Why I’d Rather be a Skinny B****.

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on Apr 18, 2014
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I recently read the article Can We Retire The Phrase ‘Real Women’ Please? Thank you, Kate, for your point-on postulations!

Basically, the parts I liked best were about how fat has become the new black, as in popular, and how there’s a new accepted trend to shun skinny bitches (my words, not hers).

This resonated with me, because as a former skinny bitch, I caught flack a lot for not measuring up—or rather wide—to bigger ladies. Even now, having gained enough weight to no longer be considered thin, most ‘average sized’ women would and do still call me skinny.

Of course, it’s impossible for me to say “I eat pastries every other day” or “Hey, I’ve gained weight from where I was” or “You should see my cellulite,” because none of those fly, even though they’re true.

Why is it so unfair for me to vent about my weight issues just because I fall within someone else’s ideal standards? Isn’t this about owning our own power and celebrating our uniqueness? As in, I don’t need to look like Heidi Klum but I also don’t have to look like the ‘average sized’ woman (Read: women who are heavier than I am).

(Incidentally, my ideal weight isn’t the lowest weight I’ve hovered at.)

If we are to embrace, accept and inspire each other, why can’t we support and encourage each other to be the healthiest, happiest version of what’s good for that person based on their barometer, not what we think they should be?

I’ve gained weight because of a thyroid condition, but also simply from lack of self-discipline with exercise and unhealthy food choices. Some of those choices have included stuffing my face when in the company of bigger women. I don’t want them to feel bad, or judge me, or whatever. There’s no win here, though.

If I eat cupcakes, they could feel bad that I can get away with that, as evidenced by comments like, “You’re so lucky.”

If I don’t, they might think disdainfully that I’m vain with comments like, “One dessert won’t kill you.

I’m not imagining these things as women have made these, and similar, comments with both arguments. And ultimately, I’m the one who feels shitty afterwards, whatever I decide.

Yes, it’s my own damn responsibility to do what’s best for me. Who knows better what’s right for me: someone who’s never lived in my body, or me, who’s been in it for over 40 years?

Why do I feel responsible for these women’s happiness? It’s not my responsibility to make them feel at ease or sacrifice my own health for their self-esteem. I don’t like being (or feeling like) the source of someone else’s unease—even though I’m not really that source.

And not every woman is catty, of course! They may not even give it a second thought. It just happens enough to bug me.

I couldn’t care less if someone is fat or skinny or anywhere in between. Everyone would do well to do what makes them feel good with their own bodies.

I couldn’t care less about being a measly 10 pounds over my best-for-me weight simply for dress size sake (that much has also changed for me over the last few years, too).

So, why do I still like a slimmer me better?

At my icky weight, a countdown:

5. My clothes don’t fit. Sure, I could get new clothes, but I love the clothes I have! Not only are they more costly than I can now afford to buy, but they looked good on me and I felt good in them. And though I wouldn’t buy brand new again (unless the clothes were made entirely from unprocessed, recycled material), even purchasing used frocks takes extra money I simply don’t have and wouldn’t want to spend on clothes, anyway.

4. Yawn. Followed by more yawning and then a bit more and a lot of nodding off. I’m in need of a nap and it’s only 10 a.m. Physically, I’m constantly exhausted, mentally fuzzing and lagging. Which brings me to…

3. Eh, who needs energy, anyway? I love the outdoors, biking and hiking and playing and frolicking in the forest, but refer back to #4 even thinking about those makes me tired. I used to bounce up the stairs, light as Nike Air, now I’m gasping for air just looking at them and—I feel heavy… That. Sucks. Bad.

2. Cellulite. There, I fucking said it. Sure, that’s a bit of vanity insanity for you, especially since it beat out running up the stairs, but it’s honest. (I give myself points for that.) I gave up botox and peels and procedures to allow for some natural, graceful aging, but this cottage cheese I can’t accept. And it’s only visible when I’m above my best-for-me weight. Aside from the other items on this list, if I could eliminate those and this one, I’d be A-okay at this size on me.

And the #1 reason I prefer being a skinny-ish bitch….

1. I’m less bitchy. Yep, whenever I creep up even five to seven (ish) pounds beyond my ideal weight, I’m a cranky cougar. This is not from looking in the mirror. This is from the imbalance in hormones that accompanies this weight gain for me. I wake up depressed before there’s even a thing to remind me on why I ought to be. (Hint: There’s no reason!) I’m anxious, negative and downright dowdy-feeling.

So, I have to remind myself of Marianne Williamson’s famous quote about how “allowing our own light to shine unconsciously gives others’ permission to shine, too.”

One of my philosophies about bitching and complaining is that we ought to be allowed one bitch session aka venting, but after that it’s just complaining. And complainers are drainers. So after the first expression of an unpleasant situation, I think it’s our responsibility to do something about it. Something. Anything.

If we at least try to fix our situation and it’s not working, we get to go back and bitch again–which I consider more of a brainstorming session, really. (Remind me of this if I bring up how my muffin-top won’t fit in my pants.)

And please, let’s encourage others to achieve the ideals they set for themselves, not what we’d be happy with. It’s not our jobs to decide what’s best for others.

What I don’t want to hear: “Oh go ahead, you can afford it.”

What I would love to hear: “Are you sure you’ll respect yourself in the morning?

I now take full responsibility for not saying, “Should I?”

I know better than that!

End vent.

 

Relephant:

Skinny Love: The Skinny Truth 

Can We Retire the Phrase ‘Real Women’ Please? 

 

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Editor: Jenna Penielle Lyons

Photos: Wikimedia Commons 


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About Anna Jorgensen

Anna Jorgensen Dating, love and relationship coach. A lumberjack's daughter, I spent my formative years surrounded by virgin forest and hungry grizzly bears in remote forestry camps. The crews were mostly hard-working, good-hearted scruffy men. There was plenty of naked-lady wallpaper, which explains my naughty sense of humour and understanding of how men think. (Hint: It's not only about sex.) In 2010, after several "practice" relationships (and a hella lotta "I need help" self-study), I rewrote my self and my life and now wear the cape as "Wingmam." Yay! My super power is providing one-on-one coaching and study-at-home-in-pj's online programs that entertain-ucate singles on how to understand the opposite sex, get unstuck, navigate the modern dating world and fast-forward to the fun bits of their happily ever after. (I don't ask anyone to use cheesy lines or made-up words like I do.) Love IS the answer, people! ;) Find Anna here: link to love and laughs. Connect with Anna's real, unfiltered Facebook page here (Love IS the answer!). Watch Anna's fun-ucational videos on: WingmamTV.

Comments

45 Responses to “Why I’d Rather be a Skinny B****.”

  1. Dana Gornall DanaGornall says:

    Thank you, thank you thank you. And thank you. You hit the nail on the head.

  2. Shannon Monroe says:

    Seriously thank you. I eat whatever I want and I stay a size 0-2. People make me feel so bad for it, but I am healthy! I am so sick of people judging me for my size or saying “it looks like you don’t eat..” Grrrr.. Sorry I want to keep up with my 2 year old.

  3. "If we are to embrace, accept and inspire each other, why can’t we support and encourage each other to be the healthiest, happiest version of what’s good for the that person based on their barometer, not what we think they should be?"

    Love this! And love the reflection over-all. We should each enjoy taking care of ourselves and being our own best…not anyone else's. xo

  4. Heather M. says:

    I'm tall, thin, and healthy. I've kept my slender figure into my late twenties because I run, weight lift, hike, and walk all the time, as well as eat healthy. Many women throughout my life have automatically assumed that "I do not eat" and try to catch me in what they think must be disordered eating behavior, as well as direct other passive aggressive or insecure behavior toward me. What they don't realize is that I eat between 2,500-3,300 (mostly healthy) calories a day depending on my activity level at that time. I think it's easier for someone to say that I am "naturally" this way, or that I am "lucky," or "I don't eat" rather than accept that I have lived a healthy, disciplined lifestyle since I was very young, so it shows. I hope more women take the advice that you have given in this article. I fully support it, and try to live by it everyday (though I am often not afforded the same kind of courtesy).

  5. Beatrice says:

    I can assure you that outside the blogosphere that fat is most definitely NOT the new black, and to refer to it as 'popular' nearly made me spit my coffee out! Unfortunately, whatever annoying, judgmental and unfair comments you get from people related to your size, someone who is 'bigger' experiences this crap tenfold. I say this not to excuse people who wrongly try to use you as a target for their misplaced anger, because that's counterproductive and hurtful. However, these comments sometimes surface as a result of the constant and unyielding judgment heaped on larger women. Still, I agree they should be called out because they're just perpetuating an atmosphere where it's somehow ok to make shaming comments about someone else's appearance. Just keep in mind though that you haven't walked in their shoes, and it's challenging for them not to externalize the negativity that they swim in every day.

  6. Annina says:

    Yes, yes, yes! I am a naturally "skinny bitch," and frequently feel like I need to apologize or make excuses. I eat dessert when around women bigger than me, but damned if I do/damned if I don't! I get accused of having an eating disorder or dieting (even being "picky" because I have some food allergies). I'm not allowed to commiserate with other women about the fit of clothing (I'm very tall) or cellulite (yep, got it). I'm told that I must exercise constantly (not at all), and that I wouldn't understand. There is such a thing as "skinny shaming," just as there is fat shaming.

    Love this! "If I eat cupcakes, they could feel bad that I can get away with that, as evidenced by comments like, 'You’re so lucky.' If I don’t, they might think disdainfully that I’m vain with comments like, 'One dessert won’t kill you.' … Why do I feel responsible for these women’s happiness? It’s not my responsibility to make them feel at ease or sacrifice my own health for their self-esteem. I don’t like being (or feeling like) the source of someone else’s unease—even though I’m not really that source."

  7. AnneSilv says:

    Because of food sensitivities due to migraines, and the medications I take for those migraines, I am very thin. I get comments all the time about my size and I feel that it is just as inappropriate as if I was commenting on how large someone else is.

  8. Turina says:

    Wow, you judge rather freely yourself. I have been the full range of underweight to overweight in my life, and I can say with all honesty that the treatment I have received as an overweight person was much more harsh than when I was under or ideal. Please be careful where you tread; there is frequently much pain associated with both the under and over weight person. Acceptance for yourself rather than focusing on others should be the goal.

  9. Ridz says:

    Dear Anna, I secretly suffer from image syndrome. Throughout my life I felt lucky to be skinny. But it all changed in my 30s. Somewhere along i've started to feel like I need to look "voluptuous and meaty" to have a great sex life…also I have often nagged my husband whether he like bigger women better…you see the point is it's all in my mind! It really began affecting every little thing in my life. I have tried stuffing my face with fatty foods and still remain skinny. Your article is really comforting…I will from this day start celebrating my skinny self…it's amazing how facts and truth can set you free sometimes…i am tearing up a little bit while typing this. I love you…thanks for writing this lovely piece. Your words are going straight into my diary as a reminder! :)

  10. Claudia Kuzniak says:

    Thanks for addressing this topic. I am, what I consider, appropriate for my height and age…and that is slender. That's how I like it (I can relate to be bitchy when clothes feel tight) but that's not to say it's easy. I work at it. It seems that there is this sudden assumption that, if a healthy weight is something one values, that somehow we are shallow individuals. As a school teacher who sees an epidemic number of overweight and obese children daily, I fear for our health as a nation. Being overweight is unhealthy and, I think, unattractive. There. I said it. I like what Annina said: "It's not my responsibility to make them feel at ease."

  11. I have been, late in life, new to being considered relatively "fashionably thin". BMI of roughly up to 20 (don't care to admit when or if it's been lower than that), and not absolutely skinny, but more the inverted triangle type (with all my bones visible, front and back) … And I scare people.

    I would much rather be the bitch … I used to have a BMI of 39 briefly, when I'd been young; and I'd never known a skinny day until about a year ago… I never had been the Bitch, and I'd been obese for years …

    Someone who's never had more than 10 pounds to lose and did not need to do any exercise except the exercycle with flywheel resistance .. all their lives. I don't care what THEIR opinion of skinny is …

    This Type 2 diabetes has proven the easiest to have wasting syndrome, and yet the toughest to manage (dietary-wise) of many of my conditions since age 3, and with hereditary components.

    At the same time. I really do not feel hungry due to doing pretty much South Beach. Until I do feel hungry: which will include dizziness, disorientation, mental fuzziness – worse than when I'd had the lack of natural feel-full-o-meter at whatever weight. Which hunger can come on unexpectedly.

    That's it. But the larger culture is full of killer carbs.

    Plus strict avoidance of too many calories for me. Which is fairly low at about 1,550 – 1,650 per day. Every single day..

    You do NOT want this condition. It can keep you from being vegan or following the latest, trendy cleanse. It mandates you ditch nearly all of that yoga you love to do for actual, dedicated cardio: you KNOW the kind – you see the more muscular skinnies doing it for 40 minutes on the elliptical at the gym.

    But also, and more importantly, *I* want the "diet" that makes me a Bitch. Too late in life – maybe for the past 7 years, I've finally become a force to be reckoned with as a woman. And I feel astounded at this development …

  12. orbofthenight says:

    I read this article several days ago and chose not to comment because I just couldn't believe it. I understand that as a writer you choose article headings that will get as much attention as possible. On that note have you ever thought of what this same article would sound like if you replaced "skinny" with any other privileged status; there would be public outcry. Try white, educated, rich or even straight.

    I understand that you may feel "bullied" for being thin in your small group of friends, but the hurt feelings of the oppressor are not more valid than those of the oppressed. Please check your privilege – I can think of 10+ more reasons why I'd rather be a "skinny" bitch in this society.

    I've been on both sides of this issue – thin as well as overweight and I always make a point of standing up for those who are shamed on both sides of the spectrum. We need to use our privilege in a positive way, to change the focus to where the fight really lies: on educating those who are perpetuating this hatred.

  13. Dude says:

    This is absurd. I understand that the double standards of weight set in motion by our media-driven society is wrong, but that gives you no right to perpetuate the problem. You must understand that people regard your laments about your own waistline as "unfair" because they're (at best) defensive and (more often) jealous. The thin body type you are describing as being victimized is irrefutably considered by the majority as "perfect", and just like you found it hard to gain weight, other people find it impossible to lose weight.

    Seriously, this is the same mentality that leads modern KKK members to think they are victims of reverse racism. An appropriate metaphor would be a wealthy white person complaining to their poor black friends that they are sick and tired of poor black people complaining about their privilege. Of course you didn't chose your privilege, but please understand that others have suffered so much more than you have, and gracefully acknowledge your fucking privilege! Honestly, you should consider their complaints as a compliment. You're confusing envy with loathing.

    You want to fix the problem? Stop waging war. The solution is not to fight fire with fire. You are simply widening the polarization between skinny and fat, and perpetuating the false claim that body image is even remotely relevant. Body image is a social construct, driven by corporations and media, that in no way, shape, or form has bearing on anybody's actual well being. The best thing to do in your situation is to have never posted this article in the first place. You know whats actually sexy? Any self respecting, healthy woman who isn't ignorant enough to take part in this disgusting debate.

    I may have come off as harsh, but things like this pain me. Don't empower yourself at the expense of others, even when they do so to you. Turn the other cheek and move on.

    Sincerely,
    A Male who has dated the whole spectrum of "body image" sizes, and couldn't care less about it.

  14. angela says:

    I agree with your article, and am horrified at the comments which followed comparing weight with things like class, gender and race.

    The 'skinny b****' comments are intrinsically sexist.

  15. letitrein says:

    I am a lean girl for many of the same reasons the author expressed. The bottom line is if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all. One example I would give of what not to say;
    "You are too skinny! You don't (didn't) look good. Where's your ass? You're so lucky You're so lucky You're so lucky…..Oh by the way, did I tell you? You are too skinny and your sister is too skinny too."
    I try to not take these comments personally anymore. I try my best to steer the conversation to a less judgement based topic. Not feeling good about yourself is a bummer for any of us. A lot of kind things have been said on this blog. I will take lessons from this. Thank you and kudos to all you sisters for loving and supporting one another.

  16. Dawn says:

    From an always 'skinny'…."what do you do to stay in shape?? Are you a a runner?? If I only looked like you…my life would be better." (The saddest) because you know skinny girls can't be unhappy, we should regale and rejoice in our skinniness and all problems in live are solved. SO, SO, SO fucking wrong!!!
    Well, now I'm nearly 20lbs over my, since I was fifteen weigh of 115 lbs. Well….to be honest, about 12-13 lbs. Yes, It is in the clothes I wear or wore….all of them!!! It sounds so petty but for every girl who has even said, "if I only looked like you…" touché. I'm not disconnected from this new me but it is different. My weight gain was quick….so when asked to events, I'm often out shopping, on credit cards, to find something that 'fits'. It's heartbreaking. Skinny girls are never allowed to say what challenges or prejudice they face…NEVER!!! Which makes it even ever more so hurtful. I don't judge. I love and celebrate curves, I even envy those who have them and embrace their felinity . Ahhh…Joan from Mad Men!!! Would Kill for her body and confidence.
    Like the girl, who posted above…."I'm a lean girl." or I was….OH!!! Hell and yes!!! Finally!!!! Fucking finally!! someone who speaks up about cellulite. In that 15 lbs or so, its everywhere!!!!
    Let me be honest….I gasp, somedays when I look in the mirror….it's everywhere and how degrading for friends to say…"oh I don't see a thing!!"
    Look….girls. Whatever shape you are, if only you are comfortable with it—-hence my Joan-like friend from Mad Men, just go with it. Skinny, rail thin, simply just, 'thin', voluptuous, curvy, womanly, gorgeous—all those apply, NONE of us, as women should be talking down to the other. We should be celebrating.
    For simply the cellulite has to go!!! If that mean dropping 10 lbs…well..I'd rather be 140 lbs with no cellulite than 126 lbs with it covering my body.

  17. Lilly says:

    I empathize with all of this, but you would do very well to put an e.d. trigger warning on it. Seriously.

  18. 2184209 says:

    Fatty1: "Oh, you're so lucky!"
    Me: "Yes, I am lucky."
    Fatty1 – confused and wordless.
    Sry, I love being me and I am seriously grateful of being so lucky. This 'luck' does involve some healthy eating choices over 40 years too. So to be more precise, I'm lucky and grateful of having understood the difference between food and junk at age 15.
    So I always accept I am lucky.

    Fatty2:"Have one more cake!"
    Me:"No, thanks, I'm full"
    Fatty2:"Oh, come on, YOU are NOT on DIET, are you?"
    Me:"No, I'm never on diet, that's exactly why I don't need another."
    Fatty2:"???"
    Me: "I never have had to diet because I know when to enjoy I cake and when it is too much."
    Fatty2 – wordless.
    It's not about a cake, luck, genes etc, it's about choices.

  19. Jen says:

    Agree. I’m happiest with regular exercise, feeling lighter and fitting in my clothes. Too skinny isn’t so hot, I can’t drink alcohol, I get dizzy. But a manageable weight means I can run, jump and use my body to its maximum ability which I like. I want to experience life and my body needs to keep up!

  20. Amber says:

    I am a petite 43 year old woman (5'2" and 93 lbs) who is fortunate to have a fast metabolism that comes from both sides of my family. I am completely grateful for this because I love to eat and have always been able to eat whatever I wanted without gaining much if any weight (I have been between 93-97 lbs. since my mid 20's). I have never been into doing strenuous exercise and if I were, I would shrink fast! Although I am thin, I have a soft, curvy physique – the athletic build isn't for me. These are not complaints and I hope I won't be chastised for expressing them (hence the topic of this article).

    I am commenting because due to being thin, there have been a variety of strangers (women) who have made some very rude comments over the years such as: "You really need to eat more!" or will allude to or bluntly say that I must have an eating disorder. When I was younger it used to bother me, but I could care less nowadays because I know where it comes from and I brush it off.

    I don't know what it's like to be teased for being overweight and I am not saying one is more upsetting than it is for the other. People should just keep their big mouths shut and keep their comments/insecurities to themselves.

  21. June says:

    As a former autopsy assistant, cutting through many different body forms and varying amounts of Adipose Tissue (fat), I can tell you that not one of those bodies on that table ever cared how much there was or wasn’t… what I CAN tell you is that each and every one of them had someone who cared about them, had some purpose, or at least felt the same emotions you and I feel. All human, all same emotions. SO many bigger problems in the world to worry about. Try to do your best to feel your best, whatever that may be for you. I know when I start giving in to media and social pressure regarding image I think about all the people out there that are in pain and dying from starvation. I know that’s a simple way to look at it, but it is what it is. Let’s be kind to each other as women, (and men), as humans.

  22. Jenni says:

    Thank you SO much for your article. I’m glad I’m not alone in this. People can be so cruel. I’ve gotten rude comments my whole life for my weight. There was one particular morning that comes to mind. I was at Panera and the woman behind me loudly remarks “Not fair. I’ll have the oatmeal while the skinny chick enjoys her quiche.” I turned around quickly and said (which was true), I weigh 100lbs because I had an allergic reaction to a medication for my autoimmune problems & almost died. without a second thought, I’d gladly switch situations with you and have to order the oatmeal.” The lady and the entire rest of the long line was dead silent lol. And even after that she didn’t apologize! …. For those who are overweight, skinny, or different from “average” in any way- you really don’t know what people are dealing with so try to keep those judgemental comments to yourself. I loved your article & thanks for pointing out that there are two sides to the story :)

  23. Sam says:

    It is my humble opinion that any "skinny-shaming" that occurs by an overweight woman is nothing more than a back-handed compliment to someone she is envious of. A compliment she wishes she heard – and it is probably more of a self deprecating statement than an insult. I can assure you – as an overweight woman – I have never heard "oh – if I just had a few more pounds on me like you"… or ANYTHING of that nature. I have been very thin and I have been overweight. I'd choose "thin" any day…. People DO actually treat thin women different than they treat overweight women – and unfortunately I don't see any of it changing anytime soon.

  24. Suzanne Jayne says:

    Love this – thank you for sharing; your words express my feelings 100%!

  25. Jessica Marie says:

    I would SOOOOO hug you right now if you were here! Talk about hitting the nail on the head! This is AMAZING :) Thank you!

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