Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Just a note: sorry for the late posting! I'm completely overwhelming myself. It's bad. But anyway...
"I mean, is 'fat' really the worst thing a human being can be? Is 'fat' worse than 'vindictive', 'jealous', 'shallow', 'vain', 'boring' or 'cruel'? Not to me; but then, you might retort, what do I know about the pressure to be skinny? ... Maybe all this seems funny, or trivial, but it's really not. It's about what girls want to be, what they're told they should be, and how they feel about who they are." - J.K.Rowling
Recently on Tumblr, a certain post pertaining to body image came to my attention. I suppose it was intending to spread a positive message (NOTE: I do not know how to reblog GIFs, perfection was crossed out and replaced with "pizza" in an edited version), but it sat a little sourly with me. If you eat, you're might get fat. But they're okay with that! Bring it!
Since my sarcasm translates poorly through writing, just know, I mean no hard feelings. However, just the mere feeling of guilt that stirs when I simply use the word fat shows how obsessed we are with weight, but more specifically, being thin.
Within the past few years, I've unintentionally lost a significant amount of weight. I was comfortable with myself, but all of a sudden I became surprisingly toothpick-thin. My friends, family, and even acquaintances complimented me on my "new" appearance. Or, at least they believed their words were compliments. "You're so skinny! I wish I looked like that!"
It didn't cease until I finally revealed that I took it as an insult. Ironically, the recent surge of accepting "real" model bodies had something to do with it. Magazine articles embraced curves - the body of a real woman. A feminine shape. Not a boyish twig. And of course, ever so proud of their own opinions, they enforced that real women have curves.
What about the rest of us? The aforementioned Tumblr post included shockingly negative opinions toward skinny girls. "I just don't like extremely thin girls," said one. Another admitted, "I think super skinny girls are kinda scary..." And many have cited the ugliness of protruding bones. Even those who admitted to - gasp - eating and having visible bones stated that thigh gaps are gross. (Yep, mine refuse to touch unless I'm sitting, and my bones commit the horrid crime of sticking out from my skin.)
Yet if anyone said this about a fat girl, it would be mean. It would be hurtful. Telling someone she needs to eat less is a stab at her self esteem, but suggesting a thin girl eat more is just as bad. Obviously, there's a double standard at play here. Naturally, there's still many that bash larger gals, citing unhealthiness and claiming skinny is synonymous with health. But assuming smaller girls are unhealthy and anorexic? No one bats an eyelash.
Everyone deserves to love her (or his) own body. No one should feel shamed by others for mere appearance. I strongly hold the attitude that those who mind don't matter, but in most cases it's easier said than done. Accept yourself and others, thick or thin, short or tall, or any other lovely combination. There's not just one body type that's beautiful, despite whatever anyone may tell you. You are beautiful. You just have to believe it.
EDIT, 4/27/11: Just for clarification, I am not trying to induce sympathy for skinny girls, sound whiny about my own experiences, or say that it's difficult to be thin. I just intended to point out a bit of hypocrisy and suggest that accepting one body type shouldn't come at the expense of another.
PS If you ever want to discuss any of the topics featured in my Thoughts for Tuesday columns, don't hesitate to email me! I'd love to hear your feedback, and if there's anything I can help with, I'd be more than happy to.