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In a time where curves are celebrated rather than disgraced, our society has run into a rather new problem: Skinny shaming. This is the act of victimizing someone for their thin or skinny body frame, and its not okay.
In recent months, lyrics from Nikki Minaj to Meagan Trainor have been criticized for shaming those who don’t have booties, curves or “enough to hold onto” and while I’m sure the lyrics at question were never meant to put down another person, it has brought this serious subject to light.
This problem didn’t just start with popular song lyrics.
I am in my twenties and about 5’5” weighting 124 pounds, and its the most I’ve ever weighted. Skinny shaming has been a part of my life since before I can remember. I’ve been called names such as Twiggy or skinny-minnie, and no one looks twice when they’re shouted out at a bar or party. But to me I die of embarrassment every time I hear it.
I try to work out on a regular schedule, but I’ve been turned off by gyms for years because of the looks that say “why are you here?” or “are you really trying to get skinnier?”
I’ve never been a fan of sweets and my favorite foods are fruits and vegetables, but when my cart is full of produce at the grocery store the cashier often says something along the lines of “you’re not going on a diet are you? You need some (insert fatty food here)” and so on.
Oh and going to the mall? Nope. Although many companies get slammed for carrying small sizes, it’s nearly impossible to find anything with a good fit that isn’t a designer label or meant to be worn skin tight.
My body has been determined by my genetics, just like any one else. But because of skinny shaming, I’ve learned to hate and hide my “skin and bones” body type since elementary school. Baggy clothes are always my first choice, and I rarely order a salad at a restaurant because of the comments I know come after. I die of envy every time a curvy girl walks past, and hope one day to have a body that is considered as sexy and womanly as theirs.
This is why it needs to stop.
Until writing this article, I never thought skinny shaming a real issue, even though I have unknowingly been experiencing it my whole life. I have been trained to hate the body I have and inundated with messages that it needs to be changed to be accepted by the world, or lord forbid, a man!
Instead of putting each other down, let’s build each other up. Every time you get the urge to spit out a skinny shaming term, replace it with a fat shaming term in your head and ask yourself, “Would this be okay to say to a person that weights more?”
“Omg eat a cheeseburger!”
“You are all skin and bones.”
“Why do you need to work out.”
“omg eat a salad!”
“You are all fat and curves.”
“Why aren’t you working out.”
See it now? NEITHER is okay. We are born into amazing bodies that all do amazing things no matter what they look like. The world is hard enough of women, so lets stand together in this. Stop shaming!