Having lost a bit of weight recently, my BFFL sent me this article to get my opinion. First thought was, yes, we do live in a society where thin privilege exists, and it’s pretty fucking shitty that the author of the article was treated better by her friends and family after having lost weight. However, I wholeheartedly disagree with her belief that people who lose weight shouldn’t be praised. It’s an accomplishment and should be celebrated. If someone sets a goal – of any kind; weight loss, academic, professional, whatever- and they meet it, they should be praised. Throw ’em a fuckin’ party, they did the damn thing. While it is kinda weird for my friends and family to refer to me as an inspiration, if it helps to motivate them in any way, then fan-fucking-tastic. Getcho life, boo!
That being said, if weight, or physical appearance is the only thing that someone is being praised for, or if they are only treated kindly because they weigh a certain amount or look a certain way, then that is very problematic. Because I haven’t experienced this in my own life, I asked a friend of mine who recently lost a considerable amount of weight if she had a similar experience. She said that, like the author of the article, she’s had to curve men who had previously not even acknowledged her existence. While this is, unfortunate, she says she was able to weed out the weak assholes; which is always a good thing. Generally speaking, she attributed people’s increased kindness towards her to her own increased happiness with herself. Similar to this tumblr user below:
I am in no way claiming that the experience author of the original article is the same as my friend’s or as the tumblr user’s, but it’s interesting to see different perspectives on the same issue. Personally, I haven’t experienced any of this as a result of weight loss. Men who didn’t acknowledge my existence before, continue to do so. My friends and family treat me no different.They praise me for accomplishing a weight loss goal in the same way that they would (and have) if I accomplish any goal. I haven’t even noticed much of a difference in the way strangers treat me. I believe this is because my attitude hasn’t changed. I don’t treat my family or friends any different. I have always been equal parts affectionate and sarcastic towards them, I still pretty much avoid talking to strangers at all costs, I’m a bit more confident yes, but as my BFFL once accused me of… I basically came out of my mama’s womb like this:
And that’s exactly how I intend to go through the rest of my life, not sorry. Ain’t shit changed.
While I can’t speak for the author of the original article… in my experience, it is often attitude. I know a woman who began her weight loss regime already beautiful, and ended it in the physical prime of her life and STILL confided in me that she envied MY confidence. Me, the girl sitting next to her in clothes that were easily 5 sizes bigger than her own. This shocked the hell out of me because to me, she is gorgeous and has every right to walk around hair flippin like Yoncé.
Admittedly, my experience could be because my family and friends are (no bias here at all btw) pretty damn awesome and supportive. For example, a few days ago, some Instagram random wrote under a #TransformationTuesday photo “you’re kinda hot now”.