Complaining about my body often seemed like a privilege, I was the skinny person but somehow everyone failed to realize that I feel equally insecure about my body, as would any overweight person.
Nobody really understood what the derogatory comments did to my self-esteem. For them it was humor, for me it was how I saw myself.
“If you don’t eat enough you’ll fly away.”
“You look like a matchstick.”
My friends, relatives, even my parents did not stop making fun of me. This, going on for so long, ended up in me being too socially anxious and insecure about myself, to a point where I would avoid gatherings and functions. Trying to find a way around all of this I started looking for solutions, wearing many layers of clothes seemed to sometimes do the trick but this was temporary, I hated looking at myself because I never looked like I wished to.
My issues were not understood by the people I discussed it with because I was not fat, so according to them I was lucky and I should actually be happy. I never could love myself, I felt unlovable. The idea of someone finding me beautiful was simply too hard to decipher. Going on blogs, listening to songs about body positivity did bring hope that maybe, after all, I was not alone. But this only lasted for a few minutes till I had to come and face the reality that is my life, i was still considered the “lucky” person who was simply stupid for not loving herself. I felt alone because people simply refused to acknowledge my issues. The derogatory comments sometimes got too hurtful when even my closest friends told me I’m not a real woman if I don’t have curves.
People often fail to consider the various subsets of the term “body shaming”. The one particular subset that is “skinny shaming” is often not taken equally seriously or given much consideration. Skinny people face equal criticism. Skinny shaming is a major slap on the face of body positivity. The whole point of body positivity is accepting everybody in whatever shape, form, or color. Everybody is beautiful and you don’t have to change yourself to fit the internalized beauty standards set by the society which are very hard to reach. You don’t have to change your body to please anyone or fit someone else’s idea of beautiful. You’re beautiful just the way you are, but unfortunately this is easy to say and very hard to implement. We can go on social media handles and we’ll be easily able to come across models, actors, and actresses on whom negative comments on their body are thrown at every day. Skinny models are even often blamed for making the standards of beauty too high when they’re just being themselves. Due to these criticisms people not only get put under and unimaginable mental pressure but often end up resorting to unhealthy means of mending their bodies according to the comments of the people. These include usage of drugs and tablets which promise to make their bodies beautiful but end up having serious consequences.
Often people who comment on the bodies of other people are projecting their own insecurities on them. We need to come together and bring about the revolution of body positivity. Surely this is a heavily discussed topic but is also one taken terribly lightly. Putting up an Instagram post on body positivity and later resorting to the same toxic behavior towards people is not bringing a change but is a big example of hypocrisy.
Skinny people are beautiful and do not have to eat excessively or put drugs in their body because their body makes someone else uncomfortable. If you’re someone whose skinny shamed, I understand that it’s not easy, it’s actually really hard and it gets very overbearing, however there is hope. You need to block the people in your life who bring about the negativity, attend support groups where people with similar issues share their experiences and grow with each other. You’re strong for getting back up after every comment on your body but accepting you need help is not a sign of weakness.
Your body is a temple, you’re in charge of it, and nothing anyone says would ever make you less beautiful. Ending with words of positivity I’ll quote this poem by Katie Makkai, where she answers her daughter when asked “will I ever be pretty?”
Mom, will I be pretty? Will I be pretty?”
I will wipe that question from your mouth like cheap lipstick and answer,
“No!” The word ‘pretty’ is unworthy of everything you will be, and no child of mine will be contained in five letters.
“You will be pretty intelligent, pretty creative, pretty amazing. But you, will never be merely ‘pretty’.”