Skinny Shaming: How I Overcame Brutal Taunts For Being 'Too Thin'

I didn't have a support system growing up to teach me to not tie my worth to weight. I'm in the process of building that for myself. 

Shivangi Mukherjee
Updated On
New Update
Body Image Issues While Posting Photos Online
There is more awareness around body shaming today than there used to be in the past. However, some are yet to learn that comments on someone's body make for poor small talk. 

For some, body shaming happens when they hit puberty. Others face it when their body undergoes some changes at any point in time. Some face body shaming from their relatives, some from their colleagues, some from batchmates, and some from a 'concerned few'. 

Body shaming started for me when I was a young girl who had not hit puberty. It started at my house. I had been a skinny girl growing up. And I had rude comments from members of my family telling me how ugly I looked. I was constantly compared to 'healthier' peers and was asked to emulate them in terms of having a body. 

Even though people come forward today with their body-shaming experiences, I find very little representation of people with ">my body type. Perhaps this is because body shaming almost seems synonymous with fat shaming. 

Size zero always seemed to be the trend on our television sets. This is why it's difficult for people on the other end of the spectrum to comprehend someone being skinny-shamed. I understand that the grass always seems greener on the other side and one seems to want what one does not have. Therefore, I too wanted to desperately gain a few kilos while there might be others who might find my body type attractive. 

Suggested Reading: Casual Body Shaming: What People Tell Women Vs What They Actually Mean


Skinny Shaming Is Body Shaming 

When I look back on my younger years as a little girl, I can recall some mean and concerned comments about my body for being underweight. While it did hurt when it came from near family, it was still digestible because I was far too occupied with my child's play to ever pay heed to any of the disrespectful adults. 

I remember it hurting more as I grew older. All bodies are different and I did not put on weight as quickly as the others. And I thought that didn't matter. Little did the girl beginning to hit puberty know how much it did. 

"Your breasts are the size of mosquito bites," said one of the two snickering batchmates to me before I was heading for a photoshoot.  "Why do you even need a bra? You don't have much up there anyway." said a boy I liked when I was young. 

"Are you sure you eat well back at home? You look sickly, you need some strength." came from teachers to a girl who won medals at her swimming club, and had been dancing ever since she was 3 years of age. 


"You look malnourished in the picture we took." came from a batchmate meeting me before leaving town. "Are you sure you want to wear that dress? It looks good on more developed bodies. I'm not sure it's for you." came from a well-meaning family member. "Have you seen your peers? You look like a stick standing next to them. Why don't you eat up?" another concerned family member said. "Do they not feed you at home? Look how thin you've become." came from a concerned relative. 

Most websites on the Internet define skinny as unattractively and unusually thin. But unusual according to whose standard? If it's my body we're talking about shouldn't those be my standards?

I remember feeling unworthy of intimacy because of my body type. I was told I lacked curves that would make me appealing to the menfolk. Not only did I have a dwindling sense of self-esteem but also was unkind to my body with my inner narrative. I began reflecting on everyone else's thoughts. However, I've come a long way since then. 

"As long as I like my body, that's all that matters."

"Stop commenting on my body. Has no one taught you that it's indecent to do so? You should be ashamed of yourself." 

"I can tell if I need to improve. I don't need you to tell me that. I don't appreciate you saying that to me."


"I don't chat weight. I find conversations on someone's body uncivil." 

"Why don't you focus on who you see in the mirror?" 

Some of those were my comebacks as I realised my worth and some of them I plan on using next time I meet a mean Karen. When I don't have it in me to retort back, I try my best to ignore it. I sit down with my feelings and feel them before bedtime. I tell myself that I will take things at my own pace. 

I'm a fitness enthusiast and I sport a lean build today. It has been so difficult to love my body. I still find myself struggling on that journey. I still have days where I wish to show less of myself and take up less space whenever I lose a few kilos. I deal with it by forcing myself to put myself out there because I do not wish people's narratives to be my standards of owning a body. 

I didn't have a support system growing up to teach me to not tie my worth to weight. I'm in the process of building that for myself as I pen this article. 

For any young girl out there reading this, you'll learn as you grow that society will make it difficult for you with any body you have. You'll always have a mean Karen out there. The onus of holding light falls on you. I hope this article serves as some of the support you're seeking.

Views expressed by author are their own.

body shaming skinny shaming