Saturday, 1 February 2014

Issues | 'Why are you so skinny?'

Hi everyone!

This post was inspired by two of my house mates, both who would be classed as 'skinny'. We were examining the stigma towards being skinny and the discussion which developed I found deeply interesting.

There is a question that within society gets brought up time and time again, 'why are you so skinny?', personally I think is quite insulting. What right do people have to criticise an individuals weight? The same question would be asked.. 'why are you so fat?', that wouldn't be a socially acceptable question so why should it be acceptable to pick out someone who is skinny? There might be reasons why they are skinny, it might be due to their high metabolism or their smaller bone structure or perhaps they have an eating disorder. If in fact they do have an eating disorder, they already will have a negative body image of themselves, so why would you want to implant that thought into their mind any further? If anything, it is just plain rude and insensitive.

You shouldn't need to ask people why their body is the way it is, it isn't necessary. It can deeply affect their self-esteem and confidence. It isn't fair making people feel conscious about their body image. As long as the person is happy and healthy then why should they have to change? If they had an issue and weren't happy, then they themselves would address the problem. If however, it is someone who wouldn't be able to address the problem themselves (perhaps someone who has an eating disorder) and you're worried them, then they are ways of addressing it in a more sensitive manner. The way you communicate this is very important.

The word 'skinny' I feel is quite offensive, it comes across as being negative. The term 'thin' I'd class as more appropriate. If in fact you're trying to compliment someone, make sure you think about the way you say it so that you don't offend that person.  For example, 'you look SO skinny'. This could be interpretated the wrong way and upset that person. A better approach would be, 'your body is looking really good!', conveying the same message but in a more positive way.

Another issue which I find unfair is comments like 'you shouldn't have lost weight, you looked so much better before'. What if before that individual was a healthy weight but was completely unfit and couldn't run up and down the stairs without being out of breath? What if now they feel more comfortable and have more confidence? As long as they are healthy and happy, why does it matter? It appears there are people who they themselves have low self-esteem and feel better by expressing negative comments about another individual to make themselves feel better, that in itself isn't healthy.

The moral of the story is that everyone is different. If everyone was the same then our world would be a boring place.



  1. I couldn't agree more!

  2. I nominated you for a Liebster Award :) Check out your questions on my blog!

    Rachel [at] AMomentInTime.


    1. aw thank you! i really appreciate it! i'll post my reply within the next day or so. xx

  3. Totally agree with all of this! I'm apparently 'very skinny' (although I don't agree, I feel I'm a normal size), and it annoys me so much. I have had random people stop me to comment on my size, people I know regularly comment on how I 'need to eat a burger' (like that will make a difference) and I've even been reduced to tears on a night out because random girls decided they were going to comment on how I was clearly anorexic and far too skinny.
    Like you said, it is socially unacceptable to ask someone why they are overweight, so why should it be alright to ask someone why they are skinny?
    Quite a long comment so I'll not say any more lol, but its a topic I have so many views and opinions on, I could probably write a book about it!

    Lauren |