Skinny Shaming

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Ok, I assume I will get a lot of flak for this post. I’m writing it anyway, because I have no filter, and it’s a legitimate problem that doesn’t get addressed. So here it is.

We all know there is a large “body positive” movement happening. Embrace your size. Love yourself the way you are.

That’s great! However, the problem is that it is centered around women supporting other full-figured women and not women who are thin. In fact, most of these articles or famous Instagram pages you see floating around all focus on women being beautiful because they AREN’T a size zero.

I’m sure most of you are rolling your eyes right now. But I’ll continue anyway.

I’m a size zero.

No, I don’t starve myself. Yes, I work out. And surprise! I’m healthy.

Over the years I have heard many insulting things. People say them trying to be funny, but let me be the first to tell you, it is not. Not even a little bit.

One time, I was eating a salad and someone said “Oh, THAT’S how you stay so skinny.” Another time, I was eating a burger with fries and someone said “Wow, must be nice to eat whatever you want.” Not sure how to win on this one.

Speaking of burgers, I was at my local gym once in California, and there was this super ripped chick that always worked out at the same time as me, and I secretly idolized her. One day I was working out next to her and she said “Wow girl you are tiny, you need to eat a burger.” I literally cried on my drive home.

Let me put this in perspective. It’s socially acceptable to tell someone you find too skinny that they need to eat, but if someone is overweight it’s NOT okay to tell them to STOP eating. Got it.

Society seems to think commenting on thin bodies is some sort of compliment. I’m frequently ‘thin shamed’ by people who think they are paying me some kind of inverse compliment by telling me that they hate me because of how I look. Um, thanks?

Can we all just agree that commenting on someone’s body is never okay? It’s especially harmful to the individuals who are still becoming comfortable in their own skin. If someone is self-conscious about something, making cruel jokes at them will only validate their own negative feelings.

And these words hurt. They hurt me so much over the years that I made the decision to start lifting weights. I remember someone saying “Oh geez, why are you going to the gym, you don’t need to lose weight.” Come on people.

So, I started saying, “To lift weights so I’m not just another skinny twig bitch.” Verbatim. I’ve also had complete strangers put their arms around my waist while saying “You’re sooo small!” Word to the wise: don’t put your hands on a stranger. No one likes that.

I also happen to love running. This is not in an attempt to lose weight, contrary to rude comments people have thrown at me, but It’s something I genuinely enjoy. So, let me enjoy it dammit.

The other issue is finding clothing that actually fit me right. I’ve actually purchased bottoms in the little girl’s section before but I was too embarrassed to take the item to the dressing room to try it on.

When it came time for me to find a dress for my wedding, no stores carried my size. In fact, I asked one store worker if they carried size zero. She looked me up and down while mumbling something under their breath and said, “Uh, no.” You can call it a super first-world, stupid problem to have, but it’s a problem. And being rude to someone about it doesn’t help.

It’s taken me a very long time to feel comfortable with my body due to the narrow-minded comments I have heard my entire life, but I will tell you this: I am comfortable with my size. I am happy just the way I am. When I hear these comments now, I don’t even think twice about it.

This also means that phrases like, “Real women have curves,” or “She needs to eat a cheeseburger,” need to go in the shitter.

The definition of a “real woman” has nothing to do with her size or physical appearance. Real women recognize other women’s worth along with their own, no matter what size they are.

They eat cheeseburgers, they work out, they are naturally slim, they are voluptuous, they are plus-size, and they love themselves. They have integrity, they are strong, they are kind to others, but most of all, they absolutely never make snide comments about the body type of another woman in order to feel better about themselves.

Leave a Comment

  • Georgia
    2019-08-10

    I agree with your overarching point here – no one should be commenting on anyone else’s body.
    I’m a UK 10/12 so US 8/10 and I’ve been fat shamed by people slimmer than me and skinny shamed by people larger than me. What I find being ‘mid’sized (if that’s what you’d call me) is that my opinions about my own body are not valid – too fat for some but too skinny for others.
    It’s tiring!
    Thanks for posting

    Georgia| britvoyage.com

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2019-08-10 Georgia

      I agree! You honestly can’t win. It’s about loving yourself and not listening to the opinions of others! Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  • Cheryl Oreglia
    2019-08-11

    As women we can be hard on each other. I’ve never understood this? Why not lift each other up! Great post, good advice, powerful message.

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2019-08-11 Cheryl Oreglia

      I agree! Thank you so much for the compliment, and for reading. I sincerely appreciate it!

      Reply
  • Danjay
    2019-08-19

    We all need to accept our God-given body and take care of our body the best we can. The human body is a temple of God (Yahweh) according to Bible.

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2019-08-19 Danjay

      Exactly!!

      Reply
  • Vera
    2019-08-19

    Your post was right on. I’ve always been hardest on myself. When other people comment about the way I look, it only seems to validate my own negative feelings. We as women, should be lifting and building each other up, no matter what size or shape we are. What matters most is what’s on the inside not on the outward appearance.

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2019-08-19 Vera

      Agreed! Loving and accepting yourself can be the hardest part sometimes!

      Reply
  • Janessa
    2019-08-19

    While I am not skinny, I am also not fat. What I do know is that I am comfortable in my skin. I think we all have little insecurities about ourselves at different times. I try to remind my self to enjoy where I am at now because things change. I know I won’t have the booty I have now in 5 years. So I just embrace my body. Nourish it and work out, do what makes you feel good. Thanks for sharing Jessi 👏🏻

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2019-08-19 Janessa

      Yes!! Being comfortable in your own skin is the most important thing! Thanks so much for reading!

      Reply
  • Melissa Damiani
    2019-08-19

    I feel your pain. I’m petite and very committed to my Bikram yoga class. One day at work a colleague asked (with horror on her face), “Are you sick? You’re so skinny.” I was so taken aback! And, she most likely would’ve been a lot more tactful if I had gained, and not lost, weight! I think we all have to respect each others body shape and health journey, rather than judging or making insensitive comments. Thanks for shining a light on this issue! Melissa Damiani | https://www.gratitudegraceglamour.com

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2019-08-20 Melissa Damiani

      Wow, that’s horrible! But I’ve definitely been there! Keep your head up, you’re beautiful just the way you are!

      Reply
  • Marchelle
    2019-08-20

    GREAT Article Jess! As someone who has the opposite problem as you Ü NO ONE should be shamed, even in the name of fun or “just joking” ! Those comments often hurt the worst! I think this is a HUGE problem in society today and it is not only about our body image, it seems to be about everything these days! Just having a different opinion about something can get you shamed! Or just trying to live your life and the values that are important to you, can get you shamed for being “TO good”!! Come on people HOW can you you be TO good? I think what it comes down to is more of a jealously issue, people see what they want or don’t want and feel like they have to make a comment about it to make THEMSELVES feel better. The secret here is to just love yourself for who you are, and then it is easier to let these stupid comments go, which I know is where you are now Jess, so thank you for bringing this us and sharing it with us, risking being shamed once again! Ü You rock girl! That was a great article !

    Reply
    • Jessi Bang
      2019-08-20 Marchelle

      Thank you so much for the positive feedback! I agree! Love others and yourself!

      Reply