Let me begin by saying that all bodies are beautiful. There are no exceptions or conditions, contrary to the headline. Although the body can reach unhealthy points (eating disorders), that doesn’t make body-shaming acceptable.
I have never been a pound overweight in my life, and there is nothing wrong with that. I still have body image issues like every other girl in the world. I regularly eat fast food, and I don’t starve myself. I try my best to watch what I eat and I work out when I am not drowning in schoolwork. Yet my whole life I have had people talking down about my body type, asking if I had an eating disorder or pushing me to eat more than I pleased. It had never really bothered me until I started seeing skinny-shaming becoming more of an up-and-coming topic on social media.
I’m sure the first backlash I will receive for this article is, “But people want to be skinny. Skinny-shaming isn't a thing.” This is simply not true. Everyone has their own mental goal for what they want to look like. I know plenty of smaller girls (including myself) who would die to have curves. We all have insecurities and we all would love to change millions of things about ourselves. No one is entirely content with how they look, even the most confident people. We all strive for something. If we didn’t, the world would stop moving.
Body shaming is everywhere, and whether we admit it or not, we are all self-conscious. How could we not be? Everywhere we turn, there is a standard set for how we should look, how we should act and what we should wear. Fat shaming is a major problem in society, I could not agree more, but turning it around on other sizes isn’t helping anything other than poking holes in people's "body positive" speeches, like when people say, “All sizes are beautiful,” but then turn around and begin to talk about girls, saying things like, “Real men go for women with curves, only dogs go for bones,” or, “She’s so skinny she has the body of a 12-year-old,” or, “Why do you even work out?” or make ignorant comments like, “God, go eat a burger.” Let me start by saying that being skinny is okay and it is not something to be ashamed of. Be proud of your body no matter the size!
Being plus-sized is nothing to be ashamed of either, and you should be proud of the way you look, but this “real women have curves” campaign is just tearing down thinner girls. If you Google the words “real women,” pictures of curvy women pop up under the images tab. Skinny women are real women, too. Talking down to girls due to their size zero jeans is unacceptable. Your size doesn’t and shouldn’t define how much of a “woman” you are. Everyone has a different body type. Not every woman will be a twig and not every woman will be blessed with curves. How boring would the world be if we all looked the same?
Obviously there are unhealthy borders on both ends of the spectrum. Anorexia is a serious problem in our society, just as obesity is. Both are disorders that require attention, but harassment is not the attention needed. Being skinny doesn’t make you anorexic. A girl can be 5’2 and 99 pounds and not be anorexic in the same way that having a couple extra curves than society prefers doesn’t make you obese.
When it all comes down to it, we should all love the way we are and let others embrace their own body types. Let’s all stay body positive!