Nobody realises how tough it is to be a skinny guy

You try finding a nice pair of 28 inch trousers


It’s not easy being the skinny guy. We’re not as desirable as our hench friends, and we don’t get as much sympathy as fat people. Instead we’re just there, struggling to keep up with the pace of this muscular, protein-gorging, leg-day world.

Take clothes shopping for instance. What’s a tedious necessity for everyone else becomes an odyssey for thin people. Seriously, good luck trying to find a pair of 28” trousers, it’s like searching for the Ark of the Covenant. You end up looking like Aladdin because you have to buy trousers which are a bit too big. Shirts are worse because there’s only so many sizes and they all vary between brands. I’m pretty sure XS is mostly too small to be worn by me, but S is just a tad too big, leaving so much material under the arms I end up looking like a flying squirrel.

Then there’s going to the gym and the crushing feeling of inadequacy which accompanies me when I step foot inside. I personally struggle to care about fitness, but I can’t help but feel slightly embarrassed when I go in looking like someone from an Oxfam advert and am confronted by people who could fit my entire upper arm in their grip.

Being skinny means dressing this terribly and never stepping foot in the gym

Being skinny means dressing this terribly and never stepping foot in the gym

Interestingly, I don’t think fat people have this problem, as their arrival at the gym prompts awed looks of respect from everyone. People stop working out to look and think “Good for them, glad to see they’re doing something about it”. Skinny people don’t get that. We just feel a bit out of place among people who are twice our size engaging in an activity which may very well kill us if we try it.

As terrifying as the gym is, no experience leaves a thin guy feeling more helpless than having to lift something heavy. I live in fear of ever being asked to help someone move house. It’s not that I can’t lift a heavy box, it’s that to do so exposes how embarrassingly weak I am. My arms will probably shake, I might break into a sweat and the whole thing is just an emasculating affair.

The worst case scenario is when this happens after a girl asks you to lift something. You agree and hope you’ll be able to do so without breaking down into tears, but by God it takes every fibre of your body not to do so. The only thing worse is when friends realise how weak you are and relegate you to some pitiful role, like pointlessly lifting the middle of a table while the others do the heavy lifting at each end. Skinny girls never have this problem: they can always ask someone else to do it without losing face.

Being thin and growing up in a world where rugby, football, lacrosse and rowing are more respectable than the things I enjoy doing is difficult. If I enjoyed sports more than reading, writing and sleeping, life would be so much simpler and my parents would probably be prouder too. Instead, the only physical activity I’ve come close to being good at is running, which is a terrifically shit sport.

If you know someone skinny, go easy on them. Like me, they’ve probably had a lifetime of being picked last for sports and dressing terribly but it’s not their fault. Get to know them and become friends with them and you’ll discover skinny people have lots of other merits. Just don’t expect them to help you move.