Skinny is beautiful too: Stop Skinny-Shaming

I am a 25-year old woman who looks like a 15-year-old. I have been weighing 45 kgs for nearly 10 years. I have tried almost everything from squats to protein smoothies. I have watched many weight gain videos but nothing seems to work.

At some point, it can get a little frustrating. It’s even more frustrating when you get comments like “ Na umekonda?” referring to how skinny I am. Having fallen victim to these low moments, I want to empower all girls and women who are equally judged because they are skinny.

A female’s struggle to fit the ‘ideal’ beauty definition is an inner battle only a few feel free talking about them. From acne, bodyweight, stretch marks to small boobs, belly size, skin colour foreheads, dark circles, one eyebrow arching higher than the other etc etc etc.

What’s your definition of beauty? Is there a universal standard or is it in the eye’s of the beholder?

I am naturally skinny and small. My collarbones and the veins on my hands are visible. No, I don’t have an eating disorder. I eat what I want meaning I don’t starve myself as many would stereotype my kind. As fat-shaming becomes more and more unacceptable, skinny-shaming is becoming more and more apparent.

No fitting size

At times I would be with my younger sister and people would immediately assume she is the older one. There are a lot of struggles that come with just being skinny. Sometimes, I may just want to donate my blood, but it’s not possible with my weight. There was even a time I bought clothes from the kid’s section. If I buy clothes from the adult section, I always go for size XS or even worse for XXS. Most times I get disappointed as my size is not always available. Even if I buy that XS size, I still run to the tailor to adjust it.

Mistaken Identity

Another interesting thing that happened to me recently was when I was taking my other sister to form one. Just like a normal form one reporting day, we were helping her unpack some of her stuff and all that. One teacher just came to where we were and in a high tone, she confidently said ”Where is your uniform? We said students should wear them when they report”. I thought, “Is she crazy or something?”. I am sure she felt embarrassed after I politely responded with “I am not a student”. She didn’t bother apologising. However, we joked about it later in the car with my parents. As much as it may sound okay to tell someone that, it is not right!

Artificial Weight

As if that is enough, I have received many comments from how I should walk with stones in my pocket so that the wind doesn’t blow me away to scary ones on how it is dangerous to give birth when skinny. At one time, I was literally referred to as the ‘thin girl’ in public. Surprisingly, most of these comments came from fellow women. This just states that we ladies are constantly pulling each other down. Sometimes we may do it unconsciously, but still, we ought to be really careful with some of these phrases as they may reduce someone’s self-esteem. We should be each other’s cheerleader since we understand such struggles better than our male counterparts. Just as it feels to struggle to lose weight or lighten up dark areas, is the same as trying to add weight.

Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful

Gertrude Kayeyia

Advantages of being Skinny

  • I don’t give the phlebotomist the challenge of finding a vein. 
  • I have a thigh gap
  • I am stronger than I look – usually asked to open tight things.
  • Looking younger than your actual age.

To the General Public:

Skinny is beautiful too. Stop telling girls and women they need to eat this or that – ”just eat this or that” is not always the answer – or they have no butts. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. All bodies are good bodies. We should understand the struggle of gaining weight and all that. Most of us are just thin because of our genetic makeup – genes. 

To all girls and women who think they are not beautiful: 

Love your body. You are not defined by your weight. Be comfortable in your own skin. You are beautiful.

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