“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” says a classic saying that far too many young people probably take seriously. You’d think people would take it as a joke, laugh it off, but I’ve heard the fake laughs that follow that saying and the uncertain way they taper off. There are people who believe that this saying is true.
That cheesecake, that frozen yogurt, that apple, that food at all is never going to taste as good as being skinny is going to feel. Step away from the food. You can do this. You just have to hold out for that feeling.
But wait a minute. What does skinny feel like? Do any of us actually know?
It’s National Eating Disorders Awareness week. It’s time to talk about what skinny actually feels like.
If you asked someone straight up what they think skinny feels like, I’m not so sure they would be able to answer. If they could, I’m not sure the answers would be positive. We all want to be skinny, for reasons we’re not even sure of but we know exist because society tells us they do. No one has held a meeting where they’ve said, “Ok, so this is exactly what you need to do to be skinny.” If they did, they sure as hell didn’t publish the results. No one can agree on what skinny really is.
Does it mean “thin” or just “look good, please.” We’re still trying to feel it even though the definition is unclear. We haven’t realized yet that if no one can agree on what it is, we’re never going to be it.
Does skinny feel good? Like no one will ever judge you because you’ve made yourself into exactly what they want you to be? Or does skinny feel empty, like you can never do or eat what you want for fear of losing it again.
Does skinny feel beautiful? Like the only way people will think you’re worth anything is if they can see your starvation quivering on your lips? Or does skinny feel lonely, like no one really knows how hard you’re trying for a feeling you can’t even identify.
For the girls who are naturally skinny but still perfectly healthy, does skinny feel fantastic? Like you’re better than everyone else? Or does skinny feel like a burden, like a target on your head that you didn’t ask for, like something you’d give away if you could.
Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, we’re told, but how do we know? It doesn’t feel like we want it to, because it doesn’t make us happy. It never will.
I’m not sure I know what skinny feels like either, but let me take a stab at it.
Skinny feels like always wanting to be skinnier. Like wanting to lose one more pound. Like wanting to be nothing at all. Nothing is the skinniest there is. Skinny feels like still never looking as good as Angelina or Beyonce or Miley. Skinny feels like still having a huge nose, pimply chin, fat face, weird feet, saggy butt. Skinny feels like still being insecure because weight was never the real problem in the first place, was it? Skinny feels never as good as we think it will.
Come on now, humans. We’re better than this.
I’ve never felt skinny, says me who weighed 117 pounds when I started college. I’ve never felt skinny, says me who can fit into a size small. I’ve never felt skinny, says me who really has no idea what that even means.
How did we become a society that even has a phrase like this? That’s what I want to know. Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels? Oh yeah?
Fuck that. You hear me? Fuck it.
How about, everything tastes better in moderation. Or, everything should taste good if you know you’re being healthy. My favorite, nothing will taste good if you don’t love yourself. Words are powerful and we’re using them wrong.
Our bodies should feel good to us no matter what they are. Skinny, curvy, big-boned, toned, chubby, fit, strong, flabby, soft, ripped, or whatever other body adjectives we’ve created. All body types should feel good.
They’re right, whoever they are. Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, because the idea of skinny that they’re talking about doesn’t feel good, and everything tastes better.