The Thorn Of Being Skinny In Society
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The Thorn Of Being Skinny In Society

Encouragement for all shapes and sizes.

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The Thorn Of Being Skinny In Society
Jubilee Jackson

"Hello, I will be your waiter for tonight. Let's start off with taking the order from the person who looks the hungriest! How 'bout you?" With a huge Cheshire cat grin, he instantly and directly looks at me.

I stare back, lacking even the slightest smile.

When it comes to body image, our media is infamous for marketing the skinny, slim, and petite figures. But what is the reality of someone who lives like this in a pressured society?

Models, movie stars, artists, etc. are strongly encouraged or even coerced to take on a smaller size. Sometimes his or her career is at stake if they do not adhere to this standard. Therefore, they are lead into a risky life of eating disorder, self-abuse, and even mental illness, all to change his or her appearance.

Is it really worth it?

If you answered yes, you might want to rethink that.

From my own personal experience, I can tell you that everything is not always dandy. I was born prematurely and was a very tiny baby. All my life, I have been considered "underweight". Compared to what though? Anyway, in my younger years of school, I was picked on and teased for being so small and skinny. I didn't exactly tolerate that kind of behavior, but it still made me feel less than and not good enough. In high school, my "low" weight occasionally was seen as a perk. I was a flyer on the cheerleading team and I was easy to lift. In lacrosse, basketball, and soccer, I was able to run and cut through people on the field and court. However, people always underestimated me, both my opponent and even my very own team. Years later, coaches pressured me to get bigger and eat more. They were concerned about my size even though I was healthy. One summer, I was so hurt from a coach telling me that my stature and strength were affecting him/her playing me, that I dedicated most of my time to "fixing" myself. I ran a 5k every day, lifted weights, ate approximately six meals a day, and even picked up boxing training. Towards the middle of the summer, I realized that running makes you slimmer so I was actually contradicting my weight gain. I woke up to the fact that I allowed people to make me dislike and even change what God has made.

Still to this day, numerous amount of people -- who I know and do not know, make hurtful remarks about my weight. Some of the things that I hear weekly are:

1. OH MY GOSH YOU'RE SO SKINNY!

2. Uhh girl, you need to eat a burger.

3. Yeah, she doesn't really eat a lot.

4. Hahaha your wrists are like as big as my pinky finger!

5. You're so tiny, I can literally break you in half!

Am I supposed to laugh at these so-called jokes? Do you really think this is funny? It's very destructive to my self-esteem and I am sure to others who are the same way. But in our culture, there are double standards [1]. It's only comedic if you say these things to skinny people, right? Let's reverse the roles just as an example:

1. OH MY GOSH YOU'RE SO FAT!

2. Uhh girl, you need to stop eating burgers.

3. Yeah, she really eats a lot.

4. Hahaha your wrists are like as big as my thigh!

5. You're so huge, no one can ever break you in half!

Anyone with a heart can tell you that's messed up and cruel. So why do we talk this way to certain people? Maybe because it's deemed acceptable to society to be small, so it's okay to bring them down. People who are both big and small are insecure about his or her weight. We find ourselves craving to be the very opposite of how we actually are. We forget that this applies to men as well. I met a male friend on the cruise that told me he was afraid to come and talk to me because he expected the girls to only appreciate the bigger guys. His confidence is so shattered because he has that preconceived expectation from society. And he is wrong because I thank God for him since he is one of the most selfless and caring people I have ever encountered. We were able to bond over our small size but he is still struggling to find the good.

You and I were created how we were supposed to be created -- beautiful. Whether you are tall, short, thick, petite, man or woman, you are amazing. I really encourage you to love your body and treat it in the healthiest way you can. We get caught up with changing, morphing, and hating ourselves, to get to an unrealistic and unattainable size. We have this false assumption that if we achieve a certain look, we will be happier. We adapt to appear like the celebrities, but frankly, they are unhappy as well. Don't miss out on recognizing your marvelous shape and size by being too focused on something you weren't made to be. You only have one body and you deserve to love it how it is.


Weekly challenge: Find five things you physically admire about yourself, to celebrate your beautiful body!

(If you can't find enough things, and or if you need any encouragement, please text me. 248.873.4916)


[1] "a set of principles that applies differently and usually more rigorously to one group of people or circumstances than to another; especially : a code of morals that applies more severe standards of sexual behavior to women than to men" (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

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