In Defense of Thin People

As an avid Tumblr-enthusiast/homework-procrastinator, I find all sorts of time-absorbing blogs that I identify with. One that I found recently is geared toward “skinny girl problems.” Spending 2 hours perusing all the problems and reader remarks reinforced the notion that naturally thin people are not without their problems. As a thin person myself, I’m cognizant that we do face a certain kind of discrimination but it’s not acceptable to complain about them. I’d like to list some problems slender people face:

According to the haute couture would, clothes should fit slender people better because their bodies show off the clothes best. Somehow, off the runway and in the real world, that’s not always the case unless you have clothes tailored to you. Some shirts are boxy on thin people. Pants that fit well around the legs are baggy around the waist. Sometimes the smallest size isn’t small enough and you end up looking like a five year old playing dress-up.

This may just be me but sometimes bones stick out and it’s a part of your natural build. My ribs, wrists, hip bones and spine stick out. On a traumatic anecdotal note, I have a particular hang up about my spine after someone rubbed my back and pointed out that being able to feel my vertebrae is “weird” and “gross.” It’s not something I can pop back into place. But thanks for scarring me from ever accepting a back rub again.

People feel compelled to physically pick you up when you’re thin. It is quite unnerving to know that about half the population, excluding (most) small children and elderly individuals with brittle bones, can pick you up at any moment and move you against your will.

It is socially acceptable to say “Eat a cookie/sandwich/burger” but it’s definitely not okay to say “put down the cookie/sandwich/burger.” In my opinion, it’s okay to offer someone a cookie if you’ve just baked some. It’s not okay to say “Eat a cookie” if someone looks too skinny for your standards. Similarly, it’s perfectly acceptable to say “Put down the cookie” if you see a spider crawling on it. It’s not okay to say “Put down the cookie” if you think someone weighs too much. Neither remark should be made in relation to someone’s weight.

Anorexia accusations are another hot button for thin people. It’s become socially acceptable to label someone as anorexic with no proof other than their appearance. It’s not right to flippantly diagnose a disorder like that by sight, especially sans a medical degree. If someone is suffering from an eating disorder, hearing whispers on the street about looking terrible, so they must be anorexic or hearing “(s)he must be bulimic,” isn’t going to help any.

My biggest grievance concerning thinness, perceptions and body image in general lies with a recent media turnaround. In an attempt to be more inclusive to different body types, there’s been a media trend promoting “Real women have curves.” So a skinny woman without curves is not a legitimate woman? While making it clear that the thin body type does not come naturally to all people, these ads have also fostered the sense that attacking the rare “ideal” type body is acceptable. Facebook is littered with images comparing the likes of small modern day actresses to Marilyn Monroe type women with the title “When did this (Kate Bosworth) become sexier than this (Marilyn Monroe)?” My issue is that it approaches beauty/sexiness in a divergent manner. It’s creating a war between body types. Let’s quit knocking one body type in favor of another; embrace whatever your given body type is. The best way to combat media, culture and social pressure to fit the current mold of beauty is to define beauty for yourself.

Nicole Inclan

About Nicole Inclan

I'm a Psychology major, Women's Studies minor and a co-president of Voices 4 Women. Recently, I co-founded a new organization called The Birds and the Bees. I work at OMA; if you wish to find me, I practically live in the Lucy Cross Center, first floor of Chase Hall. Feminist. Agnostic. INFJ. That's me.

One thought on “In Defense of Thin People

  1. Love your article,people feel the need to quickly labelled/judged by appearance and don’t think “outside the box”, real beauty and sexiness is from inside, within yourself…Always be the best you can be and forget the rest..Remember..You are a WOMEN…Congratulations !!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *