Last week, the support I received from my last blog post was incredible. The post allowed me to explain why I didn’t believe in labels, including ‘thin privilege’ or ‘fat positive.’ To me, these are terms that describe people and categorize them, solely based on their body size. They also don’t include those that feel they are neither ‘thin’ nor ‘fat.’ [For the record, I really dislike those words.] While I do know that ‘thin privilege’ and ‘fat positive’ mean something completely different from the other, they still contain labels – labels that further create weight stigma.
As I have mentioned before, weight stigma is very real. Those that are in larger bodies are discriminated against due to their size or, in many aspects of life, the world may not be accommodating to them. It is sad, unfortunate, and things do need to change. For me, that change begins by not labeling or categorizing people based on their body size, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, or anything in between. The more we place labels, the more we create division.
I recognize that last week, there was a lot of emotion as to why I courageously told the world that I don’t believe in ‘thin privilege.’ Not only is it a term that has been used to hurt me, but I cannot help but think of all of the pain my patients – in particular, critically ill patients – and my community go through every single day and how that term has negatively affected them. I stand by saying that someone’s body size doesn’t tell their story and we should not use labels ever.
I also want to share that a few days ago, a dear friend made me think for a moment. She made me realize that most people haven’t seen the suffering that I have in the healthcare field that I have or have talked to people about their own health or body sufferings the way I have. Just as I discuss that no one knows the suffering of another, I have to also remember that I do not know what it is to suffer from weight stigma everyday. I’ve had my battles in both a smaller and a larger body, but compared to many, I know that my battle against society has looked completely different. I recognize that for a brief moment, I was focused more on trying to remove labels, than what words may mean to someone else in their suffering.
We all have our stories, we all have our own struggles and sufferings. As a practitioner, I do not know what it is to walk in your shoes everyday, but it does not mean I cannot help you thrive in your health. I want you to know that with me, there are no body labels. Your body size is not what matters to me – YOU are what matter to me. I shifted my business from one-on-one counseling to employee wellness last year because I love to CREATE IMPACT on many of you – all at the same time.
Let’s keep changing weight stigma – and all stigmas – by removing labels and keep focusing on what matters – YOU.