Don’t Call Me Skinny Unless It’s Okay To Call You Fat

Growing up I was always called “skinny” or “bony” and HATED hearing those words. These words made it sound like I was sickly. Of course little kids didn’t know that those words were mean but there was nothing wrong with me. I just had really fast metabolism even though I ate everything in sight. Most people think that calling someone skinny is a compliment, but they’re wrong. Maybe if you’ve just lost 100 pounds and you’re proudly showing off your new figure but if you’re naturally thin like me, it’s not.

Why don’t I like to hear that dreaded “S-word”? Well, for one it makes me sound like I’m borderline anorexic. Just like my height, I can’t do anything about my metabolism so don’t talk about it.

I also hate having to justify going to the gym. Is going to the gym only reserved for people who are overweight? Exercising has tons of other benefits aside from losing weight.

Another thing is that people assume that I don’t eat a lot.  That’s so not true. I do eat! Trust me, don’t let the slender frame fool you – I eat.

Also, it’s hard for me to talk to others about my weight because most people aren’t happy about their own weight.  What am I supposed to say when a group of women are complaining about their size then act like I can’t be a part of the conversation because I’m “skinny”?  I can try to be compassionate but my opinion is invalid since I’m the “skinny” girl, so anything I say would just seem condescending.  So although I am a part of the conversation, I can’t really contribute.  If you’re not happy with your weight, fine, but just leave me out of it.

Now if I were fat, commenting on my weight would not be appropriate, right? If I
was fat, obese, overweight (or whatever you want to call it) and someone said anything about my weight that would be considered rude.

Here are some “skinny” comments that I wish I could reverse (hypothetically):

Them: You’re skinny

Me: You’re fat

Them: You’re so skinny, you can eat anything!

Me: You’re so fat; you shouldn’t be eating much of anything!

Me: I’m heading to the gym.

Them: Why? You’re skinny. You don’t need to work out

Me: Yeah, well you should probably come with me

Them: You’re so skinny, you can wear anything!

Me: You’re so fat; there are a lot of things you shouldn’t wear!

There is NOTHING wrong with being slim, slender or thin. Unless fat people want me to comment on their (over)weight, I suggest they leave their comments about my weight to themselves.


20 thoughts on “Don’t Call Me Skinny Unless It’s Okay To Call You Fat

  1. Calling a fat person “fat” is a statement of fact and usually an obvious one. The same can be said about calling a skinny person “skinny”. I’m skinny and when people point it out to me, my reply is never, “Thank you” or “Fuck you.” It’s usually along the lines of, “No shit, Sherlock!” So the moral of the story is, if you are fat and you don’t want me to point it out to you, then don’t point out to me that I’m skinny. Simple as that.

  2. Excellent post! I’ve been thinking for decades, of handling these kind of comments especially for my lovely and very good-hearted, ‘skinny’ sister and daughters, late thirties and twin teens. It ‘hurts’ the same or more as it hurts a fat person! Any which way, ‘commenting’ on ‘looks’ or appearance is absolutely not necessary! It is downright rude and extremely insensitive! Commenting on Actors and models are a different thing! They’re ‘public figures’! Although I don’t really agree with that too. I care much about their acting and more about the product quality/ingredients….
    I see this very common problem in the Indian community where they ‘think’ being skinny is unhealthy and being fat is sign of health and prosperity, shockingly, among the educated!

  3. Thank you for this article! I’ve been wrestling with being thin all of my life, even since I was a child, I was “bony” and when I hit my college years, I decided to put on the weight by eating crap and working out. I looked good, but lost my bone structure and abs lol. Finally, I’ve embraced my skinniness and am back to my weight that I was when I was 18 and I look good as an ectomorph. I’m so sick of fat people telling me that I’m too skinny. Now, in my 30’s, everyone is taking notice of my leanness and liking it. Again, thanks for the article. I’m posting the link to my Facebook and website. Much love.

    1. Thank you so much for reading & even more so for sharing!

      Even to this day, I hate being called skinny. I have filled out considerably now but I’m still on the slender side (I guess it’s more of my frame, than my actual weight). It’s so disparaging. I think all the fat people are going to be jealous in about 10-20 years when we’ve “still got it” & they don’t. Lol!

    1. Thank you so much! I just hated it when people called me “skinny”. It’s just as offensive to me as the word “fat”.
      Besides, it’s harder to put on weight than to take it off 🙂

      1. And because so many people in America are now overweight and even downright obese, it’s considered “normal” to be fat and abnormal to be at a healthy, slender weight. It’s truly bizarre!

  4. Excellent points! I’ve always been a quite lean frame, though these days more athletic and muscular due to weight lifting, but I always used to get “skinny” as a teenager and it really pissed me off.

    I agree with you on those examples, why is it acceptable to call somebody “skinny” but not “fat”?

    You might be interested in a blog post I wrote a while back in response to a journalist who was defending obesity and griping over people who complain about their weight. She, of course, is probably overweight herself and only propagating this whole “big is beautiful” unhealthy attitude.

    Anyway check it out here if you’re interested, at my fitness blog:

    Take care!

    1. Yeah, I really hate the “S-word” and it’s good to know that other people are out there who feel the same way.

      I checked out your blog & I really liked when you wrote: “If we don’t create a very solid foundation, there is no chance of building a stable structure on top”. This is so true – not just about losing weight, but about everything in life.

      Thanks so much for reading & your comments!

    2. I read your piece, and I do agree with many of the points you made, but why mention Oprah Winfrey as though she is a propomnent of fat acceptance?? This is a woman who has spent much of her adult life trying to lose the weight she begans gaining in her late twenties onward. And quite publically too! I just don’t understand the motive behind that, other than character assanination. Correct me if I’m wrong.

      1. Not you, Jason Jarred. In the link he shared on your post. He wrote, “There’s a dangerous attitude out there, one which has been festering for a number of years and is probably a proponent of the Oprah Winfrey movement, I like to call it the “Big is Beautiful” syndrome.” That is the first sentence of his post. And it is a total lie! If anything Oprah is on the opposing side of the movement he credits her with. But I guess some people see BW as the go to scapegoat for any and all issues.

        He could have chosen Camryn Manheim who wrote a book called ‘Wake Up, I’m fat!’ She is a very vocal, and famous, fat acceptance advocate, but she’s also White… He hasn’t responded, so I can only guess at his motives. There are a lot of American men – mostly White and Black men – who despise Oprah for her success and openly pray for her downfall. I don’t know what motivated Jason Jarred to make such an obviously false claim against Oprah, but he’s always welcome to explain his reasoning.

      2. Oh, I got it. I’m not sure, but maybe he used Oprah as an example because she’s more famous than Camryn Manheim or Roseanne Barr, etc….
        (I don’t know for sure, just playing devils advocate)

      3. I did see your reply Andrea Lewis, but being a final year Exercise Physiology student at university (BMedSci) I’ve just come through my end of semester exam period – so you know, priorities and all 😉 That said, I had started drafting a response to your post a few days ago but just hadn’t got around to polishing or posting it yet.

        Chocolate Vent is essentially correct – and I’ll also add to that by directing you to my reply on the blog post in question here (at the very end).

        Please excuse the blog whoring Chocolate Vent – I wanted to respond on my own blog in case any of my other readers had similar concerns. Andrea, please feel free to post any further questions or concerns on that thread.


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