As a girl in my early 20’s, appearance has been an unfortunately, yet inevitably, significant aspect in my life for as long as I can remember. Squeezing into those hip hugging jeans, passing up those cookies after dinner, spending loads of money on makeup; it’s all part of being a girl. And honestly, I don’t mind it. Having everything in moderation and keeping yourself in shape and presentable in 2016 is not a shameful way of life. Everyone wants to look good because when you look good, you feel good.
Growing up, I was always on the larger size. You know, chubby, but not obese. It was an awkward, unpleasant, taunting stage that I eventually got out of from cutting the soda and fast food. As I entered teenage years, I was just skinny. Normal. I would never be the girl in class that would get a second glance for my weight, and I was proud of that. I never wanted to stick out in the crowd for being too small or too big, too top heavy or too curvy. So, that was me, and it was acceptable. I liked my body.
That was all about to change, I became aware of, when boys came into the picture in high school. Boys liked big breasts and protruding butts, based on what they saw on TV and the internet. I basically had an extended back and could still wear a training bra if I so desired. Of course, I was never made fun of for this (to my face), or stood out for it, but this was the time I actually began to want to stand out. I was starting to realize that beauty is power….right? If boys wanted your body and girls envied it, it probably felt really good. I remember hearing the saying, “only dogs like bones,” and that really stung me inside. I never chose to be bony, I never chose to have zero curves. This was just the way I was born, and I couldn’t change it no matter how hard I tried.
Now, in college, I’m pretty content with my body. Would I choose bra size DD over a B? Would I have thicker thighs or a rounder butt if a genie could grant me them? Um, hell yes. Yet, I can’t do that, and I get it. The problem now is how much it sucks when people make me feel bad for being skinny. Now, I do get made fun of for being skinny, but what’s even worse is that people don’t think they’re being insulting. People actually think that I’m cutting myself off from life in order to be skinny, that I choose to be this way, or that I think I’m fat. Seriously? The amount of times I hear “do you eat?” is astonishing. It’s at school, at work, at home, with my friends; I get it everywhere. A couple months ago, I had a best friend tell me when I was getting undressed that my collar bones were “ugly” and “scary.” One of my male coworkers asked me if my boyfriend likes how skinny I am. Even my dad, when he sees a flat chested or slender actress on TV, states, “she looks like a boy!” Yes, because that does so much for my self esteem.
If my best friends think it’s ugly being this skinny, what would a boy say? If Meghan Trainor sings, “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night,” how would pop culture rate my body? Why is it horrible to fat shame people but nobody cares about skinny shaming? I get it, the majority of people would rather be skinny than fat, but once you make someone feel bad about the way they look, it hurts just the same. It’s never okay to tell someone that their body is “too” something, either big or small. There’s a reason why clothing stores make and sell size XS, because many people are that size! I’m a lanky person, I have little chicken legs, and no one will ever dream of my voluptuous cleavage. I know it, I get it, no one has to remind me. There’s no way I can continue liking my body if people don’t stop skinny shaming me. And next time you begin to comment on someone’s appearance, imagine it being said to you. You probably wouldn’t like it.