I am a size zero.
I am as active and inactive as anyone else.
There are stretches where I don’t use my body and other days where I find myself on my mat twice a day.
My metabolism is on steroids: I burn through sugar faster than a tub of Ben and Jerry’s in the hands of a woman watching chick flick re-runs after a break up.
I have never shoved my finger down my throat, or been on a diet.
I have tried to gain weight through certain parts of my life—feeling self conscious of my weight and envious of women with beautiful full hips. I tried protein shakes, lifting weights—but saw little changes in my body weight. I became more muscular and fit, but my thin ass stuck around.
Some days I steam kale and eat like my body is a temple and other days I eat popcorn for dinner. I eat whatever I want, when I want and feel good about it.
I’m just little.
I used a picture of my back for the feature image of my last article “A Take No Shit List For Your Well Being.”
A woman commented on the article saying,
“Wouldn’t it be even better if the picture were of a person more realistic? This size zero blow dried super tan model just turns me right off the content.”
I was the size zero in that photograph.
The day I took the image holding my hands powerfully above me amongst mountain peaks I had hiked 24 kms into a valley in Jasper National Park to camp in the bush. I hadn’t showered, I was sweating, I was greasy from bug dope and covered in dirt. Nothing was blow dried or airbrushed. The article was about standing in our power—and in that image I was gloriously basking in my own.
I am also not a model. I am a real, breathing woman who walks on this earth beside all of you.
Size zeros are real women too. Models, for that matter, are real women too.
I understand that our world might be sick of media shoving glorified, thin, air brushed models down our throats, but is the solution to throw all skinny women under a bus because they don’t have hips to hold on to?
We are the reason skinny women splatter front pages of magazines. So instead of spiting fire at a woman because she gets paid to be photographed or has a Thumbelina waist, why not revolt against the seeds we planted that grew into an existence of a world obsessed with exploiting women and body image.
In her article “The Beauty Myth,” Naomi Wolf reported that, “thirty-three thousand women told American researchers they would rather lose ten to fifteen pounds than achieve any other goal.”
Through repeated images of excessively thin women in media, advertisement, and modeling, thinness has become associated with not only beauty, but happiness and success.
From my skinny ass to yours: that’s horrendous bollocks.
If we want to radically shift our world we need to begin stepping over body image—trivial measurements of our worth and beauty, and relentlessly love ourselves.
“Authentic self-love is crazy sexy, whatever your body looks like.” ~ Bryan Reeves
We live in a world where we are quick to judge a woman by what the label on her pants say.
A woman’s “realness” and divinity has diddly squat to do with her waist size.
I want skinny to stop being idolized by the world and I also want women to stop throwing it under the bus.
I want us to all love our juicy souls and fleshy bodies and ride the bus together free of compare, resent and judgements.
The solution isn’t to pass a thin woman on the street and tell her to “eat something.”
I have been self conscious of my body for most of my life. I tip toe and refrain from saying it out loud, because people get offended that someone who’s “skinny” could struggle with body image.
Yes, “size zeroes” have issues with self acceptance and body image too. You won’t automatically be at home in your body when you shrink your waist—that’s not how it works.
We all have to love the crap out of ourselves every damn day.
I get flack about my weight all the time. This summer I had a man walk beside me after a delicious, stretchy yoga class as I basked in the sun drinking coffee and remark,
“Jesus, gain some weight.”
I have people make jokes at the expense of my size on a weekly basis. When I suggest eating a big ol’ greasy burger with poutine at the restaurant I serve at, people scoff and say, “sure, like you eat the likes of those.” They laugh, naïve that what they are doing is in fact misplaced and even abusive.
When I was younger, the girls on my volleyball team laughed at my skinny, knobby knees and flat chest. My nickname was “twiggy.”
I hated my body.
I will never forget the older boys at school who sneered and laughed and bullied me growing up because I was skinny—the ones who inspired my self esteem to build some nasty beliefs about myself that I am still undoing.
I will never forget the women who came up to me in a shopping mall when I was 14 and put their hands around my ankles, measuring the size of my legs and shrieking disgustedly at my size.
I wonder if they would have done the same if I was a 300 pound woman?
There seems to be an awful lot of light on bullying of people who swing to one side of the scale—but what about the other?
A friend of mine told me the other day her nine year old sibling is constantly bullied at school and wears baggy-sleeved shirts in shame of his body. His teacher even brought up that he was “too skinny” in front of his whole class. Allowing and encouraging a class full of fragile, thirsty minds to hear his idiocy and carry on treating others abusively.
After a self growth course this year, a woman approached me and thanked me for sharing my struggle for self acceptance and love about my size zero skinny ass; previously she had had no idea that thin women got bullied too. She had been on the other end of the getting-made-fun-of weight spectrum and was shocked to hear me speak of my own path of accepting and loving my own body.
This just in: we all have to walk a journey to self love and acceptance.
We all have insecurities and parts of our bodies we might feel ashamed of or wish were just a little big bigger or smaller.
We all must face discrimination, assumptions, judgements and deal with other people’s opinions of our shells.
We are dealt genetic cards at birth and show up in all shapes and sizes. Some of us have petite bums, some of us have asses to hold on to, some of us are dealt pancakes, some of us get tits that inspire other women to take fat of their ass and sew it to their chests. We are all so damn perfect and worthy of walking this planet free from harassment.
So unless we figure out a way to turn back time and negotiate our genetics with the universe, I get double A boobs and this skinny ass.
And all of it is just a shell—like wrapping paper tossed aside on Christmas morning to uncover the juicy and sweetest parts of our souls.
I still get in fights with my self esteem from time to time, but I am ferociously learning to take myself as I am and to love myself up—in all my phenomenal skinny glory.
“Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.”
~ Sophia Loren
The first step in disintegrating body image discrimination is connecting with our own raw hearts before we speak. The solution is being able to see women in all shapes and sizes and refrain from making unjustified assumptions on their diets.
The solution is not to wonder how much she eats and if when she gets up to pee halfway through her meal if she is going to shove her finger down her throat in the company of a toilet.
Skinny is not superior. It’s just another measurement floating around in the genetic universe.
Our souls, our beauty, and our brilliance is not measured by something as trivial as our waist size or our exteriors.
“Size does not make a difference—we cannot take our bodies with us into eternity.”-Thomas Voelker
The solution is to just really love each other, exactly as we are.
I am writing today to say all bodies are beautiful, but I am speaking specifically to speak to my scrawny sisters—those of you who get flack all the damn time—and are too afraid to speak out against outrageous, malicious comments, opinions and jokes because you are “lucky” to be little.
You are extraordinary in all your skinny glory; you are magnificent in all your Thumbelina smallness. I love all hundred and five pounds of each of your size zero asses—don’t spend a moment in shame when faced with other’s disposable opinions of your exterior.
And to those of you who poke fun at my slim sisters, my brosistas, or myself—with preconceived misconceptions that your imposed opinions are somehow justified—hear me roar.
I will not stand for your harassment. I will not cower down from your inappropriate stares at my lanky legs and knobby knees, I will not bend over and take your foolish, atrocious assumptions on what my body “should” look like. I will not shove my head in the sand and be assaulted by your blatant ignorance.
My skinny, healthy ass is marvelous as it is.
And so is yours.
So let’s all get on the damn bus together and build a world that isn’t measured by the width of our hips.
Let’s build one that is measured by the walloping, insurmountable beauty within our hearts and the undeniable succulence of our souls.
More love—less of everything else.
“Though she be but little, she is fierce.” ~ William Shakespeare
Relephant: enjoy a diet of loving-kindness:
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Weight loss, racism, self-acceptance, humor:
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Editor: Renée Picard
Images: courtesy of Janne Robinson