Amanda Moments
October 22, 2014

(Apologies if the title of this post offends you. I believe it is the very first curse word ever to appear on my blog. I did it though not to be offensive or mean, but to make a bigger point. I am one of those “skinny b*tches” you hear referred to in the media. My story is one of those skinny girls you may not have heard.)

A few weeks ago at work, we were given free company T-shirts to wear to work events. Such is my luck, all the smalls were out and I was stuck with a men’s medium. When I tried it on, it looked like one of those giant night shirts, big and boxy, loose and almost to my knees. The first time I had to wear it, I tried to tuck it in creatively to hide the bulk, but I still felt self-conscious and jealous of all my co-workers who looked awesome in their appropriately fitted tees.

One of my neighbors does mending, so I took the shirt to her to see if she could bring it in so it fit better. As I explained that it was too big, she gave me a concerned look and said, “You’re too skinny anyway. What do you weigh?” I told her 125, and her reply was something to the extent of, “Soaking wet though, right? You’re far too small.” I was embarrassed and uncomfortable, and it made me feel even more self conscious and aware of my awkward body.

I kind of mumbled, “Yeah, but I’m not sure what to do. I eat plenty,” and scurried off. What she didn’t know was that I ate four pieces of cake that day. And if I told her that, she probably wouldn’t have believed me anyway.

These are the kind of exchanges that happen to me often. And I cringe every time my weight gets brought up. Any woman can attest that someone else pointing out your bodily flaws does not feel good. Especially when it’s another woman.

I have been working on this post for months now, and I’ve been terrified to publish it for fear of sounding insensitive. But my goal with this post is twofold. 1) To share my side of the story. 2) To share my hopes that we can stop any kind of movement embracing a certain body type and instead focus on being our own versions of healthy without worrying about anyone else. I want to get to a place where we can all be accepting of each other, big or small, busty or flat, bootylicious or stick straight, or even somewhere in the middle.

cheerleadingMy arms were kinda cut, and I was athletic, but my waist would never be anything but tiny.

My story

I’ll try and not make this too long, because I recently wrote this guest post sharing it all. To summarize, I had the same 108-pound lanky body all the way from age 12 to 26. I grew a booty sometime in there, but that was literally the only place that seemed to grow. My high school classmates would call me “too skinny,” “anorexic,” “stick,” “gross” and other hurtful phrases. At lunchtime, I would get asked if I was going to throw up later. I would be asked what it’s like to be anorexic. I was told to eat something. I was the Calista Flockhart of small-town northern Indiana.

My mom made me an appointment to talk about my weight and find out if I was normal or too underweight and if I had any health risks. The doctor said I was teetering right on the edge of normal and underweight, but wasn’t too terribly concerned. He advised me to eat more protein and try nutritional shakes to gain weight. I did, and nothing happened. Out of desperation, I went out of my way to eat fatty foods like fried chicken, mounds of greasy bacon and so many Doritos and Twinkies. I gorged myself hoping it would make me gain so the teasing would stop and I’d look like the other girls in my class. Still nothing. Not a single pound. I felt helpless.

Literally, I couldn’t gain weight if I tried.

Yet even in high school, when I was at my skinniest, I also held the record for most number of push-ups when the Army came to recruit. I was very active, in tennis, cheerleading, dance and more. That didn’t help either.

As Shane said in her own post about being the skinny girl, “As difficult as it is for the majority of people to lose weight and keep it off, it’s the same struggle for me to put it on.” Ditto, girlfriend.

No matter what I did, I couldn’t win. And I so badly wanted to be liked without being defined as that stick girl. To vulnerable, shy teenage Amanda, those comments were just as hurtful as being called fat or ugly. I became too worried about how others viewed me and not how I viewed myself. I was sad that people thought I was grossly thin. It wreaked havoc on my self-esteem. I was never good enough, except to my closest family and friends (a.k.a. the people who knew how much I ate).

It got easier when I started college and moved out of state. I was still small, still ate a complete crap diet and completely stopped any physical activity. I was grossly out of shape and unhealthy, but still, 108. Fewer people seemed to care, but the words from high school still haunted me. When I met my now-husband in college, I felt good knowing that he liked me for the real me.

Around age 26, my metabolism screeched to a halt and I suddenly started gaining weight. Years earlier, I had stopped weighing myself though because that 108 number never changed. But eventually the pants I had been wearing since high school started getting tighter, then suddenly couldn’t even make it past my hips.

Though I was alarmed at first, I was glad to be filling out and finally at a healthy weight. To maintain this weight and not keep gaining (because finally, I know what it’s like to not be able to eat anything anymore), I switched to a healthier diet. Of course, I also wanted to develop better eating habits I could pass on to my children and provide more well-rounded meals for me and my husband in the meantime.

Now, at age 29, and just shy of being 5’5, I weigh about 125. When I got to this weight AND was eating much better, I actually started to feel really good about myself. For the first time in a long time, or maybe ever, I felt normal. Until that neighbor’s comment, which took me right back to those hurtful words in high school.

Even now, when I am at the ideal weight for my height, even now when I make good food choices but still struggle with my junk food addiction, it’s not good enough for some people. I may not be perfect, but I try, and for the most part, I’m healthy. But I shouldn’t have to justify that to anyone.

thigh gaps are for flamingosvia. These are the kind of images that are really frustrating. I ate plenty of cupcakes in high school and I still had thigh gap.

Even innocent comments hurt

Now, for every negative skinny comment, there is also a well-meaning one that is just as hurtful. It’s the “OMG you’re so small! I wish I were as skinny as you.” Or the “You’re such a skinny Minnie!” Or the “It must be nice to eat whatever you want and not gain weight!” And even though I know the people who say those things think they’re being nice, that’s not how I take it. To me, it’s embarrassing because you are pointing out my body and comparing it to yourself or someone else. I start overanalyzing and wondering if by “so skinny” you secretly mean “too skinny” or “unhealthy” or “icky.” It makes me feel uncomfortable and self-conscious, and I never know how to reply.

I often end up putting myself down to justify why being skinny is not all sunshine and rainbows. But that does no good either. Really, any comment, regardless of intent, about my body that isn’t an actual compliment makes me feel not good enough. So please: Tell me that I look pretty or that my scarf is cute instead.

As much as you might think that I can wear anything, that’s far from the truth. Even though I’m small, I’m not proportionate. My waist is teeny, torso is long, legs are short, boobs are small and hips are huge. When shopping for swimsuit separates, I have to get an XS top but a medium bottom, and even then, medium bottoms still don’t hide the cellulite (yes, skinny people still have cellulite). And buying jeans? Absolute nightmare. So no, it’s not always “nice” to be skinny.

tennis sr yearI was in the best shape of my life when I played tennis, but even with muscle, I still couldn’t break 110.

The grass is always greener

I feel particularly left out of today’s culture because we’re surrounded by inspirational weight loss success stories. Don’t get me wrong, those are great! I know that many people struggle with obesity and food addiction, and I applaud their efforts to live a healthier lifestyle. And in a world that relies on fast food, overly processed snacks and convenience, it’s no wonder so people many face struggles with food.

While it’s not hard to find stories of people who have lost mounds of weight, it feels like the world (and sometimes the individual) just wants to see them skinny, and they strive for an ideal body as defined by the media and society’s standards. I often wonder how many of them are doing it for the right reasons. I wonder if they have the wrong perception of what it’s like to be skinny. Thing is: Losing weight does not mean you will be happy. Even once you achieve whatever size you’re striving for, there will always be something you can pick yourself apart about. No matter the size you wear, people will always find something else to criticize you for.

The story that is left out of most of the media these days is the story of someone who struggles with weight from the other end. We’re so focused on celebrating weight loss, but it’s not always a good thing. What about the people that actually need to gain weight? The people who do have eating disorders, or maybe the people like me who are naturally small but still have issues with food? I know they’re out there, but I haven’t seen many of them.

Real medical issues

A friend of mine growing up was born with cancer PNET (primitive neuroectodermal tumor) and is missing a lung because of it. She received even more comments about her weight than I did due to the way her body looks from that. And even though she’s probably the “skinniest” lady I know, she’s a beautiful, caring, kind person. But like me, she heard many hurtful things about her size when she could do nothing about it.

Too-small women can also deal with other setbacks in life simply because of their size. Ballerinas often don’t get their periods because they work so hard and have to maintain a small body. But even regular, everyday women, have reason to worry about their futures.

After I wrote my first post about being the skinny girl, Kelly from Southern Komfort and I ended up emailing back and forth, sharing our own similar stories. She actually enlightened me to an entirely new and very real concern that she faces for being too skinny, and that’s having children. Her doctor “diagnosed” her with a rapid-fast metabolism, and she has tried everything to gain weight. Her lung even collapsed because of her size. No other reason. And now, she’s not sure if she will be able to conceive children or provide the proper nutrients for a baby, let alone carry the weight of one inside her. All for no reason other than being naturally skinny.

One thing she said to me that is better than any other way I can word it is this: “Telling a skinny person that they need to be quiet when she talks about trying to gain weight (for health reasons, such as myself) is just as rude as somebody saying, ‘Hey whale! Eat more salad!’”

For 10+ years, both Kelly and I have felt like no one else understands when all we hear is that we are too small.

Skinny shaming

The past few years, there has been a new movement of women embracing their curves. Which is great, in theory. Curvy women are beautiful, and I know that big girls got bullied just like I did. But skinny women are beautiful too, and everyone in between. Yet so many of these “movements” still focus in on one particular body type as being right.

“Zero is not a size.” “Real women have curves.” “Big is beautiful.” Does that mean that if you aren’t a size zero, you’re not a real person? Or that if you have no curves you’re not a real woman? Or that if you’re small, you’re not beautiful? I know that these campaigns mean well, but to someone who once was a size 0, it feels like they’re saying that being naturally thin is wrong and ugly. Or at least that’s how I always took it.

Big girls being ridiculed for their weight is nothing new, but their voices are rising and fat-shaming is slowing becoming less acceptable. But now, the term “skinny shaming” is coming to light, and some even call it reverse discrimination. I’m not sure what to call it, but as a skinny person, I’m glad we’re starting to have a voice. We’re a very misunderstood group, probably because we’re a small group (no pun intended).

The “other side”

I know that there are more severe health risks for overweight individuals than for underweight ones, and because so many more people struggle with obesity, we simply hear more of their stories. But when I first started drafting this post, I didn’t completely understand the other side because I had never lived it.

I felt marginalized as a skinny person because I was called stick and gross as a teen, and people thought I had an eating disorder when I didn’t. And because people still call me out on being “too skinny,” I felt attacked. The first time I ran across this post, The Myth of Skinny Shaming, I was infuriated and felt completely misunderstood.

Certainly being small (and in this case, I mean naturally thin, not seriously underweight) isn’t a privilege?! But then this article changed my mind. Particularly, this line: “I’ve never been asked to pay more for a seat on an airplane – because the seats were designed with my body type in mind.”

And then I got a new perspective. While some individuals will probably always comment on my body for one reason or another, it is true that mainstream society still values small over large. Small within reason, anyway. So maybe we don’t have it so bad, us skinny but healthy people. And what am I doing worrying about what other people think of me anyway? I’m an adult now and have far better things to do.

Why I’m NOT ‘All About That Bass’

That being said, there is no doubt in my mind that pop culture and the media play a HUGE role in the way naturally skinny girls are viewed. Heck, the way everyone is viewed. We are all stereotyped, aren’t we? And that leaves groups of people very misunderstood.

This summer, the breakout hit was Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass.” It was catchy, seemed light-hearted and fun. But I hated it the moment I first heard it. I couldn’t help but notice the slew of double standards and contradictory lyrics. And then when everyone (including blog land) was singing the song praises for being body-positive, I wanted to scream.

Hear me out.

While the song has a few lyrics that I do genuinely think are positive, I will never get over these lines: “boys like a little more booty to hold at night,” “all the right junk in all the right places,” “I’m bringing booty back,” “Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that. No I’m just playing I know you think you’re fat.”

These lines play into the same issues I have with “Real women have curves.” Those lyrics seem to insinuate that women need to make men happy, and therefore you must have a curvy booty or else you’re not desirable. And the “no I’m just playing” line is so passive-aggressive.

For the record, not once did I ever think that I was fat. I’ve always been ultra aware of my size. Let’s not make assumptions, Meghan.

Thankfully, miss Megs did get some backlash for this song. As my bestie and reporter friend wrote in her own review in our newspaper, “I’m all for mamas teaching their daughters that their weight shouldn’t determine their self-worth, but not with the hook that boys prefer a certain body type.” Amen sistah.

In looking up more analyses of the song, I found many, but none held the same weight that this post did on Jenny Trout. And as one of the commenter stated, “Anything that uses the phrase ‘skinny bitches’ isn’t body positive in my opinion.”

Now, I should state for the record that as much as I hate All About That Bass, I should probably also hate Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda. But I don’t. Because Nicki does not even pretend that her song promotes body positivity in any way. It’s all about the big booty, that’s all, no apologies. But Meghan’s song is traipsing along as a total marketing lie, and that’s the issue I have with it.

i am me and i am beautiful

We are all beautiful, regardless of our size

I’m not trying to sound like a lunatic on her soapbox, or an expert on body image, by any means. I may not know what it’s like to be overweight, but I know all too well what it’s like to be underweight and criticized for that. So let’s push aside all of the physical and talk about, and worry about, deeper issues. We all have meaning and every woman on this planet is beautiful regardless of how she looks from the outside. “Too fat” or “too skinny.” Celebrate you just as you are.

Finally, I know that I am more than a number on the scale or a label. No matter what my body looks like, I am defined by far more than that. I am a daughter, wife, sister-in-law, niece, aunt, co-worker, volunteer, writer, animal lover, friend, and human being. I am me, and that is good enough.

68 responses to “I’m one of those skinny b*tches”

  1. Cassie says:

    THANK YOU for sharing your story Amanda. And you’re so right that even the little comments hurt. I’ve been in this struggle too- my family has said those things. A doctor once asked me if I “liked” being this skinny (I have an average BMI) and I was absolutely appalled. Especially because I was seeing her for GI problems that caused me to get sick every time I ate making it VERY hard to keep on weight. So thank you for this.

    • Ugh, isn’t it worse when it comes from family, like the people who are supposed to know you? It just really does come from everyone, and not just the media. Body image is such a touchy thing. Thank YOU for your kind words about this. To stop perpetuating stereotypes and unfair ideals, we gotta start talking about it, so this was my first step, and a really hard one at that!

    • Oh wow. :/ That was really rude. I would have spoke up to her about it even if I did have a good relationship with the doctor.

  2. Marielle says:

    I can relate to so much of this. I’m five feet, around 93 lbs, and complete strangers think it’s ok to tell me to “eat more.” I probably eat as much as my boyfriend, who’s almost 100 lbs heavier. Whenever people make those comments like “how can you be so skinny?” I try to deflect it by saying I’m Asian – but then I feel bad because I’m just perpetuating that stereotype of Asian women as tiny people. And I hate those “0 is not a size” campaigns, and how we can’t seem to accept plus sizes without shaming smaller ones.

    • I really have no clue why people these days think they’re entitled to share their opinions on complete strangers without thinking about how their words might be perceived. It’s not OK, and we don’t owe anyone an explanation for something they have no clue about. We all have our own inner battles, and what helps most is simply kindness and compassion, not criticism or judgement. That helps no one.

  3. This is just amazing. I struggle with getting weight off. I honestly never thought the stuggle and the hurtful words could go both ways. Thank you for sharing your story. You really made me think about how I talk to some of my skinny friends. <3 very well written!

  4. Morgan says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. It’s so rare to hear body struggles coming from the other side. This is a great reminder for everyone. We all have insecurities and struggles, and no one should be criticized for their body shape and size, no matter what that size is.

    • Exactly! And that’s why I wanted to tell this side, but was also really scared, because who wants to hear the story from the skinny girl. I’m so warmed at the response, and I feel so good to have gotten that out. You’re right, we all struggle with something, and no one deserves to be criticized for that.

  5. Ohhh Girl, I hear ya. Well sorta. I am about 5-3 and 125 now. I am and always have been a size 0. I remember one day i was shopping with some friends and I went to try on pants and I put on a 0 and it fit and my friend looked at me and said “I hate you” maybe she was kidding. Maybe not. but I ended up getting a size 2 so she wouldnt be mad. and they were too baggy and I never ended up wearing them.

    • Oh yeah I have that same story. Shopping with friends is hard because they get jealous that I shop in the small sizes and they don’t, but really, what does it matter? Though I’ve come to terms with my size now, earlier I wanted to be in bigger sizes! Like I said, even well-meaning comments can hurt, even from friends who are joking. Ugh, it can be tough.

  6. I”m so PROUD of you for sharing your story. This is so well written and full of so much heart, your beauty shines through. The posts that are often the scariest to push publish on are the most rewarding. Keep sticking up for yourself. Your side of the story is one that needs to be told more often. I hate how society has trained us to be defined by our bodies. Nobody NO BODY, wins. Ever. Period.

    • Oh thank you so much! That really means so much to me. And you’re right, this was easily the hardest post I’ve written to date, but has been the best for just getting it out. And I am so relieved and warmed with the responses. I was expecting backlash, so this is good! Phew!

  7. Jeni F. says:

    Thank you for sharing your story so honestly! I can identify with a lot of what you are saying. I am just my size just because my metabolism does what it does. I think a danger of growing up thin is that people always praised me for my size to the point that it’s now hard to separate it from my identity. It’s caused my fair share of body image issues-which I suppose everyone has to different extents and for different reasons.

    • Yes, and thank YOU! It’s hard to not identify with the way we look. “The skinny girl” or the “fat friend” or whatever, but none of that means anything. You know, let’s focus on what we contribute to the world rather than our appearance. That can be so hard though.

  8. aduross5 says:

    This could not have been easy to write at all…laying out your emotions and feelings that you have had for years…..kudos to you for opening up and sharing this with us. People can say things with no intention of being mean but they have no clue how their words hurt us or affect us. We have t be sensitive to those around us and remember that everyone is fighting some invisible battle.

    • Yeah…this was the opposite of easy to write. And once I did, I almost didn’t post it at all. But, now I’m so glad I did. And yes, sometimes we are totally unaware of what our words can mean to others. I just try and remember the motto, ‘If you can’t be kind, be quiet.’

  9. Meagan says:

    Great post, and thank you for sharing it with us. People always assume that the grass is always greener, but it most definitely is not. You provided great insight to that! And I’m with you – let’s have a campaign that just loves our bodies, no matter the size or shape! That’s what I’m trying to teach my girls (and maybe myself a little too!)

    • Yes, the grass is never greener! If we “fix” one thing, then it’s always something else. I hope to teach that to my kids too, that you just need to tune others out and love yourself just as God made you, and to be kind and compassionate to others because everyone is going through something.

  10. This side of the “war” between skinny and fat is grossly under expressed. Thank you so much for shedding light onto what it’s like to have trouble gaining weight. It’s so brave.

    Being the “fat girl” in most of my friend groups growing up I always envied the skinny ones, but never thought about how they might be struggling just like I was. As an adult, however, I have a more healthy view of mine and other’s body sizes and understand that everyone has their own issues to overcome.

    • Aww, I hate how we all tend to define ourselves in a group by our appearance. The fat friend or the skinny friend or whatever. It’s totally human nature though, especially since we tend to dwell on our own insecurities and sometimes forget that other people are struggling too. In the end, we’re all just human beings struggling through life, ya know. I’m trying to catch myself from thinking this way too still!

  11. Christine says:

    This is amazing, and you are amazing for sharing your story! It’s so great to hear another perspective on weight. Thank you for being so strong!

  12. Ugh, YES! I feel the same way about the song. It just promotes the idea that the only way to feel good about yourself is to put down someone else. I loved this article:
    http://www.bustle.com/articles/39992-meghan-trainors-all-about-that-bass-lyrics-rewritten-to-be-more-body-positive-inclusive

    • Yes! You should accept your body, but only if it fits into the standards of what others also like. Why not just acceptance regardless?! Ugh. That article you shared is fantastic. Now THAT’s a song I want to hear.

  13. great post, amanda. thanks for sharing yourself so authentically and from a place that strives for all women and our bodies to be appreciated.

    loved your: “Thing is: Losing weight does not mean you will be happy.” sounds like the flip side also does not!

    i appreciate that you found other articles talking about ‘privilege’ as a skinny person (i’m 5’9 and about 140) and it’s true that we get to function in a world that is built for us but my dad has to buy larger seats on an airplane. it’s a complex and overwhelming issue (as with many social issues) but i so appreciate you sharing your story and i’m happy you’re happy being exactly who you are!

  14. Amy says:

    I’m so proud of you! Your giving a voice to those who have battled the same problems and finding your own voice! I’m also proud of you for knowing to change to healthy eating habits when you met a “healthy weight”. I gave into all the name calling and people telling me to eat more, that I was to boney. My problem was I didn’t know how to stop once I met my healthy weight and ended up overweight. I’m now trying to drop the extra weight. It’s a long hard road on either side of the weight scale.

    • Thanks Amy:) I’ve fought opening up for so long because I was afraid of being criticized for my feelings, but that’s just as silly, isn’t it? You’re right, once you give in, it can be hard to know where to stop, but whatever end you’re at, no one is ever good enough by society’s standards. You’re either too fat or too skinny, and if it’s not that, it’s something else. Learning that you can never win is hard, so I’m trying to tune other voices out and just be happy with me. Of course, that’s easier said than done.

  15. You seriously knocked this out of the park girlfriend!! I cannot thank you enough for sharing this… Just wow! You’re a woman after my own heart and we’re all in this together – the skinny b*tches and the curvy ladies!

  16. Ugh. The fact that you even had to write this post is disappointing. People are so judgemental. The trend now is a curvy body, yesterday it was about being rail thing, tomorrow, who knows? But everyone is different. People need to stop focusing on looks and start being kinder. The fact that anyone has to say it is ridiculous.
    xoxo
    The Accidental Mama
    http://www.theaccidentalmama.com

    • Yes! The “ideal” is constantly changing, but what isn’t changing is acceptance and letting go of any given beauty standard. We’re pressured from all angles these days – not just in the media, but also from family and friends, co-workers, other blogs, etc. My view is that you worry about you and I’ll worry about me, because we’re all battling something.

  17. Laura Marie says:

    YES. YES. YES. I am NOT all about that bass either. I am so offended by that song! Like you, I finally started gaining weight in my 20s. But before that, I was always always always the “skinny, probably anorexic girl”. When I was five (FIVE!!! YEARS OLD!!!) and in ballet, they teased me and used to call me things like toothpick and pancake. It had a major impact on me and I have been SO aware of my size ever since then. I honestly don’t think people who say things about being skinny realize that their words aren’t always considered compliments to the receiver. I’m not saying I find their words insulting..but I’d rather they just kept their opinions on their body to themselves.

    • Oh yep, “toothpick” – I forgot about that one! But when you were only 5? Sheesh?! I agree, so many people don’t mean any malice, but their words still hurt. I just hope that I can watch my own tongue better, and teach my future children to be considerate and kind to everyone, because everyone’s going through something, ya know.

  18. […] was reading Amanda’s post yesterday and it stirred things in my heart that I haven’t thought about for a really […]

  19. Rachel G says:

    Like you, I’ve been the same size for more than a decade, about 105. I grew up in Asia, though, where I was actually noticeable bigger than the average girl, so I’ve never really felt self-conscious about being thin. I definitely get comments, especially from my concerned grandmothers who just want to feed me! I do not think it is at all helpful to promote body acceptance with words like “0 is not a size.” Because, sure, call it something else, but please keep making those clothes because I need something to wear! I’ve been known to shop in the kids section of Old Navy, and in plenty of stores, even the 0s are too big (which means that vanity sizing must be alive and well). I haven’t always been healthy, but I am now, I’m feeling great, and I’m grateful for a body that stays consistently at a size that’s healthy for me!

    • Oh yeah, older women for sure seem the most, like genuinely concerned, about it. I too once shopped in the kids section–in high school I could still wear girl’s sizes, no problem, or the smallest of the junior sizes. Some friends had a big problem with that, but it’s not like I could do anything about it! But for sure, the most important thing is that we’re happy and healthy, and now as an adult I am finally realizing that.

  20. Pinky says:

    I was a skinny B8tch all of my life, until I turned 25. I did’nt break 100 pounds until my junior year of college and I ate all the time. I was also a college soccer player, so I was burning more calories than ever. I was blessed with good genes and I’ve never flaunted it, but you can see it.

    What’s harder for me now, is the fact that I’m a size four and not happy with my body, but people won’t let me be unhappy without being rude. I’m healhty, I just need to workout more, because I have extra fat inches on my waist. I just wish when I say ” I need to lose inches/weight” or “I’ve gained weight” people wouldn’t freak out on me. Going from a 0 to a 4 is a big deal, and no I wasn’t ‘sick’ before.

    It’s frustrating.

    • Ugh, I feel you there. I had a bit of a meltdown the first time I went shopping for new pants to fit my new body and was super freaked out when the size 3s wouldn’t budge above my hips. I grabbed a 5. Closer but still wouldn’t button. I ended up in a size 7. SEVEN! Now, I knew that that didn’t make me fat, but it was really strange. I mean, 15 years and I don’t gain a pound, and then all of a sudden I’m a size 7, and it was the first time I was dealing with these new emotions about it. And now, I try to make better food choices, and if I turn down a cupcake, people seem upset, like I still NEED to eat one. It’s like, because I still appear smallish, doesn’t mean I can’t make healthy choices, you know. But these days, it seems that everyone has an opinion and feels entitled to share it. We just need to remember that if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. I try to more watchful of my own comments because you never know what another person is going through.

  21. Samantha C. says:

    Girl, let’s talk. You’ve seen me. I’m “tiny” too. I am 25 and weigh in the 105-108 range. My freshman year of high school I weighed 85 lbs. Yeah, you read that right… 85 POUNDS. I specifically remember in algebra class my teacher asking for peoples weight for a math problem. I was the only girl that volunteered to give my weight. When I said my weight people started talking. Did I care? Hell no. One girl said that I weigh as much as one of her thighs. I knew I was small compared to everyone else and I still am. I did peak at like 120ish in high school after gaining muscle from track and dance but that muscle completely went away after I started college. I got back down to where I am at now and it hasn’t moved one bit. I can eat whatever I want whenever I want and I don’t gain a thing! In my mind…I would much rather be on the smaller side and healthy than overweight any day. (no offense to anyone reading this comment) I am sure that one day my metabolism will slow down too and I will have to make changes like you did. Just remember that this is how our bodies are made and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it! I still to this day get skinny comments as well. I just think that if they are willing to waste their breath and time on a comment like that…they must not truly be happy with themselves. If they think that I weigh as much as one of their thighs then maybe they should do something about it. Maybe my logic is much different than others…but just don’t let it get to you. All that matters is that you are happy in your own skin.

    • Dang girl, 85 pounds?! That trumps me for sure, but as long as you were healthy, which I’m sure you were. I’m similar in that I lost all muscle after high school when I was no longer playing tennis. That kept me really fit, though it didn’t do much for my weight. I’m with you too, I’d rather be too small than too large – there are fewer health problems with being small, and life is easier without excess weight. Which I’m finally realizing, and it that’s a little sad. I probably played the victim for too long and never really thought about the other side. But you have good advice, and I think I’m closer to letting those comments just roll right off. Thanks for the thoughtful comment!

  22. Anca says:

    Love you post. I’m going to share it.

    As a teenager I wasn’t fat or skinny.
    Many aspects of my life had changed when I was 25 and I became overweight without realizing it. I’ve started to hear stupid remarks, but none of them really affected me. I was 26-27, mature, loved the way I looked. A colleague asked me if I’m pregnant, so what?! Someone told me in the shop they don’t have my size… I though: well, they should have better stock control.
    After loosing weight, at 29 (now I’m 31, almost 32), I heard another type of stupid remarks. For example: aren’t you too skinny? I just replied: No, I’m not underweight. Didn’t affect me at all.

    I know both sides, but, luckily I’ve discovered them as an adult and not as a struggling teenager.

    Anca @ ancaslifestyle | UK

  23. Cherie says:

    Thanks for this post. It’s nice to hear from the other side.

    Weight/size is such a tricky topic. I think everyone is unhappy with themselves or scrutinized at least once in their life — no matter their size.

    I’ve never been “fat” and I’ve never been “skinny.” I’ve always fallen somewhere in between. My BMI is currently on the higher end of “normal.” And although I know it’s better than being unhealthy, I’ve never been particularly happy with it.

    I think we all feel that way naturally. And society/the media doesn’t help at all. I’ve gone back and forth on the Meghan Trainor song. It’s catchy and it definitely builds up the bootylicious end of the spectrum. But you’re right. Body positivity shouldn’t come at the expense of putting other body types down.

    I’m really glad that curvy girls are finally getting their time to shine. When I was in high school, it was all about thin thin thin. I just wish we didn’t feel the need to bash one body type to celebrate another.

    As long as you’re healthy, it shouldn’t matter what size or shape you are. And yes, some guys will like a little more “booty,” but some guys will like less, and other guys won’t care at all. That part of the song really does bother me — mostly because it insinuates that I should base my worth on a guy’s opinion of my body. Nope.

    So many things to say, but I’ll end it here. Again, thank you for your post. It really made me think.

    • Oh, thank you! I’m glad you identified with it.Yes, that song just has so many mixed messages and while the intent is good, the delivery could have been better. I do think our society is getting better, more understanding, but we still have a long ways to go. Discussing stuff like this openly is a good step! Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting:)

  24. Lindsay says:

    I loved this post! Thank you so much for writing it. I know it was hard, but it needed to be said. I think of myself as fairly “average” weight and people still feel the need to say things like “you can eat whatever you want” or “You have no idea what it’s like to be overweight” or “You’re lucky, you’ve always been skinny.” (I was actually a little too heavy in college, but they didn’t know me then. So why make the assumption?)

    And the small on top, medium on bottom? I hear ya! I am also blessed with no boobs and huge hips.

    Another strange thing … if I am eating dinner with a group and have eaten all the food on my plate, people often try to physically put more food or more dessert on my plate. They don’t want to have leftovers so they just expect me to eat it. And usually I’ve already eaten just as much or more than everyone else; they just didn’t notice. This is frustrating to me.

    • Lindsay says:

      I realized after writing my first comment that I need to stop joking that I have “no boobs.” This is one of the hurtful things people have said about me and I need to stop saying it about myself! Theyre small, and thats just fine! Plus, my mom had a mastectomy after her breast cancer diagnosis, so joking about having no boobs is actually really insensitive for more than one reason.

      • You know, that’s a really good point too! I do the same thing – get upset if someone else comments on my small chest, but then I joke about it all the time. I should just accept that this is who I am, and that is beautiful and OK! Good points, Lindsay!

  25. My mother’s side of the family has always struggled with obesity, as has my mom. My siblings and I do have that tendency for obesity (but my dad’s side of the family are all shorter and smaller). You’ve read my post on my postpartum weight. But of the reason that it has bugged me so much was because my mom (who is 5’4″) was always around 100lbs until she had me. Then, she never got back down to that weight and after 24 years and 4 kids, she is now over 200lbs. I was always scared that’d happen to me, so I made sure as soon as I hit adulthood to have a healthy, moderate lifestyle. My 22 year old sister has more of my mom’s metabolism and body makeup. She fluctuates within a 50pound range. My brother has always been a twig. My baby sister (9th grade) is 4’11”. She’s always been short for her age. In 3rd grade, she was still the same size as the kindergardners! Right now she is 85pounds, but she dances, tumbles, and cheers. But, meat is her favorite food and has been her entire life. She can eat endless ribs, sausages, chili, jerky but still never gain an ounce. She is also obsessed with Cupcake Wars and makes cupcakes weekly and eats half of them, but again, never gains weight. She hasn’t grown for about two years, so we think she’s done growing.

    So, to make a long story short, I understand. And I think as long as we are confident with what we look like, we are beautiful.

    • That’s so interesting how even in one family there can such a range of body types and metabolisms. I totally identify with your sister – I was never quite that small, but for my height anyway I was, and boy did I enjoy my fair share of cupcakes! She may still grow though, you never know. I stopped growing, height wise around her age, but then grew weight wise at 26, though I’m sure that was just my metabolism finally slowing down. And yes, confidence is definitely key regardless how we look!

  26. […] I have thin privilege, but I’ve also experienced skinny shaming – though “shaming” makes it sound so much more serious than the tedious annoyance it was for me.  The usual unsolicited advice like “put some meat on your bones,” how strangers feel like they can comment on what I’m eating or not eating, people conflating “thin” with “healthy.”  It’s not analogous to fat shaming at all.  But saying problems aren’t problems because they aren’t as serious as other problems is kind of crappy, so it’s sad that people can be reluctant to talk about these sorts of experiences.  I loved how Amanda told her story. […]

  27. Rachel says:

    Not surprising to you I’m sure… This post resonates with me.

    I still worry when I leave the table after a meal that people think I’m going to throw up when in reality I just drink a lot of water.

  28. “Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that. No I’m just playing I know you think you’re fat.”

    I liked that song until I paid attention to this lyric after reading your blog. I’m not skinny, but I’m pretty average in size. However, this line bothers me a lot. It sounds like an insult. It immediately made me think of eating disorders and women who generally feel bad about their bodies. There ARE skinny people out there who think they are fat and people with eating disorders who have become skinny due to the disorder. There are also a lot of people out there with body dismorphia who see themselves fat or too skinny no matter what. I love the idea of the song and that girls are really trying to feel better about themselves but putting down an entire group of women with different bodies is NOT the way to create body positivity. I also have a friend who is about 2 inches shorter than you and weighs about 110 and she HATES it. She can’t gain weight either and feels bad about her body from similar comments.

    I also think the picture with the flamingo could have possibly been aimed at people being obsessed with obtaining a thigh gap that the majority of skinny women have. It is hard to tell what context that was suppose to be in. People are trying to put down the thigh gap in an attempt to try and help young girls and women not develop an eating disorder. It is so sad to me how we can’t embrace all body types in womens music yet in the most degrading songs by men they accept it all. Something is so wrong with that.

    • I really appreciate your thoughtful comment though.

      That line sure sounds like an insult to me too. It’s pretty obvious she’s not using the word “bitches” in an endearing way. And yeah, it’s really insensitive too, for reasons you mention.

      So so wrong with all of that. But us women talking about this is a great step, I think!

  29. Bonnie says:

    Thank you for posting this! I was 98 pounds up until I had my first baby. I lost the baby weight pretty easily but about a year later I gained 10 pounds. I totally understand how scary it is to hit publish. I actually blogged on this topic a few months ago and I was so nervous. For the most part it was received well, although one person’s response (personal response, not one she published on my blog) still sticks with me. I am still working at not letting other people’s comments bother or define me. But sometimes it sure is hard. The thing that bugs me the most right now is when people are shocked that I work out or try to eat healthy. “You aren’t trying to lose weight are you??” They leave me no room to try to be healthy or get my post-baby body back in shape.

  30. […] happy all the time? But, I felt a need to open up and be vulnerable. After I spilled my guts about being the skinny b*tch, I felt such a sense of relief for getting that off my chest, and I realized that it’s not so […]

  31. […] The period piece was good too. It was good for you to open up. I think you did more in that one than in the skinny one. (this skinny one) […]

  32. […] also, read about how my friend amanda felt about meghan trainor’s biggest hit “all about that bass” and how isn’t all that positive, especially towards those ‘skinny b*tches.‘ […]

  33. […] but like I said, it just not a priority for me. Fine, it wasn’t even on my mind at all (see: I’m one of those skinny b*tches), but my lunch habits were a pretty good reflection of who I was as a person at the […]

  34. Brita Long says:

    I LOVE this post! I was a little apprehensive at first, because thin privilege is a thing, and “skinny shaming” is not at all to the same degree as fat-shaming. But you addressed that, and you included some great outside links. I also appreciated how you didn’t try to compare your own struggles with that of other women. You just shared your story honestly.

    I have Crohn’s Disease, so my weight is rarely in my control. Either I’m too sick to gain weight (I dropped to 98 pounds at Thanksgiving, but I’m now hovering around 106), or I’m on such strong drugs that I carry around extra water weight. I hate when people give me compliments on my weight. I’m not healthy at this weight. Our society’s perception of healthy and thinness is so screwed up that people see my bony body and assume that’s healthy.

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you! And unfortunately for awhile I did take the boohoo poor me approach, and actually the first article on thin privilege I read, I was upset that people weren’t sympathetic to my problems. Then I like it sink in for a bit, and when I removed myself from the situation and actually tried to consider the perspective of overweight people, I realized how ignorant I was being and felt awful. No matter who we are or what’s going on, we ALL have some sort of issue, and shouldn’t judge the struggles of others, especially if it’s a perspective we haven’t lived. There’s a lot of misunderstanding out there, but the more we talk openly and lovingly about it, the better world we create, I think. That’s part of why it was so important for me to share my story.
      Ugh I agree! Just because someone is thin does NOT mean they’re healthy. I just got that the other day – “you probably don’t even need to go to the gym, you’re so small as it is.” Umm…but I am weak and terribly out of shape. I need the gym just as much as anyone else–I just need it for different reasons!

  35. […] even excitement for it. Even though high school had some awkward times and I had my fair share of being teased, for the most part, I had a great experience. And what I realized is, I spent 12 years with the […]

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