Last month I was meeting a good friend of mine for lunch at a very hip place in the city, we sat down and I ordered a pizza, something I regularly do, you see I have a very thin body, you could call it skinny.
As I took my first bite, my friend casually said: “Oh good, you’re eating! You know skinny is sooo last season, skinny is ugly”. Yes, those were the words uttered in front of my pizza eating face from a good friend of mine, however, this was not the first time.
Over the years I have been asked quite naively by some people, some very strange questions: I have been told that I NEED to eat something; that it looks like I have an eating disorder, I have been asked if I am sick, and once I was complaining of a headache and another friend carelessly said: “It’s because you don’t eat”. I have also been asked why I work out and that they fear that I might disappear, that being skinny is unattractive, that I look like a bag of bones and the best one: People suggesting that I am not allowed to have insecurities about my appearance because I am skinny.
I have also been touched inappropriately by friends grabbing my wrists to emphasize how small they are or insisting on picking me up only to comment on how light I am and that I could be blown away by strong winds.
The worst part is that this was rarely done by strangers, but by my friends and most of these friends are insecure about their own bodies. One wishes her Shakira thighs could disappear, another one feels like she looks too curvy, a third one hates her big boobs and the list goes on…. I know we all want what we can’t have but the problem I face (and every skinny person has the same one) is that I am subject to a form of socially accepted double standard where it’s not okay for me to complain about my body but it’s okay for others to do it to me.
To add to the double standard, it’s not acceptable to comment that someone is “heavyweight” and that they are not healthy but it’s generally accepted to comment that I am unhealthy because I am skinny.
Well let me tell you a little secret that will make you hate me and people like a lot more, I EAT and I eat a lot. I have never been on a diet and cannot relate to anyone who has, and the same goes for many regular and famous people like Alessandra Ambrosio, and Natasha Poly etc…
With my rant being over I also need to say that I do understand where the misconception comes from, we were all told at a very young age that being tall and thin is ideal, we saw it in magazine and catwalks; it was associated with beauty and wealth, it’s called thin privilege.
This image has inspired generations of women to try diets, exercise, starvation, pills, surgery and even tapeworms to try to reach that ideal, and most of the times it has been unsuccessful. That failure has led to passive-aggressive hatred towards people like me who were BORN with a high metabolism, making them fit that ideal image with zero effort.
The attitude has worsened in the recent years with beauty ideals being shifted to a curvier look inspired by Kim Kardashian West and her lookalikes: big boobs, large hips, a very round derriere visible miles away that has made skinny people look démodé, out of fashion so to speak.
I personally salute that new beauty direction, as the old one has left some terrible side effects on society, like starving models on the runway and destroying body confidence. the curvy look has opened up people’s eyes to minimum body weight and health issues like anorexia but it has also forged the path to other abuses of the look like implants and injections in the buttock area that are leaving people deformed and in pain. Many women, especially in the region, have associated with it, making their lips, breasts, and ass larger and larger to the point where it has become cartoonish and unrealistic.
(Just have a look at the show “Botched” on E to realize the impact it has left on many)
Body image should never be a trend, we are all born with a certain shape and altering it to mimic a trendy “ideal” is dangerous no matter the direction; as women, we are all insecure about our bodies as we want perfection, we want to be prettier, smarter, better. We push ourselves to always give the best of us to others but rarely to ourselves.
So let’s take a minute and appreciate who we are, what we look like and be grateful for it, let’s push away the hate and be more mindful about what we say to ourselves and others as everyone is struggling and let’s create our very own image of beauty where our body is perfect the way it is.