Lingerie blogger sparks conversation on 'thin privilege,' calls for more size options

Cora Harrington said the fashion industry is structured around thinner people.

What is thin privilege?

It's a conversation that lingerie blogger Cora Harrington is deeply invested in, although she self-identifies as thin, because she wants people to change the way "that we think about and talk about and treat fat bodies," she told "Good Morning America" Monday.

"I often talk about issues or topics related to sizing or size concerns or the way people think about sizing," Harrington said. "That comes up a lot as I’m discussing lingerie."

The author of "In Intimate Detail" posted a thread of tweets, in which she explained her view on the definition of thin privilege. The thread has been liked more than 33,000 times combined.

"Hey, you don’t have to 'feel thin' to have thin privilege," she began. "Thinness isn’t a feeling. If other people perceive you as thin, you are thin. If you are able to walk into any clothing store and expect to see a wide range of options in your size, you are thin."

The 34-year-old New York City resident continued, "My job involves looking at photos of models who are much thinner than me, so I rarely 'feel' thin. But I can walk into almost any clothing store and expect -- without even thinking about it -- to buy something in my size. That is thin privilege."

Asked to put it bluntly, Harrington shared her definition of thin privilege with "GMA."

"Society, in general, is structured around the assumption that people will be or should be a certain way," the blogger said. "Thin privilege is a system of benefits or advantages that society gives you for looking or being a certain way."

Harrington gave an example of how this can play out in real life.

"If you are a thinner person, you don’t have to go to a specialty store to buy a bra or a pair of pants," she said. "You can go to any store you want to and buy a wide range of options."

After her thread about thin privilege went viral, however, Harrington said she was surprised by how much "venom and the anger" she received from people who didn't understand or disagreed with the concept.

Some on Twitter even criticized her for not appearing to be fat. But Harrington said that's precisely why she continues to shed light on thin privilege.

"It’s not always about plus-size people having to bear the brunt of that emotional labor [of educating people]," she said. "Because if you are a plus-size person, not only do you have to explain that concept, but then you have to deal with this tidal wave of abuse that you know is going to come after -- the comments on your body, making memes of your body."

Some of the reactions to her posts have been extreme.

"Someone told me to hang myself last night," Harrington said.

She hopes that illuminating thin privilege could lead to changes in the fashion industry.

Primarily, Harrington hopes people will have more "access to products."

"People of all sizes should actually be able to shop for and find products in stores," she said. "That's a starting step, because if you can’t even find clothes that fit you, then so much that happens in the fashion industry is not going to be applicable to you."

She added that she'd also like to see a wider range of bodies represented in body-positive campaigns because "they still focus on a fairly narrow model of beauty where the model still tends to be thinner."

Lastly, she wants to "change the way that we think and talk about and treat fat bodies. And that means listening to larger people when they tell us how they’re being treated."

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