Mar 8, 2018

Body Shaming: The Skinny Version


I've been struggling to put into words how to really share my own story with this. I've had so many incredible and inspirational blogger friends share their story ( Katie & Ashley )  and journey of finding themselves through weight loss, accepting their weight gain and/or just how happy they are right now. I've shared a few posts about my anxiety, struggle with balancing daily life work, blogging and parenting but I've never really gone into detail about how my own body shaming got me to where I am today, here, at 31 years old.

As some of you know, I was a preemie when I was born. I weighed 2 pounds 2oz and left the hospital in Albany, New York at a hefty 4lbs after being there for 3 months. When I was 1 years old I was 15 pounds ( my 10 month old son currently weighs 23 pounds )! As a child, weight was something that I struggled with not to take off, but put on.

I remember seeing pictures of myself at 3 years old in ballet class. I was so small that my own tights could barely stay on and they slouched at the bottom of where my pink slippers were. In elementary school I was always active, playing with my friends outside, running in soccer practice twice a week but remembering that I felt the most comfortable in large t-shirts and shorts to hide the fact that I was basically sticks and bone.

In middle school kids would tease me about being too skinny. "Don't you eat?" In fact, I did! I ate all the time but it was always a struggle to keep it on. I had a few guy friends who always told me I was pretty but I remember getting into a huge fight with one of my girlfriends at the time because I told her what size jeans I wore ( either a double zero or 0 ) and she called me a liar because no one was really that small and I must be in the bathroom a lot throwing up to make me look so little. I went home and cried for hours because I felt ashamed.

In high school I remember shopping with a friend and she told me she hated shopping with me because I made HER feel self conscious!  Supposedly we were 'best friends' and 'best friends' are honest with one another. I was stunned at how brutal that made me feel that I was being body shammed for being so small.

Truth? I never worked out in high school and I had 4 pack abs.  I'm not saying that to get everyone upset but just stating facts that despite having what others would consider 'the perfect body' I felt alone, upset, terrified and extremely embarrassed of it.

The bottom line..words hurt. At 31, a Mom of two, a blogger, a writer, a wife, friend, coworker..etc, words still hurt. Just recently I was on my Instagram Stories sharing an outfit I had fallen in love with and someone DMed me saying I was "too skinny and needed to eat".

Huh?! I have 2 kids? I have that pooch you guys! I have stretch marks! I have cellulite. I have it all friends! But ya know what- at 31 body shaming has taught me this. I LOVE MYSELF. That's right. It taught me the opposite of being ashamed. I'm still wearing baggy t-shirts because I'm comfortable in clothes like that but I'm also loving to wear outfits that make me feel good inside and out. Outfits that hug my small frame, that make me feel confident and that make me say "WOW, I look great!"

My tribe of friends love me for my size- ( I'm a size 4 and have been for about 15 years..minus being pregnant and putting 65 lbs on ). I'm not ashamed of it anymore. I'm not consistently working out to get to a size 0 again. I embrace my stretch marks and my cellulite because of what my body went through by having two children. I embrace it all!

Let's start by teaching our children, our friends, our family and our coworkers that body shaming needs to end! My daughter is currently four and has my build except she's extremely tall ( I'm only 5'2 and I bet my little lady will be somewhere like 5'6 or 5'7 when she gets older). Regardless, people still comment about her weight and when I say this girl can put down about 3 LARGE pancakes in one sitting, she'll set out to prove to you she can. It's almost ridiculous that I feel the need to defend her eating habits when I know she burns them off within minutes.

Let's teach everyone to embrace our flaws because they make us who we are! It takes time to love yourself and at 31, I'm slowly getting there too. It's ok. Make sure to keep surrounding yourself with those that accept, love and share the same positive thoughts that you do. Body Shaming is real and its a hard pill to swallow, but we can rise above it. We can be more. We can.

How do you show others you love yourself?
Have you ever been body shammed? 

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22 comments:

  1. Great perspective and I’m glad you shared!! Talking about body shaming is difficult and personal - thank you for being so open!

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  2. I'm so glad you shared this! Since most of the world is now leaning towards overweight and even obesity, it can be hard for people to relate to anyone feeling shamed for being thin. But I know you are definitely not alone in your experience!

    My girls were always small. Now my youngest is quite tall, but she and her sisters spent years feeling awkward because they were the shortest in their class. Or had the smallest uniform or boot size at cadets. That takes its toll on a young person. I'm still not sure if my youngest is camera-shy because of the baggage, or if she's just not one who likes to pose for pictures.

    We all need to learn to be more kind. And to love one another for who we are, not what we look like.

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing your story! People always think that those that are heavier are the ones that are body shamed but its not true. We all need accept our body's as they are and just strive for good health. Everyone has a different body type and will look different than someone who weighs the exact same as them. We put so much pressure on ourselves (and in turn our children) when we constantly berate ourselves for the look of our bodies. It's time to embrace our beauty!

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  4. Shame on anyone for making comments like that. A lot of people struggle to gain weight and it's not their fault. Shouldn't be punished for how they look. Thanks for sharing friend!

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  5. I used to get comments all the time too. I used to try to gain weight. In fact, I think there used to be pamphlets that you could buy in the back of Seventeen magazine & one of them was about gaining weight. (I'm quite a bit older than you!) When I went for my first gynecologist appt, the woman asked me if I wanted someone to "hold my hand" and asked me if I was anorexic. Then in my 30s my back was hurting, so I went to a doctor and the doctor told me "skinny girls get hurt sometimes." Really? I switched THAT doctor. People don't understand that it's hurtful in both directions. The whole body image thing drives me crazy. My preteen daughter just asked me "Mom, am I fat?" And she's completely not. I couldn't work out enough to even look like that girl. I just keep trying to tell her how strong she is. Focus on strength instead of "looks." What can your body do??? So much more important! Glad you've learned to accept what you've got!

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  6. Thank you for sharing your stories. When I was younger I used to get those comments as well and now I just stopped caring

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  7. Before I had the boys I was always picked on for being "skinny" and then after I had my boys I gained some weight and was picked on that for that. I feel like no matter what you will have those people who will always belittle you for anything. Its just best to brush it off and let the haters hate.

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  8. Just a year ago I learned from my best friend how I had hurt her feelings 10+ years ago in a similar way. I have always battled to keep weight off and she eats powdered donuts and dp for breakfast...but at one point she evidently was feeling like she had put on some weight and I made her feel ridiculous for thinking so. We all struggle with our body image at one point or another when we need to learn to accept the body we have been given. Thanks for sharing your view!

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  9. I have a friend that's super tiny - and she's had four kids! It can suck if you're the person who is always overweight and having friends that are just naturally skinny (really really small like you were, or just your average skinny)- I've dealt with that a lot- but that doesn't mean they should be body shamed or made to feel like it's their fault. Body image issues can affect everyone.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  10. Body shaming is bad no matter the size. It is hard though, as a bigger person to hear my 100 lb friend saying she needs to lose weight because her belly is “loose”. She says those things out loud, to which people reply “eat a sandwich”. It’s rough both ways.

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  11. This post is surely for people like me. I am not fat but plump and I look for tricks to look slim

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  12. I feel you! I was also a premature baby and all my childhood I got the "eat something" thing. I find it funny that, while pretty much everyone wants to lose weight, I want to gain.

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  13. I can completely understand. During my first year of high school I met my best friend. Both of us were very thin and were teased so much. Now when I look back on those years I feel that being thin was not such a big deal at all. Now I have a little extra weight that even though I want to get rid of it I am happy with the way I look. I focus more on the more important things in life that make me happy.

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  14. For me, it’s all about being comfortable at your own skin. It’s very difficult to talk about body shaming. I really admire your courage.

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  15. Thank you for sharing your struggle. Skinny shaming doesn’t get as much attention but definitely can cause just as much pain.

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  16. I always complain about how skinny I was. I hated being so skinny. Everyone just looked at me like I was crazy. Just because I was skinny dose not mean I'm fit. If I had a 1$ for Evey time someone asked me that I will be rich. Thank you for sharing .

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  17. This post is so important. The bottom line is that we should all strive to build each other up and not comment on people's looks . . . body shaming hurts no matter what you look like!

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  18. As a woman its damned if you do damned if you dont with bodies. I was skinny body shammed to until my late 20s for not eating. We are basically the same age, I am still considered mostly skinny to my friends and family and because I guess the slower metabolism doesnt keep me rail thin anymore - I dont get shammed! People need to stop judging.

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  19. I am one of those girls that has always been super small too and people also shame me. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  20. It's interesting to think about body shaming on the other side of the coin. People have far too many opinions. We should be building each other not knocking each other. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. Thank you so much for writing this! I am the same way. I graduated highschool at 90 pounds. I struggle so much to keep weight on and I have totally been bullied for being too small. It is 100% goes both ways. It's hard for some girls to find clothes that fit and it is just as hard for us skinny girls too. I understand their struggle and others should understand ours! I've had so many instances where people tell me to eat and I'm like um I am! There's snacks in my purse constantly. I used to hate to eat around my ex's mom because she would constantly tell me I wasn't eating enough and how I was too small. It totally goes both ways!

    http://moosmusing.com

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