Being thrown the word “skinny” every now and then is insulting and infuriating at the same time. Some may consider my revulsion of the word “skinny/thin” hypocrisy, as society has set a standard of being skinny is pretty. Unfortunately, for me, it is not the case or it shouldn’t be with any other person for that matter. I have despised being called “payat” or “skinny” since I was younger for a few reasons. There was that traumatizing time in elementary school when the boys started teasing me saying my waist was about to snap because I happened to tuck my shirt into my skirt. I was in grade two, and I already hated the fashion of shoving my shirt into my pants. There were those moments in high school when the guy I had a crush on and his friends had the extreme habit of yelling “walking bamboo” and “flat” (referring to my non-existent boobs LOL) in front of everybody while I cowered in humiliation behind the bushes. I could literally hear their voices kilometers away when I was walking down the street. And how could I forget those times of how I chased children down the road as they chanted the words “walking twig” to me and “pig” to my cousin. People called us the number “10” when we were walking together. I was the number “1” while my cousin was the number “0.”
Being called names or being criticized for the type of body I have is not something to brag about. While most girls find it a compliment being
described as “skinny” or that they have lost weight, these words make my heart panic because it simply means one thing. My clavicles and ribs are sticking out, and I need to do something quick to hide them. It has always been a struggle for me to gain extra weight since I was younger no matter how much food I stuff in my body. It is not the fact that I “don’t eat enough” or I “go to the gym” as neither of these are true. In fact, I am well-known for being the “walking garburator” by my friends. That my never-ending, unsatiated hunger especially when I am closed to having my period is a mystery. That making sure I eat every two hours and smuggling food for me to eat inside the theater after eating a big meal are my norms. The type of body I have is neither anorexic nor “too skinny” but more like having a faster metabolism than the average person. It’s just the way it is since I was born. To me, this is healthy. There is nothing wrong with this because I work out three to four times a week and eat healthy at the same time (at least I try hehe).
I got inspired to write about my hatred of being called “too skinny” as a way of redeeming myself and accepting the type of body I have. This is my method of saying I am proud of my body, naked or not (LOL). That I no longer cower in humiliation when people call me “too skinny or too thin.” I’ve learned to accept that rather than hiding my body by wearing baggy clothes and jeans, being comfortable of my body and walking with confidence because I am healthy is what matters. It can still be annoying when I get criticized and labelled as being “too skinny” because of my body. However, at least I am healthy. That I am within the normal BMI for my weight and height, and that I can still eat multiple times a day without worrying about calories. That I don’t huff when I am running for my bus or going up the stairs. That I can last hiking mountains for hours without passing out. That I am proud to say that I have tried fitness classes such as belly dancing, yoga, pole-dancing (I realized this is not for me because I can never do the fireman and mermaid spins) and thinking of joining kickboxing classes in the future. Living healthy is what defines me and definitely not the type of body I am born with or the clothes I wear.
In a nutshell, this post is probably a friendly reminder (or not depending on how you take it) to people that the moment you make a snide comment about a girl being “too skinny,” please think again. While most girls find it offensive to be called “fat,” this is exactly the same thing for girls like me who have a body which you keep calling “too skinny.” Throwing comments such as “you don’t need to go to the gym because you’re already too skinny” or “you need to eat more because you’re too skinny” is the other spectrum of body shaming. That instead of using the word “overweight” or “fat,” using the opposite adjectives too “skinny” and “thin” brings the same damage or impact to the person. You’re still criticizing and humiliating the person receiving your comments. Having said this, I encourage you to take a pause, give the person the benefit of the doubt and consider the fact that this girl might have had this body since birth. It is not because she eats like a bird nor she goes to the gym. In fact, she probably eats like an elephant or eats more than you do. The moment you put a girl in that box of “too skinny” and not eating healthy, think again. Who knows, that girl is probably healthier and fitter than you are. Just saying!! 😜