” You are soooooo skinny – you look like Skeletor….”
The words lie heavy in the air as I try to contain my anger whilst my so called ‘friend’ tries to explain that this is a good thing, meant as a compliment…. even having the audacity to look shocked that I am offended!
I am 37 years old and a very petite size 8, in fact I am the same size as a (small) teenager and could probably still fit into my school uniform, although this should be left strictly to the imagination, in the interests of decency.
I am not however this small through design or choice, and certainly not through lack of trying. Over the years I have tried every weight gain product this side of China in a vain attempt to put on a few pounds, sadly to no avail. I was raised on good food and have a sister who is a curvaceous size 12; it’s a standing family joke that she inherited all the buxom genes whilst I am like Twiggy on a slim day. Basically, food and dress size are not issues in my life and never have been, my family are various shapes n sizes and this is all good.
I’m happy in my own skin and revel in the fact that I can still shop in the kids section of most high street stores, as well as save a fortune buying trainers at a fraction of the cost of “grown-up” sizes.
I am also pleased to say that, contrary to popular belief, I do eat whatever I want, whenever I want. Yep, from chips to chocolate and all the goodies in between – I eat the lot and often enjoy late night munchies too, yet still I remain the size I am.
From being young I’ve been taunted and ridiculed for being “skinny” – often by people that could be deemed somewhat overweight, if I were a judgmental person that is…
One of the most hurtful incidents was when I was about 12 and was wearing a bra for the first time, at my Mums insistence of course. I went off to the youth club and didn’t realise that the ultraviolet light made my jumper appear see through, well, not until a boy came over, tapped me on the back and asked me why I was actually wearing a bra, after all if I had no feet would I still wear socks?
Yep, that hurt. Lots.
The very definition of skinny is offensive, the free online dictionary has this to say…
adj -nier, -niest
2. consisting of or resembling skin
Something a lot of girls want to be, also known as perfection. No matter how thin some girls get, they will never be happy with their weight. The quest for “skinny” causes many problems like anorexia or bulemia. Of course, when thinness comes naturally, the girls who possess it get cocky and let their egos grow bigger than necessary.
Excuse me? Perfection? Is that even a thing?
No wonder so many youngsters have body image issues these days, and who gets to decide that I’m cocky or have an inflated ego based on my weight, or lack of it? Pfft.
Even the pop sensation that is Adele is known to have said, and I quote, “I’d rather weigh a ton and make an amazing album that look like Nicole Richie and do a shit album. My aim in life is never to be skinny”.
It actually makes me rather sad, and more than just a little bit mad that some people feel they have the divine right to cast judgement and issue labels based solely on a persons weight.
I’ve come across some people that really are larger than life, yet I would never dream of commenting on their size, or calling them an offensive name in an attempt to appear witty – however when it comes to us slim girls it seems we’re fair game for any weight related puns.
A few years ago my husband had a visit from a female friend on her way home from another (clearly sweaty) workout at the gym. Bursting through the door, glowing and jubilant she then proceeded to tell us, in graphic detail, all about her workout, pausing only to point out that “I obviously didn’t need to exercise as I was anorexic!!!”
I kid you not, this was said without a hint of irony and I was gob smacked at her thoughtless, nasty and hurtful comment. And no, for the record, I am not suffering from an eating disorder…..
I’m sure they’ll be slim girls (and guys) reading this, nodding their head in understanding but, if you’re one of the many who are guilty of this “weightest” behaviour please stop. Us petite ladies have our own body hangups n issues too -some of us eye your curves and peachy bums with a hint of envy, others are happy in their own skin. Bottom line is this – life is hard enough without us judging each other on such superficial matters. Let’s share some positivity eh, after all, my Mum always told me that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
Now, where’s that cake….
I deal with this a lot. I think the body-positive movement is necessary, but I hate that it has to come at the expense of thinner girls. “Only dogs go for bones.” What a gem. I bet they feel like such a beautiful person after saying that! I had a slim friend who was told throughout her pregnancy that she needed to put on more weight so she could be more like a “real pregnant woman”. She never put on much weight and gave birth to a very healthy baby. I try not to be too self conscious about. My husband doesn’t think I’m too skinny and my friends who are worth it know that I am naturally small and don’t give me a hard time. And when someone tells me that I need to eat a sandwich? I tell them to go buy one for me because I love free food. That usually shuts them up. 🙂
Also, Adele is a great singer but she’s setting a very poor example by complaining about exercise while smoking a cigarette. Just my opinion.
Good Evening Kyotoredbird 🙂 First I would like to say WOW, your blog is amazing and I will be following with interest.Love the pictures you have on there too, so vibrant…;)
Thanks for your comment, it seems there are many that can relate to this issue and we are not alone. Totally agree about the body-positive movement and it does seem to be us slinkies that catch the flak. I too was slim through my pregnancies, at 8 months I was still rocking jeans and had a teeny tiny bump, none of my babies have been huge but all were a healthy weight and size.My hubby likes my dinky status and my sister is always joking that I could trade clothes with Barbie, all good fun:) I am going to try the free sandwich line next time I am faced with a hurtful comment on my weight, I’ll let you know how I get on:) Bang on bout Adele, those in glass houses and all that jazz;) T
Oh, thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed my blog!
My other annoyance is when I do try to say that skinny shaming is wrong and that thin women are real women too and I get the whole “skinny shaming is not nearly as bad as fat shaming and why are you complaining you’re thin and therefore meet society’s definition of perfect.” There are so many things wrong with that statement, first being that one kind of shaming is worse than another. All shaming is wrong and hurtful, and it affects people on a personal level. It’s wrong to tell people that their feelings aren’t valid.
Secondly, being thin doesn’t mean one is perfect, or that one feels perfect. The cover girls presented to us by the industry are thin, yes. But they are also tall, fuller busted, with perfect complexion and perfect hair. Yes, some of this is due to photoshop, but these women tend to have above-and-beyond looks in the first place, which is why they are models! (Doutzen Kroes of Victoria’s Secret is a perfect example. Unretouched photos of her were leaked and everyone was disappointed that this woman was still impossibly stunning without photoshop. Silly.) I do not look like Doutzen Kroes. The only thing I have in common with her is thinness. I also have the same waist measurement that Marilyn Monroe had in her prime, but it doesn’t mean I look like her, either. I get kind of tired of being lumped in with “perfect” models and celebrities just because I wear a small size. I also get kind of tired of the idea that all of us thin women are part of a conspiracy to make non-thin women feel bad. I have just as many bad body-image days as anyone else!
Haha, sorry for the rant there. This is a subject I feel strongly on.