Society tells us to strive for perfection. Perfection seems to change based on who you are, where you live, religious background, and so many other factors. But the major focus of mainstream media is to be skinny.
You should be fit but not too jacked; you need to be little in certain spots and have big curves in others. Once you achieve this confusing body type, all the fuss over what you look like ends, right? Not quite.
“Everything about you is cute!” – said in a baby voice.
“You are so small!” – followed by an up-down look and body scan.
Those comments may seem nice but the nice factor wears off. Being cute and small is equivalent to being a child. I do not like being told, over and over, that every single thing I do is so adorable because of my size. I do not like feeling as if I’m not being taken seriously.
“Can you even pick that up?” – as guys drop everything to help unnecessarily.
“No problem; you don’t take up any room.” – when I politely say excuse me and move out of the way.
I have arms and legs and a torso and a brain. All of those things contain muscles, fat, bones, and all the same things each body type has in them. Just because I don’t look strong, does not mean I am weak. Just because you can fit by me in the hall or I can squeeze between a row of chairs, does not mean I am invisible.
“Well obviously it will look great on you.” – accompanied by an eye roll.
“No, you don’t have problems like I do.” – people assume while they judge.
No, it won’t be a magic piece of fabric that is perfect for my body. And no, I cannot make a trash bag look good. And yes, I have a lot of problems. I fight with my boyfriend; I have daddy issues and mommy issues; I work hard to pay bills.
Some days I even struggle with whether or not I should eat. That’s what all of your voices boil down to in my head.
“Do you even eat?” – they scoff as I order a salad.
“Why do you work out?” – I hear when I say I have to go for a run.
Yes, I eat. I eat fruits and veggies and grains. You know my favorite thing to eat? Chocolate. Chocolate sauce on ice cream, chocolate fudge, chocolate chip pancakes. That’s one of the reasons I work out. The other is to keep myself sane. All of these judgments and observations, no matter how well-intentioned, stay with me. I go crazy analyzing all the things I am told about my appearance. I feel guilty about making healthy choices and wearing fitted clothing and posting bathing suit pictures because I’ve been told I’m rubbing it in people’s faces.
Being skinny may be what society tells you is desirable, but skinny does not mean happy or healthy in all cases. It does not make any one person better than any other person. Skinny isn’t a solution to all problems and it doesn’t get you the date with your prince charming.
Skinny is how a body looks. It does not define a human.