Thin is Not a Sin

There’s this myth that it’s okay to pick on the weight of a skinny girl but not a chubby girl. I’m certain just saying ‘chubby girl’ could be construed as bullying. In truth, picking on either weight is just the same bullying, only difference is one you call ‘anno’ and the other you call ‘fatty’.

Up until I was 19 I didn’t really have any fat on my body. I was size 6 on my bottom half and smaller than that in my shoulders. This petiteness had a strange affect on some people. Some would get angry about it, some would ask me questions, or make comments, or scoff. Some people weren’t able to get over it. Every meal eaten in the company of others was met with “is that all you’re having? ha, knew you wouldn’t finish it…” coupled with dirty looks or laughing amongst themselves. I had eaten my full, though, so I started forcing myself to swallow down more and more mouthfuls (to the point where I’d have to unbutton my pants) just so they wouldn’t watch me take every bite and comment on every morsel left on the plate.

Supermodels - too thin? Depends entirely on whether they are dying to be that size.
Supermodels – too thin? Depends entirely on whether they are dying to be that size. Sometimes a supermodel is so thin that it can be painful to look at. This level of thinness cannot be achieved by everyone. Bad message for young girls? Possibly. These are people in the limelight! But you don’t know whether they are healthy, I have known girls supermodel skinny who ate and exercised like the rest of us.

Some people didn’t like me because of my weight, which happens to bigger girls too. People who I’d only met briefly would say, “She looks like a skinny, blonde bitch. She’s not nice. Don’t be her friend.” I was unaware of such comments at first, and would be saying how that person seemed like a nice girl, or pretty cool, completely unaware that the size of me had offended them to the point of hatred. But I ate food. Every day in fact, multiple times a day, like a normal person. My metabolism was just very quick and I didn’t have a huge appetite due to eating small meals frequently, so I didn’t put on weight easily. (Now my metabolism has slowed down with age and a decline in activity) This was not an acceptable excuse for non-skinny people unfortunately, who would demand to know the real reason. Defending your eating habits is tiresome when nobody wants to listen to you, I once had to compare fist sizes with someone and say, “that’s how big our stomachs are, see how small my fist is? Yeah, that’s why.” I don’t know if fist size is actually equal to stomach size, but it worked pretty well as a visual aid. Often I just wanted to yell “WOULD YOU FEEL BETTER IF I STUFFED AN ENTIRE TURKEY DOWN MY THROAT?”

– speaking of eating a lot of food, have you seen speed eaters? Those guys can eat a whole tray of hotdogs and most aren’t even large!

That’s the thing: it would make them feel better, not me. They would be satisfied by me shoving a whole roasted bird down my throat if it meant I was now ‘eating a normal amount’. Technically, a whole turkey would probably burst my intestines, but what a delicious way to go. I put the skinny shaming down to some jealously. “Why do you get to not put on weight and not me?”  I was always annoyed because everybody seemed oblivious to the curvy parts of me that I liked. My hips have always been 20 inches bigger than my waist, and are quite womanly. My chest (aka boobies) were always a full size. I wanted to yell ‘but look at my curvy bits! look at ’em! I am ‘normal’! I’m just small and curvy I swear it’s possible!’ Nothing is wrong with not having a bigger chest, I just really liked mine! People see what they want to see, though.

I was 10 sizes bigger only 3 moments ago!
I was 10 sizes bigger only 3 moments ago!

I have noticed a trend on a site I use where if a larger girl posts a photo of herself (specifically in a bikini / underwear) then others exclaim how much of an inspiration she is, how brave she is, how wonderful and beautiful! When a girl of a small size does this she is instantly labelled a ‘slut’. Yet the two pictures are the same: girls in underwear. Does having more weight on your frame make you a better person? If so, in what way? What if the larger girl is so large that amount of weight looks uncomfortable and bad for your health? I am 10 kilos heavier now than I was 2 years ago and it’s already uncomfortable and yuck. Extreme thinness can also make you weak and ill. Let’s all stop the competition between big and small and decide to just aim for good health for ourselves? Good health comes in a few shapes and sizes.Picking on someone else’s body type might help distract you from the parts of yours you’re unhappy with, but it won’t fix them. Having a good whinge is what people do, but keeping a check on your comments on other’s weight will make you feel better than the whinge.

The '90s-ish feel of this picture makes me happy.
The ’90s-ish feel of this picture makes me happy.

You’re only ‘too skinny’ if you’re starving and hurting to be that way.

If you happen to know someone who is skinny, check yourself before saying, “damn you’re thin!” etc  because they know, and they don’t have to feel bad about it. Not everybody who is a size 6 / 8 (Australian sizes) suffers from an eating disorder. Some of them are naturally thin, and you don’t have to interrogate them about it. There are signs of an eating disorder that you can research and quietly check against your thin friend if you’ve noticed odd behaviours and are concerned, but if you ask them about it and they deny it you may have to accept that they are telling the truth and to watch them quietly until they confide in you. Not everyone is bigger sized, that’s just a simple fact.

Related:
When will people learn
Skinny Girl Problems

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12 thoughts on “Thin is Not a Sin

  1. The funny thing is, even if you ate a whole turkey, they still wouldn’t be satisfied. Then they’d be mad that you could eat a whole turkey without getting fat.

    You’re right: health comes in a lot of different shapes and sizes, and I wish people would acknowledge that. I’ve been “thin”. I’ve been “normal”. I’m somewhat “heavier” now. And the only thing all 3 have had in common is that people feel comfortable shaming you regardless. But it isn’t really about you. It’s about them. If we could learn to just accept our bodies and other people’s bodies as being perfectly acceptable notches along this whole, wide spectrum of the types of people in the world, it would be a much lovelier place.

  2. “You can hula-hoop through a cheerio.” One of taunts that still makes me all irritated and baffled. How would that be possible?

    I grew up thinking I was ugly. I grew up thinking that skinny was ugly and I decided to partake in sports so that others would have a way to reason with my size.

    I really didn’t think about how much of a problem it was until I got my wisdom teeth taken out, and my doctor was convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had an eating disorder, but worse still he told my Mom that I had to eat. No matter what we were eating at any given time to force me to eat it. So that night after major surgery my Mom served our entire family steak. I began balling, it seriously hurt like crazy and my Mom got so pissed at me, like I was faking. She didn’t believe that I couldn’t eat the food until she called a family friend and asked what her son ate (icecream and yogurt for a week). I am still pretty pissed off about it and it happened over ten years ago.

    I loved this post, and I am sorry you had to deal with that. I think at the end of the day everyone is supposed to feel ugly, be put down, get stepped on so that one day when they look in the mirror they can say screw them all… who wouldn’t want to look like me? Though it obviously doesn’t work that way every time.

    You’re either too fat or too skinny… there is no healthy, society sucks.

  3. As someone who’s dieted for a while, whenever it’s apparent I’ve lost about 5-10 lbs, I get the “Oh my gosh! you’re so skinny!” even though I’m on the road to a healthy weight and doing it in a healthy way. Those comments make me think “Oh no! I’m not eating enough…” making me think I need more calories which in turn makes me gain the weight back.

    I wish people would just shut their mouths and worry about their own waistlines but I don’t think that will ever happen…

  4. We are a global society of double standards, and we have been for the past couple of decades. Anytime someone tries to start an honest discussion it is seen as them being jealous. I don’t think so. Normal is whatever weight at which you are comfortable and healthy. That is up to you. Not the massive hordes who get a thrill out of judging you and everyone else.

  5. As a genetically thin person – AMEN! I’ve been bullied and interrogated on many an occasion. WHAT is with that!? I can’t help it but it DOES NOT mean that I am healthy. I have to work for my fitness like everyone else. Thanks for the post.

    1. oh why thank you. I was inspired by the first related post down the bottom of the article. I read it and remembered back a few years ago when it was one of those things I had to constantly defend. Thought I’d post my thoughts / memories in case there are any others out there who need some validation for their annoyance haha.

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