Anyone who’s spent a fair amount of time living in a fat body understands that when you’re eating something you become hypervisible. That the people around you will scope what you’re eating and cast judgement on you. Often times you can be served the wrong order in restaurants. And sometimes friends or relatives might even make you special “healthy” plates because they are “concerned” for your health.
And I’m becoming increasingly frustrated by television featuring skinny women who eat copious amounts of junk food and are deemed sexually attractive for it.
Because it’s just thin privilege in action. A fat girl on a television show will be teased and mocked mercilessly for eating large amounts of food or junk food, but if a woman is thin and attractive it distinguishes her as different from the majority of thin and pretty women, women who are portrayed as having birdlike appetites.
Not understanding how it fits into thin privilege? If you are thin, you have the freedom to eat whatever you want without judgement. In fact if you “eat like a fat girl” it’s highly likely that you’ll be deemed as even more attractive.
If you look like Winifred Burkle you will be described as: “A remarkable woman. Particularly the way you can shovel a mountain range of food into your mouth. That is some Olympian feat, that much eating”
If you look like Rory Gilmore, you’ll be able to eat a large amount of junk food and have men tell you that they enjoy the fact that you can eat, or: “half the fun in being with you is the horrified looks on the waiters’ faces.”
But if you look like Lauren Zizes, the food you eat will define you and be used as comedic relief. You’ll be made fun of for eating an entire box of chocolates and other characters will make comments about you wanting your ”damn candy!”
If you’re a fat girl eating a mountain of food, you’re not told you’re remarkable or that it’s charming. You’re told that you have no sense of self control and should be ashamed of yourself. You’re told that you’re a poster child for unhealthy lifestyles. You’re called names and probably told much more traumatizing things than I mentioned here.
I mentioned a long time ago that I think one of the reasons why our culture is paranoid about becoming fat and constantly trying to lose weight or demoralizing fat people is because most of society has unresolved issues with regard to their own sexuality. Humans are desiring of flesh, and the fact that fat people have more flesh which is the object their desire, can be deeply disturbing and a hard concept to grasp.
And the more culture I soak up, the more I think that it’s not just about flesh. Food isn’t just fuel for our bodies. Food can be an experience, a trigger for our memories, and an aphrodisiac. I think food plays a much larger role in human sexuality than we give it credit for.
Too bad it’s only culturally okay for thin people to explore it.