Body Image

04.17.134:34 PM ET

Thin, Privileged, and a Fat Activist

Claire Mysko of the Frisky speaks out about “thin privilege” and her own struggle with eating disorders.

Claire Mysko has spent years encouraging others to develop a positive body image. But in a recent blog post on XO Jane, the author of You’re Amazing! A No-Pressure Guide to Being Your Best Self and Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat? The Essential Guide to Loving Your Body Before and After Baby spoke out about something rarely acknowledged: thin privilege. At the age of 16, after years of struggling with eating disorders, Mysko learned to stop self-loathing from a zine created by a 17-year-old overweight girl. But even as she has spent years combatting her own negative body image, she acknowledged that she doesn’t have it nearly as hard as many girls out there. “I am a small person, a naturally small person,” she writes. “And that makes my life a whole lot easier in many, many ways”:

Today there are few things I enjoy more than eating good meals with people I love. After years of deprivation, I can savor tastes and appreciate what is on my plate. It is deep. It is awesome. What’s extra awesome is that I can do all of that without strangers staring me down in restaurants, whispering about what a problem I am, what a threat it is to the moral fabric of our society that I am downing a plate of gnocchi or a dish of gelato.

Claire vents about how eating disorders and body image affect women on both ends of the spectrum, and candidly addresses the fact that skinny women, including herself, are encouraged by society to accept themselves in a way that overweight women are not.