This week, Lauren Conrad announced that the words “skinny,” “thin,” and “slim” would be banned from her website. Instead, her team will be using words like “fit,” “toned,” and “healthy.” Conrad explained they’re banning body shaming terms because “we want to make sure that the focus is on being fit as opposed to a number on the scale. Every body is created differently—and healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes.” Okay, that’s cool. I’m in support of being healthy.
However, Conrad didn’t say they’d be banning terms like “plus-size” or other body shaming terms because, well, I don’t know why. The word-ban was done with good intentions, and I don’t think it’s malicious in any way. However, as a skinny, thin, slim person, I can’t help but feel uncomfortable about this.
I AM skinny. I AM thin. I AM slim. And I am insecure about it all the time. I think about it constantly. I thought about it when I dropped nearly 15 pounds when I was sick. I think about it when I’m shopping. I think about it when I get dressed every day. I think about it when someone says I’m a “twig” or tells me not to blow away in the wind. I think about it when people try to force me to eat when I’m not hungry. I think about it when “All About That Bass” plays on the radio. I think about it when someone calls me a “skinny bitch.”
Am I healthy? Yes. Am I toned? Not as much as I’d like to be. Am I fit? I suppose. But when I describe myself, I reach for skinny, thin, or slim because those are accurate words that describe my body. And now I feel like I can’t use those words to talk about myself because they’ve been dubbed as body shaming.
Except that I can use those words because I refuse to feel badly about something else. No matter how many times I say it, people don’t seem to understand that skinny people have insecurities too. There is nothing okay with commenting on someone’s weight, regardless of what that weight is. But many people think it’s okay to comment on skinny people because they’re skinny so they can’t possibly have insecurities, right?
So wrong. I’ve been asked if I shop in the children’s department more times than I’d like to say. People are constantly trying to shove food in my face or ask me if I’m okay because I’m thin. When I order a salad because I happen to like salad (particularly drenched in ranch), I get looks of disgust. I can’t tell you how often I’ve been asked if I had an eating disorder, as if that’s even an appropriate question to ask anyone.
Every single person has insecurities about themselves, and yet, we keep finding ways to make people feel worse. Some might say I’m being too sensitive, but you know what? I don’t care. If there’s anything people can be sensitive about, it’s themselves and their bodies. We have no right to judge anyone on anything, including their appearances.
I am so sick of feeling badly about myself for something I cannot change. I learned to accept my crazy curly hair after years of it looking like a complete mess. I learned how to love my freckles even though I often got asked if I had dirt on my face. I learned how to overcome my insecurities about my nose. But I have yet to overcome my insecurities about being skinny. I have been trying to gain weight since I was about 10 years old. My middle school years were filled with protein shakes because I didn’t weigh enough. Some strangers would kill for my size, but those people don’t know my life or what I’ve had to deal with.
I love myself and generally feel good about myself on a daily basis, but right now, thin-shaming seems to be a trend. And it’s a sucky one. But I’m just a skinny bitch, right?