Growing up I was skinny. No, not thin or a healthy small, but skinny. I never ate a lot and it showed. I was always way smaller than my classmates but my pediatrician was never concerned. I was just a small person. While most kids wouldn't even really think twice about being the "skinny kid," it totally consumed me. Both kids and adults weren't nice when it came to my weight and it really took a toll on me.
I was obsessed with the size of the clothes I wore. Instead of being concerned with making the size decrease I was upset because it wouldn't increase. I would cry after shopping with my mom because everything we bought was extra smalls when I wanted to wear a medium. I forced myself to eat as much as I could in hopes that I could look like the other girls in my class. I wanted to look like them and finally be able to trade clothes with my friends, but no matter what I did I never saw the results I wanted. I was a third-grader who was a prisoner on the scale for the opposite reason most people were.
This went on for years. I had a completely unhealthy relationship with food and a very low self-image. I had anger issues as a child that I know stems from how I viewed myself and the jealousy I had for the bodies of my friends. Then my younger sister grew up and was automatically bigger than me and that made it even worse. I was just a kid who should've been worried about the next Webkinz I was going to beg my parents to buy but instead was worried about the size pants I wore.
Nobody seemed to understand that because I was small didn't mean I couldn't be insecure and upset about it.
Nobody seemed to understand how hearing them ask my mom how old I was because I was so small hurt my feelings.
Nobody seemed to understand that sounding shocked when they heard what size I wore as I got older made it even worse.
Fortunately, my senior year of high school I was for the first time in my life able to gain a substantial amount of weight and I have never felt better about my body. While I am so grateful for being able to finally accept where my body is I will never ever forget what I would say was over a decade of struggle. People seem to forget people of any size can be insecure and struggle immensely.
I hope in the future people begin to understand that no matter how much someone weighs you really shouldn't comment on it. I hope others will realize "skinny-shaming" is just as real as fat-shaming.