One thing I find really irritating about our culture is the fact that women find the need to always comment on other women’s bodies. Whether it is, “Oh my gosh, you have lost weight!” or “Wow, you are really skinny.” It seems that women think it is perfectly acceptable to comment about how thin a women is, when in reality, it’s actually really annoying, especially if you don’t know why the person is “thin” or if the person has been thin their entire life. We certainly wouldn’t walk up to a woman and say, “Wow, you sure look like you have gained a lot of weight!” or “Oh my gosh, you are really fat.” So I am not sure why women think it’s acceptable to make comments that are made in a way that would be considered body shaming, towards women who are thinner, but not towards women who are heavier. It is no one’s place to make comments like this, it’s not your body.
Quick backstory so you might better understand why I am writing this particular post. I am small; my grandmother was small, my mother is small and one of my younger sisters is small. My other younger sister is more “average” sized, but she also has Hashimoto’s (auto-immune, hypothyroid) which makes her gain weight much more easily and she’s 4-5 inches taller than me. I don’t like the word thin, because none of the women in my family I consider thin. We are all short , between 5’2-5’4 and we all have an athletic build, not “skinny”. My sister and I have an athletic build because we have been athletic and active our whole lives. My sister and I are also vegetarians and follows pretty healthy, organic plant based diets. I don’t eat fast food, I don’t eat processed food, I don’t eat meat, eggs and most dairy. I do not smoke and I don’t drink alcohol or soda. I do like to bake and I like sweet treats, but I eat them in moderation and usually bake vegan treats at home. So my small, athletic body type comes from healthy living and genetics. I am about 5 feet 3.5 inches and I weight 120 lbs, I have between a size 5-7 depending on where I shop and a size medium. This is in no way skinny or thin. This is the healthy weight and size for my height. Our country has gotten so used to everyone being overweight or obese, that when they see healthy, athletic people in their ideal weight range, they think we are thin, when in reality, we are healthy.
When I graduated high school and until about the age of 20, when I started developing IBS and a worsening of my anxiety disorders, after a fairly traumatic break up, I lost 10 lbs and never gained it back. It wasn’t anything dramatic, just a gradual loss of 10 lbs over a few months. This may have been partially because prior to that I drank a lot of alcohol and ate fast food constantly, so I was pretty unhealthy. This was also 11 years ago. People’s bodies change from their teenage years into adulthood, yet to this day people will still mention how I was heavier when I graduated high school. I have spoken of this briefly in previous blog posts, but the year before I go married, so starting in the fall of 2014 through the spring of 2015, I was really, really sick. My doctors had left me on a nasty cocktail of anti-depressant & anti-anxiety medications, along with hormonal birth control and narcotics for my endometriosis, antispasmodic drugs and several others, for much longer then I should have been. Some of them didn’t cause a problem when I stopped, but the gradual tapper off of anti-anxiety medications caused several, severe health problems and I lost a lot of weight and had great difficulty putting it back on. I sometimes still have a PTSD reaction when people start talking about my weight or my body. They think it’s okay to basically body-shame me for being “thin” when know nothing about me. It would be considered very rude if I walked up to someone and started talking about how I had never seen them look so fat, so explain to me why it’s not considered rude to say the opposite?
Women should not be commenting on each others bodies like this, it is no one’s place. I understand if it is a best friend or a family member, but in my case, most of those people in my life know that I really don’t like it when they took about my weight. Again, America is so used to everyone being overweight, obese and/or plus size, that they longer can recognize what a healthy, athletic build looks like. Instead of commenting on a women’s weight, try telling her she looks nice or you like her shoes. Whatever, just stop making comments about her weight. We have put a huge emphasis on not body-shaming heavier women in our culture, but it seems to only go one way. Making a woman feel bad about herself because she isn’t overweight (which is ridiculous by the way) is still body shaming. Plus, you never know why a person may be thin, so pointing it out may be hurtful or may cause her to have to explain things that she may not feel comfortable with. I’m not sure why anyone feels the need to shame women who are healthy, active, athletic and not overweight, it’s absurd. Focus on your own health and body, your comments about mine aren’t wanted or needed.