1. The difference between being thin and being skinny is that when you’re skinny, everyone is constantly trying to get you to eat. As if you are deliberately starving yourself. As if they are soldiers and you are a war they must win, food instead of guns in their hands.
2. Seven years ago, when I first realised that I couldn’t sleep on my side anymore because my hipbones cut like knives into my skin, that I could count every single one of my ribs, I ate everything I found in the fridge till I threw up, and my friends thought I was doing it on purpose. It took me three sessions of intensive therapy to convince the therapist that I wasn’t sick when honestly, I wasn’t sure myself anymore.
3. Girls who look in the mirror and see a collection of bones and stories and thigh gaps and brittle wrists are called beautiful in magazines, so why do I only see hollow eyes and skin that is just barely stretched over a skeletal frame?
4. The first time a boy grasped my wrist too hard because I didn’t want to turn into another one of his trophies, my wrist snapped like a twig in two. And as the pain blinded me, he took what he wanted from me anyway. Till now the slightly crooked way my wrist joins my forearm aches to remind me that of a cold dark alley, a boy with a shark like smile and a body that doesn’t know how to fight back without breaking.
5. The second boy I fell in love with, first loved me for my thin, waif like frame, then left me because he realised I was actually just skin and bones and hospital trips.
6. I only feel beautiful anymore when I am eating and the people who love me are watching me in relief, thinking the problem is solved because look, look at least she is eating, at least she isn’t trying to kill herself anymore.
7. People never fail to tell me how lucky I am. Because somehow, having a body that barely qualifies having enough meat on it to be called one, and is actively trying to die by constantly refusing food that it is offered, is better than being called ‘fat’ or ‘overweight’.
8. My best friend visited me in January and told me she was going to be losing two dress sizes and how all her problems with confidence would be over, just like that. I said nothing. After all, what does a skinny girl know about struggling with weight and insecurity?
9. Today, my body and I are no longer at war with each other. But still, when someone sees me take off my bulky sweater, sees how thin my arms are, how my bones angle out of my skin, they smile at me with worry in their eyes and ask, “Have you eaten anything today?”