…That really is the question on everyone’s lips this week. Ever since lifestyle blogger Stephanie Yeboah published her recount of her appalling experience with ‘pig-pulling’, people all over Britain have been asking; ‘is weight privilege real?’.
So, let’s start with the basics. ‘Pig-pulling’ or ‘pulling a pig’, I learned from this clip from This Morning, is a medieval misogynistic trend which has slowly worked its way from Europe to the UK. I originally wanted to talk about this as objectively as I could, remaining as level-headed and rational as any journalist would be…
Screw it, though. This is a blog, not The Guardian.
I was super. Fucking. Gobsmacked. When I found out exactly what this disgusting, abhorrent, animalistic practice involved. It really sets us back decades in terms of gender-equality; that heterosexual men still see us as possessions – whether prize or novelty – is inexplicably degrading. Strap yourselves in, and prepare to be outraged;
Pulling a pig: where a group of heterosexual men dare one of their friends to take a plus-sized girl on a date, or in extreme cases, start a relationship with her.
Fuck. That. I commend Stephanie to the highest degree for handling this situation in the way that she did. Weight privilege has certainly been brought into the limelight because of her story. But in a world where white privilege, heterosexual privilege and male privilege already exists… have we really gone too far?
A lot of men on Twitter seem to think so.
“Skinny privilege”? Weight, in most circumstances, is a choice and a direct result of your decisions. It’s not an inherent privilege for a specific group. It’s a result of personal decisions. Wanna feel more attractive in the eye of popular culture? Eat better and exercise. https://t.co/NQS9JRwlBW
— Jonny (@JonnyMetts24) 9 February 2019
Weight privilege is, bullshit
— Dan McDaid (@danmcdaid) 9 February 2019
Weight privilege? Put down the 🍟 and 🍔 you fat fuck.
Everyone is a victim in 2019.
This is the result of the Trophy Generation.
Everyone got a trophy for playing; now they want the real world to do the same. pic.twitter.com/maGLmkVCxZ
— The Cad Club (@thecadclub) 9 February 2019
However, the way in which plus-sized women are treated nowadays is akin to that of other forms of bigotry. Granted, these women aren’t being killed on the streets for aspects of them outside of their control (race, sexuality, gender), but we simply cannot pretend that micro-aggressions don’t exist. We can’t pretend that they aren’t damaging to an individual’s mental health.
Take this quote, for example; ‘Wanna feel more attractive in the eyes of popular culture? Eat better and exercise.’
This is, of course, bullshit. Not everyone can control their weight through means like that. Speaking from the perspective of a cis-woman who trains daily and strictly adheres to a caloric deficit; my body simply will not allow me to become ‘skinny’. I have wide hips. I’m bottom-heavy. My fat distribution isn’t 50/50. However, at 175lbs, am I now not allowed to feel attractive because Mr Never-Been-Kissed on Twitter told me as much?
Women should be allowed to feel attractive at any size. Plus-sized women should be allowed to go on dates without a nagging-suspicion that they’re the butt of some sad-lads’ sexist joke. Plus-sized women should be allowed to love themselves without being dictated to by some guy who watched one episode of Supersize-vs-Superskinny back in 2007 and now thinks he’s Web MD.
So… do I think weight-privilege exists? I think it’s a rarity to find anyone one-hundred-per-cent comfortable with their weight; male or female, overweight or underweight. But the fact that ‘skinny’ individuals are more widely accepted in society is undeniable, and on the basis of that, I do believe weight-privilege exists.
Come at me, Twitter warriors. My keyboard is firmly poised.
Read Stephanie’s blog here
Follow her on Twitter here
For more on body positivity, click here