I stood on the weighing scale in the regular medical checkups done at school. The girl behind me was trying to jump and peep into the digital reading. I was soon to be the subject of all the jokes on how thin I am. Yes, skinny shaming exists.
The weight-debate has its foundation built on the wrong ground. More than looks it should be about how healthy we are.
It might seem like being thin is a privilege (credits to the age-old notions of beauty), but it’s definitely not. The society that shames people for being fat, derides people for being skinny too. Basically, you should be anything but you to appease the people around you. Weird, isn’t it? But it has been like this for years now, and although we’re unlearning the norms that our brains have fed on since childhood, it will still take a long time before we stop ridiculing people for how they look.
From muttering lewd comments under the breath to just saying them out loud and laughing in my face, I’ve borne it all just because I have had a slim waist and not-so-big boobs. Though I ignored these while growing up, they anger me now. Why do people feel entitled enough to pass comments on my body structure? I am not a product displayed at a shop that needs to be rated and I won’t let them make me feel so.
The weight-debate has its foundation built on the wrong ground. More than looks it should be about how healthy we are. As long as you are fit and healthy, it doesn’t matter how curvy or flat you are. But apparently, the society we breathe in refuses to wrap its arms around this fact. I’ve heard statements like, “Tum kucch khaati nahi ho kya?” (Do you not eat something?), “Hawa chalegi toh udd jaogi!” (You’re so thin that you will fly away with the wind!), “Dandi jaisi patli ho!” (You’re thin as a stick!) All these are downright rude and are hardly ever called out.
Popular culture has always portrayed being thin as desirable and this has made it difficult for people like me to voice our anger whenever someone just negates my struggle as a thin person by blurting out stuff like “You’re lucky to be skinny”. Body shaming of any body type saps your confidence and makes you question your self-worth. This can be mentally taxing in the long run because body shaming can cause depression and social anxiety.
It’s rather depressing how people are too cautious to not use words like ‘fat’ and ‘heavyweight’ while tossing out terms like ‘bony’ and ‘scrawny’ impetuously.”
Paridhi Bisht, a college student has faced skinny shaming all her childhood and teenage, “‘Are you anorexic?’, ‘Don’t you eat properly?’, ‘Slim is decent, but you’re skinny.’ Hearing such remarks had become as monotonous as my history lectures in school. As I look back, I realise that I had become completely blasé to body shaming. I never considered participating in sports or dance events since I was afraid that people would judge me. I feared that I would become a laughing stock on stage. After all, nobody seems interested in watching ‘skeletons’ dance. The impact skinny shaming had on my mind, in a way, blotted my love for my body. What pains me more is that, as a society, we have normalised things that deserve grave attention. It’s rather depressing how people are too cautious to not use words like ‘fat’ and ‘heavyweight’ while tossing out terms like ‘bony’ and ‘scrawny’ impetuously.”
Basundhara Jana, a teenager, has always been a thin girl and is used to facing disapproval from people around her, “Every time I visited my relatives, the first thing they would say to me was that I looked extremely thin and I ought to eat more fatty foods to gain weight. School was no different. From being called ‘mariyal’ (weak/ emaciated) by my classmates to being treated as an object for apparently ‘harmless’ jokes about being malnourished and being blown away by the wind, I was never left alone. Those unsolicited comments made me believe that I will never be enough. They became one of the many reasons why I have not felt comfortable in my own skin to date. My body is my own, and it baffles me to think about how some people act as if they claim the right to comment on it in any way which might scar me for a lifetime.”
If you’re too curvy you’ll be pointed out, if you have a bony structure, you’ll be demeaned, if you are too tall you’d be made fun of, and if you’re too short, you’d still be the one to be ridiculed. Then, what exactly is the accepted body type? You know what? To hell with being accepted by others! We’re not clones, we’re humans and thus every person is different from the other and this can’t and shouldn’t be changed.
Image Credit: medicalnewstoday.com
Saavriti is an intern at SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the author’s own.