Please welcome Jan and her response to my recent Skinny Shaming post. I’m so grateful she’s here to share the Skinny Shaming perspective…
When a plus-sized runner hit the cover of Women’s Running magazine, it created quite a stir in media land.
Comments I read ranged from the supportive, it’s-about-time, to those that expressed a concern about putting someone who is “obviously unhealthy” on the cover of a fitness magazine.
Regardless of what side of the scale you’re on, it most likely made you think about the social issues that those who are overweight must face. For me, and perhaps my fellow beanpole people, it also brought to mind the issues that “skinny” people deal with.
I’ve always been tall and thin.
When my friends were getting boobs and periods, I was growing taller, and praying for both boobs and periods.
Surprisingly, I was never teased much during my school years about being what my mother called a beanpole.
My cat eye glasses brought on far more taunting than my lack of weight and curves. It wasn’t until adulthood that the comments started, and I realized there were some other hurdles I’d be continually jumping over.
At my current age of 54, I’m five feet, seven inches tall, and weigh around 110.
Have you ever tried clothes shopping when everything your size is in the junior section?
Skinny, low-rider jeans and sparkly, neon-colored t-shirts aren’t exactly what I want to wear right now. Wardrobe issues aside, it’s the random comments that sometimes get the best of me.
“If you’d gain some weight, you wouldn’t always be cold.”
“Here’s a carrot stick –should I cut it in half so you don’t eat too much at once?”
“Do you have an eating disorder?”
“If you didn’t run and work out so much, you’d be a normal weight, like everyone else.”
“Aren’t you getting a little old to be so skinny?”
These are some comments that have been tossed at me recently.
Is it okay for people to say these things? NO!
Are these comments as hurtful as if I told an overweight person to lose some weight so they wouldn’t be so hot? YES!
Yet, from my side of the scale, most of society views it as acceptable to say these things to thin people.
It’s not acceptable, it never has been, and never will be!
I try to eat healthy food because it makes me feel good, not because I’m trying to fit into a size 3.
I run and stay physically active because I love it, not because I’m striving for a certain number on the scale.
In my perfect world, no one would be labeled and there would be no hurtful comments, because no one would judge anyone else.
Sadly, nobody lives in my perfect world, not even me.
The world we do live in might be a little less hurtful if we remember that people on both sides of the scale have feelings.
Not even beanpoles are immune to hurtful comments.
Jan is a mom, wife, runner, and fitness fanatic who loves the ocean and insanely hot temperatures. Although she’s currently being held hostage in Wyoming (not really – but sort of), her escape plan is in effect. Writing (she blogs!), running, and a slightly twisted sense of humor help her make sense of this crazy world.