definitely hurts to see other feminist bloggers shrug it off and say “whatevs, go cry me a river” as though it’s not a remotely problematic thing to say”
I’ve had the words “skinny bitch” hurled at me with anger and venom, and many times on days where I was struggling really hard to love myself enough to eat. People have always thought it was okay to speculate, to my face, about my health and diet, based on my size. People have accused me of being eating disordered even during periods of full remission and healthy eating habits.
Let’s not pretend that there is one single woman in this US who has never had a single day of. Let’s not pretend that thin women are impervious to feeling shame about their bodies. Let’s not pretend that thin women are not also victims of concern trolling about our health and diets. Let’s not pretend that thin women aren’t also subjected to the same fucking arbitrary standards of perfection that all women are subjected to.
Let’s not pretend that our femininity and weight aren’t policed, that we’re not told that our value lies in our thinness and that if we dare step out of line we will be punished, harshly. Let’s not pretend that this doesn’t result in horrifying rates of eating disorders.
Let’s not pretend that thin women are never told by men “you’d be perfect if… ” (you just had a bigger ass, more luscious thighs, bigger boobs.)
Let’s be clear; I do NOT consider this a double standard, because that would imply that fat shaming and thin shaming are remotely equivalent problems. And I really don’t think the lyric is all that big of a deal. I’m certainly not going to take to twitter about it with my skinny girl tears. But if since you really want to know how I personally feel about it?
I would really appreciate it if other women refrained from using misogynist slurs against me, because this indicates to men that it’s okay to do so.
And I would really appreciate it if other women didn’t use my body as a battleground on which to fight the stigma against their own bodies.