What comes to your mind when you think of skinny shaming?
Maybe you think of a skinny girl getting offended by a "compliment." As a victim of skinny-shaming, that is not quite an accurate depiction. Calling me "thin" will not offend me, nor do I consider it body-shaming. However, intentionally drawing attention to my body in a negative way is body shaming.
Constantly pointing out my "chicken legs" or saying, "You need to put some meat on your bones" is drawing attention to my body in a negative way — that's body shaming.
It also depends on the context. There's a difference between asking "What size jeans do you wear" and "Your legs look so scrawny in those shorts."
The double standards regarding body shaming astound me. Hearing "You need to put some meat on your bones" hurts as much as "You need to lose weight." Why is it socially acceptable to tell someone to eat more, while it is a taboo to tell someone to eat less? Both are hurtful comments that will resonate within a person's mind for a long period of time, therefore, both comments do the same damage. I know how to take care of myself. I eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full.
If you are not my physician, I do not need your suggestions.
I often hear, "Your body would be perfect if you gained 10 pounds." The issue with this statement is that you have no right to impose your beauty standards on anyone else. Just because I am "too thin" according to your standards does not mean I am going to change myself. The only reason I will gain weight is that I choose to, not to fit into another person's ideal body standards.
When I eat unhealthy foods I hear comments like, "How are you so skinny if you eat this much?" When I eat healthier foods I hear comments like "Go to McDonald's." Can a girl just eat in peace? I do not choose to look this way — this is my natural body type. If you are unsure whether your comment is offensive or not, here's a good rule of thumb — do not point out something about someone if they cannot change it in under five minutes.
The song "All About That Bass" by Meghan Trainor is a perfect example of skinny-shaming. Throughout the song, she makes remarks that imply thicker women are superior to thinner women, which defeats the purpose of body positivity. Her song may have empowered bigger women, but it was done at the expense of smaller women. Imagine if an artist made a song to empower underweight people by tearing down overweight people...that artist would have been canceled.
Yes, fat-shaming is horrible, but someone who experienced fat-shaming cannot claim it's worse than skinny-shaming, just as someone who experienced skinny-shaming cannot claim it's worse than fat-shaming. Body shaming in general, regardless of the type, is unacceptable. Just a side note, genuinely expressing concern about a person's weight for the purpose of their health is not body shaming, as long as it is done in a polite manner. If you are genuinely concerned you could ask "You seem to be losing weight and eating very little, is everything alright?" As opposed to "You're a stick, you look like you could break any minute."
The absolute worst part of skinny-shaming is when people deny its existence. As a receiver of these comments multiple times a day, I can confirm it exists.
Bodies that are smaller or bigger than the norm are not necessarily unhealthy bodies (with a few exceptions that need to be addressed appropriately). Why do people feel the need to tear down a group of people over something they have "little to no control over."
Whether you are a size 00 or a size 14, do not let body-shaming get you down.