I think it started in elementary school.
Everyone called me toothpick because I was naturally skinny, even as a young girl. This was the first time that I was able to conceptualize that I was deemed an ‘other’ by my peers simply due to my physique.
This phenomenon was further articulated to myself whilst gradually growing into womanhood. For some reason, my weight bolstered the ability for men to objectify me. There was an inherent justification that because I was thin, it meant that I was actively maintaining my body with the primary goal of obtaining companionship and, in the worst cases, physical relations.
In 2014, Nicki Minaj said to “fuck all the skinny bitches in the club.”
In 2015, Meghan Trainor told me “I’m bringing booty back, go ahead and tell those skinny bitches back.”
I am met with constant opposition when I attempt to examine the existence of skinny shaming and, while I understand the concerns of those who disagree with my premises, systemic skinny shaming is present in every aspect of our lives. In an attempt to create a world absent of judgment based on body size, we must begin by creating a positive discourse surrounding all body types and disrupt the negative narratives present in the status quo.
This is a relatively simple task. It is necessary to recognize the existence of skinny shaming. This does not dictate that shaming of other body types be regulated to the periphery, on the contrary, it spotlights the presence of all shame of all body types. This virtually erases any ‘justifiable’ behavior based on the physique. In the most extreme cases, the recognition of body discrimination will stifle the ability for justifications of physical harm or force under the rationale of the clichéd “she was asking for it”. Further, it reduces the propensity for self-inflicted hatred based solely on the perceptions of others, which only stimulates an environment of self-acceptance.
So for the next few weeks I ask, no I implore you, to listen, engage, and understand skinny shaming from the stories of those who have experienced it, those who have witnessed it, and even those who have played part in it. This is the only way we can begin to create an environment more accepting to every single body today and, thus, every single person.
So much love,