Stop Skinny Shaming

Let me ask you 2 questions:

1) Is it offensive to call someone ‘fat’?

Yes/No

2) Is it offensive to call someone ‘skinny’?

Yes/No

If your answer isn’t ‘yes’ for both questions, I urge you to think about it and answer again. If you still don’t come out with 2 ‘yes’ results, I would like to know why.

Over the past few years, the modelling industry, magazines, and fashion brands have been called out for only using ‘size-zero’ types of models. Fat shaming is also finally being addressed as an issue. And thank god. Thousands of years on this earth and we’ve finally got there. Modelling agencies are starting to incorporate women of all shapes and sizes, as they should. Body confidence campaigns are everywhere, asking all of us women to throw out old preconceptions of beauty, and to love ourselves as we are. Hallelujah!

However, with all this great and fab stuff going on, our language doesn’t always seem to be catching up with all this change. The question I asked at the start was to highlight this, and to ask you to think about how you use language. ‘Fat’ is now a word that has been disregarded, and is gradually being chucked out of our language as the horribly offensive term it is. But what about the word ‘skinny’? To most it probably seems complimentary, like ‘ooo you’re looking skinny’, as a way of saying ‘ooo you look nice’. Personally, it doesn’t seem like much of a compliment to me. one incident of the use of that word comes to mind in particular. I was working with a female coworker a few years my senior. While in a quiet lull in our shift, she decided to grab my wrist and say ‘you’re too skinny. You need to eat more.’ My reply was ‘I do eat a lot actually’, and took my wrist back. She must have thought she was being helpful, and didn’t see how the use of that one word could be hurtful. And she isn’t the only one. I’ve had comments like that my whole life. What people fail to realise is that I was born a small baby, and have always been on the slimmer side. Now at 20, I’m 5ft3 and a 6/8, depending on where I shop. This is my natural weight; I eat 3 meals a day, with snacks inbetween, and live  -relatively- healthy. I too, enjoy a maccies 20 chicken nugget box, and a pint after uni. So although she may have been trying to help, I’m quite alright thank you.

The flip side too is saying ‘Oh but you’re so nice and skinny’. It might be intended as a positive, but that too isn’t helpful. The problem of eating disorders in the UK is still significant. Language and words play a role in addressing them. Using words like ‘fat’ and ‘skinny’ can be enough to push people out of recovery and back over the edge.  As the saying goes ‘Words are Weapons’. While the debate on ‘fat shaming’ is starting to have some momentum, ‘skinny shaming’ also needs to be part of the discussion. Everyone needs to think about the language  that we use everyday, and the effects it can have. Both women and men come in all shapes and sizes. A woman is not a woman because she has either big boobs or small boobs. A woman is not a woman if she has good child bearing hips. All bodies are different, and deserve respect, especially how we speak about them.

So I will ask the same 2 questions again:

1) Is it offensive to call someone ‘fat’?

Yes/No

2) Is it offensive to call someone ‘skinny’?

Yes/No

The debate needs to go further. The hashtag #stopskinnyshaming as well as #stopbodyshaming already exists for this discussion, both on Instagram and Twitter. Share it around social media as a reminder that it needs to stop. And to start the discussion. If anyone has been effected by this and would like to talk to me, you can find me on both Instagram or Twitter.

Instagram: @_amberlance

Twitter: @tawnyleaves

Get in touch x

 

One thought on “Stop Skinny Shaming

  1. Hi Amber, hope you’re well and taking care of yourself. Haven’t seen your posts for a while and so thought to check in on you, hope you’re ok.. take care… Salma x

    Like

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