Skinny BitchPosted on: Oct 17, 2014
Recently some colleagues and I went out to lunch, generously paid for by our boss. I didn’t want to take the mick by going for an expensive option, so ordered what sounded like a really tasty, healthy ‘superfood’ platter. Well the plate placed in front of me could have easily satisfied two hungry people and was basically a load of raw vegetables and some massive hunks of bread. I looked over at my co-worker’s burgers with regret and envy. Ho-hum. I ate as much as I could but was soon stuffed.
What I didn’t bank on was the waitress taking an unnecessary interest in my appetite. Clearing away the dishes, she made a series of remarks admonishing me for not finishing my meal. It was probably meant as playful banter but she wouldn’t let it go and it started to irritate me. “You need to eat more of that”. “No wonder you’re so skinny”. “You’d better be having a desert” etc etc.
Both my colleagues and I were getting embarrassed by the unwanted attention. Someone made a joke about telling her that I was anorexic/bulimic just to shame her into silence.
But it made me think, how many times have people told me that I’m too skinny, that I should eat more, that I don’t need to exercise/cut out sugar and so on? Loads. Newflash – people commenting on other people’s bodies can make them feel uncomfortable. Especially when the underlying tone seems to be ‘how dare you be so slim, it’s not fair, it’s a personal affront against me’. I’m sure there are thousands of fellow slim girls out there who have been at the receiving end of similar, unsolicited comments.
And maybe it’s just me, but the word skinny carries very negative connotations. In fact, I’ve just googled it and the dictionary definition is ‘unattractively thin’, with synonyms listed as ‘thin, scrawny, scraggy, bony, angular, raw-boned, hollow-cheeked, gaunt, skin-and-bones, stick-like, size-zero, emaciated, skeletal, pinched, undernourished, underfed’. So, cheers.
Because, sorry to disappoint everyone, but I’m neither on a crazy diet or an exercise fanatic. I’ve been the same clothes size since I went through puberty. Some people find that their weight fluctuates with hormones, stress or just good old fashioned over-eating, but mine is stubbornly consistent. I swim once a week and walk to work. I eat normal-sized meals three times a day and snack like a fiend. I’m a size 10/12/14 depending on the shop. Dull but true.
I shouldn’t even feel the need to make these facts known but it always amazes me how comfortable strangers feel with commenting on other people’s weight. Would that waitress have dreamed of saying to an overweight customer “you’d better not be having a desert, no wonder you’re so fat?” Of course not.
So to everyone that thinks it’s ok to negatively comment on someone else’s weight, hair colour, skin, or clothes without first being asked by that person ‘Hey, what do you think of my…’ then shut the hell up and keep your opinions to yourself.