A few things you shouldn’t say to skinny girls…

Do you find this topic surprising? Read on.

I come from a thin family; tall and thin. People would say I’m lucky, and I am, but it took me until my mid 20’s to believe it. Before that, if I could have changed anything about my physical appearance, I probably would have chosen to be fatter.

The world seems to assume that if a woman is thin, she has chosen it. While remarking on most women’s weight is a social taboo, thin women seem to be fair game.

What goes unnoticed is the emotional-verbal baggage that girls like myself have accrued.

I have never had an eating disorder, nor desired to be thin, but growing up, I received a multitude of personal barbs:

‘Oh my gosh! You’re so thin!’stock.xchng2

‘There’s nothing to you.’

‘You’re so scrawny.’

‘You’re a stick.’

‘I’d hate to be as thin as you.’

‘You’re so skinny it’s disgusting.’

‘You’re gonna fade away.’

‘Do you even eat?’

Approaching adulthood as a size 6-8 (US 2-4), I felt abnormal and unattractive to men.

While I have overcome many of these insecurities, it doesn’t mean that people’s comments have stopped.

Just last week, my sister had a client stop her at work and say, ‘Wow, you’re so thin! I bet your husband wishes you’d put on weight so you were more cuddly!’

Thin girls are people too.

As a rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t say it to an overweight person, don’t say it to an underweight one.

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33 comments on “A few things you shouldn’t say to skinny girls…

  1. Steve Rebus says:

    Thanks so much for this very important post. Words can be so destructive and leave deep scars.
    God bless you. 🙂

  2. Salby says:

    I think You’re perfect just as you are my friend 🙂

  3. Sara says:

    What a great reminder of the power of our words… If only we learned to use them for the betterment of others – words filled with love, truth, care, advocacy… What a world that wold be!

  4. kyotoredbird says:

    I too wear a small size and I have gotten all of these comments. But these gems are my favorites: “I don’t want to hug you; I’m afraid I’ll break you!” (Please. I do mixed martial arts and can pump out 55 push-ups in a minute. Not breakable.) And “You could use a sandwich or two!” My response to that is always to tell the person that they are free to go make or buy me one. That usually shuts them up. But I do find it funny that if I call people out for these comments, they usually back them up with “well you’re lucky to be skinny so why are you upset?” I don’t feel that being skinny makes me “lucky” and i have had my fair share of body image issues, too. People need to think before speaking! You never know how another person truly feels!

    • sarsrose says:

      Thanks so much for visiting and for your comments. I admit I had to smile when I read the ‘breakable’ thing. I’ve definitely had that one too!!
      So great to know that there are others out there who understand, and hopefully my post can help people to understand a different side to the story, and will perhaps protect some people who can’t handle the comments. x

  5. Isaiah6510 says:

    I totally agree and, I live with a girl who is naturally slim. I’ve seen and heard the comments she’s had to put up with, how people think they can say whatever they like, whenever they like, in front of whoever they like. I’ve seen how hurtful it can be, so good on ya for highlighting this issue. Love Sharon 🙂

    • sarsrose says:

      Thank you Sharon. Glad you enjoyed the post and I’m glad you can relate this to personal experience. The feedback I’m getting makes me realise that this is not an isolated issue and I’m glad I’ve been able to raise a bit of awareness.
      Thanks so much for following my blog too. Look forward to sharing the journey with you! x

  6. Fearfully and wonderfully made, just as you are!

  7. ncreadergirl says:

    My daughter is naturally thin, the Dr’s are concerned slightly, but her Daddy is tall & skinny as she is…I’d hate to hear people saying anything to her negative about it! You’ve put down what should not be said, Good For You!

    • sarsrose says:

      Thank you. Yes, one of the first things Doctors ask me is what my family is like. When they hear that they’re all tall and thin they don’t worry so much! I hope your daughter doesn’t have to experience the nasty side of being thin. There are so many blessings that come with not having to watch your weight… I hope she sees that they far outweigh the negatives.
      Thanks for commenting and following. Looking forward to sharing with you x

  8. Since you’ve grown up this way, you’ve never had to feel the tremendous pressure society puts on people who are overweight, or even “normal” to be thin. The guilt, the shame of being “fat.” Thin is “the look” girls are starving themselves to achieve. Look in a catalogue.

    They they meet you, a young woman with the “perfect” body shape. One they’ve yearned for all these years — maybe are dieting daily to achieve. They can hardly keep from turning green. So they get nasty; employ what they hope is well veiled sarcasm. Even though they may not realize their own motives, words pop out that jab you. You can count on it; a lot of those comments are coming from jealousy.

    I knew an older Scottish lady once who was 4’6″. Every second person said, “Are you EVER short!” or “How tall are you anyway?” In her country she wasn’t so unusual, but over here women are on the tall side and she hated having them look down at her and make these comments.

    And then there are those of us who’ve married a Goodnough, Goodenough, or Goodno. We can sympathize.

    • sarsrose says:

      Hi Christine,

      Thanks for visiting and for your comments.
      I absolutely did not want to suggest that being thin is harder than being overweight. Society absolutely puts too much pressure on women to be thin. I only wanted to highlight what seems often to go unnoticed, that thin women don’t necessarily have high self esteem and good body image, largely because of the rude comments that are made. I understand that many are said out of jealousy, but it doesn’t excuse them.
      I really think that people just aren’t aware of the fact that their comments can hurt people.
      As you mentioned, this is certainly not an isolated issue. People need to be careful about what they say to all sorts of people who have attributes that they consider to be abnormal or different.

      Appreciate your thoughts.

  9. vonhonnauldt says:

    Though a mere male, I can appreciate your comments about being thin, though probably as a male haven’t had to endure the remarks you have. I’m 6’1″ and when I was married weighed 129 lbs. Can’t say that now, though (still 6’1″) 🙂

    Thanks for the reminder to keep our words sweet. We don’t know when we might have to eat them!

  10. noordinaryjoy61 says:

    I’ve always been thin, and I’ve gotten nearly all those same comments more times than I can count. I agree that it’s hurtful and unnecessary. If someone wouldn’t want to have the same words said back to them, they shouldn’t say them in the first place. The ‘do unto others’ rule…

    • sarsrose says:

      I’m sorry that you’ve had to receive those comments, but it’s so encouraging that there are others out there who can relate!
      Absolutely agree with what you said! God bless you sister!

  11. I enjoyed your blog and wanted to say thanks for visiting mine 🙂 I used to be terribly jealous of “naturally thin” women as I starved myself for years to try and meet the standards classical ballet set for me. Oh the joy to just be me in the body God designed! It was hard to forget the ugly comments and old destructive patterns, but the freedom in appreciating His design is truly delicious! Yes, we are each beautifully and wonderfully made- isn’t He so creative?! Anna

  12. sf says:

    Very good points made, which I’ve been guilty of many times. And I have to sadly admit that I know probably 99.9% of the time that I had said such things was due to admiration AND jealousy. Which I betcha those other who’ve said such things are mainly guilty of jealousy as well. The last time I had ever felt good about my weight was exactly 12 years ago. Now I feel like a shlump. All the clothes that used to fit me, I admire my sis wear, and am glad she’s at least able to put them to good use. Thanks so much for reminding me to keep comments like these from coming out of my mouth – and to remember that I’d sure hate to hear any fat comments made to me also (I’m between a size 10-12).

    • sarsrose says:

      Thank you for your comments!
      It is so sad that body image has become such a big deal in our society that it seems that no matter what body type you have, everyone is envious of everyone else. I hope you are able to come to terms with your unique body and appreciate it for what it is. Often others that we look at and feel that they have the ‘ideal’ shape, don’t feel that way about themselves!

  13. Kendall says:

    Great post. I have dealt with this all my life and it’s awesome to know someone else feels the same way about those comments!

    • sarsrose says:

      Thank you. Yes it is amazing how many people out there struggle with this! Something that we should be seeing as a blessing becomes a burden when others attack it!

  14. Thank you for this post. I would add a few more though…
    As you opened with, “You’re so lucky” (sometimes it’s not luck, it’s hard work and dedication); then some others… “Eat a cheeseburger”, “Do you have an eating disorder?” and “You should gain some weight”.
    I can’t stand it when people say these things to me. They don’t understand how hurtful it really is; not to mention how annoying it is. Thanks again, I actually found your post because one of my friend’s on FB shared this blog http://www.cosmopolitan.com/celebrity/news/fat-girl and I was repulsed. My initial response was to respond with a similar blog geared toward “skinny” girls.
    You are so right that society has a double standard with weight. For some reason people feel as though it is okay make weight comments when a girl is thin, fit, or even healthy. Sometimes this is meant to be a compliment but I have found that most of the time it is out of pure jealousy. Whether a person is “skinny” based on genetics or eating healthy/working out, it is not okay to make snide remarks regarding their weight.

  15. sarsrose says:

    Reblogged this on sarsrose and commented:

    Second most viewed post of the last year… worth repeating I think!

  16. JC says:

    Yes, I think worth repeating!
    Awesome perspective to be mindful of!! And truly if we have nothing nice to say we shouldn’t say anything at all!
    Blessings to you…
    JC

  17. I think I missed this one last time. Well now I know you are a thin person, a thin cliff jumper! I’m kind of thin myself–so people tell me. Yes, I suppose it could be a sensitive issue, but I don’t know why people can’t just except each other the way God made us. We are all different, and there is no perfect person anyway. Take care.

  18. Lori Lara says:

    This is a great post. Very insightful. Thank you.

  19. chrystal77 says:

    My thoughts exactly! I am glad someone else understands what it is like to be thin. I have had the exact same things said to me and I hated it. What people don’t realize about those who are underweight is that for us it is just as hard and frustrating to gain weight as it is for those who are overweight to lose. Thanks for posting, more people need to see this.

  20. […] 1,303 – A few things you shouldn’t say to skinny girls […]

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