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:
‘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.