Just Because I’m Skinny Doesn’t Mean I Have An Eating Disorder

I’ve always been very thin. My mom and my grandmother are tiny little nuggets. I happened to get some random height gene that only emphasizes how thin I am. When I was in middle school, I was about 75 pounds. I was completely healthy, I had a huge appetite and I was a really active student with soccer and cheerleading.

But because I was so thin, everyone made fun of me. I was bullied a lot growing up. Most of it I could handle, but the comments about my weight were nearly impossible to handle. The girls in my grade would taunt me for having an eating disorder, which I did not.

It got so bad that I couldn’t even go near the bathroom after lunch because they would say that I was throwing up my food. I would come home crying and look at myself in the mirror thinking something was wrong with me.

My doctor even told me I needed to gain weight, but I just couldn’t. I don’t know how metabolism and all that science works, but it’s really hard for me to gain weight. “Oh poor Caitlin can’t put on a few pounds.” For a young girl who was body shamed for several years, that is an issue. I wanted so desperately to feel normal. Instead, I felt like maybe I should just go ahead and stop eating. I thought if I actually had an eating disorder that my peers wouldn’t make fun of me.

As I got older, my body started to even out but I was still super thin. I didn’t break 100 pounds until my sophomore year of high school, and I was still getting comments like “Go eat a cheeseburger” and “You should stop throwing up your food or you’ll disappear.” I started getting really angry because how dare these people assume I have a serious issue, one that should not be joked about, just because I’m thin.

I was appalled to find out that the same thing is happening to Miley Cyrus right now after her VMAs performance this weekend. Mika Brezinski from Morning Joe commented on Miley’s performance, “That young lady, who is 20, is obviously deeply troubled, deeply disturbed…probably has an eating disorder.”

I personally didn’t like Miley’s performance because I didn’t think it was good on a talent level. It had nothing to do with what she was wearing or all the twerking. I don’t care about that.

But it is downright offensive to assume that she has an eating disorder. Where did that even come from? Is there any proof that Miley has an eating disorder? How can you just look at someone and say that she probably has a serious health condition? And if she does have an eating disorder, why is it okay to mock her because of it?

I have been on the Miley end of similar comments, and it is so hurtful to hear those things. Eating disorders are not a joke. They are very serious issues that cause very real harm. I have a lot of insecurities from comments like that even though I’ve never had an eating disorder. Even as an adult, I get insecure if I look too thin. I worry that people today look at me and think “She’s probably got an eating disorder.”  I can’t imagine how someone who is actually suffering from one feels when their condition is made a mockery of.

Body shaming is never okay no matter what a person’s shape or size. Period. End of story. No argument.
 
Do you ever deal with body shaming? Have you ever been accused of having an eating disorder? How did you deal with it? Tell us in the comments!
 

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  • judy Li

    Hi! My name is Judy and I am naturally small and tall. We have guests stayng over for about 2 months and the little 5-year old boy would ask me How come you’re not eating? I just get so upset by those comments because they don’t know what I ate before. One time when he asked me that at dinner, I had already eaten 3 frozen yogurt bars and 2 bags of chips. It was just so upsetting to hear these comments because they don’t even know me that well. I have a back brace which kind of acts like gastric bypass surgery. I try and try to gain weight but I have a high metabolism.