I know that my body is not “normal” – but it’s every bit as “real” as anyone else’s.
‘Skinny’ has become a dirty word.
A woman is never just ‘skinny,’ she is TOO skinny, skeletal, angular, bony and emaciated. She’s starving. She’s vain. She lives at the gym. She quit sugar and she’s gone paleo.
It’s because of this that I’ve never once heard a woman say, “I’m skinny and I’m proud”.
Well, here you go: “I’m skinny. AND I’m proud.”
Before you insist I eat a burger and bark “half you’re luck,” I’d like to explain four things:
- I have always been naturally skinny, I am quite simply, a standard, very healthy, size four.
- I have never endured an eating disorder. In fact, I enjoy a balanced diet, including burgers.
- I am aware that my experience does not compare to someone of a larger size. BUT, my experience as a skinny woman still matters.
- I am not here to guilt, ridicule or embarrass those who are not a size zero. There is no right or wrong size – it’s all relative.
Yes, thinness is valued. Yes, thin bodies are privileged over fat bodies. Yes, in fact, our Western society demands and validates female slimness, arguably, above all else.
Want more like this? Try: Celebrities are now fat-shaming themselves.
So, why am I complaining?
Because I am constantly judged for my size.
While studying at university, I worked in retail. On a daily basis someone would pinch at my, “tiny, 12-year-old girl,” waist while another would poke her finger at my rib cage. Some would laugh at my “chicken legs,” and still others would comment that I was, “just skin and bone”.
Whatever someone’s size and shape, there is no excuse for this.
I am aware that in the body-image space, I am privileged. I can’t imagine what it would be like to walk into a store and not see my size on the rack.
But the fact of the matter is, a lot of the time, I simply don’t fit into the clothing stocked by many well-known brands. We celebrate when Target begins to stock plus-sizes – and we should, of course – but the smaller girls don’t belong in the kids’ section.
Or, do we?
As a small woman, I am often diminished. Take for example, the popular comment, “I think I was your size when I was 10. I WISH I had your discipline”.