This One’s for My Skinny Sisters.


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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 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.

authors own (skinny ass)

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


Relephant Reads! 

Relephant: enjoy a diet of loving-kindness:

An inspiring woman:

Weight loss, racism, self-acceptance, humor:

> 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


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Janne Robinson

Janne Robinson is a poet, writer, bushwalker, idealist and animal activist currently residing in Vancouver Island. She cuts kindling with her teeth, eats Bukowski for breakfast and makes the habit of saying the word feminist as much as possible. She surfs naked, pees in the woods, and loves whiskeys that swing their hips when they walk and know what they are doing. Janne's life-work is to be transparent. She makes a living off hanging her dirty and clean laundry out for the world to see. Her mission is to give others permission to also walk and exist with the same transparency. You can connect with her on TwitterInstagram and Facebook. Please also visit and connect with her Facebook writer's page. Check out Janne's website.


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

  1. Annee says:

    Thank you for this article. Just as I was incredibly thin when I was younger, so are my teen girls and they get the same amount of crap for it that I did. It’s not funny for an adult to say to the girl, who eats more than any boy she knows, “tell your mom to feed you a burger, you’re wasting away!” or “doesn’t your mother feed you? You’re all skin and bones!”. My girls are ridiculed for their thigh gaps, they have been told that it’s not something they should be striving for, I’ve been told they aren’t “healthy”. They didn’t strive to achieve a thigh gap, they just have them. It’s how their body is made.

    I had a “friend” who was an advocate of body acceptance-as long as you weren’t skinny. I dumped her and she can’t figure out. She would post pictures of thin models and ridicule them and could not figure out why that was wrong. Sad. Even sadder she has devotees who will follow her to the ends of the earth. We parted ways when I could not make her understand that “All About That Bass” was not an uplifting song for everyone.

  2. Maryam says:

    I am a victim of this bullying too, all the effing time…I even cry myself to sleep sometimes. but then again I wake up next morning with a smile on my face, Because I know no matter how you look like fat, skinny, broad or chubby, they're gonna judge you anyway.& The only voice I need to hear for change, is my own. This article is very encouraging and you are true inspiration for people like me. 🙂

  3. Leijinga says:

    It’s good see that I’m not alone! At 5 feet tall and weighing 95 lbs, I’ve had to accept that this is as big as I’m going to get. I get mistaken for a kid frequently, even though I’m in my twenties. I have overweight friends that post the typical “anti-body shaming” pics and sometimes I want to remind them that they are lumping me in with the stereotype, but I’m never sure how.
    I’m not Photoshopped, I’m not fragile, and for heaven’s sake, I’m not anorexic! When people comment on my size, my usual response is “I’m concentrated!” 😉

  4. Allison says:

    this helped me so much, i got called a 2 by 4 in school “flat in the front and flat in the back” people were HORRIBLE, i love myself today and this piece helped me solidify that love THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Sylvia Vollmer says:

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you for this. At 42, I just wore a two piece bathing suit for the first time. It’s taken that long to accept that my body size is just fine, thankyouverymuch. Bullying was so bad I wore sweatpants under my pants to make myself look heavier. At 38 I weighed 109 pounds and I still had people telling me I needed to gain weight, like they had a right over my body. The skinny little girl I was sure could have used this, and saved years of not loving herself.

  6. We all want what we don’t have. If you’re thick your want to be thin, thin your want to be curvy, tall short, light dark, quiet outgoing, etc etc etc.

    Great article, and your look fantastic in that hiking photo. Ef the haters, love yourself!

    Keep it up

  7. Clare says:

    Thank you for this, im the same. 5ft 5, 112lbs (sometimes lighter) and I’ve never had any problems with eating – I eat LOADS! I’m almost 25, my bones stick out all over the place, I love healthy food, I love unhealthy food, I love exersizing, I love sitting in my bed all weekend and not moving. I’ve been called it all, anorexic, bulimic, told I might not be able to have children because I’m too small, told to go to the doctors about my weight, I find it hard to find skinny jeans that aren’t baggy onbmy knobbly knees. I’m so lucky I came out the other side of all that a better person. I feel whole, I have a 23inch waist, and i love the body I’ve got. its just not okay to say any of these things to us skinny ladies, I genuinely can’t help it (trust me I’ve tried) and I don’t want anyone to go through what I’ve been through (and mine isn’t even that bad). So thank-you for this post! Boney or squishey, we’re all loved.

  8. Stephanie says:

    Thank You!! I am a memeber of the size ZERO club and have only been a non memeber 3 times in 46yrs.. 2 times as a pregnant woman and then after the sudden death of my husband and I had bad habits develop and gained to I size 8.. I’ve been picked on all my life and still get looks of disbelief when I say i eat all the time. I’ve started to just tell people out right I thank god and genetics for who I am!!

  9. Fabiola says:

    I’m with you, as someone who has been body shamed from both sides, I agree that either way sucks. I do wish I had loved myself more when I was skinny. Now that I’m heavier (lots) I’ve learned to love myself but not because I’m more beautiful but because I realized in the words of Swift “haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate” body shaming is the easiest way to disable a person of being and becoming everything they could be. It is absolutely painful that all we aspire while trapped in this boat of body shame is conformity, and shaping ourselves to the wrapper of the day (Monroe, Crawford, Moss, Kardashian) while we could be achieving so much more, perhaps in the words of beauty pegeants : “world peace”… P.S. Impressive hike. Came from your privilege post, it was fantastic. I would just add, the trick is to learn to leverage that privilege to change the world and I think you’ve done just that by sharing your story. Thank you 😉

  10. Katie says:

    😀 I was totally feeling this today.. totally.. I love the body positive movement, but have noticed a tendency to shame thin women while supporting curvier women… It's tough! Everyone has their own struggle.. I'm fairly lanky bone structure wise, but I do have some more meat on me, but generally people see me as "tiny" and point it out often.. I try to eat healthy regularly, but many times, while eating a big salad full of lots of healthy veggies and greens, with some chicken on it, complete strangers say things like "Woman can't live on spinach alone", or "is that your lunch?" *scrunchy face*, or "what diet are you on? the monkey diet?". It sucks. Then you get approval, especially from men, when you're thin and you're eating a burger and fries, like, "I love a woman who can eat." Blech. But I still find myself enjoying that sort of attention, which is messed up! I don't know when we'll reach a point when a person's diet and body is left to be their own business. Ridiculous!! Anyway, I loved this article, thank you so much for sharing. Women really need to stick together not fight each other. Humans need to stick together so that we can change harmful cultural conditioning and messages! Much love sista!! <3

  11. Ali says:

    THANK YOU for writing this! xx

  12. Hannah says:

    This. Thank you for this.

  13. Miryan says:

    Thank you!! You just make me feel much better about myself. I am almost 30 years old with one kid and another due soon, I still very thin. My legs are so skinny that I’m so embarrassed in wearing shorts or dresses. Thank you again!!

  14. maggiemay says:

    This reminds me of the well-intentioned sentiment of “all lives matter.”

    • Tara says:

      Totally agree with you. It’s easy to say we all need to love ourselves when you’re on the skinny side of the spectrum. I understand everyone gets talked at because of what they look like, but there is no war on thinness going on. People actively hate and discriminate against fat people. Thin and traditionally attractive? Then no. You have no idea what it’s like to be truly hated or discriminate against because if you’re body type. This article is tone deaf to the socially accepted, promoted, and engrained system of fatphobia.

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