The body positivity movement has been, honestly, a little confusing at times. But we’re not supposed to say that. You’re probably thinking it’s positivity – what’s there to be confused about? Sometimes it seems the movement was created only to protect and empower certain body types. For that reason, it’s been a wonderful movement. At times, it seems less inclusive as if not everyone needs encouragement or praise about their bodies. While many celebrate plus-size bodies, it’s often open season to talk reckless about thin bodies. That’s right–skinny, petite, frail or whatever people might project onto smaller framed figure, thin people feel body-shamed, too. In fact, it’s heard a lot.
“Of course you’re ordering that”
There’s pressure to order something unhealthy just to avoid the annoying comments about eating like a bird. “Of course you order that;” “Figures;” “Ahh, that’s why you’re so skinny.” “That’s all you’re having?” Those are just some of the things people say. The comments are annoying.
“You could literally disappear”
“I almost didn’t see you there. You’re so thin.” “If you lost five more pounds, you’d disappear.” “I thought you were the coat rack.” Comments like these attach body size to presence. Society has a history of asking women to disappear – to be quiet and compliant and submissive. So when it’s implied because of the body, it’s annoying.
“You wouldn’t understand–you’re skinny.”
This one hits frequently and often, it’s around body insecurities. People who aren’t thin don’t think thinner people struggle with body image to the point thin people can’t even speak on it. A patriarchal society has succeeded in polarizing, ostracizing and pinning people against each other by creating ridiculous beauty standards. Why would continue to participate? Our bodies should not be a point of disunity. Body-shamming is shared experience. Believe that.
“You won’t be able to get pregnant”
This one is really shocking and offensive. “You won’t be able to get pregnant. You’re too thin;” “If you do become pregnant, it won’t be safe for you to carry the baby to term;” “You’re so skinny, there’s nowhere for the baby to live.” Another one is, “You won’t be able to produce adequate breastmilk because you’re too thin.” How does a conversation about birthing become a body shaming one? Make it make sense.
“If you slip, nothing will break your fall”
Don’t let there be a risk of falling – like when a thin person hikes or walks through a slippery area – someone makes a comment like, “Hold on. You can’t afford to fall. You’re all bones. Nothing will cushion the blow.” Annoying.
“Do you eat enough?”
Do thin people really need to detail every meal they’ve eaten? Furthermore, “enough” is subjective. Different bodies need different amount nutrition for a variety of reasons including activity level, genetics and more. So there’s no correct answer to that annoying question.
“Men like curves”
There is so much wrong with this statement. Let’s get the insanely misogynoir part out of the way first. This comment implies that the decisions women make about their figure are all based on the desire to attract and satisfy men. That’s fucked up. There is nothing body positive about that sentiment. How about this: Who cares what men like. This comment suggests I’m skinny is unattractive and undesirable.
“There’s, like, nothing to hug”
This all ties into the idea that the amount of love, presence or value is directly tied to body size. When people say there’s nothing to hug in comes across as saying there’s nothing to love or that skinny people are incapable of having a loving, comforting presence. Here’s a question: what good is a great, cushiony hug if it’s from a person with a cold personality?
“I tried being thin. But then I got hungry.”
There’s delusion that thinner people starve themselves to be thin. That they don’t have eating disorders or body dysmorphia or are just naturally thin. Skinny people deserve the same compassion and respect and sensitivity around their bodies as other people. The body-shaming is not cute, funny or easily digested. think about it–then stop doing it. It’s annoying AF.