"You're too Skinny"
"Please go eat a hamburger
You need meat on your bones..."
“You’re too skinny.”
“Please go eat a hamburger, you need some meat on your bones.”
“You have, like, no curves.”
“You look anorexic, go eat something.”
These are just a few of the phrases that have haunted me throughout my life. Growing up, I was always very skinny, and there was nothing I could do about it. I could eat whatever I wanted and not gain a single pound. This may sound great to some of you, but I was very insecure. I never felt like I could call myself a real woman because I didn’t have curves. I remember praying to God every night for a “womanly” body so I could feel beautiful. I hated my body with a passion, and I reminded myself that every day. It didn’t help that people continuously pointed out my insecurities either. I wish I had a dollar for every time someone told me that I was too skinny orthat I needed to eat something. These comments only fueled my self-hatred.
Why in our society today is it labeled body shaming to call someone “too fat", but it is acceptable to call someone “too skinny”? Why is it okay to tell someone they look “anorexic”? Coming from someone who has been a target of these insults, it is not; not one bit. Calling someone “too fat” or “too skinny” are both forms of body shaming, and it needs to stop. Some people are just naturally skinny. It isn’t because they starve themselves or exercise too much. It is just their body type, and all body types need to be accepted and praised. If you think someone is actually struggling with an eating disorder, telling them they look too thin will do absolutely nothing to help them.
There has been a recent movement in society aiming to empower curvier women. I think it is great and much needed, but sadly this movement is often accompanied with skinny-shaming. When I hear things like, “Real men love curves. Only the dogs like bones,” it makes me sad. Some would claim that sayings like this are empowering women, but who they are empowering is very exclusive. In my opinion, they are really just body shaming and degrading to women. Why do we have to tear some women down in order to build others up? Why do we have to base a woman’s identity on her body type or the amount of curves she has?
And one of the most upsetting aspects of this all is that usually these degrading comments come from other women. Most of the insults I have received pertaining to my body have been from girls. To all my fellow women out there, especially the younger ones, I know you understand how it feels to have insecurities and look in the mirror and not be happy with what you see. So why do we continue to point out other women's insecurities? Is it to make ourselves feel better? Is it because we are jealous? I know that whenever I have thought something bad about another woman's appearance, it was due to one of these two things.
So this is a plea to all my fellow women. The next time you feel the need to pick apart another person's appearance (particularly a woman), take a step back and realize what you are doing. Realize that any negative comment (yes, even calling someone too thin) is only tearing other women down. Society already critiques women's bodies enough, we don't need to critique each other. We need to focus on building each other up and appreciate the beauty of other women. The beauty of another woman does not take away from your own. Skinny women, curvy women, over-weight women, and under-weight women are all beautiful and deserved to be respected. And yes, some real women don't have curves.