Tag Archives: skinny shaming

Skinny Shaming – The Other Side of the Coin

I honestly can’t believe that this is a “thing.” When did it become acceptable for us to criticize each other  based on our shapes and sizes? I honestly can’t even remember. More often than not, the shape that we have is not something that we can control. Some women have larger hips and are curvier, while other women have a slim “stick-like” figure. In this blog, I will share a few stories with you regarding the skinny body figure of a few of my closest friends.

I had a really good friend who was really, really skinny. She used to eat all the time to try and gain weight but nothing seemed to help. She would eat all sorts of unhealthy foods throughout the day and sometimes, well into the early morning hours. She read online that these were the reasons for why people gained weight so quickly, and that’s exactly what she wanted. The only problem? Her body is naturally different from the rest of these women who posted on the forums. Her body processed things differently, so it was very difficult for her to gain weight. The huge problem with her approach was very obvious – even though she did not physically look any curvier or more “shapely,” she was poisoning her body. So, you may ask, why did she did this to herself?

Ever since she was a child, she was told that she would never find a husband because no husband wants such a skinny wife.

From the outside, I never really understood it either. It wasn’t until her and I had a heart-to-heart talk that all of her insecurities came out. Ever since she was a child, she was told that she would never find a husband because no husband wants such a skinny wife. Could you imagine hearing that at the very young age of 4? Thinking that you won’t be loved not because of your personality, interests, etc. but rather because of your looks? Right off the bat, she was being trained to be more concerned with trying to gain weight (and as a result, curves) instead of making and working towards achieving goals related to her education and career.
I was horrified when she revealed this to me. But that’s not where it stopped. She went on to tell me that sometimes when she’s studying on campus, her peers would ask her if she was doing okay because she looked “very skinny and ill.” People constantly told her to eat more and that she should “take care of herself.” The worst part was that she actually was taking care of herself; she was very healthy! The words of these strangers, the same ones that she’s heard her whole life, was what drove her to become unhealthy.

It is not okay to comment on somebody else’s figure. After hearing my friend’s story, I’ve realized that you will never really know how you are affecting the person that you are speaking to. You may think that it’s just an innocent, passing comment but it very well may not be just that. I am personally very guilty of this…

I was chatting
with two other friends and we were talking about the “thigh gap” trend. For those of you who don’t know what the thigh gap phenomenon is, it’s basically when a woman has a gap between her thighs when standing up straight with her knees touching each other. I laughed when I heard about this and said to my friends that I wouldn’t want that because I personally did not find it attractive. I also mentioned that it was impossible for me to ever have that because genetically, I have thicker thighs. I didn’t realize this right away, but one of my friends fell silent very  quickly while the other agreed with me. I later talked to the friend who went quiet and asked her if she was okay and she just brushed me off. I realized a few days later that she had a thigh gap. As you probably guessed already, I felt terrible…my heart sank and I instantly regretted that conversation. My friend is naturally very skinny. She doesn’t work out and she eats whatever she wants, whenever she wants. She just happened to have a thigh gap.

What I realized from this situation is that I am very guilty of putting another group down purely because I know it is a look that I could not possibly achieve. Instead, I quickly dismissed the idea and claimed that it’s not something that I want anyway. I have seen this happen time and time again with a number of different individuals. To be absolutely honest, I don’t think that a thigh gap is unattractive. I actually really don’t care at all. I do not have a preference one way or another, so I question myself… why did I say what I said? Ever since I came to realize this mistake, I never made it again.
There is no need to put down other groups in order to empower yourself.

In the words of Emma Stone, “my great hope for us as young women is to start being kinder to ourselves so that we can be kinder to each other.”