Body-shaming usually is directed toward women with curves. Recently, with the worldwide spread of body positivity, the tables have turned.
I, as a naturally thin and petite person, am being discriminated against for being thin.
Next time you feel a comment reach the tip of your tongue about someone's weight, keep in mind these things to never say to a thin person:
1. “Real women have curves.”
When I hear people say this or see posts on social media proclaiming this statement, it makes me cringe. Am I not a real woman because I don't have curves comparable to Jennifer Lopez or Nicki Minaj?
Don't get me wrong; I fully support the use of realistic women in advertising. Not Photoshopping stretch marks, freckles and other so-called imperfections is great, and it helps women to stop comparing themselves to completely unrealistic beauty ideals.
But when a company uses all heavier models claiming they are “real” bodies, it makes me furious. (I'm looking at you, Dove). Where are the real petite women?
2. “Where are you planning on applying to college?”
People assume that because I am thin and have little to no junk in the trunk, I am still 17 and haven't hit puberty.
I work with the public, and customers seem to think they can make comments about my age because they connect my small size with being young.
When I reveal the fact that I graduated college two years ago, and have lived on my own for as long as I can remember, they are shocked and say I look barely old enough to work there.
I guess I will appreciate looking young when I am 50, but right now, it's just annoying.
I'm sick of people assuming I'm still a teenager because I don't have the voluptuous curves of a “real woman.” It's difficult being taken seriously when everyone thinks I am still in high school.
3. “You're eating candy?”
Yes, I like sugar as much as the next person. When I eat a bag of gummy worms for lunch because I need a sugar high to keep me sane at work, everyone feels the need to comment on how I eat junk food but stay so thin.
It's called a fast metabolism, and I inherited it from my dad, who is just as skinny as I am. I eat healthy most of the time because it makes me feel good, but any time I indulge in something unhealthy, I get strange looks and comments.
I've even gotten a dirty look from a cashier at a gas station when I bought a frozen Coke and a bag of candy.
I love cooking, and vegetables make up most of my diet, but if I want a cookie, I will eat a cookie.
I just don't eat the whole package, and this is how I keep myself feeling good. How about people worry about their own diets instead of focusing on what I'm putting in my mouth?
4. “Why do you need to go to the gym?”
So I don't get heart disease when I'm 35, and so I can build up muscle tone in my stick arms. Plus, exercise makes me hungry and releases endorphins.
I like to feel happy and healthy, so that's why I need to go to the gym. Plus, I'm really flexible, so yoga comes naturally to me. I do what I'm good at, just like anyone else.
5. “Have you lost more weight?”
When I get stressed, I lose weight. Some people eat their feelings; I starve mine. I can't help it.
I get sick to my stomach when I am stressed out, so I tend to lose weight during difficult situations.
I would never ask another woman if she's put on a few pounds because she would get offended.
If I constantly went around at work commenting about how some people are big, and maybe they should eat an apple instead of that 1,000-calorie frozen meal, I would probably get fired.
Plus, everyone would hate me.
Making comments about anyone's weight, big or small, is hurtful. Before making a comment about someone's thinness, ask yourself if you'd say the same thing to an overweight person.
If the answer is no, don't say it!