Welcome back! Before publishing another book review, I thought I’d write a lifestyle piece about an important issue that has emerged over recent years. Everyone knows about fat-shaming- it’s a disgusting practice and shames someone for their body, and it’s a horrific kind of bullying. However, thin-shaming is also a massive issue, and should not be ignored. In fact, I think that, just as celebrities and those in the limelight- as well as just ordinary people- fight against fat-shaming, the same should be done for thin-shaming.
So many times me and my family have been thin-shamed by people unaware of how critical they are being. My mum, for example, has been taunted because of her thin figure and small appetite, thinking for some reason she can help how much she likes to eat, or how fast she becomes full.
And so many times I have had people comment on how thin I am, and then wonder at my large appetite, suggesting that I shouldn’t be this thin on what I eat. So here, I’ve put together a list of three reasons why thin-shaming is a real issue, and why it can no longer be pushed aside. Hopefully this will raise some awareness, and encourage people to feel happy in themselves about their bodies! It should hopefully also make people think twice before shaming someone with a slim figure, and see their comments as more critical than they may believe them to be. The list is, as always, in no particular order…
1. It’s still shaming!
Just because someone teases or shames someone for being thin doesn’t mean it’s not shaming. It’s still bullying and shaming someone for their figure or body shape, and it’s not on. If someone tells you that you’re ‘too thin’ or you need to ‘eat more’ (besides a doctor of course!), that is just as critical, mean and shaming as someone saying you’re ‘too fat’ or you need to ‘eat less.’
Just because you’re shaming a thin person, it’s still shaming! The fact that, by shaming someone’s body, you make them feel worthless and insecure also shows a reason why thin-shaming should not be ignored, with people often not realising that by criticising someone’s weight, even in a jokey or low-key way, it can make them feel worthless and ashamed, and this still applies when commenting on a slim person’s weight! In some ways, criticising someone because they’re thin is even worse, as, if someone naturally does not put weight on, or is naturally slim, they cannot control their size.
2. It’s never the focus
Thin-shaming is something that is often ridiculed and forgotten, with fat-shaming being a much more prevalent issue. In songs such as ‘All About that Bass’ by Meghan Trainer, being curvy is celebrated. And I’m not saying this is a bad thing at all- every single body shape should be celebrated and praised, and I think it’s brilliant that Trainer is giving girls and women the chance to embrace their own figure.
But it is when she uses the line ‘skinny bitches’, which is where the problem lies. It’s a brilliant idea to show people that not everyone in showbiz is size 0, and hardly anyone actually is that small! But to shame people for being thin, suggesting that thinner girls aren’t worth as much because of their weight, seems to defy the whole point of the song?
Meghan Trainer seems to be saying that every shape is good and should be celebrated… Except if you’re thin? But this is just laughed off and not focussed on, and I think that more people should be aware that every shape, size and waist-line is good, and women shouldn’t be put down because they’re slim. We should celebrate every size and shape, including those who naturally have a thin figure!
I don’t think thin-shaming will come into the limelight yet- with celebrities often fearing backlash from something seen as simply moaning- but I hope that in the future there is more awareness of this kind of shaming, and people realise that it is a real problem.
3. Eating disorders
Just as taunting and shaming a curvy person can lead to awful problems such as anorexia and bulimia, shaming someone who is naturally slim can also lead to eating complexes and problems. So many times I have been grabbed by the wrist by people I know and told I’m not eating enough, that my parents starve me, that I am too thin, that I’m unhealthy, and comments like these can become too much for some people, grinding at them until they too begin to believe that something’s wrong with them and that they need to change their eating pattern. And it’s constant criticism like this that causes eating complexes, with these comments sometimes leading to bigger and more dangerous problems.
If we ignore thin-shaming, many people will believe their bodies are wrong and will be ashamed of their figures, and this could lead to young people experimenting with eating disorders, using these awful new websites where people encourage others to have negative thoughts about their bodies.
By raising awareness of thin-shaming- and showing that criticising anyone’s body, whether curvy or slim, is still wrong- perhaps we can encourage higher self-esteem, and make sure that people no longer feel insecure of their body, whether they are ‘all about that bass’ or ‘skinny bitches.’
Although me and my family have never let taunting get to us enough to hurt us seriously, comments have made both me and my mum question our eating habits, and I know that, when people suggest she doesn’t feed me or my sister enough, it hurts her that they think we’re under-fed, when we’re just naturally thin, and so people need to realise the problem of thin-shaming and not do it! Even if you think it’s ‘just a joke’- it can still hurt, whatever the body shape!
Everyone should love their body, their shape and their size, and not be criticised, and we should celebrate women of all sizes! Share your positive thoughts about body security and strength, as well as seeing your body in a positive mind-set, giving you high self-esteem. Let me know all your thoughts on this post in the comments below.
Currently reading: ‘West End Quartet’ by Ariadne Apostolou