Privilege and Fitness

Thin Privilege. I get the concept but I’m not totally sure I really get it.

Yes of course it’s potentially easier for a PT or fitness who is ‘thin’ and has been training for years to advise a client to do x y and z because their body and people’s reaction to them make it easier. Yes, maybe it’s easier for them to say love your body and embrace the process than it is someone starting from a different position.

But actually do we need to start referencing posts or advice with an acknowledgement that we may be different from the people the advice is aimed at? Maybe it is good to acknowledge and some readers may appreciate the self awareness but really, should only PTs themselves following a calorie deficit coach people to hit one? Should all fitness professionals only work with clients who are like them so they are not preaching to people ‘less privileged’ than they? I’d of course say not, people educate themselves, gain knowledge and experience to allow them to impart advice. If we were all limited to only things we had direct experience with that would be a loss to the industry in general.

But beyond that, fact is we are all privileged in some way or another. Things about our body, genetics, health, background, birth place, parents, education and more will naturally make us more privileged than someone else in many given situations (and of course disadvantaged in others). There will be situations in which we could say well do this that and the other and it be far easier than it would be for someone else. Case in point over the last year. Stay at home Save Lives is a far easier prospect for someone of Furlough, knowing their job is safe or able to work from home, living with family members they have a good relationship with in a nice house with a garden than someone who has lost their income, qualified for not support a lives in a flat with no outdoor space. Should people reference their social media posts with #economicprivilige?

I’m not saying that awareness is a bad thing but I that being aware and that awareness impacting your actions is a far more powerful thing than referencing awareness of something alone. Almost a case of walking the walk rather than talking the talk.

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