“too skinny”

by Danica on January 30, 2013

just a thought…

If it’s rude and impolite to tell a person “well, it’s because you’re too fat!” <–I think we can all agree that’s not respectable…

So then wouldn’t you also agree that it’s rude and impolite to tell a person “well, it’s because you’re too skinny!” ?

It is not acceptable to tell someone they’re “too fat,” so why is it acceptable to tell someone they’re “too skinny”?

When did degrading someone’s physical appearance ever become okay to do?

“too fat” is by no means a compliment, and neither is “too skinny.”

*****

your thoughts.  go.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy January 30, 2013 at 6:36 am

I’ve tried to catch myself when making any type of comment on someone’s physical appearance. For example, I have a hard time taking, “You look so skinny!” as a compliment, because does that mean I looked fat before? If you’re genuinely concerned about someone’s health (fat, skinny, any size), then you should pull them aside and have a serious conversation, but if it’s just in passing, it’s rude!

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2 Danica January 31, 2013 at 7:01 pm

I agree completely that it’s rude! I’ve been told this a few times and it always makes me extremely paranoid and self-conscious, which is just a terrible feeling!

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3 Melissa @ Freeing Imperfections January 30, 2013 at 8:00 am

I agree with this so much. My parents were always ones to make comments about MY weight, which has lead me to have a really weird relationship with my weight. I was too fat when I was younger, and now I am “SO thin” according to my mother. When I was “fat” it was a bad thing, but now that I am thinner than they are, it’s also a bad thing because they don’t view it positively because I am now “better” than them somehow. It’s so messed up!

On my own wedding day, my mom was making weird comments about how thin I was out of jealousy, not out of support. It’s like a game you can’t win :(

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4 Danica January 31, 2013 at 7:03 pm

ugghh I’m so sorry your mom did that to you on your wedding day! of all days…
My grandmother has made this type of comment to me several times, but she has been told by doctors several times that she needs to exercise and lose some weight so that she can be healthier. It’s frustrating, but you always just have to hold your head up high and do what’s best for you! (easier said than done, of course, but still right :)

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5 Amanda @ Eat More Rabbit Food January 30, 2013 at 8:21 am

I agree completely! I have lost a lot of weight recently and I don’t mind at all when people tell me that they can see it. But someone asked me the other day, “When are you going to stop?” I told them my goal weight and they made a big fuss about how that was too skinny. I thought it was on the higher end of a healthy weight since I don’t want to set unrealistic standards for myself. I think she may have been having trouble dealing with the fact that I weigh less than her now since that has never been the case before.
It seems like ‘skinny’ is a complement, but ‘too skinny’ is said to be hurtful.

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6 Danica January 31, 2013 at 7:04 pm

That brings up another great point, Amanda–that a lot of those negative comments happen because of comparisons we make. That comparison trap is such a terrible (and easy) thing to fall into and it makes us negative about our own bodies and the bodies of others. It’s a bad cycle that we need to fight!

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7 Heather January 30, 2013 at 8:29 am

Ugh, I get SO tired of hearing “you’re too skinny!”, “don’t you eat?” & so on. Everywhere I go, people are talking about losing weight – it’s everywhere in our society! But if I ever mention wanting to *gain* weight, I get “must be nice!”, “wow I can’t imagine trying to GAIN”, “want some of mine?”, etc. It is very frustrating.

Ok, rant over :)

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8 Danica January 31, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Our society TOTALLY has an unhealthy obsession about weight. I’m terrified for every single teenage girl out there because it’s hard enough to deal with as an adult!

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9 Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries January 30, 2013 at 8:37 am

I completely agree with you! I think people often find telling someone they look so skinny a compliment because of the way our society portrays being skinny as a positive thing. It’s sad, and I hope someday that will change!

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10 Danica January 31, 2013 at 7:06 pm

That’s EXACTLY my hope, too :)

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11 Kat January 30, 2013 at 12:16 pm

This is one of my pet-peeves! Really! I am naturally very thin. Sure, I admit, there were times in my life it was also somewhat due to unhealthy behaviors, but regardless if I eat a lot or little, healthy or pigging out of junk food, run every day or sit on my ass due to a hip injury, I am just on the thin side, 100-105…without trying to be here, it is nearly impossible for me to go lower or higher. I absolutely hate when people make comments that I am thin or TOO thin… For example few years ago I was visiting a friend for a weekend. Her mom couldn’t stop focusing on my weight and remarking how I need to eat more cuz I am too thin – while I was eating non-stop while there from heavy meals to cakes and cookies in between…. Now that was completely acceptable, but if I responded that she needs to eat less cuz she is too fat that would’ve been rude! She is like 300 pounds easy! … I also don’t like the self-esteem advertisements like Dove does with plus sizes models showing ‘real beauty’. I understand how these plus sized women may help with some girls’ self-esteem issues, but for me honestly it doesn’t matter if the ‘real beauty’ and ‘ideal women’ is a 5’10′ extremely thin rail women, or a thin yet curvy Victoria Secret model with triple-EE boobs, or a plus sized girl, cuz I am NEVER going to be any of those, I am short, thin, small-boned, fragile, a type that will never be on the front page of Vogue or Shape. It really pisses me off when people make comments of the body of others’, too thin, too fat, too weak, too strong, too athletic, too short, too tall…we are all different, we should embrace diversity!

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12 Danica January 31, 2013 at 7:10 pm

You bring up such a great topic with those Dove advertisements…I just never know quite how I feel about them! I like that they point out no one should be ashamed of their bodies and we should all be confident, but health is the most important thing and you can’t know the health of a person just by looking at their appearance. It’s a tough subject, no doubt!
Thanks for sharing all that you did–I can recall being in that same type of situation before….and you’re absolutely right that we have to start embracing the fact that diversity is what’s beautiful!

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13 Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl January 30, 2013 at 2:27 pm

I am sometimes told that I am “too skinny” and I obviously find it to be offensive. People aren’t just self-conscious about being told that they are “too fat.” People get self-conscious about being called “too skinny,” too. Anytime that someone criticizes someone else’s body, it is generally going to be taken as being offensive and hurtful. We should just stop being so critical of other people’s physical appearances!

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14 Danica January 31, 2013 at 7:13 pm

“Amen” to your last sentence, Hannah!

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15 Marilyn January 30, 2013 at 3:32 pm

I was literally just having a conversation about this an hour ago. My problem with “too skinny” statements is that there is really no productive response. Someone is bound to feel bad, and no real conversation will have been had.

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16 Danica January 31, 2013 at 7:13 pm

exactly! It just makes that person uncomfortable and then paranoid about how they look! :(
It has to change.

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17 Angela January 30, 2013 at 4:01 pm

I agree. When I was younger I became really self-conscious about my skinniness. People would always joke about me being anorexic…and I don’t know about you, but I think people should NEVER joke about this. Obviously I did not have an eating disorder, but all the “jokes” made me very insecure about my body.

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18 Danica January 31, 2013 at 7:15 pm

absolutely–that should never EVER be said as a joke. It’s a serious issue and that’s a huge pet peeve of mine–when people throw around that comment like it’s just something funny to say. (I have that same issue with people saying “depression/depressing” too)
And you’re right–those jokes just make the person extremely insecure…so sorry you had to deal with that.

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19 Jessica @ Prayers and Apples January 30, 2013 at 4:17 pm

it’s totally wrong to tell anyone you’re too *anything* – the first thing i always think is, “compared to what?” like, too skinny/fat compared to you? compared to the girl across the street? where is this comparison coming from? i think any type of unsolicited comment about another person’s looks is always a no-go lol

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20 Danica January 31, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Yes, I agree completely!

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21 Emily @ runningmyliferace January 30, 2013 at 4:19 pm

As I was thinking of my response and reading the other comments, I think that the main idea is “too skinny, fat, whatever” creates a negative feeling. I think as women we get caught up in comparing ourselves what others look like and our comments related to that come out negative. I have found when I genuinely compliment someone on their toned arms or great running endurance it sends a positive message to them, builds them up and it also allows me to appreciate what someone else has.

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22 Danica January 31, 2013 at 7:16 pm

I love the point you made….I try to be specific (and positive, of course) when I compliment someone too. And I also try to reverse that–when I receive a compliment it’s so easy (and common) to say degrading comeback about myself, but instead a “thank you” is all we need to say!

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23 Brooke January 30, 2013 at 10:18 pm

I agree! When i was low in weight and people told me i needed to eat more and i was too skinny. It just made me compare myself to others. especially when it was someone who was over weight telling me i was too skinny. It just made mad because how could someone who didn’t take care of their body tell me I was unhealthy. I don’t know, Telling someone that they are too whatever is never a good thing unless you are taking to them one on one for their own health.
Danica, your beautiful, strong, smart, and just Amazing! I’m so proud of you and you are a inspiration to me! I love and miss you! Brooke (:

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24 Danica January 31, 2013 at 7:18 pm

I remember you telling me during that time, or after, that when people said “too skinny” it really just made things worse for you because then it made you more self-conscious and uncomfortable. And yes, I think the majority of the time that comment comes from people that are overweight or at least not healthy and that makes it so much more frustrating too…..I love you too, Brooklyn!!!! Let’s move to California already.

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25 Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen January 31, 2013 at 11:48 am

I’ve never been called too fat–although when I was younger, I experiences some underlying hints at my chubbiness–but I have been called too skinny. At one point, I medically was. :) The thing is, judgement in general is hard to stand by, especially because you don’t always know what else is going on. Maybe she (or he) truly does have a disorder, but they are working on. Or maybe they are not healthy at all, but the are skinny despite never working out or eating well. Or maybe they have a parasite?

The best compliment I have received regarding my body was, “You just look so healthy.” It made me feel GREAT.

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26 Danica January 31, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Yes! That’s such a good point too! Just because someone is “skinny” doesn’t mean (at all) that they’re healthy. They not synonymous! It just proves that we cannot judge people by their appearance!

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27 Amanda January 31, 2013 at 11:53 am

This is definitely something I got a lot of growing up and still get every now and then. I didn’t weigh a lot in high school (like 108 or something), and I danced. People always thought I was anorexic, and it made me so self-conscious. A few girls in my class told me I looked gross in a leotard because my collarbone stuck out. Stuff like that really sticks with you. Now I weight about 20 pounds more than I did, and I still get the “too skinny” comments. I’ve always been a healthy eater, so I don’t know what the deal is. I hope people can eventually understand that this is hurtful and weight shouldn’t be a source of shame.

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28 Danica January 31, 2013 at 7:21 pm

That’s so terrible how those girls spoke to you :(
I can’t tell you how perfectly put that last sentence is… “weight shouldn’t be a source of shame.” AMEN!

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