Do you know what "thin privilege" is?
Please note at this point that I'm in no way assuming that (a) all or most dietitians are/ have always been thin, (b) all or most dietitians are/ have always been privileged, or (c) that all or most dietitians have no idea what it might be like to be discriminated against whether that be overt bullying or subtle structural discrimination that makes life a little more difficult just because of who you are. This is designed not to be personal, not to be about *you*, but about how we can find opportunities to grow in our awareness of broader social justice issues that affect many humans. Perhaps even you.
In brief, thin privilege broadly describes the benefits that are automatically ascribed to you when you have a thinner, smaller or “not-fat” body
Smaller bodies are not the object of systemic oppression and bias. Imagine what it’s like for your body size to be described as part of an “epidemic” as if you’re a scourge on society, and “problem to be fixed.” It would be horrible.
Body shaming is never OK.....
For Dietitians, being willing and able to acknowledge and connect with your own privilege opens that door to be able to address injustice, bias and stigma from an authentic place that doesn’t diminish or devalue the body experience of anyone, including you. It can support you to engage with your clients who live in larger bodies from a much more empathic place as you aim to support them to live in a world which can be very difficult.
In essence, when you can advocate for all bodies, it helps to address injustice and provides an environment from where people can nourish their bodies from a place of respect rather than from fear, or shame. And what we observe is that when people are able to make food and eating-based decisions from a place of feeling worthy and valued then they are much more likely to engage in health behaviours longer-term.
Where to from here?
You can learn more, or deepen your understanding of body privilege by taking a look at these resources, some of which are specifically for Dietitians:
www.healthnotdiets.com (training for Dietitians in the Non Diet Approach, also addressing issues of privilege, bias and stigma - please join Fiona Willer & myself!)