I have been debating for a while—a long, long while—about whether or not to write this post, but finally, I just saw one “thin people are disgusting” Facebook meme (or whatever you’d like to call it) too many, and I can't hold it in anymore, so here we go.
I feel like this shouldn’t need to be said, but apparently, it does. Problems with body image and low self-esteem can happen at any body size. To anyone. You might hate your own figure and envy someone else’s, but they might hate theirs and envy yours.
|Yeah this image makes me ragey.|
What it does is remind me of the voice that used to whisper to me when I was younger: Your arms are creepy. Your knees stick out. People probably think you have an eating disorder. In fact, I was pretty obsessed, as a teen, with making sure no one thought I had an eating disorder. In retrospect, I doubt anyone paid my eating habits much mind. But they were always saying things. “You’re such a stick!” “Girl, you need to eat more.” “What are you, like 50 pounds?”
These things get to a person. I can’t and won’t pretend I know what it’s like to be a bigger person, because I’ve always been thin. And I also know that my experience is not the experience of all thin people. No one person’s experience is ever universal.
But man, rational or not, the weight stuff just got to me. My self-esteem was, like most girls, rocky in high school. Fortunately, the internet was a little newer back then, and no internet drawings were telling me that skinny girls are disgusting. (To be clear, I also don't approve of these sorts of drawings about heavier girls, but those seem not to venture to Facebook, as far as I've seen.) But now?
It’s just…it’s not okay. It’s not.
It’s not okay to tell someone they are gross because of their size. It’s not okay to say it straight out. It’s not okay to say it with passive aggressive internet memes. It’s not okay to tweet about the “skinny bitches” at your gym (I have actually unfollowed people before on twitter for saying stuff like that too often. I mean, everyone understands, right, that thin doesn't automatically=healthy? Good diet and a healthy exercise regimen are important for health no matter what you weigh). It's not okay to build up one group of people's feelings of self-worth by putting down another group of people. I know that this post is really thin-hate focused, but it applies to everyone. It’s not okay no matter who you're talking about. Words have an impact. This kind of thing might bounce right off one person, but it might lodge in the next person like a fiberglass sliver.
So I’m writing this post, because I tend to be a fiberglass sliver person. And I’d like to see women building each other up, not tearing each other down (because let's face it, ladies, we're the ones doing this to each other). I know it’s completely unrealistic to wish that women could all be each other’s loving healthy body image support systems, but I guess I hope that at least this post provides some food for thought. I am so for promoting healthy body image, but never, ever at the expense of others. Just something I hope everyone can think about a little bit.