As Free as a Bird

Spreading my voice on the injustices of rape culture, misogyny, and human trafficking in an effort to educate others and empower like-minded women.

Skinny Shaming

ImageMany people usually do not consider skinny shaming when they think about or discuss weight discrimination and weight shaming, but it is very much real. I may have never personally experienced it, but I have seen people endure it. Last night I was looking through Instagram and I noticed that a young girl posted a picture of herself in the mirror, a full-body photo and a pretty typical teen pose. I looked at the comments of what people were saying to her, and the comments weren’t really what I was expecting. Some men and boys were commenting on her body, saying that she was “cute, but flat”. While I realize when you put pictures on the internet you are opening yourself up for scrutiny, that doesn’t make what those people were saying to her okay in any way. This type of behavior is sending young girls the wrong ideas, that you are only worth what your body is, and most of the time it isn’t considered to be worth much at all. They were basically saying to her that the size of her breasts are what matter, even though she was clearly no older than 13 or 14. One, this is probably very hurtful to her and may cause her to do alterations on her body later in life. Two, I find this to be sexual harassment, and of a minor no less. Men should not be commenting on a minor’s pictures, let alone the size of her breasts. 

I know that a lot of women who are overweight do not think that the skinny girl plight is legitimate, but it is. In fact, some of the perpetrators of skinny shaming are overweight people. We have to tell ourselves that shaming anyone is just as bad as someone shaming us. It is hypocritical to go after someone and cause the same damage. I have heard the term “skinny bitches” a lot, and making fun of skinny girls saying they are “anorexic”. Hell, I am no saint here, I have judged out of anger, but it isn’t right. Anorexia is a serious disorder, and it isn’t something to accuse or make fun of. Bullying someone for their body type is hurtful, no matter what that body type is. Telling a girl she is too skinny, or “ew, gross you are so skinny”, is just as hurtful to them as it is for bigger women to hear that they are fat. The fact is we all have different shapes-unless you are somebody’s loved one and they truly need help, you shouldn’t be commenting at all, and even then..tread lightly. Anyone can be body conscious for any reason, so what’s the point in judging and abusing someone. No one wins in that game, and it may feel good at the time, but it will cause you to feel guilty later on. Be ware of what you say, and even of what you are thinking. Everyone deserves respect, not just you.

 

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3 thoughts on “Skinny Shaming

  1. I was in a pub toilets once, and one woman came up to me and in front of a whole queue of people pointed and said ” Do you eat!” I looked at her, pulled up my top and showed her all my scars that I have due to oesophageal surgery ( My stomach is like a road map) I replied “That’s why I’m skinny, not that it’s any of your business!” She was horrified and did a sharp exit. We should never ever judge anyone.

  2. Excellent article. Thank-you. Even as an ‘athletic’ man I am regularly subjected to verbal abuse by larger women (some who claim to be ‘friends’) yet this is mild compared to the bullying they & complete strangers regularly dump on my wife and female friends, several of whom suffer terribly from eating disorders. A highly recommend the BBC documentary “Living On Air” (Youtube it) which discusses the genetic, hormonal, biological roots of eating disorders.

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