This One’s for My Skinny Sisters.

Via on May 23, 2014

scrawny sistas

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 that walks amongst this earth beside all of you.

Size zeros are real women too. Models, for that matter, are real women to.

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 woman 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 woman 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 you: 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 women 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, insourmountable beauty within our hearts and the undeniable succulence of our souls.

More love—less of everything else.

authors own (skinny ass)

“Though she be but little, she is fierce.” ~ William Shakespeare

 

Relephant Reads! 

> Why I’d Rather be a Skinny B**** 

Can We Retire the Phrase “Real Women,” Please?

Skinny Love: Skin & Bones.

 

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Editor: Renée Picard

Images: courtesy of Janne Robinson

About Janne Robinson

Janne Robinson is currently residing on the Sunshine Coast, BC learning to cut kindling with her teeth and make friends with the black bears in the woods. You can find her coordinating fundraisers for Veterinarians Without Borders, stretching her soul in yoga, skinny dipping with glee in the moonlight and getting dirty in her garden. She loves Billie Holiday, the smell of freshly cut cedar and whiskys that sway their hips when they walk and know what they are doing. You can connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Please also visit and connect with her Facebook writer's page.

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213 Responses to “This One’s for My Skinny Sisters.”

  1. Lucinda says:

    I was always a skinny kid… had to put up with the nickname "Skindy… a cross between a skinny and a Cindy". For years I wouldn't wear short sleeve shirts because I was so self conscious. And for many years tried to "eat more" but to no avail. I got to the point where food wasn't enjoyable… it became a chore to eat. So fast forward 45 years. I am now 52 and finally putting on a bit of weight… after discovering that my many years of "fast" metabolism and a mysterious muscle disease was a result of celiac disease. Yep, now that my gut has healed, I am finally keeping on a bit of weight. I am a musician, and a grandma of 4, but have people ask if I am the mom. All those years of ducking my head and being self conscious… no more, I have grown to like the body I was blessed with… especially now that I am feeling so much better! For my daughter and granddaughters… the lesson I want them to learn is to seek to live healthy and see that no matter what body they have been given, it is a gift… one to be taken care of and proud of… a one-of-a kind, never to be duplicated and very special.

    • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

      Your words Lucinda, wow. They resonate so deeply with me. I struggled, and have up until a few months ago to gain weight. Not for me– but for the people who constantly told me to get bigger. I heard it so often I believed it. I just recently accepted that I am this little, and that it isn't my desire to pack on more pounds so that someone can feel relieved when they see me that I don't have a possible eating disorder.

      I am glad you found out about your celiac disease, I truly relate to eating being a "chore".

      Our bodies are such gifts! YES! I am proud of mine, and am happy to hear you echo the same. I want to live in a world of more Lucindas.

      Shine on sister, shine on.

      Janne

  2. D.Nadine says:

    This is all well and good but being skinny today in this culture is like being white, you can't get upset when someone calls you skinny (C K Louis, "oh no he called me cracker, he really ruined my day") Come on you know you love it, the size zero and the "Oh I can eat anything" Just be happy and stop acting as if there is a thing such as "skinny shaming "today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TG4f9zR5yzY

    • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

      Hi Nadine,

      Thank you for your voice.

      The only common thing being skinny and white have in common is that they are part of our useless exteriors. I wonder if a overweight person would find it as light and humor filled if I told them comedian Chris Addisons joke, "It's easy to distract fat people, it's a piece of cake." Or if I walked up to someone eating a burger and said, "How many calories are in that?"

      How does that make you feel? And me look? Like a shallow jack ass, right?

      Retaliating in fury against "skinny" isn't it. I will again revisit the whole point of my damn aritcle- can the crackers, the cheeseburgers and the cake hang out on the bus with us? In a picnic? And we quit being nasty to each other on something as insignificant as the width of our hips?

    • Jessi says:

      Agreed! Couldn’t have said it better myself!

  3. tbird says:

    thank you <3

    and i hear ya, truly. when i first became vegan, i got skinnier than i had been in high school, and i received many negative comments. and as a bipolar patient, in my adult life, i have also been 70 pounds heavier than that "skinny" weight. and i have cross-dressed in both places.

    what i learned forever altered my perspective. i am a kinder, gentler, softer person, because i know just how hard it is to be fat, skinny, or just simply to wear the 'wrong' clothes, and just how much negativity can be cast upon those who are somehow outside the 'normal' margins.

    so thanks for sharing. and for caring. and i hope those 24km were amazing. did 16.2 miles yesterday, and still probably look weird, but i felt the mountain air, hollered with the ravens, and got lost in the winds of our home <3 _ tb

    • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

      Gaddamn this is beautiful.

      I hear ravens hollering and look at the mountains everyday from my cabin. Such a gift. It was a 42 km round trip with a 30 pound bag. I was depleted but my soul was full. Ate so much dehydrated food that tasted like cat food. :l

      Thank you for writing me! Your voice gives my voice more might.

      with love,

      Janne

  4. Steve S says:

    Awesome article Janne..

    Pack the scales and mirrors away and watch your mind instead. It'll play all kinds of nasty tricks on you if you're not paying attention!

  5. Steve S says:

    Awesome article Janne..

    Put away the mirrors and scales and pay more attention to the state of your mind. It'll play some crazy tricks on you if you let it, regardless of your body shape!

  6. Emily says:

    Hey, you quoted my cousin Bryan Reeves! Super cool! :)

    • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

      Emily,

      Your cousin Bryan Reeves IS super cool!

      I love his brain and tremendous heart. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

      Janne

  7. Jim says:

    I think you are my favorite writer! You respond to everyone. I love that. It makes me feel connected in a very good way. Thank you.

    • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

      Hi Jim,

      I LOVE this message. I have and do spend hours replying, and my mom and others have said, "eventually you can't reply to everyone." But the way I see it, each one of the 127 people who replied to this article took the time to sit down, read my words and then be vulnerable and open and write me with their experiences. They deserve and are worthy of my energy and time- I want to acknowledge those who acknowledge me.

      Thank YOU for writing me. You rock!

      Janne

  8. Jamie Khoo says:

    Hi Janne
    From a girl who is always going to be a little bit fat: I thank you for writing this. In Asia, I am never thin enough, always a little bit too fat. But when I write articles about body image, the predominant comments from readers in the West is that I'm not fat enough to merit writing articles about body image /fatness / weight issues… so this is precisely it, right? That if we're going to go by the standards of this funny place called The World, we will never ever meet them. There are so many phrases in this piece by you that I want to pull out and tattoo to my head, scrawl on my walls and make tshirts. This needs to be said, for skinny sisters, fat sisters, in-between sisters, ALL sisters xxxxx

    • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

      Jamie,

      I had to severely coax my head into not swelling as I read your words. The fact you so deeply resonated with my words to think even for a nanosecond of permanently putting them on their body blows me out of the ball park.

      You meet my awesome merit, keep writing your heart out and if anyone tells you that you are unqualified tell them your soul doesn't fit in a pair of pants and it does what it wants!

      Love to you,

      P.S if you DO get a tatoo, let me know ;)

  9. Amberlina says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I guess some people who don’t live with it don’t realize the gravity of their inappropriate comments. They may have been shamed so much for not having that current standard of beauty body that they actually believe skinny shaming doesn’t exist.

    It does and it’s horrible. It is just as real, just as prevalent, and just as abusive as fat shaming, racism, sexism, etc…

    My hope is the same as yours, that we all can pull ourselves and each other out from under the bus, get on that bus and drive it to the nearest coffee shop for a full fat latte and a big blueberry muffin with real sweet cream butter. Mmmm… butter… And that we can do that without tearing our glorious variously sized sisters (and brothers) down.

    Thank you, again. Everything you said here needed to be said, and needs to be said again and again. Now I’m off to finish my dark chocolate raspberry brownie breakfast.

    ~A

    P.S. Your ass and your hair look great in that pic. ;) Congratulations on the hike. 24 kms is a huge win.

    • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

      Amberlina,

      YES!!! So much FUCK YES!! Excuse my excitement and swearing. As I read this I am eating a blueberry muffin with mounds of pink sugary icing in the sunshine at a cafe in the town I live at. (I kid you not). I wish you could pull up a chair beside me and take half of it while we share the afternoon. I think we would hit it off well– find me on facebook, one can never have too many link minded, funny, kick ass sisters.

      Some people don't get the gravity of their inappropriate comments– just as you said. All shaming is unacceptable and needs to be nipped in it's horrendous judgmental unjustified butt.

      Thank you! My ass's head is swelling. I have honestly never gaven my butt much thought, with publishing this so many people have mentioned it that I am spending time in gratitude of it (for more than its main purpose…). It was a 42 km round trip hike in Fryatt Valley with a 30 pound bag, it was the most difficult thing I have physically done and most awesome.

      Love to you!

      P. S When people ask me what kind of milk I want in my coffee I always say "full fat".

  10. Amanda says:

    Thank you so much for this article! I just read this ( explicatives excluded) to my 11 year old daughter . I’ve fallen victim to this type of harassment daily. In fact, when people comment about my weight or what I’m eating I automatically respond with “it’s because of my thyroid condition”. When in reality I have always been “slender”. I am tired of justifying my size to make others feel more comfortable with themselves. What is even more disturbing is that I have seen people ( i.e.. third grade teachers) do this type of harassment to her. They try to damage her self image that I have worked so hard to help her maintain. She is just tall and skinny and I hope proud. Again, thank you.

    Amanda

    • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

      Amanda,

      I am not sure if there is anything more flattering as someone being touched so deeply that they fill the need to fill their childrens fragile brains with it. Belief systems are set in place when we are so very young- it is the time to do it and say and then say it again incase it gets forgotten.

      Keep pumping your beautiful skinny daughter full of love and confidence and implore her to speak up against any shaming or harassment she receives. I don't know what her name is but please tell her I feel her, I hear her and I've got her back. My information is in my bio to get in touch on facebook, twitter etc. Most kids are born with cell phones in their hands so tell her to feel free to connect with me. I am an ear and heart available in her journey- and yours.

      Thank you for taking the time to write me Amanda, you are one great momma grizz. Go get em!

      Love,

      Janne

  11. Debison says:

    Awesome article. My family has issues on both ends of the spectrum. My daughters are very skinny. My oldest daughter, age 23, can sometimes wear a size 12 kids dress pants. Other girls use to follow her into the bathroom at school, hoping to catch her throwing up, just to keep her small size. Girls are cruel. I, on the other hand, have always been overweight. I feel like people look at me like I ate all the food and starved my kids. Beauty is on the inside. Embrace it.

    • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

      Deb,

      Wow. Sounds like you see and live within both sides of shaming–truly. And on such personal levels. I just want to tell you her skinny ass and your maybe not as skinny as are both equally as magnificent and worthy of walking this planet without judgement. Plant your feet and own your brilliance and remind your daughter, and yourself that our brilliance is NOT measured by something as trivial as our waist size.

      Power, love and gentleness on your journey and hers,

      Janne

  12. matty says:

    i know am i missing something? that ass is phat

  13. Bethany says:

    Thank you for this! I put up with various comments nearly daily on my weight and needed to hear this. I'll learn to love my skinny ass too!

    • Janne Robinson jannerobinson says:

      Dear Beth,

      You are so welcome! I love your skinny ass, and my own and all the damn asses.

      Thanks for your voice ;)

  14. Schulteis says:

    Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Taking the time and actual effort to make a very good article

  15. beth says:

    From my fat ass to your skinny one: a huge, resounding “hell, yes sister!”

    It just kills me when people think it’s OK to say bitchy things about skinny women, as if they forgot the whole point of ‘body positivity’ is about reveling in what we CAN do and what we offer the world outside of bullshit constructed labels that keep us from seeing each other as the amazing humans we all are. Great article!

  16. belindac76 says:

    I think the real point is, people need to stop policing women's bodies. No matter what size they are.

  17. thank you so much for this! i can't understand why people think it is ok to comment on my weight or food choices just because i am thin. it makes me feel self conscious and i'm just being me! i've been small my whole life, i need to accept myself as is and not try to be someone i'm not!

  18. Thank you for this! I often wonder why it's socially acceptable to walk up to someone thin and say, "Wow, you're so skinny" but it's not acceptable to do the same on the other end of the spectrum.

  19. bjking9274 says:

    Beautiful article, as a young lady I weighed a mere 98 pounds most of my young life, now at 50 I am over 200. Just now beginning to love me for me. Your article is inspiring and truly a gift to all. Thank you!

  20. Lotte says:

    Hey there

    A friend linked this article for me. I absolutely love it. I’ve had people asking me if I had bulimia, people telling me they didn’t want to hug me because they were scared I would break, a boyfriend dump me because he thought I was too skinny for him…

    I hate how people tell me I’m oh so skinny, but I can’t tell anyone they are oh so fat. Or that they should eat less. But it’s perfectly acceptable to tell me to eat more. I hate it.

    I’ve always struggled with my body image, and I still am. It’s hard to find clothes that fit me…

    So thank you, for this article. Thank you that even across the world, this is a big ass issue (pun intended).

    Love, Lotte

    PD: gorgeous picture. Truly inspiring.

  21. CAM says:

    Thank you for this! I am 45 years old and all my life have had people commenting on my size and these have not always been nice comments…are you anorexic? – you're so skinny! – etc, etc. I would never say to someone you're so fat, or how much do you eat? I am comfortable with my lean, slim size 2 figure, though it has taken me years to get here. People (and I'm sorry, quite frankly, women) need to just accept each other for who they are and embrace the bodies they live in…we are all beautiful!

  22. Thank you for writing! It sums up how I've been feeling lately. We shouldn't feel guilty for being slim or in shape.

  23. Jane says:

    Inspiring, beautiful, awesome and wonderful. I agree on everything.

    Although one tiny bit of missed point when discussing being at home in your body and being fat: http://everydayfeminism.com/2013/10/lets-talk-abo

    Just something for thought.

  24. Skinny Soul says:

    My heart & my soul thank you for composing such a fantastically written article. Much love from one skinny sister to another! <3

  25. Benny Rex says:

    Yes, everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Yes, you ARE a soul and HAVE a body. But the true burden of those who are treated unfairly for being skinny, or white, or wealthy, or young, or attractive, or brainy, or a man in the workplace, or Jared Leto…no matter how many Individuals you may get to testify otherwise, the MASSES prefer those things! They would prefer to sleep with them, employ them, photograph them, film them, listen to them, give them free things, and if at all possible, be them. Good luck with that.

  26. Marc Perillo says:

    Men desire beautiful women, and they choose what they like and dislike. Women do not define what is sexy to a man, a man does. That is why women can't change the social norms of what men want. Also, the size of your waist has nothing to do with "real women." There's so many things men can find sexy about any women. more then just apperance but for me, I personally think being excessively over wieght is a major turn off, even if the women is comfortable with it. Same goes for men, men can't just wake up and say all women are going to love guys who drive an '88 Oldsmobiles. Women define what they find sexy. They don't ask men "is a beard sexy?" Or "what's a small enough waist line to be consider sexy?" So just remember its not the media putting skinny models on magazines because they're trying to make an image of sexy. It's what men have define and the media must follow.

  27. littlemiss7 says:

    Love this article!
    My husband gets told all the time that he's too skinny.
    But he eats a ton, it's just his build.
    And he is gorgeous!
    We never understand why people feel it's okay to comment on how skinny someone is, while they would never direct the same kind of comment to someone who is fat.

  28. Danielle says:

    Completely relate to this article. People think its OK to bully us skinny girls. If I had a $ for every time someone told me to "please go eat something". Do they think its funny? Dont they see how offensive it is? Maybe that person in reality IS struggling with an eating disorder – and then hearing that. I am 29 and 5ft3 weighing 95lbs – a double zero. Just as obese ppl find hard to shop for clothes, its such a struggle to find anything that does not have glitter or Barbie on them…

  29. Taryn says:

    No matter whether you are thin, average, athletic, or a bigger girl all that does matter is loving yourself for who you are. Janne is right, our bodies are just a shell, we need to surround ourselves with people that enjoy and appreciate us for our true selves. Self confidence speaks volumes. Everyday is a gift, would you want your potential last day on this earth be you focusing on your body image all day and not being your true self, doing exactly what you with want no limits? Everyone deserves to live that way, ignore the haters and love your true self!

  30. kaya10 says:

    Totally! All the time! I have talked about this a ton… love it. People have no problem making comments about skinny people's weight and insinuating eating disorders. I appreciate this! Kiersten

  31. Carie says:

    Love this, very true, I am on the leaner side with smaller chest! I have decided to get goddess tattoo (my first at 41) in Sanskrit on inside of my wrist to remind me all women should feel like goddess no matter size/shape etc. Whether it be sensuality or strength or intelligence that we feel is our biggest confidence, we are all goddesses.

  32. Rhonda says:

    I am a large woman, my best friend is a tiny woman. We see the world through each other's eyes on a constant basis. When I see a post glorifying curves by bemoaning no one loves a stick, it sickens and saddens me. There is no cruder example of having to lift yourself up by putting another down than what we see "friends" post on FB every day. I will never tire of pointing out the objectifying nature of all of it. Reclaim our selves, brothers and sisters. ♥

  33. Riding the bus with you, Sister! <3

  34. kinetic writing says:

    Well done. Thank you!!

  35. Megan says:

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! As someone who has always been naturally skinny, this really hits home. <3

  36. kittiescreativekitchen says:

    You go girl! I was you back before I got over 40 & my metabolism stopped being on steroids. I was a size 2 up to size 4, but I was a skinny, no boobs, no hips waif. I definitely had issues with my body. The interesting thing is that when the tides turned & my metabolism changed it didn't bother me at all that I gained weight & became more rounded. Part of my issues when I was brutally skinny was that I didn't feel very womanly…well, that's definitely changed. Life is funny that way. However, I still need to work at loving myself more & I LOVED what you had to say here cause I could relate to it way too well. Thanks for speaking up for the skinny folks LOL!!!

  37. cassandralanesmith says:

    Thank you for writing this, this perspective definitely needs to be read by more people! I did ballet for 16 years and have a naturally fast metabolism, so I've always been somewhat of a waif. Last weekend, when I was out with friends, a homeless man yelled at me, "What's wrong with you?". Naturally, I was confused, so I asked "What?" He said, "Why are you so skinny?! You should go eat something." I obviously know not to take these type of comments to heart, but it is frustrating when it happens so often. Maybe if more people can read this and see the hurt it causes, people will feel less entitled to speak to skinny people like they aren't worthy of basic respect.

  38. Shenell says:

    This is an awesome article! It is definitely an eye opener for anyone, regardless if they’re a size 0, plus sized, or in between. Thanks for your insight on this matter and may we all learn something from it. I sure did

  39. Jasmine says:

    Ok so I first want to say that I agree with what you wrote and think that no matter what peoples weight/size is, everyone has insecurities & although it's often a lot harder for "bigger" people in a world wear "skinny" seems to be the ideal, I know that thin people have body image issues as well. (I've been both skinny and a bit overweight so I know both sides). I think the problem is with the photo you posted. I read your description saying you had just climbed a mountain & were hot and sweaty, etc., but your pose doesn't show that at all & it doesn't evoke strength to me. It evokes sexuality. I asked my boyfriend what he thought of this photo and specifically about the girl in the photo. I asked him what he thought her "message" was or what she was trying to "portray" with this photo. & he said "she looks like she's trying to claim she's all 'at one' with nature and all spiritual and stuff but obviously she just wants people to look at her ass & think she's hot." & I said, she said she's posing to show strength and confidence in herself & pride in the accomplishment of hiking" and he laughed and said "ya right! Why is she basically naked then?? & if she was hiking why is her hair perfect?!" My point exactly. Firstly, it seems very hard to believe that after you've hiked 24km and got all sweaty, your hair would 1. Be down (sure you could've taken it down after your hike but then it wouldn't look like that) 2. Be dry (there's no trace of sweat) 3. Be full and have perfect waves in it. (If your hair actually looks like that after a sweaty hike, I think you should be famous because I've NEVER seen that be the case for any other girl, especially one with long hair. Secondly, why would you pose for a photo (which you planned to spread around to entice girls to be proud of their bodies) in your underwear with your butt cheeks perked & hanging out?? Who does that after a hike?? It seems like not the right type of photo for what you're promoting. Why couldn't you post a similar photo with your pants still on?? It just seems like you wanted to show off how hot you are and how glorious your ass is (because I'll admit, it's amazing!). But it's hard for you to be respected for what you're trying to stand for when you've just put yourself in the exact same position that every magazine & marketer puts women in…portraying women's bodies in a "sexual" way for attention. I don't feel as though you'd be so "proud" to show so much of your body if you had cellulite showing and if you looked not so "amazing". If that is really you in the photo then congrats because you have the body every girl dreams of having! You aren't super skinny with no shape & if you were, I doubt you'd be so quick to "flaunt" it. But your message is good! You just need to understand that it's hard for people to take you seriously when your photo shows something so much like what we should be fighting against…A sexualised body image. It's not very relatable to the "average girl" even the average "skinny" girl. Maybe think about that before assuming that the lady who commented on the photo was way off base. You are arguing here against sexualising women but all you did in this photo was sexualise yourself.

    • Jessi says:

      I’m so glad someone said this. I was honestly thinking the same thing. I definitely think her message was great. No matter what size, women shouldn’t be bullied or put down about the way they look. Fat or skinny, black or white, etc. But, that picture makes her look little full of herself. The fact that she was obviously trying to look sexy, and then acts offended when viewers say she looks like a super tan model just makes her look silly. Like you, I just can’t take this individual seriously :/

  40. sarahtrudeau says:

    This was beautiful. You just described my life experience with uncanny familiarity. I too, am finally learning to embrace my gorgeous, skinny body, despite a world full of haters telling me I should be bigger. Fuck 'em! I am exactly where I should be. I practice yoga, make love, travel the world, cook good food, write passionately, and love life more and more- my body is serving me perfectly. Thanks for giving your skinny sisters a voice. Much love ;)

  41. alannabendel says:

    This made my day… Love.

  42. Boron clementine says:

    I don’t get it. I was a male model and had to work really hard to maintain th status quo. You may be small, but in this picture your hips are huge! Why are you talking as if you represent the small minority of people who cannot gain weight. When you are simply just small? You’re not skinny!

  43. Brooke says:

    Hi, I first saw this article posted in my Facebook feed. While I generally agree with the overall body positivity, I think this article truly missteps in a major way. Fat discrimination is a real societal issue, and deals with directly oppressing a group of people. While it's contemptible to make rude comments about a person's thinness, and thin people may have their feelings hurt the same way a fat person can, it does not change that thin people are afforded privilege that fat people are not. With or without consent, thin people receive better treatment and far less judgment than fat people in every aspect of their lives.

    • misovegan says:

      I think the fact that women who have "ideal" bodies – whether by genetic luck, illness, or obsessions/disorders – still have body issues perfectly illustrates that societal messages are not about health, really. It's about controlling women.

      The suffering, the mental damage is the same. The fact that people are extremely cruel to the fat doesn't negate that society is also cruel to the thin. We all suffer from body shaming. We're all on the same cruel bus, even if some people are sitting in the window seats with nice views. This isn't the Oppression Olympics. We're all being oppressed and it sucks for all of us.

  44. Erin says:

    Thank you so much for writing this article. Growing up, I was always very thin and always wondered why I never had boobs or curves like everyone else. I tried so hard to gain weight, and just like you, eating became a chore. I’m slowly starting to accept my body for it’s size and this article gave me so much strength. You are an amazing writer, thank you!

  45. Heather says:

    Well said. It drive me insane when I hear "real women have curves". Because I was born destined to be an A cup and narrow hips, am I not a women too?

  46. Ali D says:

    Thank you for writing this!!! I have been naturally skinny my whole life and have usually struggled to keep weight on. I am a ballerina and so on average I dance 3-8 hours a day. I was made fun of in school for how skinny I was, and once a boy in junior high told me that I was so skinny I looked disgusting. I couldn't help it. My mother is a size zero and I got her side of the gene pool. Being a ballerina, I have people make assumptions all the time that I must have an eating disorder just because I am skinny. I am sick and tired of the skinny stereo types and people calling me out in public for my weight! I get asked all the time what I weigh in group settings like its ok because I am skinny. I was once asked at a dinner with a friend's family how I felt being the skinniest one at the table. How awkward is that?

  47. Sam says:

    I've also been on the smaller size, and my sports coach/teacher would always point out how I don't eat enough and say that every time I got sick was because I don't eat enough and am too skinny. I also watched her daughter (who was a grown woman) make fun of a 12 year old for being too skinny. But if you defend them/yourself people say "why? it's unhealthy to be so skinny" or "you're just buying into the media" I think everyone should read this article

  48. misovegan says:

    I think the fact that women who have "ideal" bodies – whether by genetic luck, illness, or obsessions/disorders – still have body issues perfectly illustrates that societal messages are not about health. It's about controlling women.

    The suffering, the mental damage is the same. The fact that people are extremely cruel to the fat doesn't negate that society is also cruel to the thin. We all suffer from body shaming. We're all on the same cruel bus, even if some people are sitting in the window seats with nice views. This isn't the Oppression Olympics. We're all being oppressed and it sucks for all of us.

  49. Beth says:

    I truly agree with your sentiment; it echoes my own personal beliefs as I also believe that the size of our body should not determine the worth of us as women, and more importantly, as people. We are taught to judge women by their weight first and accomplishments second, and it's a thing that has done us a great disservice as a society.

    I don't know if saying "skinny women have it hard too!" is the way to do it. I say this as a woman who is a size 8, making me too big to be part of the "thin club" and too small to jump on the "fat acceptance" bandwagon. My mother has always been very slender, despite consuming heroic amounts of food and going on 20 minute walks as her form of exercise. On the other hand, I've always needed to be very conscientious of what I consume, and engage in a variety of physical activities to stay where I am. I've been on both sides of the debate amongst my family and friends. When my mother comes to visit, she still makes off hand comments about my weight, or suggests that I work out more, and if we go clothes shopping she zooms straight for the plus size section. I have also had friends that are much larger than me who've made comments about my appearance in a way that makes me feel uncomfortable, as if it is my fault for being the size that I am, or as if I have purposefully done this to make them look worse than me.

    Only one of these situations led to me having very disordered experiences with eating (hint: it wasn't my fat friends).

    And that for me is the difference between "skinny shaming" and "fat shaming". It hurts being told that you are too thin, that men don't think you're sexy or that you aren't a "real woman". But the moment you leave that situation, you are also surrounded by so much media that says "skinny is good! you are good for being skinny!" For people who are fat, there is so little acceptance in our mainstream media. I'm not talking about those facebook memes that your Aunt Sally likes and floods your feed with about how real women have curves. I'm talking about the endless advertising, the magazines, the movies, fashion blogs, video games, porn….

    I've seen and experienced skinny shaming that hurts feelings. I've seen and experienced fat shaming that has led to eating disorders, depression, attempted suicide. I work with middle schoolers, and I've dealt with several girls who are only 12 years old, already refusing to eat their lunches, or being put on ridiculous diets for their parents. If that is how they are taught to view their bodies at that age, what will they have internalized by the time they're 16? 20?

    I don't agree with the body acceptance posts that put down women who are small to make those who are large feel better either. But I understand why so many women who are fat are so angry, and so vocal, and want to be seen for who they are as individuals rather than how much they do or do not fit into society's small box of attraction. I've known many women who are thin who feel similarly, because they are seen as pretty objects instead of people who have thoughts and ideas and talent. Which could bring me to a whole other tangent about society's portrayal of women in general and how as long as we allow mainstream media to set the standard that women are to be deemed attractive first, people second is horrifically damaging to women.

    I hope that I see more and more movements that focus on changing the way we value people, placing their minds and hearts over their outward appearances. As you said, it is the first step to changing this bizarre culture we've created around women's bodies. I hope that this spreads. I hope more women are placed in positions of power to change this in our media, or that the men in power change their own views regarding women, and spread these messages. I hope that we can have more of these discussions without needing to still play the skinny vs. fat game or the "who has it worse?" game. Because as long as we play that, everyone loses.

    I'm rambling now, and not too sure how to sum it all up. Thank you for the article. It was a thought-provoking read :)

  50. liv says:

    Absolutely totally agree! So sick of being patronized because I'm petite! http://www.startedearlytookmydog.wordpress.com

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