I have always been skinny all my life, I’ve never been the type to eat a lot. In fact, I would rather cry than eat, its just the way I was and I’m still that way. When I was little, I remember my mom’s friend coming to my house, she told my mom me and my little sister do not eat well because we were skinny, so she cooked the most disgusting noodles I’ve ever eaten in my life, and forced me and my sister to eat it, she fed us while we cried. All while when I was younger, I never had any problem with my body, I didn’t even see myself as small or skinny, but things started to change, I don’t quite remember how. I started to feel insecure about my body when I was in secondary school, but it wasn’t as deep then. I knew I didn’t have big breasts like the other girls but it didn’t affect me, at least not really. When I newly got into the university, people would tell me to eat more and things like that, but still didn’t care that much about doing something about my size. I knew I was small and I was aware, I knew that a lot of guys probably won’t have interest in me cos I didn’t have all the curves a lot of them want in ladies, so I had low self esteem but I wasn’t affected psychologically. About when two years into the university, I started feeling the need to do something about my body, I started caring a lot about what people had to say about me, asking if I was fatter than one girl or thinner than the other. One time, I uploaded a picture on twitter and somebody asked where my breasts were. My insecurity about my body increased each time someone said something negative about my body. It became so bad, that I thought something was wrong with me and that was the reason I wasn’t adding weight, I would take tests, use a lot of multivitamins and food supplements but they were barely any changes. My parents would try to explain to me that nothing was wrong with me and that that was how my mother was when she was younger too. I’m still insecure about my body, I’ll probably always be, but I’m not here rant about that. I’m here to let people understand that body shaming does not only affect people who are bigger in size, it goes both ways.
Recently, I got into an argument with a girl and she called me anorexic, because I told her she wasn’t entitled to a man’s money. She called me ugly and told me to eat more because I’m skinny. This girl happens to be plus size so you can understand why she did that. While I’m not allowed to call her fat, she called me anorexic. That’s not the first time I would be called anorexic, I’m not sure half the people who use that word as an insult understand the meaning, I don’t think they know it’s an actual disorder and that not everybody who is slim is scared of adding weight. I don’t think they know that the reason why I’m skinny is because my insulin is hyperactive and my metabolism rate is high, unlike theirs. They don’t know that the same way they find it hard to lose weight, is the same way I find it hard to add weight. They also don’t know that I get affected when I’m body shamed the same way they get affected, I’m not sure they even know I can be body shamed. They say ‘fat’ is a rude word to describe them with, but think its okay to call someone ‘thin’, they hate when you tell them they’ve added weight, but will tell you to ‘put on some weight’, as though weight is an outfit I can buy in the market.
I understand that before now, being big in size wasn’t trendy and I totally commend the society and the media for giving plus sized the push that was needed. Now there are plus size models and being big has been embraced. I love the way society, social media especially, has come together to do something about body shaming, but I’m afraid they are not doing it right. Instead of eradicating body shaming, they have simply turned the tables around. How come calling someone fat can cause a lot of backlash on social media but calling someone ‘flat chest’ is totally acceptable? I understand that chubby people should be praised for loving their bodies and be encouraged to do so, but how about slim people? Plus size women get endorsements for loving their bodies, the go on talk shows for embracing their body, while they call smaller women anorexic. Slender women should not be put down in other to uplift plus size women, we should not be put against each other as if we are competitors who are mutually exclusive. The beauty of one is not the absence of another, body shaming against slim people has to go! I know of a girl who overdosed on some weight gain drugs and died because of that. That is how bad body shaming can go. Its okay if you don’t find slim women attractive, we probably don’t find you attractive as well, and you don’t see us body shaming you for that reason.