She said, “you need to put some more meat on your bones”. I looked at her (she will remain anonymous) and said, “Perhaps I should eat the rest of those over there?” and motioned to a bucket of chocolates on a corner table. She became conscious of her size. I could see it on her face. We shared an awkward laugh. It happens all too often. People think that it’s okay to call a skinny girl out on her skinniness, but let me call out a full figured woman on her thickness. They would think I was Definitely Rude, and I would say that I agree with that sentiment. So how is saying “you need to put some meat on your bones” any less offensive than saying “you need to lose some weight”?
My best guess is that it has something to do with societal norms. I remember a time when being super thin was the "in thing" to be, and women strived to be this stick-thin whisper of a woman because it was the image portrayed on the catwalk and on the front of every fashion magazine. Skinny meant pretty, and everyone wants to be pretty right? The polar opposite would mean that fat was equivalent to being ugly, and of course, the cruel people in this world resorted to body shaming when they had nothing intelligent to say. But at some point, our “healthier” sized counterparts started to take a stand against bullying, and the next thing you know “thick thighs are saving lives” and preferred over the smaller framed women, especially now that cuddle season is upon us. So what is a skinny girl to do? I don’t know what the rest of y’all are gonna do, but I have decided that I need to work on my clap back. I'm tired of laughing awkwardly when I'm obviously offended by the obviously offensive comments. I wrote an open letter.
Dear non-skinny people:
YES, I AM SKINNY. I’m skinny. You see me. I see me. I know. I wear between a size 0 and a 2, typically extra small, but I can fit a small. Thanks for asking; hopefully you’re planning on buying me something? Otherwise, why do you need to know? I prefer leggings and skinny jeans… and absolutely love jeggings. Yes, I know I'm in my late 30’s. But I can’t shop in the women’s section, because apparently, real women aren’t my size. So I have to shop in juniors, and guess what those people wear? Leggings, skinny jeans and jeggings. So I’m actually buying clothes that fit, and not attempting to look younger but thanks for pointing that out too. I also shrink and grow out of my clothes almost all the time. So no, I can’t wear “anything I want”. If you knew me at all, you would know that I'd actually love to just live in a onesie all day, 7 days a week, and that’s actually what I want to wear, but I try to wear normal clothes when I leave the house because that's what's culturally acceptable.
I don’t need to eat more food. I eat until I am full, which is healthy. Please don’t ask skinny girls if they have an eating disorder if you’re not truly concerned and/or ready to work with them while they recover. Plus, it is none of your business. If you don’t ask me, I promise I will not ask you. And I wouldn’t ask you anyway (unless I was really actually concerned and willing to help) because it’s rude and tacky, and I'm better than that. So are you.
Also, non-skinny people, sometimes I wish I were your size. I wish I could shop in the section where mature, adult women are, instead of having a well-meaning teenage girl ask me which butt shorts are cuter… I wish people didn't scrutinize what I eat, and I wish you all could feel what it feels like to be made fun of because of your size... oh wait, you say you know? Well, skinny girls don't like it either. Body image can be tricky, but it doens't have to define us. I am working on loving me for who I am. You should do the same. Yes, I’m skinny. Yes, I’m aware and I don’t need anyone to point it out. I will love myself the way I am. I love the woman I’m becoming.