The Merriam-Webster dictionary states that “Privilege” (n.) contains the following meanings:
- A right or benefit that is given to some people and not to others
- A special opportunity to do something that makes you proud
- The advantage that wealthy and powerful people have over other people in a society
I read an article two days ago that my “friend” on Facebook shared from a Feminism magazine site. I thought it was interesting to click on it because I, myself, am an advocate of Feminism. Turns out that the article talked about how being “skinny” was a privilege, and being overweight was not.
Let me address my problem with this article. Both overweight and underweight people experience name calling, in which case, the word “privileged” is far from defining skinny people. From the word “fat” to “anorexic”, so many words in any language hurt people of all genders. Whether it is mental pain or physical pain, name calling is prevalent in any country, in any culture, no matter who you are. It is definitely not fair to put skinny people in the spotlight by telling them that they are privileged.
And let me say this: I am not defending “skinny” people. I am just completely against defining people based on the way they look, how much they weigh, what they wear, et cetera. I am just tired of people trying to stick to stereotypes of body types. If we all had the same body type, it would be a little unordinary, would it not? We are all different for a reason. And it is every individual’s responsibility to embrace her/his uniqueness. It will take time to love yourself, trust me. But it is far rewarding when you reach that peace within yourself rather than trying to put yourself into a category because that is what an article and the mainstream society is trying to tell you.
We all have a choice. But sometimes we might be overruled. I understand that “skinny” people might be privileged because of the environments they are in. For example, there might be less fast food chains in communities where most residents are thought to be under- or average weight. It is possible for residents to petition to get rid of the fast food chains in their neighborhoods.
The author of the article put on stereotypes on skinny people that is just overestimating their capabilities. They are not dominant; they are not privileged; because some or most “skinny” people, especially teenagers, are the way they are because of heavy pressures that try to condemn their weight. They feel like they need to prove to themselves and to others that they fit a certain stereotype because the world is telling them that being “skinny” is better. Some people even can’t help it because scientifically and genetically, they have fast metabolism. What the article was telling me was that being skinny is just better. No, it’s not. It may be to some people, but realistically, no one gives you a free pass in life because of how you look.
Let’s talk about being healthy rather than taking sides. Fat or Skinny, they are just words. And the words just produce a two-dimensional world instead of including the three-dimensional aspects of reality. You shouldn’t be categorized into “skinny” or “fat” just because you wear certain size jeans or weigh a certain amount. Those are just numbers! And numbers are not the true representation of who you are. Many people like to talk about weight-loss. But why can’t we also look at weight-gain? Because some people work so hard to gain weight so that they can be healthier. Being “healthy” doesn’t just contain a BMI and a weight scale. It also contains a lifestyle and most of all, support from others.
You don’t have to put yourself in a position where you feel under-appreciated and under-privileged because of your weight, no matter how low or how high you place on a scale. You are the sole controller of your body and it is all right to indulge in its needs from time to time. Just know that whatever definitions people throw at you, you don’t just belong under one specific category. Don’t let an article, a tv show, a movie, a magazine, or anything in general, tell you that you are not privileged. Weight is not a privilege. You are.