During the pandemic, a lot of people’s bodies changed as they struggled with basic survival mode. Some folks dealt with stress by working out, some gained some weight, some managed to hold onto physical equilibrium somehow. None of these outcomes are morally superior to the other, but we live in a fatphobic society.
The internet has been flooded with stories about how to “lose that quarantine weight” and it’s a big bummer. It’s also been an opportunity for people to discuss the effects of your looks changing. A young woman named Cassidy
Lane, or @Body_positive_bartender on TikTok, went viral for her new understanding of “pretty privilege,” which she says she once had and lost by gaining weight.
Lane didn’t gain weight because of the pandemic, it’s because she received help for her eating disorder. She is, in fact, healthier than she was before, but she has noticed how people’s treatment of her has changed dramatically.
Lane works as a bartender, and in her TikTok she says that she used to approach tables and find customers really wanted to have a conversation with her. Now, they’re abrupt and distant.
“People don’t even look you in the eye anymore,” she said.
Lane’s TikTok was stitched with another young woman on the app, @lizagnabathwater, who asked people to stitch if they have had pretty privilege their whole life.
She wanted to know their world view, and if they think everyone is “really nice.”
Her looks also recently changed, and based on her TikTok, she thinks she’s gotten prettier and people treat her very, very differently. They treat her way better, and it’s kind of a bummer. Commenters affirmed her observation, saying they’d also seen shifts in behavior when their looks changed:
Lane was interviewed by Bored Panda, and said she was surprised by how quickly her own TikTok went viral and she thinks it’s because so many people have had the same experience.
“There were so many people in the comments saying that the same thing happened to them and it was good to hear that they weren’t crazy and it was happening to other people,” said Lane. “Which is a little sad. But shared experiences are such a strong form of connection that I can understand why it went viral. It did leave me feeling a little vulnerable that 6 million people have watched me cry on the Internet.”
It is vulnerable to cry on the Internet, but probably comforting to know so many people are tearing up along with you.