Why I Don't Like Being Called Skinny

Jan 27, 2014

This is pretty different from what I normally write about. It was something that was recently on my mind and I needed a medium to express my opinions. It's lengthy too!

Our society today has built such an ideal look for women that is constantly being fed to us through the media. I think it can generally be agreed upon that among numerous cultures today, a skinny girl is preferred. I so happen to fall under that category, and it just so happens that I don't like to be reminded that I do.

Genetically, I am skinny. That means no matter what I eat and how much I eat, I won't get fatter. I'm definitely not at an "ideal" weight but I couldn't gain any more even if I wanted to (unless through muscles). I don't exercise or watch my diet to achieve my body shape. I honestly do nothing - it's the genes. I guess in today's society, you could call it a blessing. In comparison, I am a bit skinnier than the average female. But that's who I am. To give you a clue of my size, I'm 163cm tall. On average I wear size 0 or 24 in pants. I usually wear S in clothes but I fluctuate between XS to M based on the fit I want.

There's a good and bad side to having a speedy metabolism. Yes, I barely gain weight. I've been on average the same since maybe 2010. I can stuff my face and not care about a change in appearance (except the ever-so-often-occurring pimples). Sounds pretty good, right? However, I for one never have an external sign to really show me how healthy my diet is. I lose track of what I eat, especially junk food, and so I never have a signal to tell me to stop. Also, I can say I look lanky sometimes. I'm not bony and I clearly have meat on my bones, but it just doesn't look like it's "enough". The solution could be to exercise but how much more muscle can I gain to look less like a stick?

"Joyce, you're so skinny!"

That is a phrase I hear one too many times. After watching bubzbeauty's recent heart to heart video, it got me thinking about how easily words can hurt. I think we all say things that sometimes we don't explicitly mean to be hurtful. There's always a reason behind saying something and whether it be consciously or unconsciously known, the meaning will come out. Now, I know that phrase can be taken as a compliment or envy (please, don't be envious of me!) but there are other times when it as a criticism.

"Joyce, you're so skinny... you need to eat more!"

Add this second part and it changes the entire context. It almost always follows up with this or something along the line of it. By adding the other half, my skinniness is now implied to be a flaw. And that is the only way to take it - criticism. Of course, there are multiple ways to interpret the criticism based on their tone of voice and what additional comments are made. It could stem from a genuine concern for my well-being and I know when it is. The problem arises when I've already told someone why I can't gain weight previously but they continually choose to inquire that I am so skinny and that I need to work on it. Why bring it up again and again if I already reasoned the issue? If I have a concern about it, then I'll ask for advice. I will bring it up.

"OMG your arms are like sticks! Hit the gym to get some muscles!"

Implication: Work on your body.

Telling ME I'm so skinny and that I need to eat more is equivalent to randomly saying "wow, you have small eyes... open them up more!" I see the two as equal. And they are. The same goal is attained. A flaw is pointed out and a pointless solution is given. The latter may sound more rude but they're both hurtful to me. The world has just colourized the picture to make the first phrase less impactful.

It's not something I can change. There's this phrase that I've heard growing up, "you are your biggest critic". That may be true, but here's why I beg to differ. I accept myself for who I am. I still have some areas I can work on but physically, I can accept myself. But when someone points out things you no longer consider flaws and tells you to work on them, it makes you wonder whether you should change if people aren't accepting of it. Self-esteem issues right here. I know my physical flaws and if I want advice, I will ask. I see myself the most. I don't need to be told by the same person more than once.


  1. I hate it when people make a point of telling you your so skinny.


  2. Let them say what they want to say. As long as you accept who and what you are, nothing else matters. :)

    xo, Mary Belle