Monday, March 30, 2015

Skinny Shaming

The recent swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated was remarkable for two things; the first was the cover girl who was showing a lot more skin than is usually found. That set off a storm of protests which was deftly turned into marketing which we should have seen coming. The next thing that happened was there were photos inside of a woman who didn’t fit the mold of a “skinny” model and everyone thought that was great.

So this is what we were told by those reactions; skinny women have long be accepted as products of objectification and it is high time not so skinny women were too!

In other words, the movement to accept women who are not skinny as women has begun. Be careful what you wish for, not so skinny women out there.

There’s this movement now where any woman who isn’t skinny has to have some sort of validation from the public. It may be she’s just built big because a lot of human beings are and there are a lot who are not. It shouldn’t matter either way but we’ve created an image of what is beautiful and not all round women fit into that slit mold. Still, if we’re going to say this isn’t acceptable then we also have to accept the idea that there are in real life women who are naturally skinny. Yes, this does happen. And when it does happen, we can’t allow them to become products of reverse fat shaming.

I have a friend, a close friend, so close she’s like a sister to me, who is, was, and always will be, skinny. So she tells me that someone came up to her and said, “I’m going to buy you a butt for Christmas!” and she retorted, “Why don’t you give me one of yours?”

I laughed and asked her if that person is still speaking to her and that’s when she hit me with it. “Why didn’t ask me if I was still speaking to her?”

In other words, it was okay for the women with two butts to make fun of the woman with a skinny butt, but the self-defense remark was seen as fat shaming.

She also hears on a regular basis, “Do you have to run around in the shower to get wet?” and “Don’t fall into an open coke bottle” and “We’ll have to tie weights to you so the wind doesn’t blow you away” and all of this is seen as good clean fun, at least for those people who enjoy saying this sort of thing.

But it isn’t different than telling a woman she can’t go to the beach because Green Peace will keep pushing her back into the water? Oh, that’s cruel, that’s ugly, that’s a terrible thing to say to someone, yet because a woman isn’t overweight then she’s fair game because she ought to be punished for not being fat.

Generally speaking, skinny women are also flat chested but that description alone is derogatory. What defines flat versus mountainous? Are we to look at the current cover of Sports Illustrated and not realize a woman who weighs less than some dogs I’ve owned isn’t going to be a natural D cup? We understand at some level most women in magazines have implants but we’ve allowed that look to be the one we’re looking for. We understand that most women who are considered beautiful have been computer enhanced. Yet we allow ourselves to fat shame women and to skinny shame women, because most of them will never be model material. We’ve created a system where we’re looking to mate outside our own species.

If it is wrong to make fun of a woman because she’s not skinny then it’s wrong to make fun of a woman because she is. There’s damn few women who have naturally large breasts and those who don’t shouldn’t be the object of ridicule simply because they refuse to under the knife to fill a societal expectation that requires a woman to look unnatural.

The way we look at women, the way we talk to women, the way we’ve trained women to look at themselves and to talk to themselves, is worse than wrong; it’s a detriment to our society in so many ways it is hard to count.

Stop it. It’s wrong and it’s hurtful. That’s all we really have to do. The well-being of half the people in our population depends on it. Our women deserve better than that from us men, and we ought to grow up enough to realize it.

Take Care,



  1. Right on!...I have been skinny for about 15 yrs due to diabetes, tho' haven't been overweight since pregnant with my son over 20 yrs back...yes, I was curvy in the past, but how I look isn't who I am and wish more people didn't make assumptions. ..thanks for a good writing and thinking! ♡

    1. Thanks for the positive vibes, Gayle. I've always thought of you more as an artist than what your body weight is.