Calling me ‘skinny’ isn’t a compliment
Or is it OK for me to call you chubby?
I have always been tiny and I have always been slim. But it’s only as I have gotten older that I have come to hate it, not because I hate the way that my body physically looks, but because of the horrific stigma that surrounds that particular physique.
The word ‘skinny’ in itself, in my opinion, is gross. It’s just one of those words that doesn’t sound nice, like ‘moist’ for example. I would so much rather be referred to as ‘healthy’, because after all, that is what I am.
There is such an unbelievable double standard between people of different sizes that is totally unacceptable. Regularity would prevent me from thinking twice about someone commenting ‘Oh I can see your ribs/hip bones.’ Can you imagine the extent to which people’s respect for me would deplete if I replied ‘Oh I can see your cellulite.’ It is literally no different. Both comments are about a part of someone’s body, a part of what makes them themselves and a part of what makes their body beautiful. If it isn’t okay to point out one of those things then it isn’t okay to point out the other.
People make you feel bad for being thin. ‘You look good in that because you are skinny’ is NOT a compliment. I have had friends be genuinely quite annoyed at me when they can’t fit into my clothes to borrow them. ‘Who buys a petite size four?!’ Well, I do, because that is the size that fits me, I do apologise that I didn’t feel driven to spend my money on a size that might have fitted you better than it fits me.
There is a lot of talk in the media at the moment about models used on websites and mannequins used in shops being ‘unrealistic’. I want to rebut that argument. If a model on a website wears a size four top, and I then order and fit into that size four top, is my body also unrealistic? Should I be ashamed that I fit into the same clothing as that model? It is true that not everyone is the same size as models used on websites, but no one model is going to apply to all different shapes and sizes of people.
One of the worst things is when people passively exclaim that you are so ‘naturally skinny.’ I hate that, because it denounces all the work I do to maintain my figure. I love exercise. I go to dance classes for up to seven hours of dance most weeks, not for my figure but because I love them, if they made me fat I would still love them. I even go to the gym sometimes (emphasis on the sometimes). I am not at all pernickety about healthy eating, I mean I have fruit and veg but would never pass up a takeaway or consider cutting back on snacking.
Also, you should not assume that I want the smallest slice of pizza because I am slim. Nor should you comment when I have a smaller meal than you. No, I am not starving myself, you just didn’t see the sheer size of the huge meal I devoured at lunch. If I would be a bad person for saying that you should maybe cut back, please don’t expect me to take it well when you say the opposite. You don’t know me, my story, or my digestive system.
Thinner people aren’t allowed to be happy with the way they look. A curvy girl could wear a sports bra to the gym and be praised for her confidence. Be proud of your body no matter your size would be what her adoring fans would shout. As soon as someone smaller does the same, the comments are more hushed and more hurtful. She would be showing off, wanting people to look at her body and she should really put some more clothes on. There we go again with unfair double standards.
Every single person on this planet has completely different metabolisms, eating habits, exercise regimes, growth patterns, genetics, guilty pleasures. Every one of those things contributes to our size and shape. Hence why every one of us is different.
I would never negatively comment on or make someone ashamed to be the weight that they are. Society and the media surround thinner but healthy people with way too many subtle digs at their weight. Of course it is okay to be curvy, not even just okay, it is fabulous, but thin is beautiful too.
So if you want to comment on my size, go ahead. Comment on the fact that I do exercise, that I am a sucker for the occasional bit of avocado on toast but will stuff myself with a pizza later that day, and comment on the fact that all my clothes are the smallest sizes.
Be my guest, but that is me and its the only me I’ve got, so I’m going to love it.