I was recently at a gathering with some friends. Much to my delight, the topic of fat-positivity/body-positivity was brought up. This social movement toward body acceptance really inspires me, and the thought of connecting with some ladies I didn’t know too well over this topic was exciting. So to the one who brought it up, I said,
"Hey that’s really cool that you’re into that, I’m always checking out body-positive blogs!"
Unfortunately the response I got was not one I was expecting, she scoffed at me, mumbling a “Yeah.”
As if I would have any use for body positivity, or could possibly fathom what it felt like to have insecurities about my body, right?
I gave her a strange look, and then the other friend who had invited me said,
"Do you ever see any really skinny girls on those blogs?" or something to that effect.
I suddenly became acutely aware of something I had completely ignored up until this point. I was one of two “really skinny girls”, among four larger girls.
“I haven’t seen any myself, but I would assume there are since it’s BODY positivity, so all body types are welcome.”
“Yeah..” was her response.
I was fairly taken aback as I had never thought anyone would question my “need” for supporting or being involved in this movement in this way. It was more than obvious that they either did not understand my interest in this movement, or straight up thought that I had no right to be involved in it or to discuss it. I’m a “really skinny girl” right? What the hell could I possibly gain from reading about/sharing experiences with other people and their struggles? I’m skinny, so I clearly have never struggled a damn day in my life! WTF?
I really wish I had said more, that I had given her the earful she deserved for making me feel like I had no place talking about body positivity. It was fucking hurtful to be responded to like that, especially since one of them is a close friend.
This is what I wish I had said:
So, what, because I’m skinny, I’m not allowed to be insecure?
Because you’re “fat” and I’m not, you’re allowed to put me down because of my size? How is that not hypocrisy?
You live in society, you should know that it functions to make people completely dismember themselves and analyze the pieces to shit. So if that’s the case, you should know that regardless of my being “skinny”, there are plenty of other areas I put myself down for.
I have really bad skin, and I always have.
I have a flat chest, and constantly worry if a special someone I may be getting close to will be turned off by my breasts when I take my clothes off.
Those are two things you cannot currently relate to. But I would never tell you how to feel or how to conduct yourself based on the way you look.
Also, all throughout high school, and into my early 20’s, I engaged in self-harm. That was how I dealt with any anger or shame I was feeling that I couldn’t bear. So yeah, there’s another struggle that this “really skinny girl” indeed went through.
It is very hard for me not to feel angry as I recount this situation. But I know that underneath my hurt feelings and the anger, that I can understand where she’s coming from. That doesn’t make it hurt any less.
I am a lanky girl, because my father’s side of the family is lanky. My bone structure is such that even if I am a bit chunkier, overall I still have a thin look to me, I am also 6’ tall so I have an overall tall and slender look. Ok, so what? Does that make me less deserving of comfort or reassurance because what could I possibly have to be insecure about? No. Not even one bit.
FYI: My slender build coupled with my flat chest has often made me hyperaware of being too thin. When I’m keeping on top of my health, working out, yeah I’m quite thin. I have worried that men won’t find me attractive because I don’t have that voluptuous, curve to my body. I am sure many on here can relate to switching between, “Ugh I’m too fat” and “Ugh, I’m so bony”. It’s not fun, and I start to wonder, when do I get to love my body? And I realize that it’s when I choose to. She’s the only body I have, and I would never hate another the way I am so often guilty of hating myself! So I try each day to love who I am regardless of what other people may think.
This is an obstacle with all social movements: to stop directing anger at those individuals who in one way or another fit in to societal standards as if that fact puts them in allegiance with the ubiquitous harmful societal messages about physicality. IT DOES NOT. This is just society getting in between people, still! Divide and conquer! There will always be people who don’t fit into society’s standards and those who do, and the real struggle is for EVERYONE to look past this aspect of EVERYONE ELSE because it’s utterly meaningless compared to WHO THEY ARE.
Every single person deals with their own struggles, every single person has their own insecurities, their own story, their own past and present. Nobody has the right to make another feel less-than, because of a characteristic of who they are that they have little to no control over.
We all must JOIN FORCES! Peace and love! <333
BE BRAVE! JOIN THE BODY PEACE REVOLUTION!