“Body positivity” has become a buzzword concept of late. Even though the idea may be new to many, the movement grew out of the fat-acceptance movement of the late 60s. Today, influencers and brands are jumping on the body-positive bandwagon in hopes of capitalizing on the trend.
The core message of body positivity is that all people, but particularly people in marginalized bodies, have the right to exist peacefully and be treated with respect, regardless of their body’s size, shape, color, or ability.
It’s true that smaller women experience body policing and shaming (e.g., being asked if they have an eating disorder) and that arguably all women are negatively impacted by society’s unrealistic beauty standards. But it’s important to remember that body prejudice exists on a spectrum.
Women in larger bodies experience systemic discrimination for their size that affects every facet of their lives — from employment, to representation in the media, to access to clothing.
On the other hand, thin women and “straight-sized” women (those who wear clothing sizes that aren’t considered plus-size), either don’t have to worry about discrimination for their size, or deal with it to a lesser extent.
As a thin coach, I have heard from other coaches in the industry that they’re unsure of how they fit into the body positivity landscape because they haven’t experienced the type of widespread discrimination that burdens women in larger bodies. These coaches are often uncertain what role they should play, if any, in the movement to make sure that all bodies are treated equally.
For coaches who enjoy the benefit of thin privilege, it’s more important than ever to be a size-friendly coach. A size-friendly coach treats all of their clients with the same respect and dignity, regardless of their size, and attends to the unique needs of their clients of different sizes.
Being aware of your thin privilege will allow you to serve as an ally to your clients in marginalized bodies and stand up to the oppression they face…