How society has normalized "Skinny-Shaming" |

"You don't encourage people to take care of their body by telling them to hate it". - Laci Green

how society has normalized skinny shaming |
Society has sadly generalized all skinny people as anorexic.

When we talk about a skinny person, the first images that cross our mind would be of someone who would eat lesser than others or go on an extreme diet to maintain a thin appearance. Society has sadly generalized all skinny people as 'anorexic'.

While Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder, being skinny may just be the result of a fast metabolism. I have often been ridiculed by people for holding a 'negative body image' just because I am naturally thin. But honestly, I have been thin my whole life and trust me when I say "I EAT FOOD" just like everyone else.

Struggle with body image

Hey, you got thinner. Do you even eat?", this question has become the most common way for someone to greet me. I grew up at a house where I had two "healthy siblings" and I was considered to be the unhealthy one. My mother left no stones unturned to include me in the herd of her "healthy kids" and to achieve the goal we would visit doctors every now and then who would prescribe me vitamins, proteins, iron, etc.

I was convinced that I was abnormal and I would never be able to lead a normal life. I covered myself with baggy clothes, long-sleeved shirts, and would never even look at tight-fitting clothes.

In 2017, The famous fashion houses Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Dior pledged to ban size zero models to help promote "healthy body image". In fact, people all over the world applauded the move as the victory for body diversity in the fashion world.

While it came as an utter shock to me that total exclusion of a particular body type could be an indication of promoting diversity. The society once again proved to be hypocritic and out of logic. It was merely a way of society to decide 'the ideal' body type for women with no proper way to justify it.

Self-love and self-acceptance

It was hard and I will repeat it again that it was hard. Self-acceptance and self-love didn't come to me overnight. There was a lot of trial and error involved. I started off when I was a teenager by searching for a crowd who could identify their problems with me.

I thought the best way to identify that crowd would be by starting with YouTube because no one around me was ready to talk about it. I could find many YouTube videos but most of them were focused on a single thing " how to gain a healthy weight" and in no way, I was searching to gain a societal representation of "healthy weight". I was searching for the content that had to deal with positive body image rather than a video that once again put the emphasis on the " hourglass figure" as the ideal type.

Often, I would be hurt by the ones closest to me who would say "Oh! Come on, don't stand next to me because anybody would look fat next to you". I would laugh it off at that time but deep down I would be getting more insecure about my body. When I googled I couldn't find enough representation for the skinny people who would talk about 'self-love and self-acceptance' but instead I would find articles slamming the skinny role models.

how society has normalized skinny shaming |
Amber Liu at the M Super Concert on July 28, 2012. Source - Wikimedia Commons

Then when it seemed like nothing was working out I came across a video featuring Amber Liu, who is an American singer, rapper, and songwriter, roasting the haters who called her out for being flat-chested. My next move was to instantly Google about her. It made me realize that I should have dealt with my problems by speaking out about it. I should have been the advocate of my own problems. I had never really talked to anyone about it before just because I thought I would be laughed at and how insensitive it would sound for me to promote thin people when the world was dealing with 'fat-shaming'.

As I talked more openly about it after coming to terms with it, it affected me lesser when someone would try to poke their nose in my business.

In the end, You are who you are and who you want to be and there should be no denial involved.

Message to the youth and especially those struggling with  negative body image

Hey, it's Suzy (that's my pen name) again. I'm 21 years old now and I weigh 39.9kg.

Yes, I'm 'still' naturally thin. I am a healthy person. I have been constantly working on maintaining my mental health and I don't have any underlying health issues. If you are someone struggling with negative body image then trust me you're not alone. What you need to remember is to talk about it and to make people realize that you've accepted who you are. If you feel that you're mentally and physically healthy then you don't need the society's approval to prove the same. I condemn body shaming of all body types in all forms. My main motive is to send out my word to the people so that we can give equal importance to body shaming issues of all body types. Hate in any form is condemnable.

Share with us your Skinny Shaming stories in the comments section below. 👇

#skinnyshaming #societynormalizedskinnyshaming #ayeyouth #amberliu

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