Okay, real talk: before I started working at Gurl.com, I was someone who skinny-shamed people. I’ve never been super skinny, and I never will be. For most of my life, I envied every naturally thin girl out there, assuming their life was much better because they could wear a size zero. If I ever heard a thin friend complain about her weight, I would give a tight lipped smile and inwardly roll my eyes, then complain about her behind her back to other friends. When the Internet gave everyone a platform, and naturally skinny people started complaining about all of the “real women have curves” quotes out there, I got angry, thinking they could never have it as bad as someone who was overweight. I basically refused to accept the idea that skinny people have problems.
But, in the last few years, this way of thinking has changed for me. I’ve become more confident about myself, so that helped, but I also started genuinely listening to my skinny friends instead of being a jerk. I might not ever understand the struggle of trying on size zero jeans and finding them to be too big, but I can now be sympathetic to the struggles anyone faces with their weight, whether they’re big or small. Body shaming sucks no matter what! So, if you need a reminder of that, check out some of the worst problems skinny people have to deal with, brought to you by this Ask Reddit thread.
People Are Mean, But Pretend To Be JokingYou might think the term "skinny bitch" is a compliment, but for a lot of naturally thin people, it isn't - and for good reason. A lot of people have a tendency to direct mean, nasty comments at thin people (especially thin women) and act like it's just a joke or a compliment. User ay-crack-again said the worst thing is, "Vicious, snarky comments that somehow aren't rude. I've been called a 'skinny bitch' in the workplace more than once." User ClassicCarLife added that she always hears things like, "Oh I just HATE you! Eating whatever you want while I have to eat three salads a day and drink Diet Coke. I bet your boyfriend wishes for some more cushion, if you know what I mean. Grabs breasts suggestively." And it's true - these comments are directed at thin people the time, and no one bats an eye.
Fat Acceptance Turns Into Skinny ShamingIt's so great that fat acceptance is such a big thing nowadays - people who are on the heavier side have dealt with terrible criticism for years, and are still dealing with it, and this kind of acceptance is so important. However, it kind of sucks that, a lot of the time, fat acceptance turns into skinny shaming. User MyPunsSuck said, "People complain all the time about unreasonable standards of beauty in the media, but what about the standards for being a respectable human being? There is so much fat-acceptance going around these days, that skinny people are constantly treated with disrespect with nobody to defend us. 'Go eat a sandwich,' 'hit the gym,' 'I could probably snap your arm like a twig' and stupid crap like that comes up all the time - especially as a man. People simply don't take you seriously if you're underweight - regardless of actual health"
People Give You Less Personal SpaceOne of the most common complaints throughout the Reddit thread where people saying that others don't give them as much personal space since they're smaller. User TheAfternoonStandard gives an example: "When using packed public transport people think because you occupy less space that they can move up into AS MUCH AS YOU AS POSSIBLE. So much so that sometimes you are genuinely concerned you may be entered. Repeatedly. And you will have to take it silently in front of a crowd of commuters." Source: iStock
Sitting On Hard Surfaces HurtsIt might sound silly if you've never had to deal with it, but another very common complaint in the Reddit thread was sitting on hard surfaces, like chairs. User Villike says, "Besides the obvious having to watch what I eat, I find it kinda difficult to sit on harder surfaces because of the lack of padding." Source: iStock
People Comment About Your Weight All The TimeImagine if, everywhere you went, people had something to say about your weight? For people who are very naturally skinny, this is a reality. User vilestrawberry said, "People find it perfectly acceptable to comment on my weight." And user faearia added, "Too many jokes about my weight and unwanted and definitely unnecessary remarks about my body from strangers, friends, and family. I was always made to be ashamed but that it's basically cool 'cause "at least you can eat whatever you want... if you eat... do you eat?'" I've never been super skinny, but I did recently lose a lot of weight, and I found myself feeling shocked at how many people had something to say about my weight - all the time, constantly. It's weird, and kind of uncomfortable. I can only imagine a lifetime of that.
No One Takes You Seriously If You're Trying To Gain WeightA lot of naturally thin people actually spend a decent amount of time trying really hard to gain weight, a real struggle that most people have no sympathy for. User WishfulMermaid said, "Not being taken seriously when you say you're trying to gain weight 'FIRST WORLD PROBLEM LUL YOU CAN HAVE SOME OF MY FAT' Uhmm no thanks I'm trying to gain healthy weight." My brother is naturally thin and recently wanted to gain weight and muscle. It was hard for him to do so and something that made him really upset - so I can definitely see how people downplaying that could be maddening. Source: iStock
Finding Clothes That Fit Can Be HardOverweight people aren't the only ones who have trouble finding their size in stores. User archaeob says, "I know people of higher weights also have a hard time finding clothes, but I have to go into the children's section for pants still at age 25 and they have a HUGE gap. Going down a size means I cannot sit down without a massive wedgie, so I am stuck with these. The difference is, when I complain about not being able to find shorts (or other clothes)that fit me properly, I am told to shut up because my problem with clothes is not nearly as bad as heavier people so I am not allowed to complain. Or just told to eat some more hamburgers so that I will fit into the pants."
People Assume You Have An Eating DisorderAside from mean comments about their weight, a lot of naturally thin people spend too much time convincing others they don't have an eating disorder. User Zhyjxcyi says, "My mother always thought I was anorexic. She was paranoid and wouldn't shut up about it until a doctor told her I was fine." Source: iStock
A Lot Of The World Isn't Made For Very Skinny PeopleHere's something I've never thought about: User TedTheViking says, "Everything is designed to accommodate large people. Restaurant booths are too far away from the table, so you have to either sit on the very edge of the seat, or be half a mile away from your food. Clothing is almost always too baggy. Lap bars on amusement park rides are way too loose. Public places are way too cold. But by far the worst thing is when obese people comment on your weight. They'll say things like 'why are you so thin?' But you can't comment on their weight, because they'd take offense. I'm looking at you, Brenda from HR." Source: iStock
No One Thinks You're HealthyAnother component of body shaming is the people who act like a skinny person can't be that healthy. User MulletOnFire explains, "Or when someone with an unhealthy lifestyle insists that the only reason you are skinny is because of your metabolism or genetics. Well no, I actually try to take care of myself as well."