Skinny shaming is real.
Whether some want to admit it or not. People tend to think that women who are skinny are privileged, therefore, they should be content because society praises it. However, that is not the case. As someone who weighs 105 pounds at 21, is 5-foot-4 and a size 0, I know the struggle.
As I write this I am recalling the many times I have been told to go eat something. As long as I can remember, I have always been harassed for being skinny, so far as to being told that, “No one would ever be intimate with you because you would break.”
That was in middle school.
That gave way to my many insecurities and self-loathing, which I’m still recovering from. So let me tell you why skinny shaming is not only wrong but insensitive and flawed.
One of the many misconceptions is that skinny women choose to be skinny and/or that they deliberately starve themselves to conform to societal standards.
Some are even accused of having eating disorders, myself included, (because there are no other logical explanations, say perhaps heretics, right?).
This is not often the case.
Aside from real health issues, being skinny results often times from well, simply being skinny.
Skinniness does not automatically equate to poor health.
What does this mean then? That skinny women do eat. That skinny women are not skinny because they decide to conform. That skinny women are skinny but healthy.
That the only thing skinny women are sick of, is being told to eat a damn cheeseburger.
In fact, skinny women love to eat. A lot. Also, it means that skinny women are also sick and tired of merchandise that reads ridiculous lines such as, “thick women do it better,” because why on earth are we still exclusive? Nothing bothers me more than counterproductive efforts of putting one group of women down, to raise another. You are not helping anyone. It is 2016, we need to leave women shaming in the past.
Can you imagine what the world would look like if we stopped paying so much attention to the media, and the marketing of products promising fantastical end results? To women shaming other women, stop. Society already targets us all enough on its own, so why contribute to it?
We are all in this together, not against each other.
The only thing we should resent or shun is those telling you that you are not enough, that you need a brighter smile, that you need the extra pounds, that you need softer hair or a bigger chest, or to lose weight, or to be anything other than yourself.
To the men shaming women, just remember, next time that you are compelled to shame a woman for being “too skinny,” or lacking curves, or a physical appearance portrayed on television, you are only further perpetuating an endless cycle of structural violence against women, and further enabling a system that dictates what a woman should be, even if that standard is unrealistic. In wanting what you see in magazines, and television, and other social media outlets, you are only lying to yourself.
Newsflash: those women do not exist.
In a world where the value of a woman is determined in circumferences and measurements of her body parts, it is already tough enough to simply exist outside those realms, so be kind, be gentle, be understanding, and overall, be accepting.
Realize that there are all kinds of body types, and that is all right. There is nothing wrong with diversity, in fact, applaud it. Empower those around you, tell them that is it perfectly okay to be themselves, and praise those who do so boldly.
Remind them that whether they are a size 0 or a size 16, they are real women.
All of us are.