Calynn M. Lawrence
Many people think of weight shaming as something that only people who are overweight suffer from. However, that is part of the reason that thin shaming still exists. Yes, fat shaming is cruel and disgusting and borderline dehumanising. I know, because I am a woman who has been “fat” almost her entire life. But guess what? So, is thin shaming.
Many people believe that this is not an issue because, “everybody wants to be thin.” Yet, instead of lessening the problem, let’s try to stop the problem. No one should have to feel bad about their body no matter their size. This article shares the experiences of two young women who have been skinny shamed their entire lives and have been deeply effected by it. Names have been changed for privacy issues.
Lisa, a singer song writer, tells her story:
“I am 120 pounds, 5’4, size 4. In my mind that seems to be a pretty acceptable size. When I look on my health charts, it says I am average weight. Yet, and still, I have always been made fun of for being skinny. I’m not sure if it has something to do with the way my weight falls, I’m fairly straight up and down. Or maybe it’s the way that I dress myself. Regardless, it seems like no matter what I do I can’t help but be made fun of for my weight. “
“I come from a family of curvy women. As a Dominican, I naturally have a mother, sisters, cousins and aunties with teh desired J Lo body. You know, nice bust, big bum, small waist and thick thighs. This never helped the way kids teased me in school either. I would dread attending the same school as my relatives because responses like ‘Oh your sister is so hot,’ ‘Your cousin is so curvy,’ or ‘How come you don’t got no body like that?’ were far from uncommon. In fact it was practically an every day thing. No doubt, my self esteem suffered dearly and it took my years into my young adulthood to come to grips with my body. I’m glad that can now accept myself for who I am with no draw backs. I am woman, no matter what size my tag says.”
Reina, a ballet dancer, tells her story:
“As thin as possible. That was the standard for making a career out of dance back when I was a teen. Nonetheless, I ate like a bird on the strictest of diets, danced 3 hours a day, lifted weights 5 hours a week and did everything I possibly could to maintain my small figure. As a result, I was able to have a successful career and ended up making enough money to put myself through college with no loans and move out at the age of 21 with a fully paid car.
But, this was not enough to shield myself from the bullying that I faced as a result of being so skinny. I never passed a size 2 in my entire career as a ballerina and even to this day, I am only a size 6 which feels very heavy for me. As a result, it was hard for me to secure a boyfriend because guys found me undesirable and it was hard to keep friends because of the petty back hand compliments that females would always sneak in. Now that I have retired from my dance career, I’ve put on a few pounds and it has sadly effected the way people treat me. I get more guys trying to court me and much less hate from my female associates. It’s sickening to know that my dress size determined how people treated me. This is why I can totally empathize with big girls. It seems to me that society does not want to accept you as being attractive unless you’re an ‘average size’ like a 6 to 10, but no bigger, unless you’re shaped like Kim Kardashian. And let’s face it, most of us aren’t. I love myself no matter my weight but I just wish that other people would too.”
These are merely two experiences of women who have extensively endured thin shaming. There are many women across the globe who unfortunatey have to deal with this problem. How about we as a people finally stop slapping labels on eachother and just accept everyone as their own form of beautiful? It seems like things would be a lot better off that way.