I have to say, the most frustrating thing that I encounter on a regular basis is people telling me how thin I am. Literally, not a day goes by that someone doesn't mention how thin I am.
I know, it sounds like I have a really hard life, right? There are bigger things to worry about and people have way harder lives than I do. I understand and respect all of that. To be honest, I struggled with even writing this post because I wasn't sure what my point was, other than to complain. But it has bugged me so much lately that I knew I had to say something, even if people thought I was just whining.
I have been small my ENTIRE life. When I was a small child, I was short. Throughout most of elementary school, I was the shortest kid in class. Then junior high and puberty hit, and I was no longer the shortest kid in class...just the thinnest. I was always okay with it, though, because no one commented on it. Absolutely no cared how thin I was. It was never a topic of discussion. And it was the same way throughout high school.
It wasn't until I got to college that people seemed to have this obsession with how thin I am. At first, it was just weird. I couldn't figure out why people gave a damn how big or little I was. Then, it was annoying. People always mentioning my lack of body fat, or how small my wrists are, or that they could "snap me like a twig" got on my ever-loving last nerve.
But now, at 22 years of age, it's literally starting to affect my self-esteem. You want to know how I know it's starting to affect my self-esteem? Because I've started looking at what I'm going to wear in the morning and cursing that I own to many tight-fitting clothes. I'm thankful that it's fall because I can wear all of my loose-fitting, bat-wing shirts that hide my thinness. I've started looking in the mirror and weighing myself to see if I'm any bigger.
You're probably thinking I sound ridiculous...and you're right! It is ridiculous to hop on a scale and hope that you've gone up in weight, not so that you'll be healthier, but because you just want everyone to stop talking about how thin you are. It's absolutely ridiculous and it needs to stop.
In the past month, I've had someone ask me if I have an eating disorder. I've had a girl say to me "Oh my gosh, you're so skinny! Girl, you need to go eat a sandwich or something!" I've also had one of my friends hug me and tell me that it felt like she was "hugging nothing."
Exactly what am I supposed to say to those things? How do people expect me to respond?
The equivalent would be if I started saying "Oh my gosh, ______, you're looking so chunky lately! You should probably stop all the snacking!" Or if I said, "Have you been to the doctor? It looks like you're morbidly obese."
It's the same thing, folks. The same damn thing. The only difference between those scenarios is that one person is thin and the other is not.
I'm here to tell you the words are just as hurtful. It leaves me feeling just as ugly or worthless as it would a large person. It's not as though being thin makes me impervious to people's offhanded comments. I skinny, not heartless.
So, the next time you see that thin girl on campus, don't assume she has an eating disorder. When you go shopping with that friend who wears 3 sizes smaller than you do, don't comment on how she should "eat something." Be respectful and kind. She has feelings, just like larger people do, and you're perfectly capable of stepping all over them.
This has been a public service announcement by LesLeigh J.
Enjoy your Tuesday, folks!