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Skinny-shaming Is NOT The Same As Fat-shaming
It seems like every other day I stumble across another article purporting that skinny-shaming is just like fat-shaming. These articles are written by skinny people who were traumatized by some ignoramus who called them “bean-pole” or accused them of being anorexic. While I don’t condone name-calling with regards to body shape, I have to say, I really don’t think these skinny people “get it.”
I’m probably going to get called out for skinny-shaming by writing this, but hear me out, okay? Especially if you’re skinny and you’re mad about skinny-shaming. First of all, I’m sorry if someone said something mean to you because that’s totally not cool, but seriously, really? Please don’t say skinny-shaming is the same as fat-shaming or that being too skinny is just as sucky as being too fat. Because it’s so totally not.
First of all, society looks at “too fat” and “too skinny” completely differently. People who are too skinny get: Freak of nature. Genetic lottery. Skinny bitch. Okay, none of those things actually sound like compliments but here’s what people who are fat get: Loser. Pig. Disgusting. Lack of will-power.
Society recognizes one as being out of the person’s control and the other as being a lack of self-control. Nobody looks at a skinny person and thinks, “What an idiot for letting herself get like that,” or “Geez, how could she do that to herself?” People think that kind of thing all the time about overweight people. So please let’s not pretend like being too skinny is just as undesirable as being too fat.
I don’t know why I’m getting so defensive on behalf of heavy women. I’m not even overweight. And by the way, I actually do believe it’s every person’s responsibility to take care of their body. I do think when a person is overweight that they “did it to themselves.” I’m merely asserting that fat and skinny aren’t equally sucky adjectives, and to be blessed with skinniness and be able to eat whateverthefrickyouwant all the time is something that should never be taken for granted, and certainly not complained about.
I know, because although I’m not overweight, I’ve always flirted with the upper-most boundary of my recommended BMI in spite of living a healthier-than-average lifestyle. I exercise two or three times per week, I eat a nutritious, mostly-organic diet, I don’t eat much sugar and I never drink soda. My guilty pleasures are coffee (three cups per day, okay I guess that’s kind of a lot), chocolate-chip cookies maybe once a month (but seriously half a freakin batch at one time), and a glass of wine (or four) here and there. My weight has been fairly static at 145. (I’m 5’4”.) Not fat. Just… almost fat. One batch of chocolate-chip cookies away from fat.
BUT DAMMIT, I WANNA EAT MY FRIGGIN CHOCOLATE-CHIP COOKIES AND NOT GET FAT!
And that really is the crux of this issue: If you’re super-skinny and someone calls you a skeleton, you can go drown your sorrows in a tub of icecream without exacerbating your problem. A fat (or even almost-fat) person doesn’t have that luxury. In fact, once a person is overweight, all they have to do is look at a cupcake and they gain weight. (When I eat my half-batch of chocolate-chip cookies I swear I gain five pounds by the next day. How is that even possible when half a batch of cookies doesn’t even weigh five pounds???) No, if an overweight person wants to drown their sorrows in anything, they’d better find something that doesn’t involve food at all.
And that’s where another big misconception lies: many people think that when a fat person goes on a diet it’s like, “Okay, I’m going to stop eating two whole pizzas per day and I’ll cut down from a two-liter of Pepsi to just one can – and VOILA - I just lost fifty pounds!” Okay sometimes that really is how it happens, especially for the initial chunk of weight that comes off. But after that, a fat person is eating the same as everyone else and either not losing or actively gaining weight. WTF is that all about???
And sometimes they’re torturing the shit out of themselves eating a f*cking salad while everyone else noshes on cheeseburgers and tacos, and I’m sorry but it’s so totally not fair that the quick metabolism people get to partake in yumminess while the fat people stand on the sidelines nibbling a goddam stalk of celery. SO NOT FAIR.
Maybe I just like food too much.
Skinny-people-who-are-angry-about-skinny-shaming, I understand you don’t want to be called names. Who does? But just please give all the slow metabolism people a break and let’s stop staying skinny-shaming and fat-shaming are the same thing, okay? Because they’re not. I’m not mad at you and I really hope I didn’t make you feel bad; I just want you to understand.
But in the event that I did inadvertently stab you in the feelings with my sharp words, I must ask that while you’re sobbing over your freshly-baked batch of chocolate-cookies, please eat a few of those little hunks of heaven for me. I can’t, because I’m still working on losing the five pounds I gained last month when I glanced at the cupcakes at my niece’s birthday party.
When Kristen Mae isn’t running absurdly long distances, washing poop out of her dog’s butt-hair, or taming her two booger-machines, she’s tossing her expensive master’s of music performance degree out the window by feverishly attacking her “writing career.” Kristen is the voice of Abandoning Pretense, where she tells the whole, uncensored truth about marriage, parenthood, and life. In addition to her blog, Mae shares hilarious and heart-warming tidbits of her life on her Facebook page, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest, and is also a regular contributor at ScaryMommy.com, Bluntmoms.com, Mamapedia.com and Mamalode.com.