All Articles Tagged "skinny"
You only get one life, and you should be able to enjoy it even when you’re in the process of bettering yourself. Don’t hide in baggy clothes—or even worse, in your home—until you’ve completed your diet. There are ways to trick the eyes of others into seeing a more slender woman than you actually are, all while you’re still a “work in progress.”
You’re often told to do an exercise a certain amount of time, number of repetitions, or “until you feel satisfied.” But with every person’s body having different limits and different strengths these vague instructions can leave us unsatisfied. But forget measurements and forget numbers. There are certain ways to understand what a healthy body looks like that apply to every woman, and they’re easy to understand.
It happened while shopping at a local boutique during my freshman year of college. At the time she was a size 14 and I was a 4. For some reason, that day she decided to try on clothes in the petite section. I was confused, but I continued trying on clothes.
She kept eyeing a teeny bra and panties set and I thought, “No way. I know she’s not.” But she did. She picked up the set and fawned over how cute the lace was and said she was buying it. I didn’t know what to say, so I said nothing and continued trying on clothes. With no warning, she looked at me as I awkwardly stumbled out of the dressing room wearing what I hoped would finally be the perfect dress for whichever event we were going to.
“Ugh, you make me sick you skinny b***h.”
It stunned me at first. I had the kind of relationship with my friends where we could insult each other lovingly and never take it to heart. But this. This was something else entirely. She gave a half-hearted smile and chuckle but she looked a confusing mash-up of angry and sad. Back then I thought too much of myself as we so often do and I took offense, discussing the issue with friends to make myself feel better as they coddled me with the, “She’s just jealous,” speech. What I know now is that it was more about her than it was about me.
Self-doubt, ESPECIALLY when it comes to physical beauty drives us to comparison in absolutely illogical ways and then throws us down into the muck of despair when we don’t measure up to whatever ludicrous standard we’ve set ourselves up against. But instead of accurately and honestly assessing where we are and then putting in the sweat (literally) to get where we want to be, it’s so much easier to give intense side-eye to that young woman who spends three hours daily in the gym and watches what she eats. It’s so much easier to call a slimmer woman (by metabolism – something almost completely uncontrollable) a “skinny b***h” without knowing her story. Did you know she may be battling an eating disorder brought on by physical and/or mental abuse? Or that perhaps she has a rarely high metabolism and intensely low self-esteem and tries desperately to gain weight to avoid criticism? You don’t know because you never asked. You never asked because you assumed that she thought she was “all that.” And we’re (skinny girls) supposed to take that?
If it’s rude or inappropriate for me to call an overweight woman a “fat, moon-faced heifer” then it’s equally inappropriate for someone to look at my 105-pound frame and jeer “Anorexic, skinny b***h!” or assume that I’m purposely missing meals to stay small. I get it; life is unfair. Boo hoo. Society is full of double standards, all of which coddle one group and leave its opposite open to criticism and cruel treatment that often lead to unfair resentment and hidden insecurities.
Though I wasn’t always comfortable in my body and I still deal with insecurities about it, it has become clear that acceptance is a useful tool in moving through life. Well, acceptance and a staunch refusal to bite my tongue when confronted about my weight. I learned to brush off the backhanded remarks about my size by larger women when I understood that I had nothing to apologize for. As if the fifteen or twenty pounds tipping another woman’s scale were somehow caused by my innately high metabolism. Really?
Society has really screwed us up. It has skewed our perception of what healthy looks like and driven home the lucrative “Try this and lose weight!” campaign year after year on the front of every glossy magazine in the checkout, in every aggravating commercial featuring that annoying celebrity, with pills, supplements, exercise regimens, crash diets and surgery. So, we clamor for that elusive perfect shape (yes, even the thinnest of us) and compare ourselves to those who we feel have reached that goal in our place. “In our place.” As if another woman’s physique decides the beauty, or lack their of, of our own. The result of that kind of ridiculous comparison is misguided self-doubt, insecurity and unfortunately, for many, lashing out to cope. I get the psychology behind it. Truly. But it’s no excuse to be mean.
I am not pleading the case of skinny girls. I am defending everyone who falls on the other side of any number of double standards, through the cracks, and gets lost there. Thinner women are subconsciously taught to be ashamed of their size and never to complain whilst we deal with an array of problems ranging from health to clothing that others deem trivial/silly. How crazy is that? Though I do struggle daily with lurking insecurities about my weight, that doesn’t give me license to belittle someone who is larger – nor would I ever want it to.
“Be kind; for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Philo
Though the struggle may not be overt; though the struggle may not look like yours; though you may not understand it – accept the fact that everyone has a struggle.
We have to stop thinking of ourselves in terms of everyone else. We’re doing more damage to our own psyches and self-view than the best marketers and advertisers ever could. Thin or thick – healthiness is beauty and THAT is the only standard to which we should ever strive to measure up.
La Truly’s writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change among young women through her writing. Check her out on Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly.
When “Glee” actress Amber Riley fainted at a red carpet event recently, rumors swirled that her new diet was the cause. Amber took to Twitter after the incident to dispel rumors, saying she would “never starve [herself] to fit clothes.”
The 25-year-old actress, who has recently dropped at least two dress sizes, says that she lost the weight by cutting out fast food and sticking to a new diet and exercise plan. She said she has always been comfortable with her size but just wanted to be healthier.
Of course being healthy is paramount, but beyond that, does size really matter? It does if you ask the people told to lose weight because they’re obese by BMI standards or the ones that are told they are too skinny and need to put some meat on their bones.
Celebrities are under intense pressure to maintain a certain size because every pound gained or lost is a potential magazine cover story (think about how Jessica Simpson was treated), but this pressure seems to apply to more than just those who are paid for how they look. And without a standard, contentment must be found when looking in your own mirror because feedback from the outside world is often conflicting.
For one, many of us have no idea what size we really wear because sizes vary from store to store. In one shopping trip, one might purchase a pair of jeans in a size 4, 6 and 10 — yet those jeans might all fit the same.
This common experience makes the obsession with size strange because there isn’t a universal way to measure it (no pun intended). Sure there are ballparks, but if you’re looking into buying a weight loss product that promises you’ll drop a size in a week, you’re probably better off just buying a different brand of jeans.
The second issue – especially in the black community – is that some men claim weight is an important factor in choosing women to date, so many women tailor themselves to fit a shallow standard. But one man’s “thick chick” is another’s “overweight neighbor” and one man’s “slim sweetheart” is another’s “too skinny friend.” We’re better off just finding someone who is content with our size rather than trying to fit into one man’s narrow preferences, but some people would rather play shapeshifter.
You can barely watch television these days without seeing Jennifer Hudson, Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey endorsing popular weight loss products. At the same time, gossip sites demanded answers after paparazzi pictures surfaced of Avatar’s Zoe Saldana walking down the street looking too skinny for her skinny jeans. When the famously thin actress starred in the film Colombiana, she prompted one writer to say, “female action stars have gotten too skinny to throw a believable punch.” (Ouch!)
However, sometimes, the size pressures placed on black women are even tougher than those placed on other cultures. Anyone can shrink their whole body, but on the flipside, the pursuit of video vixen style prominent bosoms, flat abs, and enormous derrieres is a tall order for someone who is not genetically shaped that way.
I’ll never forget the time one of my friend’s showed me her booty booster. I’m not sure what the proper name was for that painful looking contraption, but when she put it on underneath her jeans, it significantly boosted her backside.
“Guys like girls with big butts” she told me with a shrug.
Of course “guys like girls with big boobs” too and that is undoubtedly where the inspiration behind padded push up bras — such as Victoria Secret’s “Miraculous” bra — come from. But who really wants to carry around all that extra material just to give off an illusion and to feel good about themselves? There are an excessive amount of devices created to enhance, diminish, distort, and constrict a woman into looking a particular way, but all that stuff has to come off at some point and you’re left feeling inadequate with what you’ve been given naturally. That’s sad.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to take pride in our appearance, but there is a fine line between a healthy desire to look our best and unhealthy desperation to be a certain size and have certain curves. And with all the images directed at us acting as though only black women are big yet other images saying being skinny and less than curvy is out of style aren’t helping us get any more healthy. Maybe crazy, but not healthy.
Besides, when taking your full potential into consideration and what it is you bring to this world, does the fact that you’re a slim sista or “thicker than a Snicker” really matter anyway?
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If you’re a black girl with curves be glad for them. There are women out there trying to get like you…and not just around the way girls, supermodels. Don’t believe me, Chanel Iman recently said she’s trying to eat to gain weight.
The 5-foot-9 Victoria’s Secret model has been eating steaks and mashed potatoes to gain weight. And apparently her efforts have paid off, she told US Magazine she gained 13 pounds.
“I’m a big believer in having hips, butt and thighs!”
Even though she appreciates thickness it’s not so easy to come by for her. “It’s very difficult for me because I’m naturally skinny,” she said. “I have to put on a lot of weight and work out to gain muscle. I love curves and being Hot.”
Have you ever tried to gain weight? What for?