The Skinny Girl: By Abeera Tanveer
“Honestly I don’t think there’s anything wrong with skinny shaming, I mean fat girls have been criticized since ages, it’s time you petite girls got slammed as well.”
As I heard a self-proclaimed feminist friend spit these words out of her mouth I resisted the urge to shove my fist down her esophagus.
For a minute I thought “Damn, I mean you’re a woman saying this! You’re a feminist! I thought we were cool, I thought we were all for sticking up for each other and guarding ourselves from misogynistic bastards.” Once again another belonging to my gender proved me wrong.
I’m pretty sure skinny women have often heard how blessed they are to look a certain way and how ‘ideal’ their body type is. But often I think about how nobody talks about the criticism they receive and are expected to endure because ‘fat shaming is much worse than skinny shaming’.
Hardly anybody talks about how many of us skinny girls choose to skip breakfast for fear of throwing up; unable to make space for anything inside our bodies but another’s mockery about it.
Nobody talks about our desperation for gaining weight, how we chug down milkshakes of Greek yogurt and peanut butter not caring how they’d aggravate our acne. At one point we forced our mothers to buy us ‘Ensure’ which is ‘an excellent drink that is the perfect source of 26 essential vitamins and minerals that helps you stay healthy and energetic’ because we clearly wasted all our energies hating our protruding ribs in the mirror.
Many of us feeling sad and lonely, lying on our backs on our bedroom floors, warm tears rolling down our temples, constantly hating the geography of our bodies, watching every single Ted talk related to ‘being and staying happy’, watching squat videos on YouTube hoping to attain that full, toned behind, the one Nicki Minaj so blatantly speaks of as superior, shaming those who don’t have it, calling them ‘skinny bitches’; the exact ‘behind’ Meghan Trainor sings about in her song ‘all about that bass’ claiming boys prefer their girls with more meat on their bones, promising she won’t ever be a ‘stick figure silicon’ female because apparently looking thin is repulsive and fake.
Whenever people tell me how thankful I should be that I was born skinny I wish, so badly, that they could step into my shoes for one day, find out that it’s not all rainbows and sunshine to have someone wrap their index finger and thumb around your wrists, treat you like a spectacle, some fascinating creature to be entertained by.
It’s not very pleasing to hear your friends complain about your jutting hipbones touching them, grossing them out when you’re stuck with them in the back of an Uber driver’s car. It infuriates me every time aunties tell me the wind would blow me off or when they call me a pale stick.
Sitting across them at weddings, witnessing them bring up my frail body structure every five minutes, my lifeless shoulders, the uneaten pieces on my plate, their words never fail to jab daggers into my confidence. And in these kind of moments as I try to viciously sniff back the tears, I’ve never wanted to disappear so bad.
But I guess the problem lies with the very notion of perfection, of how we’re convinced to hate ourselves because our features do not conform to a particular standard. Loving yourself in the face of a world that tells you not to is pretty darn difficult.
We’re surrounded by glossy magazines that give us 140 tips on achieving the ‘perfect summer bodies’, telling us to lose weight to look more appealing, telling us to gain weight to be accepted, making us insecure about the lines on our foreheads or the stretch marks on our bellies, forcing us to believe that being called ‘fat’, ‘skinny’, ‘curvy’ etcetera are insults.
And it is truly heart wrenching to know that in a society, scrap that- in a WORLD where women are treated inferior, their bodies seen as things only good for consumption, we, the very same women, now have chosen to become our own enemies, pitting us against each other, supporting the mockery of a different body type just because it has not received ‘enough backlash’ rather we should be working towards empowering each other.
If I had one wish that could surely be fulfilled it’d be people loving each other, calling each other beautiful instead of out rightly siding with those who roll negativity off their tongues and radiate nothing but hate.
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