It's never good enough, is it? I'm not allowed to call myself too thin without being criticized for being ungrateful for my size 0 body. But you're allowed to call me too thin to my face and make me feel wrong in my own body? I don't think so.
Not once would I ever be ok calling someone fat, so why is it socially acceptable to tell someone to their face that they are too skinny?
You don't know why this person is as skinny as they are. You have no idea what this person struggles with, maybe they don't want to be as thin as they are. The assumptions and labels are toxic, humiliating, and unappreciated.
I've always been a string bean.
As a kid, I was some bony, lanky girl who never ran out of energy. I became involved in gymnastics and before I knew it, I was training nearly five hours a day, five days a week. As one might imagine, the intense workouts kept me in shape but I was still extremely thin. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing when I was younger. I was healthy in the sense that I was growing, and I was getting stronger.
However, I was quite tall, not just for a gymnast, but also for my age. Given my height, my weight needed to be at a certain level, and I've struggled in the past to keep the balance between the two.
I remember one day, one of my gymnastics coaches told me to start incorporating these shakes into my diet in order for me to gain some extra baggage.
They didn't work, but they tasted fine at least.
I remember the day I stepped on the scale and it said I weighed 100 lbs for the first time. I was so proud of myself and I couldn't wait to tell my coaches I had successfully gained some weight.
At my peak in the sport, I weighed my heaviest, but I was still thin. The weight I gained was pure muscle, which made me feel strong and capable, Due to severe injury, I quit the sport when I was seventeen, and I quickly lost weight I had worked so hard to gain.
Because gymnastics stunts your growth, I grew even taller after I quit, all the while, I was becoming skinnier. I lost about 15-20 lbs, all muscle.
I am now 22 years old. Today, the struggle is real. I live in this world where people who look like me are praised for their appearance. People starve themselves and work out endlessly in order to be as thin as they desire. Not to mention, I live in Los Angeles...the ideal place for being a tall, thin, young woman.
Well, I'm over it. I go to the gym a few times a week in order to build back muscle and gain weight.
Repeatedly, people have referred to me as "body goals" but my goal is far from their perception of me and my body.
People think it's easy and my response to that is always the same: STFU. You don't know me or my continuous struggle with weight and body image. People tell me it's simple, just eat more. Well, when you suffer from digestive issues, your body may be like mine, where there's limited appetite or a complete rejection of food altogether. Believe me, I want to eat...but sometimes my body just makes it difficult.
I understand everyone has their own struggles, that's a part of being human but not everyone shares the same struggles and it is no one's place to judge one problem from another and label it more serious or important. My own health problems are serious and important to me. You may want to be as skinny as me and that's fine but me not wanting to be as thin as I am is my own personal choice.
So stop telling me to complain. I'm thinner than I want to be. That's my prerogative and right to be unsatisfied, and no one should tell me otherwise.
No one should comment on your body weight ever unless it's meant as a compliment. Although I wish I wasn't this thin, when people compliment me on my body, I turn it positive. Even though I know they're complimenting me on how thin and fit I am, I pretend they're complimenting me on how strong I'm getting, on how hard I'm working to become healthier.
Everyone wants what they can't have. I've come to terms with the fact I'll likely never be a curvy woman or anything near. That's ok, I just strive for good health and a positive mindset. I don't need to be anything anyone is telling me to be. Like, I said, I never called you fat and I never told you to lose weight.
Society can be twisted, backward, and humiliating. Especially in Los Angeles, there's this one image of what ideal womanhood is. Luckily, we are entering a time when previously challenged social identities are being welcomed. Still, the industry is powerful. Imagery and words are powerful and can be painful.
NOBODY AND NOBODY IS PERFECT.
Everyone's story is different. We're not all meant to be the same size. Not everyone has the same goal. Not every girl wants to be a size 0. Please remember that the next time you call a girl too thin, because you have no idea what she may be going through.