by JENNIFER THAL
Fat privilege is a failed diet: not a
sign of a lack of willpower, not
a declaration of defeat, but another
undiagnosed eating disorder
pocketed away in the wrappers
of Cliff bars and thrown
into the recycling.
Fat privilege is coming apart at the joints,
breaking bones and splitting sinew to form
isolated body parts, on a marble pedestal which
my fat ass and big tits are placed with reverence,
but my thigh cellulite and back rolls are covered
with control-top tights and Spanx.
Fat privilege is having chameleon DNA,
turning translucent in nightclubs, and beaming
bright red, a sign to keep away, as people
part for you to wedge through the small
wall of bodies to get a drink at the bar.
Fat privilege is getting dessert at dinner when
everyone else protests that they couldn’t fit
another bite into their shrinking stomachs,
and looking them in their hungry eyes
as you lick the spoon.
Fat privilege is being complimented
on clothing that “flatters” your body,
the material hiding your flesh
flattening the planes of your
extended waist and shoulders.
Fat privilege is being exclusive
in what you wear, sauntering
straight to the back of the store
where you might find a size smaller
than you actually are, and try to
squeeze the zipper up and feel
the tag-price biting into your flank
like a prize.
Fat privilege is simultaneously aging
thirty years into a schoolmarm and
nurturing mother roles in plays
when you are eighteen, and
being infantilized because you
have a “young face”, because
your jawline is not sharpened
into a razor-edge, and your collar-
bones are dull beneath the padding
of those extra pounds.
Fat privilege is writing
these words and throwing
them into the murky abyss
of body politics, each line
a piece of confetti in the
celebration of bodies that
claim to be “plus-size”
when they are smaller
than convention defines,
defying in a brave parade
of defined abs and thigh-
is the failure of
folding my limbs
into the suffocating
space that has tried
to define me, and
expanding my lungs
for the first time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer is 24 years old and is a current student at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology pursuing her doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Her works have been featured on Typishly, The Esthetic Apostle, and Not Your Mother’s Breast Milk. She enjoys reading at open mic nights, advocating for body positivity, and inspiring her readers through her writing.
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