Body Shaming from a Skinny Girl’s Perspective
When the phrase/word, ‘Body Shaming’, comes to mind, it is usually assumed that the victims are people on the larger end of the scale, otherwise known as ‘fat-shaming’. “Body shaming” is the act of humiliating someone for their size.
For years, there has been word put out there to stand that fat-shaming is wrong. Like the writer of an article I read HERE, ‘People say I should be happy to be thin, but it’s hard to be when I am judged for my size’. I feel exactly the same way.
No one should be made to feel inhumane because of their size. My question, however, is, if fat-shaming is not okay, should skinny shaming be okay? Some even ask, ‘Is skinny shaming even a thing?’
PS: THIS MIGHT BE A LONG READ!
I was not born with more bones than flesh. In fact, I was a chubby kid- like most kids. I saw my one-year-old birthday picture and my cheeks were ever so flourishing and my mini teeth flashing to Abba in the sky.
I do not know when I started to lose the flesh I had gathered as a child but I must have lost it after my very active growing years. I have had job opportunities denied me because in their words, ‘I don’t look like I can do the job’.
A few days ago, the Principal of the school where I was posted for NYSC and I got talking, and the discussion travelled to me doing a Masters Degree in Advertising/Brand Management. He went, ‘do you really have the strength for that? You know you don’t really have energy like your other corper friend.’ I just smiled casually, in the absence of a polite reply to give him.
I have given up on finding my perfect size of clothes in stores, trying to gain weight and have I mentioned the most annoying question of all that I get asked all the time, ‘do you eat at all?’. Let me answer that now. I eat A LOT, more than most people think I do and probably more than those even asking me.
People come around me and hold my hands like they’re holding an onion ring and I’m just there wondering which would be better to do, hit them on the face or simply smile and tell them I don’t like it. I usually do the latter because in all honesty, who fighting don epp? I’m not usually the aggressive type so why even go that road? , before someone will say, ‘you don’t have meat on your body and you’re fighting lol.
I’ve had a guy say directly to my face, that I’m not his ‘type’ cuz I don’t have very obvious curves, ass and boobs. Have I mentioned the numerous nicknames like, ‘lepa straw’, ‘slegoo’, ‘one ookan’, and so much more? Oh, I failed to mention how some people have tried to bully me just because I’m skinny and they think they can ‘break’ me. Thank God for solid self-esteem, I probably would be hiding in rabbit holes for fear of harassment.
Are our families supportive? Maybe not all. People forget that there’s such thing called ‘Genes’. In my own case, my grandmother isn’t on the big side neither is my father and I look exactly like them. so, why shame me for something I have little or no control over?
I discovered a few ladies who have gone through similar situations so I have sought their inputs on this topic. They are all creatives and have a lot to say about Skinny Shaming.
Tee is a fashion blogger who blogs at DIVE INTO MAUVE
She had this to say,
‘At the risk of sounding like an athlete in misery Olympics, I’d like to point out that slim people get body shamed just as much as fat people.
I’ve had one too many experiences where someone would make a comment like “eat something” or “are you watching your bones or you know, something just as crude.
To them, it’s a harmless joke but when you hear that over and over and over again, it makes you start to feel self-aware and subsequently, insecure about your weight.
An experience that stands out for me is one from about seven years ago when I met my ex’s mum for the first (and only time). She called him aside and asked him if he was sure I wasn’t terminally ill. I don’t know if she wanted me to hear her but I did and I almost gagged on my food. I knew right then that relationship wasn’t going to work.
Recently, I met someone who casually joked that his mum would worry about whether I’d be capable of having kids because I’m so slim. I told him I wasn’t interested in meeting his mother.
I could go on and on. The truth is people are insensitive and it’s absolutely unfair.
You don’t know if the person you’re making fun of has an eating disorder. You don’t know if he/she has been struggling to add weight. You don’t know if that’s how he/she has chosen to be.
In all honesty, it’s not your business. Just let people be’.
Tomi Ayanleke is a model. She also has a YouTube Channel which you can watch HERE
Tomi made me roll in laughter with her words,
‘Body shaming to me has to be when an individual comments or passes across insensitive statements regarding my body size or figure. I’m not one to take things overly personal but the one thing I hate the most is when I get asked, ‘Do you eat’. It is pretty disturbing, cause it indirectly says I’m either looking malnourished or Anorexic which isn’t what it is. My opinion, ‘ask better questions or give compliments that make the other want to open up about how they are that skinny /slim in my context’.
Honestly, maybe I just take in air to survive cause that ‘do you eat’ question is not acceptable.’
Last but not the least is Toyin popularly known as Muuchinto on social media.
She blogs at TOYIN WITH FASHION and had a really resonating view on Skinny Shaming:
‘I see Body shaming as mocking/criticising someone based on their body size.
So everyone knows about/agrees that fat shaming is not good but nobody really recognises that skinny shaming is actually a thing and is just as bad as fat shaming.
As an African woman, being skinny is seen as not being a real woman and you can argue with me all you want but the truth remains that
our culture glorifies curvy women and see them as the ideal rather than being skinny. Why? Because “men like something to grab on to”? Because what makes you different from a man when you barely have any boobs or ass to save your life.
One would think that in 2017, people are not as ignorant of the fact that more often than not a really skinny person is not skinny by choice. It is the genes, could be an eating disorder also.
To be honest, I have been skinny shamed all my life. It happens every day and it’s something I’ve learnt to live with but it shouldn’t be so.
No day passes without someone asking me if I’ve had anything to eat bear in mind that this same person saw me eating maybe some minutes ago but they just choose to point out how skinny I am. People call you anorexic, say how are you ever going to carry a child, etc and you just wonder, ‘are people really blind to the fact that these comments are actually insulting?’
Real skinny people don’t look like the girls in magazines, they also have health issues just as fat people do, they never really find their cloth sizes at stores, they are not able to wear certain things cause of their size, and the list goes on and on.
We have all these real-life problems so I wonder why its okay to skinny shame and not okay to fat shame! Body shaming is the same whether fat or skinny and should be stopped because women are so much more than their body size’.
In a nutshell, skinny shaming is not cool. It would be more appreciated to just deep your hand in your pocket and send a skinny person a plate of Jollof Rice, rice rather than passing to them, hurtful comments wrapped in an unsolicited opinion.
WORD FOR THE DAY
“I praise you because
I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Quick Stop: What’s your opinion on Skinny Shaming? Let’s have a chit chat in the comments’ section below.