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The Rant – Skinny no more

This in an open letter to The Daily Fail and similar publications. It is also aimed at anyone wishing to comment on other people’s weight.

Dear all of the above,

I’m a woman, half Brit, half Spanish. Brunette, dark eyes, fair skin. In terms of size, I would be classed as thin. Sometimes I’m bony. Sometimes I have a cute pot belly. Generally, I’m slim: 1.65m high, weigh approximately 53 kilos, depending on the time of the year. I wear a UK size 6-8 (US 2, EU 34-36). I also have huge feet, but that’s beside the point.

I’m thin and I didn’t choose it. That’s just how “the factory made me”. I don’t starve myself, in fact at times – who am I kidding, most of the time! – I eat like a pig. I actually feel jealous of my boyfriend’s servings (he’s quite taller than me and he is a runner, hence his bigger dinner plates) and want to eat his food too. I stay thin due to my body’s natural inclinations and the fact that I walk my dog twice every day and continue to walk almost everywhere as I don’t own a car.

The point of this ramble is that I am a tad bored of reading newspaper articles, tasteless gossip magazine headlines, or editorials by so-called fashion columnists, accusing certain girls of promoting an unhealthy lifestyle and using the term “skinny” left, right and centre. It’s not only the media: some family members use it, certain “friends” use it. And let me tell you one thing, just this once: it’s not nice.

The term “skinny” is offensive. It’s as simple as that. I can assure you that hardly anyone is happy to be labelled in such a manner. Just like bigger girls may dislike being described as fat, big-boned, “piling on the pounds” or whatever label they are given. Because talking about other people’s looks is impolite. It lacks class.

I have no intention to gain weight so certain ladies can be happy. I’m healthy, I feel good and I will not go up a dress size to please the crowd. I’m not a bad example, nor is any woman my size, a size bigger or a size smaller. We are not on this planet to serve as an example to others. There is no such thing as a “normal” sized female. We come in all dimensions and shapes, just like there are other skin colours.

I’m thin. She’s thin, oh and look, another thin woman just went by. Get over it, get on with your life, move on and quit the b*tching. The world is made of people of all sizes. That is basic general knowledge, but I guess some “journalists” were never taught that at school.

*UPDATE: I’d like to thank everyone that has commented on this post. I wrote this because I felt hurt every time I heard someone jokingly telling me to “eat more”, every time somebody looked at me with pity and said I was “weedy”. I know there are a lot of people that struggle to lose weight, others that want to gain it. Some are lucky and have bodies they adore completely, others have physiques they wish they could improve. I also know there are girls that would kill to have my dress size. I hope this post doesn’t make me come across as a moaning cow. I just wanted to say “stop”. Enough with the offensive labels. We all have feelings. It can hurt. Yes, we are all different and that is… simply great.

Pictures: Fashion Limbo

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  • Courtney Erin April 19, 2011, 5:24 pm

    Love this – you're so right too. Obviously there are some people who are unhealthy in terms of dieting, etc. but there are also people who are unhealthy in terms of overeating and then there's just people who genetically have the shape that they do and aren't unhealthy on either end of the spectrum but lumped into silly categories.

    xoxo ~ Courtney
    http://sartorialsidelines.blogspot.com

  • Annebeth April 19, 2011, 5:59 pm

    people will always put tags on other people, be it fat, skinny, pretty or ugly. It sucks, yeah. But we're more than just that, so we can put things in perspective :) you look perfectly fine to me btw, I wouldn't call you skinny, just petite :D

  • sacramento April 19, 2011, 6:56 pm

    I know what you mean. It is difficult for most people to stay thin, and they just don´t like that you have it easy.
    It happens to me with having a tun all the year round, when I actually keep away from the sun. As you say we come in all shape and sizes, and that is brilliant.
    Thank you for visiting.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  • Fashion Limbo April 19, 2011, 7:28 pm

    Thanks for all the support so far ladies, it's a complicated subject and I love to hear your opinions on this. Much love to ALL of you, Annebeth, Courtney and Sacramento, you fabulous women!

  • Eli April 19, 2011, 8:28 pm

    Media has created an awful perception of weight then tries to blame others for it, I hate it. No one society in history has been the same shape and size, and it will never be. It's sad we cant embrace it all

  • Arash Mazinani April 19, 2011, 9:11 pm

    I feel you, I've been the same for a while as well. I think people don't realise for certain people putting on weight is actually extremely difficult. I've always had a pretty fast metabolism so had the pleasure of eating whatever I wanted and being able to get away with it. I've always been quite active and healthy as well.

    Just recently I have started to put on weight through weight training, but the amount of food and extra protein I have to go through is ridiculous and It's not like I've turned into the incredible hulk either.

  • Neslie April 20, 2011, 4:50 pm

    Why should others' size bother me? I think it is ridiculous to judge or comment about it. I like myself how i am. Due to the birth of my daughter i gained some weight but not really important. We like u how you are :)

  • Fashion Limbo April 20, 2011, 8:33 pm

    @Eli, it really is sad, we are diverse and different from each other, and that is simply amazing. I simply hope we can communicate that to anyone struggling with the perception they have of themselves.

    @Arash you see my point completely. It's simply cruel to label someone too thin, or anorexic or underfed, just because their metabolism, or lifestyle or whatever it is that they cannot avoid being thin. Sometimes trying to gain weight to please others ends up being as hard as losing weight.

    @Neslie, so nice to read you, it's been a long time since you last said hello ;) Thanks for commenting darling!

  • My Heart Blogged April 20, 2011, 10:53 pm

    Labels aren't right no matter what kind they are. I lost 40lbs and now everyone says "you're so skinny now". No, I'm healthy. There is a difference.
    My Heart Blogged

  • Reena Rai April 21, 2011, 12:14 pm

    Halle-fucking-luyah. Thank for you this post. I get exactly the same negative comments but I eat like a pig just like you. I just don't understand why it's ok for someone to comment negatively about someone who's got a smaller frame but they wouldn't dare to do the same to someone who is larger. Also, do not get me started on the term 'real woman'. Um ok, so being 'real' is determined by a dress size now?! GRRR!

  • Fashion Limbo April 21, 2011, 4:46 pm

    @My Heart Blogged, exactly, there is a difference, and labelling it with a negative term is a cruel attack. If you are happy with the way you look and accept yourself the way you are right now, why do some feel they have the right to try to bring you down?

    @Reenam thanks so much for your comment and support. The term "real woman" has been used and abused so many times, I just don't get it. We could write pages and pages on how wrong it is to label someone a "real" woman.

  • Elle Enchanted April 24, 2011, 1:35 am

    Thank you. totally agree with this. You're so right. I'm not the tiniest person but I've heard it thrown around before, particularly to a friend of mine who was really thin and got called anorexic by all these people- doctors included when she ate perfectly fine (as someone who's seen her eat 3 slices of ny pizza in one sitting… I know), and it just really damages the person's self image. It's just as bad as calling someone fat. (particularly those who aren't on the unhealthy spectrum- I've seen people who weigh 140lbs and are 5'7 called fat when for that height, it's a perfectly acceptable weight!)

  • Laura Connell April 24, 2011, 4:39 am

    I understand where you're coming from and when I complained about the same thing to a woman who is also thin she suggested we need to be humble and understand that when people call us skinny it is because they feel inadquate (even though they shouldn't). Many women who are bigger feel a lot of pain about that due to societal pressures to be thin, so I just try to sympathize and not take it personally.

  • Fierce Fabulous Fit April 24, 2011, 6:45 am

    I couldn't agree more!!! UGH! I honestly believe that commenting on a woman's age and a woman's weight are totally tacky and inappropriate! It's so rude and it really needs to stop. Also, regarding weight, some women who are very thin actually do have eating disorders, and when people comment on how thin they are it just adds fuel to the fire. So even when someone is thin because they are practicing unhealthy habits, it's NOT helpful for them to hear about how thin they are. I could go on but i won't… :) Great post!

    Krys
    Fierce|Fabulous|Fit
    @FierceFabFit

  • Bekah: Matters of Merrymaking April 26, 2011, 3:31 pm

    You are so right. And I know others agree and appreciate this post as much as I do, because of the long comments you are receiving… You're beautiful and so are your words. I am glad that someone who is thin can put the worldwide perspective on!

    I'm visiting from LALM! :)

    matters of merrymaking

  • lifesobsessions.com April 26, 2011, 6:32 pm

    AMEN!! I am so glad you wrote this, people are so ignorant when it comes to call women "skinny". They think that because their not calling us fat, that it doesn't offend us. It is in-fact very offensive .. it's and normally said to make their self feel better. i always find myself telling people to stop calling me tiny, petite, little .. etc .. it's old. And will NOT make me gain any extra pounds by saying it!

    Right on!!

  • Fashion Limbo April 26, 2011, 7:01 pm

    Thank you so much everyone for your input. I wrote this post because I felt hurt every time I hear someone jokingly telling me to "eat more", every time somebody looked at me with pity and said I was "weedy". I know there are a lot of people that struggle to lose weight, others that want to gain it. Some are lucky and have bodies they adore completely, others have physiques they wish they could improve. I know there are girls that would kill to have my dress size. I hope this post doesn't make me come across as a moaning cow. I just wanted to say "stop". Enough with the offensive labels. We all have feelings. Yes, we are all different and that is… simply great.

  • Fajr | Stylish Thought April 28, 2011, 4:22 am

    I couldn't agree more. Sizism goes both ways and women who are naturally thin shouldn't be criticized or made to feel bad for their weight.

  • HuntGatherFashion April 28, 2011, 9:16 pm

    Yes, yes, yes! Thank-you.
    It seems to me that in general people believe calling someone skinny is a compliment. I think commenting on someone's body size is in poor taste in general, whether you think you are being complimentary or not. I was a professional dancer for quite some time and people thought they had the right to comment on my body shape and size because I had a figure closer to the socially accepted "ideal".I have experienced snide remarks and had people assume that I didn't eat enough (for the record I ate 3 dinners a night!) I was STRONG and thin, but exercising 40+ hours a week will do that to a person! It made me feel as though I had to apologize for having the body that I did.
    Bottom line, we are all beautiful. Size and shape may change but living a healthy life is the most important thing! And no one should be judged for that.

  • Little Rus April 28, 2011, 10:50 pm

    Brilliant post! Frankly, I think you look amazing, but then I do like slim people, not SKINNY (skinny to me means unhealthy…), but petite/slim and healthy looking (and you certainly tick every box!). I so understand how you feel, but then you always need to remember that people judge the others only from the point they can actually understand and agree with in comparison to themselves/their believes. Whenever somebody calls a girl "skinny" or says she should eat more is likely because they want to justify their own larger size or bad eating habits and find somebody to blame, laugh at or hurt.

    xxx

  • Keri Shadai April 28, 2011, 11:35 pm

    Thank you for this!
    Some may think you have this backwards, but you just gave the thin/slim/skinny (whichever you prefer) a little voice! A lot of people give me crazy looks for being thin/slim/skinny, especially when I was prego. And you're right, I DIDN'T CHOOSE IT! Wonderful post!

  • Shoeperwoman April 29, 2011, 1:29 am

    I completely agree, and I'm so glad to see someone post about this. I am so, so tired of hearing the media bang on about how "real women have curves" and "bigger is better". I'm sick of reading comments about how such-and-such a celebrity "needs to eat a sandwich" or is a "lollipop head" or whatever. It has someone become accetable to berrate women who are thin, and to make ridiculous assumptions about their health, when, as you say, actually people come in all shapes and sizes, some are bigger than others and some are smaller: we are ALL "real" women, and we ALL deserve not to be picked apart for our natural body shapes.

    Or, in other words: amen, sister!

  • Alexandra April 30, 2011, 7:23 am

    Thank you so much for this post! You are so right. I am so tired of hearing the words 'real women' and seeing people make assumptions about others based on their weight, shape and what they choose to eat.

    Being healthy and being content with oneself is so much more important. No matter what shape you are, it still hurts when others make your shape their business.

  • Julia M May 1, 2011, 4:51 pm

    This is all so right! A lot of people don't see that the term 'skinny' is offensive, and some people even use it as a compliment. I get called skinny very often, even though I'm a full dress size bigger than a large portion of my friends.
    Anothing thing I hat eis the term 'real women have curves'. NO! 'Real women' are just women, regardless of size! Do flat chested, slim hipped women not exist, or are they just not good enough to be 'real women'? Does my nut in!

  • carrie May 1, 2011, 11:37 pm

    I totally agree & have often explained how rude I think it is to say, "You're sooo skinny". I was especially self-conscious about that when I was a teenager. And also when total strangers felt they needed to point this out to me.

    I do tell people I prefer the term slender.

  • Melissa May 2, 2011, 3:33 am

    this post is so awesome. Not every single person who is thin has to unhealthy, or on some crazy diet. We do come in all shapes and sizes and as long as we're happy and healthy why does it matter what size jeans we fit into.

    http://lavie-amonavis.blogspot.com

  • made-to-travel.com May 2, 2011, 4:47 am

    Hear, hear…so brave of you to say this. I HATE when people say you've lost weight you look so great…my bro recently dropped about 40 pounds and people keep telling him he looks awesome b/c of the weight loss. But they have no idea he was really really really sick and the weight loss was because of terrible medical problems. Like a weight is not a compliment! I mean, I wish we all could just get behind that.

  • Katie May 3, 2011, 2:23 am

    I completely agree. I have been thin all of my life, to the point where my mother used to feed me protein shakes when I was younger. I always hear people use the word skinny with malice. The only people who want to be "skinny" are those with body image problems.
    Like Carrie ^ said, slender will work quite nicely.

  • Zoe G. May 14, 2011, 4:42 am

    I'm with you. One thing I hate is this new media thing proclaiming "real women aren't size 2!" Oh, so I'm a cyborg now? Good to know, here I just thought I was born with admittedly good genes. But apparently I don't exist.

  • Pearl Westwood August 7, 2011, 11:56 am

    What a wonderful post, I wrote something on the same topic this week after seeing celebrities cat calling each other over their weight. It is like weight is a free zone to use to insult someone, when if it was over skin colour for example, it would be illegal – when both are just as hurtful. Bravo for talking about this x
    Pearl Westwood recently posted..The Fat and Thin of it?

  • dusanabotswana August 22, 2011, 9:07 pm

    Wow, I really need to put away lots of hours to go through your old posts I’ve missed, so many important topics! I think it’s great you posted this, it really seems true that since we idolize being slender and I suppose because of the lack of weight diversity especially in the fashion industry, people think it’s especially ok to comment on smaller girls’ weight. I agree that it’s really not ok about any weight and I always say as well that the important thing is to be healthy and just WALK (why so many Americans are so unhealthy!). I do have to be honest though and say that if I notice a friend much smaller than usual I’ll ask just quickly to make sure she’s eating ok, but do genuinely make an effort to make it come across as caring about my friends and make sure to not ask again because my hubs is just like this, he eats a ton & just has a slender build. Then again, we’d never ask a friend if they were eating ok if they’d gained a bit of weight, so I totally see your point. Either way, I would never comment on the weight of anyone but a very very close friend, and I’m very careful about how I say it.
    dusanabotswana recently posted..Making a home, one thrift find at a time.

  • Natalie September 15, 2011, 11:00 am

    Just had to post my heartfelt agreement with the posts on here and say a big HURRAH for all the ‘real’ (whatever that means) naturally slim, healthy ladies in the world. WE BLOODY ROCK and anyone that says different can just shove it up their fat arses!! (Ooh sorry am I being offensive)?! X

  • Jasmine Pittman December 14, 2011, 1:21 am

    NO! but there are also people who are unhealthy in terms of overeating and then there’s just people who genetically have the shape that they do and aren’t unhealthy on either end of the spectrum but lumped into silly categories. Halle-fucking-luyah.
    Jasmine Pittman recently posted..Gout Tips

  • Emily June 19, 2012, 5:13 am

    I feel the same way. I was born small. I am 5’6″ and 115 lbs and I dont think people realize that its hurtful for people to tell us to eat more. I can not gain weight even if i tried I do eat regularly and sometimes a lot more than most people. I used to be self conscious at restaurants where people where obviously looking and talking about how small I was. I learned I just dont care about what they think I dont judge them why should I let them judge me? People need to realize that it is just as rude to call someone twiggy or anorexic and it is to call someone fat or large.