14 Things You Say That You Don’t Realize Are Thin-Shaming

Urban Outfitters UK was ordered by the Advertising Standards Authority to remove an image of a model with a thigh gap from their site. The ASA said, “The complainant, who believed that the model in the picture was unhealthily thin, challenged whether the ad was irresponsible and harmful.”

They eventually ruled that the ad portrayed unrealistic and dangerous, explaining:

We understood that Urban Outfitters’ target market was young people and considered that using a noticeably underweight model was likely to impress upon that audience that the image was representative of the people who might wear Urban Outfitters’ clothing, and as being something to aspire to.

I’m ALL about using healthy models. I used to be in the modeling industry, and I think using healthy models is extremely important. However, in this situation, there wasn’t an investigation to see if the model had been Photoshopped to death. On the Urban Outfitters’ side, a representative stated, “The model was represented by one of the UK’s most successful and well-respected agencies. We do not believe she was underweight.” To me, this seems like an aggressive Photoshop job, but I also know as someone who is healthy with a thigh gap that it is possible to look that way.

It got me thinking about how thin women are still easily shamed. We’re expected to just roll over and deal with the fact that people think we’re unhealthy or have an eating disorder by just looking at us. That’s not okay. And if you’re saying any of the following, you’re contributing to thin-shaming and should stop:

1. “You’re so skinny!”

I HAD NO IDEA!

2. “Do you even eat?”

Do I ask about your eating habits?

3. “Have you ever had an eating disorder?”

God, Karen, you can’t just ask someone if they’ve had an eating disorder!

But seriously, this is really offensive to ask ANYONE whether they’re thin or not. You have no right to know this information just like no one has the right to know if you’ve ever had an eating disorder.

4. “I wish I was as thin as you!”

Do you, really? Because if you did, you wouldn’t say things like that.

5. “Ugh you’re so lucky.”

No, I’m human. This is just a weird thing to say to anyone. Like, my genetics aren’t lucky. They just are?

6. “OMG your [insert body part here] is so small and cute!”

I’m not a toy, thanks.

7. “Do you ever shop in the children’s department?”

I’m skinny, not toddler-sized.

8. “You’re gonna be so fat when you’re older though.”

Um. What?

9. “You don’t even have to go to the gym!”

Not that anyone’s workout habits are your business, but some people just like to exercise to be healthy. You know because cardio is good for your heart and stuff.

10. “Real women have curves.”

So… I’m fake? What?

11. “Seeing your ribs/having a thigh gap/etc. is unhealthy.”

It’s only unhealthy if you are unhealthy. I am perfectly healthy yet some people just look at me and think I’m not? That’s not fair.

12. “Be careful if you go outside, you might blow away!”

Hahaha never heard that one before! Side note: I *have* been blown over by wind in a hurricane, and it was very painful. So it’s not funny.

13. “Boys they like a little more booty to hold at night”

Yes, I am like a stick figure. No, I am not all about that bass. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

14. “You need a [insert food of choice here]!”

So does that mean you’re taking me to dinner or nah? Because that’s the only reason you are allowed to say that.
 
Have you said any of these things to a thin friend? Have you ever heard these things? What other thin-shaming phrases have you heard? Tell us in the comments below!
 
You can reach this post’s author, Caitlin Corsetti, on Twitter and Instagram!
 

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  • lollipoppuppet

    Alright, honey, listen here. The only ones here that are legitimate insults are the ones that say “you need to eat this or that” and “Real women have curves/Seeing ribs and thigh gap is unhealthy.” The one about being blown away by wind is just a little teasing, certainly nothing meant maliciously. Everything else is a god damn compliment, calm yourself. And granted I’m not scrawny but I’m skinnier than most people I know, it is such a nice thing to hear “I wish I was as skinny as you!” Because people like skinny and it’s gratifying knowing there’s something about yourself that the general consensus finds appealing. Chill.

  • Brianna8675309

    I am actually wearing 14/16 CHILDREN’S pajamas right this second… At fifteen and 5′ 3. And yes they fit properly, aren’t tight, and NO IM NOT SUFFERING FROM AN EATING DISORDER!!! My best friend is having a sleepover (im there right now, but its two am, everyone else is sleeping but ive got insomnia so im having a hard time sleeping) with me, her, and four other girls, all of which are my friends too. Each and every one of them asked me where i found pants with kittens, frogs, hearts, and monkeys on them in my size. I was like “kids department of walmart”.
    All of them (including my best friend) have now taken me aside and asked me if i have an eating disorder. And i told every one of them “no, i just apparently have child-sized legs. And please stop asking me if i have an eating disorder because it is getting (insert cuss word) annoying!!! You really shouldn’t even be asking that, because its offensive. And ive been repeatedly asked tonight. So please just stop asking. ”
    And of course i got asked again until everybody had asked. Like, i know its because they care and are concerned that i wear childrens pajama pants, but it really is annoying and offensive.

  • disqus_XwlxqtVlUV

    Thank you, I think people think that since the medie and society in general tends to shame ‘fat’ people they forget that they can shame thin people, and it’s quite hard to explain this to people

  • Alosha Ayinde

    I feel a lot of skinny people are seen as unhealthy, when that often isn’t the case. My best friend was 95 pounds until we were in high school and didn’t hit 115 until graduation. She’s 5’4″ by the way, and eats like a monster. This girl eats all meats, sugar, carbs, oil, whatever. We were both very active in high school running track and playing softball together. Some people are just built differently. I, on the other hand, who’s vegetarian, am still pretty slim, but I’ve always been bigger than her. Now that we’re 22, we’re more balancing out to each other’s sizes. She’s about 125 and I balance around 134. We both wear a size 4 jeans roughly, but I own a few size 6 for my looser fitting ones. She’s still smaller than me and I’m only an inch taller. To be skinny is not to be unhealthy. And if UOUK had a “plus size” model, they would not have been told to take it down. Nobody would have said that having plus size models advertises over-eating. And having a thing gap is in out body structure. I don’t have one. And I have seen plenty of girls 2 or more sizes smaller than me who don’t have it either. I consider myself slender I guess. My doctors says I have a larger muscle mass that usual for a girl which is what keep my weight up but my size down. And I still get comments about how I must not eat. However, I didn’t see this particular add so I don’t know how skinny this girl was or whether she in particular looked unhealthy.

  • Kassi Luhring
  • Chantecler curieux

    I think the person writing this article should be a little less succeptible. I’m not thin, and if someone tells me I have cute chubby cheeks, I won’t mind much. I think when people mean something as a compliment, that’s how you should take it. The one thing that annoyed me though, was that if someone tells you they’d like to be as thin as you, that means they actually don’t. I would say that girls with slower metabolisms, strong ossatures or otherwise chubby actually most of the time DO want to be thinner. I know the struggle of hating shopping because most of the clothes aren’t flattering, the struggle of seeing your friend eat four slices of pizza while still looking as fit while you can barely eat one for fear of being even more fat. If a thin person eats junk food, people just don’t care. If a chubby person eats it, they instantly get judged on it.

    Instead of complaining about people “thin shaming” you with compliments, maybe try to understand another point of view for a couple minutes.

  • Burkkkly

    Saying “you’re lucky” is not thin shaming…. If someone compliments you on your awesome genes, take the freakin compliment and get over your ego ?

    • meg

      dead straight.

      • disqus_XwlxqtVlUV

        no, you don’t compliment people like that, you just don’t

    • Happy

      Saying someone is pretty or curvy because of their genes is one thing,
      but that they are skinny? That is just being disrespectful because you
      have no idea what they may do to look the way that they do. They
      probably work their a** off every day at the gym and eat healthy so they
      stay the weight the want to. When you tell them “you’re so lucky” that
      is a massive insult because for someone like me who has been heavy
      before and had to work so hard to be skinny it pisses me off and is
      rude. It would be like me saying that someone is lucky they can eat
      whatever they want cause they are fat anyways.

    • Happy

      Saying someone is pretty or curvy because of their genes is one thing,
      but that they are skinny? That is just being disrespectful because you
      have no idea what they may do to look the way that they do. They
      probably work out every day at the gym and eat healthy so they
      stay the weight the want to. When you tell them “you’re so lucky” that
      is a massive insult because for someone like me who has been heavy
      before and had to work so hard to be skinny it is
      rude. It would be like me saying that someone is lucky they can eat
      whatever they want cause they are fat anyways.

  • Nesha Mutiara

    I’ve heard my friend yelled at my teacher : She’s like a poor stick – walking to nowhere ’cause the wind keep blowing her.