The number of times I’ve heard people ask me, or someone else something such as “you’re skinny, why are you complaining about working out if you don’t even need to do it?” Or “So what you’ve gained a couple pounds, you could use it” or “Why can’t you just be happy with what you have, you’re lucky.” What some people don’t understand is that these questions aren’t ones all “skinny” girls really want to hear or even answer for that matter.
First of all, if you yelled “hey, skinny girl!” and looked straight at me, my first instinct would be to look behind me, next to me, then at you, and that’s where I would stop and go on knowing that was meant for someone else.
“Skinny” isn’t a word I would use to describe myself. Maybe on a good day, I might call myself in shape, but those days are rare and it’s usually early in the morning when I haven’t eaten for more than 12 hours and my body has had time to rest.
But as soon as the thought of loving my body comes to mind, it often vanishes and negative self-talk replaces any sign of encouragement or love. I don’t see myself as someone skinny or in shape or even beautiful most times. Before I can get there I’ve gone to my “bad” spots. You know, the trouble spots that are obsessed over.
I instantly begin to find where I have fallen short. I ate this instead of that. I didn’t run long enough or hard enough. I skipped the gym… again.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times I feel confident in myself, but that’s usually after I’ve defeated so many other parts of my body that there’s only a couple left that even have a chance. And for a small moment, there might be a part of my body that I’m content with. For a moment.
ENTER comparison. Just when I thought I could appreciate one thing, I see a better version of it and my mind is on a roll. The what-ifs come flooding in and the ounce of confidence I had is replaced with imperfections and insecurities.
It’s not about skinny or not. It comes down to comparison. And it doesn’t choose sides, it doesn’t look for specific targets, it just is. And do you know what I’ve learned about it in my short time here? It’s that you can’t spell comparison without poison. And this kind of poison can affect us all.
So, I’m here to say that there is no “skinny” no “us” and “them” it’s a fight against ourselves. A fight to choose love. Not only for others but for ourselves as well. If we can’t fully love ourselves, aren’t we only partially loving each other?
I’ve found that the more I can find myself genuinely building others up and encouraging them to love themselves, the more I can accept the advice for myself. So, instead of assuming we know how someone feels about their body because it’s what we assume is the best, let’s simply support them while they discover what makes them feel healthy and beautiful because that looks different for every one of us.