Sunday, April 18, 2010

How To Make Skinny People Mad

I remember the first time I called my sister ugly. It was actually the only time, because I was in a lot of trouble. At five years of age, you remember a sound spanking, a time out, and the absolute indignity of having to pretend to be sorry and apologize.


Obviously, I was the whole package back then. There's no way my sister could live up to this look.

The good news is I learned that it isn't okay to point out flaws to people. They probably already know, and if they don't HEY! even better.

So that's why today I don't walk down the street announcing to passersby their poorly chosen outfits, body odor, crooked noses, or bad posture.

Other people, it seems, haven't learned this lesson. And it's a pet peeve.

A few weeks back, I helped out a friend who was doing a video project for school. In it, I pretended to be athletic and health conscious (ha!), explaining why I'd given up driving to the gym and jogged there instead (to reduce gas consumption -- I was pretty much the most socially responsible person ever in that video).

When my friend showed the video to her class -- filled with professionals who were earning masters degrees -- they erupted into derogatory comments when I recited my line: "I've reduced my gas consumption and feel better -- I even lost a few pounds!"

According to my friend, I was labeled anorexic and unhealthy and all sorts of other things.

Guess what, people? I'm not anorexic. I'm small, I don't exercise or even eat particularly well, but I don't think that merits vicious comments or anger. Just like someone's obesity isn't license for me to make snide comments.

I'm not the only one who tires of this. I talked to a friend recently who gave birth to her second son, and in conversation with friends she mentioned she was looking forward to getting back to her pre-baby weight. She told me she felt that her reasonable desire was dismissed... because pre-baby weight, for her, meant going from a size 6 to a size 2. Only the "normal" women were allowed to comment about weight, and she was just whining (or bragging).

Another friend deals with people constantly telling her to gain a few pounds or telling her how lucky she is to be so thin. What they don't realize is she's been trying to gain weight for years, and can't. Doctors have no idea why. So she tries to paste on a smile when people comment about her weight when it's actually a really difficult situation.

Thin women have fat days. We have body dysmorphia, we have areas of our physique that make us insecure, and we actually can't "wear anything because [we're] so tiny!"

Can we all make a pact to be nice? To be polite? I'm sure there are things you dislike people bringing up, too.

If you stop getting mad at me when I say my clothes feel tight, I promise I won't tell you what I really think of your next haircut. Deal?


Anonymous said...

FINALLY. Someone who understands being tiny isn't ALWAYS a good thing.

Anonymous said...


I've dealt with this problem my entire life and no one understands how much it sucks and how upset it makes me. I'm the same way as your friend who has been trying to gain weight for years, it is pretty much impossible no matter how much I eat. I used to tell people that when someone calls me "so skinny" it affects me the same way as if someone came up to you and said "you are so fat". Really hurtful and makes you feel totally bad about how you look.

Those people suck for saying anything about you, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! For realz!

megstar said...

Completely agreeing with T!nk...especially since, in my case, being tiny also equates to having no boobs. Not really a good thing.

Bethany said...

Yep, I know how you feel. I can pretty much eat pizza every day and it doesn't change anything with my weight- I have a friend smaller than me and people always label her as anorexic (she's not at ALL). It's really sad.

TallGuySurfing said...

Hell yeah! Props for you for sticking up for us skinny people! I couldn't gain weight if I tried (and believe me, I have) and absolutely hate it when people make snide remarks about me being skinny! By the way, the Seattle RnR Marathon is June 26th and goes from Tacoma to Seattle. We'll be out there a few days before and after.

Sara said...

Makes you wonder why women are so mean to each other sometimes.

I mean, can't we all just say, "Some days, it sucks to be me. Most of the time I love myself, but today I feel gross and want to wallow in self-pity. Empathize, damn it!"

We should all be nicer to each other. And you do not look anorexic. I think you're straight up foxy.

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Anonymous said...

I love that picture! I wish we'd known each other at five.

Monique-aka-Surferwife23 said...

Look at how cute you are.

I had a friend in school who was tortured for being so skinny. And I could never understand how it was more acceptable to tease her than an overweight person.