Skinny is NOT a compliment

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 I had been meaning to write this post for quite some time now but couldn’t because it came out way more aggressive that I had intended it to be. Now that I have sobered down a bit, I think I can finally put it up for You to read. I would also like to mention that this is my point of view and I am not thrusting it upon anyone; this is my take on the whole ‘weight-shamming’ issue.

If you don’t know me, let me introduce myself; my name is Apoorva, I weigh 47Kg (this is the how we measure weight in India, You can convert to the one You want) and am 5’3”. I have always been thin as long as I have known myself and so the society has rightfully put me under the ‘skinny’ label. Before I plunge into the deeper end, I’d like to clarify that I don’t suffer from any sort of eating disorder (Anorexia, Bulimia Nervosa, etc.), I do not starve myself to stay ‘fit’ or eat food with low calorie content, neither have I a substance abuse case. In fact, I eat whenever and whatever I please with a normal amount of junk food intake and love everything sweet (which means more calories). I would also like to specify that I have episodes of depression and panic attacks but in that case I consume more ice cream and chocolates. But regardless of what I eat, I just don’t seem to pick weight even though I am hungry in every two hours, aha!

I have been called names countless times, by my own ‘friends’ and in all honestly, it hurts. The social conditioning was pretty strong that by the time I was 16, I absolutely hated looking myself in the mirror and if somebody would just as much as bat an eye in my direction, I would suddenly become conscious. I would measure my bust and waist constantly, sighing that they were not the ‘right’ size. No extra cheese in the pizza slice would stay in the system long enough that it would cause a slight weight gain and I was despising the fact that I was skinny. My mum explained that it was because of the lineage, and that everyone in the family was thin (especially on my father’s side). Simple.

I started reading a lot of self help articles online for thin people which made me stumble upon the term ‘metabolism’. Metabolism is, like dictionary describes, the chemical process that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life, or how you’d simply say the rate at which the calories burn and your body breaks fat. At first, it was thrilling to know that I had a kick-arse metabolism but later I cried at the fact because it was impossible for me to put on weight. People in school would say, ‘Oh, you’re so lucky you don’t have to think before you eat’ or ‘How did you get that figure, do you eat something special?’. The plump girls in school would poke my belly and say they wished they were my size; they said it was so brilliant to be this thin which I would just shrug off at the moment but inside I would I feel offended. Telling someone that they are skinny is not a compliment. It’s a same as me poking a plump and saying that I love their size and would love to be like them (to which they should whine and list ten things they don’t like about their body). Well, my point is being skinny is not all that glorious either. It brings its own set of problems and telling a person that it’s lucky to skinny is as same as telling it’s lucky to be a fatty.

Over the years, I have also come across people who say skinny as though it is an abuse. ‘Oh, she so skinny, why isn’t she eating anything’ or ‘Oh, those girls are the reason plump girls are sidelined’ or ‘she must be starving herself to maintain that figure’. It hurts so much to hear such things. I remember one of my acquaintances saying how much skinny people disgusted him and that he can’t stand them and it made my stomach churn. How can someone even think like that? If a skinny person says the same, the society would turn up on them for gloating about their size, yet a plump person saying that doesn’t even stir people a bit. There are so many songs that regard skinny as an abuse, like Meghan Trainer’s All About That Base. I do understand that people have weight issues and want to embrace their curves, but do You think it is alright to do that by insulting us ‘stick figures’? Why is that saying ‘OMG, you are so obese!’ is a rude remark but not ‘OMG, you are so skinny!’ Is it okay to use skinny as an abuse, as an insult? I think not. My weight has been a touchy issue and always hits home when someone would say I looked like ‘a bag of bones’ or ‘in a dire need to pick up weight’. I have had a struggle to keep up with my weight, just the same as I read a plump girl trying to shed away hers.

I believe that at the end of the day it does not matter how you appear. It is more important to be confident in Your skin and not take any bullshit from anyone who comments negatively about You. Your weight does not define You and definitely not Your qualities. If You are happy with what You have, it is no one else’s business to say anything about it. Like my friend once explained me that your body has a mind of its own and pick or sheds weight as it wants, I don’t know if that is true but I’d like to think so.

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13 thoughts on “Skinny is NOT a compliment

  1. This is one of the best articles that I have come across in a while. I will share it with friends who have weight issues, I think they’ll feel more confident reading this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was so relevant. I’m 50 and 5’6″(more height makes you look even slimmer) and I’ve been put under the same label since forever. It was a great time reading this. (:

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  3. Well said! I think this issue is slowly starting to improve, people have slowly started to become aware that such comments about weight work both ways, all that really matters is that you’re happy with yourself 🙂

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  4. This is smthn dat iz becoming common…bt such a thng shuld nt happen…in todayz wrld ppl r more bzy in critisizing othrz n interfarn in dere mattr…dey r least bothrd bout wht iz goin in dere lyf…being skinny or fat iz nt in our handz…ppl shuld realise dat such creepy comments may hurt othrz…bt az we knw…only somre ppl r dere who’l give u complimnts…rest othrz r bzy in commenting n fooling around…

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  5. Thanks for writing this Apoorva. I’ve been dealing with this sort of skinny stigma for a decade now, and I loathe it. I was anorexic at 16 and have had problems gaining weight ever since. But I supremely hate the fact that just as with the mass insensitivity towards eating disorders (I hate to use that phrase, but well) thinness is almost always made into some kind of freakery, not to mention the deeply sexist attitude a lot of people harbor towards thin (read unattractive, unwomanly) bodies. I’m so glad that someone has put it down so well. Cheers 🙂

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  6. I almost teared when I read your article. I am your height and was your weight when I was a college student. My teachers asked me if I were sick. My boss commented that I was skinny. My parents said my cheeks were hollow. Eventually, I gained weight and all those comments stopped. I found out that what makes me people enjoy my company is my confidence and smile (I have a jovial personality), not my looks.

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