Incase you wondered what fat phobia and thin privilege looks like. ????????â™€ï¸????pic.twitter.com/obmr6RbVoI
â€” Gracie ???? (@GraceFVictory) June 15, 2017
The June 15 post, from UK-based YouTube star and writer Gracie Victory, author of the forthcoming memoir No Filter, notes, â€œIn case you wondered what fat phobia and thin privilege looks like,â€ alongside juxtaposing images: first, screen shots of a tiny young woman proudly polishing off a hideous mountain of burgers and fries, boasting, â€œstill had room for dessert.â€ Then there are images of a plus-size 13-year-old British girl, who recently made her own Instagram impact for facing her â€œbiggest fearâ€ by wearing a swimsuit to the beach.
The thin woman indulging in fastÂ food inspired many impressed, supportive comments, including â€œbrain says marry her,â€ â€œwife material,â€ â€œmy new hero,â€ â€œthis is sexy,â€ and â€œf***inâ€™ boss.â€
Meanwhile, the image of the British teenager in the swimsuit, whose name is Paris Harvey, elicited the following reactions (among many others of support): â€œthatâ€™s disgusting,â€ â€œI just see a whale,â€ â€œgood to know we encourage obesity now,â€ and â€œitâ€™s her fault for being fat.â€
Victoryâ€™s post has resonated greatly, with more than 69,000 shares, 113,000 likes, and 640 comments â€” many totally getting the point:
The thin girl ate unhealthy and was applauded, the fat girl went outside and was shamed. Thatâ€™s the point.
â€” Elizabeth Papandria (@Ezbpapandria) June 15, 2017
THANK YOU TO SOMEONE FOR ADDRESSING THIS https://t.co/YWpVB3LlS6
â€” whit???? (@notyourmcbae) June 15, 2017
WE NEED FAT ACCEPTANCE!!!! https://t.co/WsvYBY3rcQ
â€” Hannah VA Clayton (@hvagclayton) June 15, 2017
Others, of course, couldnâ€™t help but use this moment as another fat-shaming opportunity:
â€œThin privilegeâ€ doesnâ€™t exist
â€” Kinda Wanna Die (@Suchbandtrash) June 16, 2017
there is no â€œprivilegeâ€ of being thin. Proper diet and exercise allow people to be healthy weights
â€” orby (@LordOrby) June 16, 2017
Thin women getting kudos for stuffing their faces is not a new phenomenon, of course; this past spring, a Long Islandâ€“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; sheâ€™s since posted images of herself inhaling donuts, a huge pretzel, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, and massive pancakes, with no evidence of shaming.
Itâ€™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, donâ€™t mistake what sheâ€™s aimed for as acceptance.
â€œI donâ€™t want acceptance. I want bigots to shut up and stop hurting people,â€ she wrote in anessay for Ravishly. â€œI 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.â€
Tovar added that, â€œin the conversation around body size, fatness is always constructed as the space left behind by thinness or thin people.â€ She called that a â€œreductive binary,â€ and one in which â€œfatness 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.â€
Thatâ€™s not the way it should be, Tovar stresses â€” 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. â€œFat shaming me and my girl on our Nike campaign is hilarious,â€ she had tweeted at the time. â€œWe be laughing all the damn way to the bank.â€