While aimlessly scrolling through my Tumblr dashboard the other day, I came across a wildly popular post that read, “Being skinny would actually solve 90% of my problems”. By wildly popular, I mean this post has over 57,000 notes and growing.
Before I really get into this, I have to admit that yes, I am thin and thin privilege is something that exists. I don’t think it is necessary for me to belabor that point in this post. If you’re curious about what that is, you can read all about it in these wonderful posts by Ingrid here and here.
Now, about this concerning Tumblr post: What problems are the original poster and the 57,000 other people who liked/reblogged this referring to? Can they actually be fixed by weight? Realistically, how many of your personal life grievances are a direct result of your weight? I challenge you to think about this for a couple of minutes.
Okay, good! Have you come up with solid issues that legitimately are a result of your weight? I believe you when you say these exist, but are these problems a direct result of the number on the scale or of something much bigger than that? I strongly believe we are using weight as a scapegoat for a much bigger issue.
What are these 90% of problems that would be fixed by being thin? As a person who is thin, I can personally attest to the fact that I am just as vulnerable to bad hair days, low self-esteem, unemployment, depression, financial struggles, disagreements with parents, car accidents- whatever! It could happen to anyone. These things do not entirely disappear with weight and to even suggest such a thing promotes a terribly unhealthy lifestyle.
In believing that, I reblogged that post saying that I am just as susceptible to life issues and that the post promotes an unhealthy lifestyle. I was shocked at the negative response I received. I lost 4 followers almost immediately and a girl reblogged my post with commentary adding, “Lol shut the hell up^ No one is talking about your problems.” to which another person added her 2 cents, “^youre amazing thaNK YOU”.
This isn’t only my problem; it’s a problem that impacts all of us, especially women. The media constantly tells us to think that we are not good enough. Products that will improve our skin, weight, and things I have never even considered to be problematic are marketed towards women. No one markets these types of cosmetic items towards men because they are the ones driving us to pick out imperfections we didn’t even know we had. If we were not constantly fed the idea that thinner is better, we would never be so convinced that it will improve our lifestyles so drastically. This isn’t a reality; it’s just our perception, and a tragic one at that.
It is my personal belief that everyone has a right to be uncomfortable with themselves for whatever reason regardless of age, weight, height, race, etc. We are our own worst critics and that’s okay to an extent. The real issue is when someone else is dictating what you should and should not find problematic about your body. The reason a certain weight may cause some problems in your life is because other people perceive it to be an issue and treat you a certain way as a result. This is because we are taught that certain weights and body types are a problem whereas, in a vacuum, weight would simply be a number.
*For clarification, yeah that is my Tumblr icon because I took the screencap from my reblog with commentary, but I cropped that bit out for this post.