“Thin?” privilege is being able to cross your legs and sit on an airplane with ease

I have always envied women that can cross their legs and sit on an airplane with ease. In fact, I got ridiculed growing up by adults (not family) for sitting “like a guy” with my legs open. While those three words are a problem in-and-of-itself, because it pertains to stereotypical gender roles society places on us, I will admit, I was jealous I could not do it.

In fact, I was extremely jealous.  I often travel for work and I used to be extremely embarrassed to admit to my co-workers that I could not work on the plane because the tabletop would hit my stomach. Instead, I would just always go to sleep, pretending to be tired. I also did not even attempt to cross my legs on any plane; there was no point.

I read an article that said being able to cross your legs and sit on an airplane comfortably is called “thin privilege.”  To be honest, I am not sure that I completely agree with this. While I get the concept and the point trying to be made, I understand that even “thin” girls might have issues crossing their legs if they are thicker in the thigh area. Whatever the correct term might be, the point I am trying to get across is that for some thicker women, crossing your legs or even sitting in an airplane seat with the table down is not always the most comfortable or easy thing to do. So to that point, while I don’t believe thin is the correct term, I believe there is definitely some sort of privilege that comes with the ability to cross your legs and sit on an airplane.

Now that I am slightly over 100 pounds down, I must say that it feels great to be able to cross my legs with ease. I for the first time in history crossed my legs on an airplane while ALSO working on my computer with the tabletop down. This privilege that I now have is something I am never going to take for granted. I must admit that I do it unknowingly now and get excited by how much room my seatbelt has on the airplane.

With that said, I believe my excitement might be considered distorted by some due to the societal pressures placed on me. So for those who question me:

  1. Do I think crossing my legs makes me more womanly? No.
  2. By being a women, do I believe that I have to be smaller? No.
  3. But do I think crossing my legs, sitting in an airplane or even a roll-coaster with ease is a privilege? Yes.

So while I will continue to bask in my happiness and recognize my new privilege, I write this blog post as a vow. I vow to NEVER push this ability on to other women or girls. While it works for me and makes me happy, I do not believe little girls should grow up thinking that this is the correct way to sit. I guess what I am trying to say is, to each their own.

What do you think?


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