"Oh my God you're soooo skinny!"



Dear reader,

I’m not someone who was ever really bothered or thought twice about my size; I don’t have scales in my house, and I’m pretty sure the last time I was weighed was for an operation I had 3 years ago. This lack of thought is definitely a privilege I’ve enjoyed because my build is naturally slight – something that the media still insists on telling us is ‘ideal’ and ‘desirable’. I think I was also really lucky in growing up surrounded by peers who didn’t really think twice about size either: There was just bigger people and smaller people and that was that.

I distinctly remember the first time I ever questioned how I looked, and when the way I looked at my body changed:

It was the first week of senior school in the girls changing room before dreaded P.E. I remember being a little taken aback by all the fancy lacy bras on display next to my very plain, hardly filled M&S number. It was the grownupness of it all that surprised me. 14 year old me didn’t really understand that bras for girls our age could be ‘sexy’, I thought they were just to hold your boobs and dig into your ribs a bit. I remember taking my top off and hearing one of my ‘friends’ gasp and exclaim loud enough to fill the room: “Oh my god you’re soooooo skinny, I can see your ribs?!” Of course, everyone turned to stare and a series of muttered agreements and cold fingers prodding my tummy ensued. Some girls said things along the lines of: “I wish I looked like that.” Or “ugh you’re so lucky.” I remember feeling confused….why am I lucky? It’s just the way I look? All their bodies looked just fine to me. Some girls cringed or grimaced a little, asking questions like: “Do you even eat?” or even “You are scary thin…are you ok?” and I thought for the first time that maybe there was something wrong with my body.

Imagine the situation reversed - that I was overweight and had people prodding me saying "Oh my god you're soooo chubby." or "What do you even eat?" - immediately it becomes way more offensive. The same could be said for the compliments: it's the horrible truth that girls would look at me and say "I wish I was that skinny", but they would rarely look at the bigger girls and say "I wish I looked like that."  just because my body type is seen as more socially acceptable means it is fine to comment on it but also normal to praise it above others? There is so much wrong with this and how it is ingrained in our heads as normal.

The years went on and my relationship with my body remained pretty healthy. I didn’t mind my body - most of the time I liked my body. I was told again and again that I looked good and thin and it became drilled into me that it was one of my ‘selling points’ when it came to my appearance. I thought even if my face wasn’t fab looking or my hair was too frizzy my "skinniness" made me that little bit more attractive.

There were of course times where I hated my body. I wanted curves or to have less pokey out bits - I wanted to be bigger,  I would try my best to gain weight, but my metabolism prevailed.

This is stupid. Your body is not there to be attractive. Your body is there to keep you alive – it is an amazing haven that you should nourish and love and help it to do its job to the best of its ability! We all know this, but it's difficult to think like that when so much value is placed on how we look.

About a year ago I noticed I started to have just a little more meat on my bones. I am definitely still relatively thin but there’s just a little more to me now. At first I began to panic a bit. It was like the one thing that was physically admirable about me was going – but then I looked at myself and kind of realised, hey this kind of looks good. Different, but good.

I’m not unhealthily underweight or overweight so why worry? Why is our instant reaction to gaining weight horror and not indifference or happiness? Clothes are easier to shop for with my bigger sizing, and I had an excuse to buy new clothes as well! I think it is important to think of my body as transitioning into a new phase. It’s a grown up body and even though I still have my doubtful moments, I quite like it.

I realise some people will roll their eyes at me writing this – a classic 'skinny' girl moaning about being thin, but the way we see ourselves and judge our bodies affects everyone no matter how big or small. I realise what some people endure with bullying and body shaming is horrific, but I can only speak from my experiences. I’d be really interested in finding out about your guys’s experiences and thoughts about body image!

The message I’m trying to send in writing this is that it’s ok to like your body and it’s ok to not. What's not ok is categorising people based on what size they are, making assumptions or thinking there is only one acceptable way to look. At the end of the day: all that matters is that you’re healthy and you learn to accept and love your body for the miracle that it is.

Hebe x

2 comments

  1. Such a powerful message that I hope everyone takes the time to read!
    -Kyra || lovekyra.000webhostapp.com

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