Throughout my last six years as an undergrad into graduate school, I’ve noticed this hostility toward thin people. Maybe me even saying this, may raise a red flag to any person reading. Red flags that I will predict will be a) the author right now is anorexic or has an eating disorder, thus using this post to rationalize thinness OR b) the author is discriminating overweight people. Wrong and wrong again.
In many public settings, I can’t help but notice and also observe that thin females are often the object of attention – wrong attention in the form of “Ugh, she’s anorexic” OR “you look unhealthy”. More than anything, it leads me to a burning question: Besides the physical make-up, what is the true difference between a girl suffering from anorexia and a girl suffering from obesity?
As a female who is not underweight, but often interpreted as being underweight due to my extremely small bone structure (yes! it be true! I eat!) , it amazes me that people feel ‘free’ to comment or stare at you. Of course, the typical way that these comments go are followed by “how nice it would be to be that thin”. Okay, so criticize my looks, and then compliments. Makes sense much.
Weight and body type – whether being overweight or underweight is an undeniably sensitive thing in our society, and should be treated with dual respect. What do I mean by dual respect? The resistance of directing hostility, criticism or comments toward BOTH underweight and overweight people, man or woman. Directing hostility toward a person who may be thin or underweight is equally damaging and painful as making a comment to an obese person. It is discrimination.
I’ve learned from my mistakes, of looking at, or commenting when I see a person at the gym who is severely anorexic. Instead of being discriminatory, I feel sadness for that person for they suffer from a mental problem. Is that something to be the subject of criticism? A person suffering from internal distress among other issues which have rendered them underweight?
The purpose of this post was to encourage alternative ways of interpreting those around us, and the different body types we see everyday. Before we label a thin person a “Skinny Bitch”, think about the label itself and how it would feel to be labeled “Fat Bitch”. There is not much difference.