I am generally a person who reads over the points people argue on the internet with a sort of neutral interest and mild amusement. But the recent surge in articles that defend skinny women against the evil fatties who have apparently become powerful enough to shame the skinnies into being self-conscious about their tiny frames bothers me to no end.
Let me preface this for you. I am a big girl. I am fine with this. It took me a very, very long time to be fine with this, but I am reasonably confident in my attractiveness (no thanks at all to the media, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, or any outside force). A lot of work went into being able to see myself as beautiful, and I’m proud to feel that way. If you are skinny, I probably think you are beautiful, too.
But here is what I know:
The world is nicer to skinny people. This is 100 percent true. I can say this because I have been much skinnier in the past than I am now, and I enjoyed the benefits. People, strangers on the street, are generally nicer, more willing to meet you and have a conversation, more willing to listen to you and respect your opinion. Clothes are designed with skinny bodies in mind. No one judges a skinny person for ordering a cheeseburger instead of a salad. You are not judged as a lazy glutton immediately upon stepping outside. You fit the mold. It is, undeniably, much easier for you to exist. Still doubting this claim? Imagine you had the power to choose right now to immediately become either a size 0 or a size 18. You know in your heart of hearts that being a 0 is more appealing.
And that is okay! But claiming that you have been shamed for being “too skinny” and playing a victim in a world that already favors you paints larger people as bitter and jealous. It is not okay to hate people based on the fact that they fit into a significantly smaller or larger pant size than you. Not at all. But it is also not okay to make the already alienated feel as though they are to blame for your poor body image.
Now the fatties have to feel bad for being fat (because make no mistake: fat shaming has definitely not gone away) AND for making skinny people feel bad about being skinny? Forgive me if my sympathy is a bit lacking.
If you are a skinny woman, you are a skinny woman. Good for you, and shame on the people who tell you that is a bad thing, or that the number on your scale somehow makes you less of a woman. But us fatties have been doing that for a really long time. It’s exhausting. And now that a few of us are being a little more vocal about the fact that we’re okay with our bodies, and that (surprise!) some people manage to love us anyway, we’re met with only greater and more ignorant adversity.
I would never tell a person he or she was too skinny, nor would I claim a woman is less of a woman because of her weight – high or low. IF I knew a person who was actually dangerously thin and I thought that my contribution would help, I MIGHT say something. Maybe.
But mostly I feel like other people’s bodies are none of my business. I am okay with my body, even though it is larger than society generally approves of. I am adamantly opposed to hating people based on their bodies, no matter the size. The fact of the matter is that any insecurities you might have about your body don’t exist because you’re over- or underweight. Insecurities about our bodies arise from this tricky little predicament called “being human,” and using other people’s flaws to justify our own definitely isn’t helping. But taking pride in my curves is not meant to devalue your body in any way. Blaming people like me for issues you have with your body definitely devalues mine, and adds the destruction of the collective self-esteem of skinny women to the pile of things we’re blaming on the fatties. This only breeds more body issues and brings us even further away from creating a healthy way of looking at body image in the future. Please don’t use your body to insult my body. I promise to give you the same courtesy. We’ve all been through enough.