Thin Privilege


A PhD student at the University of Colorado-Denver recently filmed a TedX Talk criticizing the unfairness of “thin privilege,” and calling for more “fat acceptance” in society.

Madison Krall, an instructor and PhD student studying health and medicine, recounted the “unearned benefits” she received for being thin while she was thin and athletic at Pepperdine University, where she had been recruited to join the swimming team.

“Stop laughing at fat jokes. Stop judging people for their food choices. Stop criminalizing food.” Tweet This

[RELATED: Princeton course fights ‘fat phobia’ through dance]

“Here’s the thing about privilege – it’s invisible,” she in her recent Ted Talk. “As an undergraduate, I realized I was receiving all these benefits for being thin, which I had taken for granted, not knowing the discrimination that fat people endure.”

In an interview with Campus Reform, Krall explained that fat stigma is harmful because it leads to bullying against fat people and “mental and physical destruction.”

“Most people have internalized fatism which leads to mental and physical destruction at the personal level and also shows up in the world in the forms of prejudice and discrimination we normally consider: name calling, bullying, body- and food shaming.”

To stop fat-shaming, Krall calls upon individuals to change the way they talk about fat people.

“Stop laughing at fat jokes,” she says. “Stop judging people for their food choices. Stop criminalizing food.”

At the community level, Krall called for more people to join the “fat acceptance movement,” but not the “body positive movement,” especially since the latter often is exclusionary of fat people.

“You cannot be body positive if you do not love fat bodies, and by fat bodies, I do not mean fat bodies that are determined to be ‘healthy’ by societal standards,” she told Campus Reform. “If you are a member of the body positivity movement, you should also be an advocate for the fat acceptance movement, regardless of your own outward appearance.”

While society continues to equate thinness with privilege, Krall hopes this changes soon. She yearns for the day when “all bodies are accepted as good bodies.”

[RELATED: Fat activist: ‘exercise and diets are constructs’]

“Weight discrimination needs to end, and I recognize it is an upward battle, but I am hopeful that in time more people will see the pervasiveness of fat oppression.

Krall concluded her TedX Talk by calling upon members of the audience to help make a change.

“The impacts of discrimination are far reaching, but we can create a society where all bodies are treated as equal,” she said.

In addition to her work as a PhD student at CU-Denver, Krall is also a research intern for the film Fattitude, and works at the University of Colorado Media Lab, teaching students and professors how to use Adobe Suite products and create videos. In the future, she hopes to implement a Body Positive campaign at her school.

The moral of the story.

With a population that has 60% of Americans fat/obese, the thin are a minority yet the fat feel abused.

Only in America.

p.s. From her picture looks like she chunked out a bit since her freshman year.


My brothers and sisters are all overwieght to obese. I understand not fat shaming people, yet do we not as a society have an obligation to encourage healthy living? Fat acceptance is harmful, both to the individual (sorry chubbers, corpulence is not good for you unless all the world’s crops fail) and to society as the obese and smokers use far more (in multiples) medical care of those at normal weight and non smokers.

Libertarians are aghast at nanny state tactics like outlawing 36 ounce mega drinks, and attempts to rein in other sugar and fat consumption, yet the costs to society are enormous, and they are increasing.

Consider motorcycle helmet laws- were they enacted to help protect motorcyclists and their passengers? Nope. They were enacted to protect the state’s health system from the costs of some dumbass becoming a baked potato requiring 24 hr. care for decades.

As to the issue of thin privilege, it is a bit like ‘symmetry privilege’ -(good looks). Outside of serious deformity, anyone can be attractive if they stay in shape, and do something with their brain that is interesting. People who are thin, just as people who are taller have a slight edge because these are signals that they will make better breeding partners, and are likely healthier. As to the height issue- posture more than height conveys strength vitality, and confidence- what helps you move up.


Wait a minute… I thought we were supposed to be accepting all bodies as beautiful now? I guess the left has a new mortal enemy…thin people. This is all a leftist plot to make thin people stuff their faces and become fat obese layabouts who need more socialized medicine and a welfare state that meets their every need.


Pretty soon they’re going to run out of people to make enemies with.


I also have a few relatives that are overweight/obese.

I question the logic that says, people are free to chose what they eat when they eat and how often. To me it’s in direct conflict with healthcare as they require far mo than a normal size person. That more is passed to the healthy who require less.

For me I work hard not to eat junk food, exercise on a regular basis and maintain a healthy life style. Why should I subsidize the poor choices of others?

This is just another attempt to normalize abnormal behavior.


Fat people endure criticism because they deserve it. Also, I think that fat people are the ones who get a special privilege over thin people.

When I catch a flight somewhere, I always get a hard time about my baggage weight. Yet some fat slob who is double my weight and half my height gets to check his bag no problem. If there are empty seats on the plane, flight attendants will go out of their way to put the fat guy in a row that has more space. I never get that accommodation. Maybe it’s because I’m working my way up to running a marathon this year and I’m too skinny to get the privilege.


being a thin or slim woman may be an advantage, but a thin man certainly not - are these leftie fem types complaining about that? I bet not…


Ain’t that the truth. I have a plumbing business and my skinny guy gets all the worst jobs because he can fit in tight spaces and the rest of us can’t.


Next on the list: “addict-shamming”. Bc you normal people are not addicted to drug and “Cracka” shaming is harmful and hateful.