Humans 101

What many thin people refer to as ‘internalized fatphobia’ is a different side of the same coin

A marble statue of a thin woman looking off to the side, angrily and mistrustfully. The statue stands in front of lush ferns.
A marble statue of a thin woman looking off to the side, angrily and mistrustfully. The statue stands in front of lush ferns.
Photo: Adam Wilson/Unsplash

I know that you have learned to hate your body.

I know the messages, the images, the comments, both cruel and well-intended. I know the sinking feeling of seeing your changing body in the mirror, the sharp pain as your clothes dig into newly soft flesh.

I know it hurts, and the pain can sometimes feel immeasurable. I know it is tempting to validate that pain by asserting that you are the intended target of an oppressive system. I also know that, if you have never been a fat person, the name for that pain is not “internalized fatphobia.”

Internalized oppression is a longstanding concept in social sciences and social justice work: one that has been discussed for decades and one that transcends movements. Internalized oppression and its twin concept, internalized subordination, refer to the ways in which a group targeted by oppression begins to internalize the messages of their oppressors and begins to do the work of oppression for them.

About

Your Fat Friend

Your Fat Friend writes about the social realities of living as a very fat person. www.yourfatfriend.com

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