Monday, September 1st, 2014

The Problem With Skinny Bashing

Published on January 20, 2012 by   ·   407 Comments Pin It
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Calling All Women: Let’s Stop Body Bashing and Widen Society’s View of What is Beautiful!

Full figured women have long been under assault. They aren’t represented on television, in movies or in print. And if they are, they aren’t the heroine or the love interest. They are the friend. If the media were to be believed, the average woman would be a size 2, white, straight, and carry a $3000 handbag.

The desire to push back against that vision of what society says is the ideal body type is natural. And it should be challenged. Lately, I’ve been seeing images accompanied by text on facebook that seek to elevate the status of women with curves. They look back to the period of Marilyn Monroe to show that thin, or very thin, wasn’t always in. And that’s wonderful. Celebrate healthy bodies of all shapes and sizes. Sing it loud and proud. But, this particular image which I’m linking to because copyright precludes me from posting it, while trying to rage against what society says is beautiful, is truly an example of what is wrong with society. It shows our lack of a way to discuss our bodies without judgment and without competition.

When I look at this image, I see two beautiful women. Marilyn, of course, was the biggest sex symbol of her time and is undoubtedly lovely. But the woman on the right, the woman who this image seems to despise, is not sickly. In fact, if you look at her legs, you’ll find muscle.  If you look at her stomach, you won’t see ribs poking out. You’ll see a toned abdomen. It’s true that she’s thin. That she fits the size 2 image of woman that is unfairly represented in media as the only desirable figure. But to say that the woman on the right is less attractive simply to advance another body type? That’s not right either. Demonizing one to glorify another isn’t the way to have a real discussion on the female body. In fact, it’s part of the problem.

The real question is, why must it be one way or the other? Shouldn’t we all be striving for healthy bodies? And that means a different shape for every woman. The media has us all chasing our own tails in the search of the perfect figure. No matter where you look, you’ll find a reason to believe that your body can never reach perfection. The idea that perfection actually exists is the real myth.

It’s obvious that we have an issue with weight in this country. As a teacher, I’ve met ten year old girls without an ounce of fat who are dieting. They hate gaining weight even though they are getting taller and growing up. That’s unhealthy. We also have a nationwide obesity epidemic that’s putting our children at risk for diseases like type 2 diabetes. That’s also unhealthy.

The sad thing is, I’m not seeing this image posted on men’s profiles. I’m seeing it posted by women and commented on by women. They are relishing in the comparison between Marilyn and the woman on the beach. They are loving this moment of hate towards the woman in the bikini. It’s true that women who don’t conform to the narrow vision of beauty seen on TV are ostracized. They are angry for being given less importance and less of a voice in society than size 2’s, and they should be angry.  However, why does this anger automatically turn into criticism of the other body type? Shouldn’t we as women be banding together to insist that a larger group of women be represented? Shouldn’t we be taking the fight to the media who is largely responsible for only showing one type of body? One woman, after noting that she’s the same size as Marilyn was, wrote, “So IN YOUR FACE all you haters who think women need to look like stick bugs to be attractive.” Why must this woman verbally assault the size 2’s and call them stick bugs to make a place for the size 12’s? Isn’t there a place for all of us?

What should be attractive? How about healthy bodies. Whether they come in the form of a size 2 or a size 12, a well loved and cared for physique is what we as women should be striving for. By all means, challenge the idea that obtaining runway model size isn’t the only way to be beautiful. Demand that the full range of woman be represented in film and in print. But tearing someone else down to demonstrate your point does a disservice to all women. It’s time to celebrate our differences. To realize that there is no one correct image of beauty. To do away with notions of perfection and instead, enjoy life as healthy confident women. It’s no easy task, but with a little love and self-acceptance, I think we can do it.

UPDATE: The response to this article has been phenomenal.  We are blown away by all your insightful comments, and the follow up piece is now live here: Body Bashing: 5 Ways to Fix It, kindly go read it and chime in. If you agree that we can treat both others and ourselves better than we do now, spread the word on this article with the hashtag #bodybashing and keep the conversation going.  CC us so we can see your great comments @girliegirlarmy on twitter.

Ali Berman is a writer/teacher/activist. She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. She is also the senior editor for Ecorazzi.com and a fiction writer. You can find her on twitter @livinveg.

Image above via interesting article on men’s size preference in theage.com.au

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Readers Comments (407)

  1. Rubyathena says:

    Agreed and I must confess and apologies to all. I don’t disrespect or personally bash anyone but I feel anger and bias when chicks go in extremes be it super skinny or super obese. Both cases tell me they lack self esteem or health. I do try to support my chicas to do bettter to feel better. This is an area where I lack compassion AND I’m already moving in the right direction; compassion and sympathy.

    • Deb says:

      Wow, Ruby,
      How wonderful of you to recognize this and point your compass in the direction of compassion: for others and for yourself. Brava!!

    • michelle says:

      I agree. I fully believe there is beauty in all HEALTHY body types, even if they happen to be a little heavier or a little leaner than culturally desired. I have a hard time cheering for the beauty of curviness (i happen to fall into this category) If it means the end of self-improvement. Neither obesity or anorexia are beautiful things and both are clear signs of severe health problems. Health is beautiful, no matter the size .

  2. Great article Ali. It’s unfortunate that these kind of things happen. So often people break others down to build themselves up, when really they are only hurting themselves in the end. As a yoga teacher I try to teach non-judgement, individuality, confidence, and self-esteem. The more we can cultivate those qualities within, we can offer them out to others. When we accept our self, the acceptance of others will come more naturally.

  3. Rhea says:

    Society has long bashed the overweight woman. This was glaringly apparent when there was controversy over Lane Bryant, a clothing store for larger sized women, ran an underwear commercial and people wanted it pulled, calling it obscene. Meanwhile, Victoria’s Secret commercials, which are more like soft core porn than ads, are seen as fine and desirable.

    The assumption that skinny is preferred is also sadly seen in the vegan retail community as vegan t-shirts tend to run up to 2 sizes too small and are not available in sizes greater than XL (which really fit a person who is typicall a size M or L). This type of retail only serves to reinforce the stereotype that all vegans are stick-thin.

    Beauty, and vegans, come in all sizes and all should be treated with respect for all are worthy of such.

    • Crystal says:

      Personally, I find the model in the Lane Bryant commercial to be much sexier than the Victoria’s Secret models.

      I love her soft curves and her cleavage and the subtle sensuality of the commercial itself. The VS models are gorgeous too, but the Lane Bryant model was exquisite. She is one of the prettiest women I’ve ever seen.

      I’m not sure why the ad was pulled, but I think there may have been more to it than the model’s size.

      • Jenna says:

        “I think there may have been more to it than the model’s size.”

        Like the fact that Victoria Secret makes a ton of money and advertises everywhere? That’s about the only difference.

        The reason given for it being pulled WAS that it was obscene though. And I do think that there was an outcry in the fashion world against it.

      • Jo says:

        soft? meaning flab. curves? meaning wide thighs. she is not sexy being unhealthy. VS models are incredible looking but make fat women feel threatened because they look so healthy and slim, plus many have big boobs so they can’t even attack them with the catty ol’ “LOL AT LEAST I HAVE BIG BOOBS UNLIKE THEM HUHUHUH”

        and guess what, genius? EVERY HUMAN BEING HAS CURVES. CURVES ARE NOT FAT ROLLS, no matter how many times you tell yourself that to help you sleep at night.

        • Nicole says:

          So you’re saying Marilyn Monroe and Bettie Paige were unhealthy? Nah I don’t think so, in fact they were a lot healthier than 98% of women in hollywood nowadays! While I agree that VS models are beautiful, they aren’t naturally busty, those are digitally enhanced…look at un airbrushed photos of say Alessandra Ambrosio if you don’t believe me..yet another thing the media tries to shove down our throat..that you have to be busty to be attractive. Another thing, I’d hardly call runaway models healthy and attractive, i seen more attractive women walking down the street than in vogue magazine, even compared with the very few half way decent looking ones.

          • Kristy says:

            We don’t really know if Marilyn & Bettie were healthy. Maybe they were average size for that day & age, maybe they weren’t. I wasn’t there so IDK.
            Some people think women of that size aren’t healthy & they find that size unattractive. That’s on them.
            Some people find thin women unattractive. That’s on them too.
            The point is don’t judge because we don’t really know someone’s health status just by looking at them – unless they are morbidly obese & then I’m not really referring to people of that status.

          • Reality check says:

            You lot are so full of guess work it is shocking. Look up genetics, the epigenetic hypothesis (not hypothetical anymore), endocrine interactions, metabolism. Biology is reality. Some people are just skinny AND healthy. Some people are just fat AND healthy. I’m a skinny chick,but eat like a horse. I have a friend who eats f^&k all and is still size UK 16-8. The whole situation is absurd. Stop guessing who is and isn’t healthy unless you happen to have their medical records to hand. We are all different. Some day you children will learn to accept AND EMBRACE that FACT.

    • Lamp says:

      The same reaction happened with Dove’s ads featuring more average looking but super beautiful women in a range of sizes, many large, standing around giggling in plain white undies. The loudest criticisms I heard were from the conservative A.M. radio crowd, saying ridiculous things like “it made me want to vomit” and making the same “inappropriate” complaints you mention about the lane bryant ads.

      SO ridiculous! I think our culture needs more images like this so people quit freaking the hell out when they see a body in an advertisement that doesn’t meet their Victoria’s Secret expectations.

      http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2008/07/07/business/07doveA.ready.html

    • Michelle Schwegmann says:

      The retail business, and the companies that supply us, is a reflection of how the world would like it see itself, and frankly that is as a size 2. Shirt sizes are TOTALLY unrealistic, but sadly, it is difficult to procure the products to print on for more ‘normal’ sizes, lest they be sweatshop made or unflattering (read, unsellable) sizes. I own herbivoreclothing.com, and I try very hard to provide shirts for everyone. We now have a line of bamboo / organic cotton that is more realistically sized, and we have ALWAYS done special orders. Just look in our FAQ for info on that. We try to meet everyone’s needs – we just need to be aware of those needs. And we don’t know unless someone writes us! Please, communicate if we can be of help. We love our vegans. xo

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi everybody,

      First off when I read comments from all you gals I was REALLY pissed! I do rely on my own confidence as an overweight woman and don’t need to disclose my lbs. Want to tell you all I HAVE NEVER been cruel to a skinny woman, a naturaly thin woman or any other person. Here goes my quick two cent opinion…. we live in a world where you have to be a certain image to keep a job, friend, God, family or just your own confidence is truly sick. I can’t tell you how many suppossed friends, jobs or just conversations I lost because of someones’ skinny or fat. I don’t know how old some of you are but just want to say alot of people like me are offended when you talk about privledge. Just want to say your all rude and want you to know that God created us all to support on another. Oh and I have been a skinny woman at one time but some of us do have a Genetic slower metabolic rate. My age as well. So next time you decide it’s your PRIVLEDGE to knock someone down think is just effin ignorant. Grow up!

      • meghan says:

        wait, what are you flipping out about? i haven’t seen one mean comment yet…

        • Jo says:

          then you aren’t looking. One even put down Victoria’s secret models to praise Crystal Renn, one of the most overrated models ever simply because she glamorizes being fat because she isn’t ugly or morbidly obese. how disgusting of people.

      • Anna says:

        I’ve read all the comments up until and including yours, Jennifer. I have not read a thing about a reference to all heavier people putting down the thinner people. I’ve read that a lot of people put down others because of their weight. I’m skinny and I can’t help it because my FASTER metabolism rate. So some of us are thin from that as some like yourself are heavier because of a slower one. Mine’s also genetic. I get it from my mom’s side.

    • Mark says:

      Whatever about issues of size, call me out of touch but vegan t-shirts? WTF is that about? Lady gaga weird outfits aside does the average cotton t-shirt involve meat? 0r indeed a polyester one?

      • Bodacia says:

        Mark – it just means shirts with vegan messages. Of course the shirts themselves are made either of natural plant fibers (such as cotton) or synthetic fibers. A better way of phrasing this might be “animal protection t-shirts” or “veganism promoting t-shirts.” Hope that helps clear things up.

        And ladies let’s try to be healthy, be happy, love ourselves and stop beating ourselves up over fitting one standard or another (myself included!). More power to you all!

      • BIKELEPTIC says:

        vegan clothing can also mean clothing that is made with no animal products – for instance wool or silk. They don’t have to have any messages on them.

        You can get natural fibers, cotton, bamboo, hemp. .

        They can also be made of synthetic fibers lycra, spandex, etc.

  4. Ley says:

    Reading this article made me incredibly happy because I had been seeing that image, and countless others, circulating around Facebook for weeks now and reading the comments had made me very angry. I am a size two woman–I am healthy, I am active, and I am beautiful. That isn’t to say that my size ten best friend isn’t beautiful–she is absolutely gorgeous. It isn’t the size of the woman that makes them beautiful, it is their smile and their personality and how they treat others that matters, not the number on the tag in their pants.

    • Anna says:

      I completely agree with you. I’m actually as small as a zero but I’m unable to change that right now. I don’t like being zero sized. I’d actually much rather be a size two without the need of a belt. It would look a bit more healthier to me.

      • ami says:

        Im naturally a zero..or double zero, depending on the retailer. Its hard finding clothing thay fits since I left retail and no longer have access to the one or two size zeros that come in the run. Yes, the sales asssociates niy those up ladies, its why we can never find our size.
        JUst speaking on this, for all the retailers that advertise size two women, I wish they would sell more than that in exrra small sizes when they carry a size run. As a 36 year old woman I feel pretty silly shopping in children’s departments to find clothes that fit right.

  5. melanie says:

    I love this! I’ve been very thin my entire life, and have dealt with very much criticism. Only last month a co-worker told me I looked anorexic and commented that my breasts were the size of mosquito bites; aside from this obviously being sexual harassment, it was also very hurtful. I’m healthy, but have always been naturally thin. For years, I struggled with the fact that every magazine I wanted to read was full of pages about losing weight. Now that I’m an adult, I still run into criticism about my own body. Why do people care so much about other people and their bodies? Body hate sucks!

    • Sarah says:

      I am with u on this issue, I am a thin woman ans have been told to my face so many times that I need to eat something, or asked if I have an eating disorder. Apart from being incredibly rude and inappropriate, it makes me think of a double standard, that it’s politically incorrect to tell some one overweight to lose it but perfectly ok to tell someone thin that they need to eat! I totally support women of all sizes and think that it is inappropriate for anybody to be harrassed about the size that they are. Let’s as women stop abusing each other emotionally, and instead take pride in our individuality!

      • Emily says:

        I relate to both of you.

        I’m 5’2″, a size 0, wear size 5.5 – 6 shoes, and am lucky if I can find women’s gloves small enough to fit my hands because my fingers are tiny and short.

        I mean, EVERYTHING about me is tiny… so it really shouldn’t be of any surprise to people that my pants size is as tiny as my shoe size.

        Yet, I too have been told “to eat a cheeseburger” and have had rumors of anorexia started about me in college.

        And I HATE that double standard. People acknowledge that bigger women can be self-conscious and have body issues, but it’s like people don’t realize that thin people DO TOO!

        Just last week I sat in my room crying for an hour because of an article that was posted to a women’s forum I frequent, pushing for plus sized models. The idea of more plus sized models is FINE… but it was the SKINNY BASHING found in the article, as well as some of the comments that some of my fellow forum users made, concerning the article, that had me crying and disgusted as I looked at pictures of myself at my wedding.

        My husband came home, found me distraught and when I asked him if I looked “frail and sickly”, he was frustrated that anyone would say that and assured me that he thought I was beautiful and fine the way I am.

        Thing is that I’ve had MEN make these comments about thin women as well. To my FACE for that matter.

        “I like REAL women, you know… women with some MEAT on their bones… not stringy girls.”

        When I heard that, I just stared at this guy who was speaking to me until he realized what he had just said to me.

        He was embarrassed, but I was upset with him none the less.

        I’m not saying that all men HAVE to be attracted to thin girls… everyone has different tastes… but to degrade us the way that people often do, without a second thought is just so terrible hurtful!

        We’re ALL real women. No matter what shape, size, height or occupation. And our uniqueness is what makes us beautiful.

        • Arathi says:

          I completely relate. As an adult I have had random people touch my arms and tell me I was too skinny. I was very skinny most of life and could never gain weight now matter how much I tried. I got accused of being anorexic all the time. Because I was skinny people felt like they had the right to say whatever they wanted to me. For a long time it took a toll on me and I was embarrassed to show my bare legs or arms. I’ve never had an eating disorder and the truth is one was ever trying to help me by saying and doing all of this, but deep down the intention was to make feel bad.

          • mermaid120 says:

            I was like you very thin at 98lbs. at 5’5″even after 5 kids, I deceided that I wanted to look better,not heavier but more toned. I took some areobic classes,It was amazing I buffed up the muscle which put on just enough weight that I felt so much better & was able to find that clothes looked better on me.It was such a confidence lift!!!

          • Reality check says:

            These comments (which I can relate to) make me really want to point something out.

            In the UK at least, if a man is skinny, NOBODY CARES! That is perfectly acceptable. He will not get harassed or ridiculed. But if a woman is skinny, all hell breaks loose. Even if she still has the curve of breasts and an hourglass waistline.

            Jealousy is an ugly thing. And I think the above facts point out that WOMEN are the ones perpetuating the hate.

        • Alyssa says:

          re: real women… I’ve always been a big girl. 6 feet tall and a size 18-20 jeans, 14-16 tops. (that’s like a L-XL) anyway… I tried to go shopping with my very thin friend for clothes, and we had to stop at her store first, which had nothing that would fit me, and then went to Lane Bryant for me. She was very offended by the slogan on the back wall that says, “Clothes for Real Women” or something like that. In her words, “I’m a real woman, too. Are they implying that I’m not a real woman because I can’t put on weight?” I had never even thought about the slogan before this.

          I had to reassure her that I didn’t think she was a fake woman, that I wasn’t mad at her for being thin, nor was I jealous of her.

          I currently have friends who are in all ranges of sizes, and have defended them when anyone tried to make fun of whatever body shape they had. I don’t think it’s right to bash on someone’s size, thin or thick. It can easily lead to depression or eating disorders or worse. And it’s not limited to women, either.

          • Donna says:

            So true. My body type is most like the pic in the middle; as a belly dancer and as a woman, I would kill to be the girl on the right. My husband assures me he’s good with my “boyish” figure, but I’d love to have curves, curves, and more curves. Sigh…

          • Chloe says:

            This comment really highlights the problem to me. Men also have a specialty clothing store for large sizes, calle ‘Big & Tall’. But there is no discourse that says that big & tall men are ‘real men’. because we know that most men are just living with the body type they were born with.
            The implication that Lane Bryant women are real women is a reply to the silent epidemic of ‘diets’ and eating disorders that force women to try and change their normal body type into a smaller one. It’s important to speak to the fact that what we are upset about aren’t healthy, naturally thin women, but the women that have felt forced by society to try and change their bodies into something they’re not. As a tall girl that wanted to be a model and struggled with eating disorders to try and be a size that’s not healthy for me, i think that this new ‘anti-anorexia/bulimia’ backlash is important. I don’t remember anyone in the 90′s ever saying that a girl was too thin or that a girl with my figure was beautiful the way she was. But we can’t attack the healthy naturally thin girls in the process of attacking a disorder about body hatred.
            It’s about all living in our bodies as they are naturally. We are all real women, whatever our size, and the point is that our size shouldn’t matter to our beauty.

          • meghan says:

            yes!!!!!! yes. the “real women” thing has always pissed me off. my weight’s ranged from healthy to very high, but regardless, i am not at all curvy. i have narrow hips, very little butt. but i’m always told that “real women have curves.” bite me.

          • zahra says:

            @Donna, I am a little like you. Slim hips, wide gymnast shoulders, and big boobs. I always feel top heavy and out of proportion. I would love to hav wider hips. I think it’s important that people realize it’s not just an overweight/skinny thing.most of the models and women on tv still have hips are

          • zahra says:

            @Donna, I am a little like you. Slim hips, wide gymnast shoulders, and big boobs. I always feel top heavy and out of proportion. I would love to have wider hips. It is a constant battle in my mind to love and accept myself for who I am. I think it’s important that people realize it’s not just an overweight/skinny thing. Most of the models and women on tv still have hips and are hourglasses, they’re just thinner hourglasses. Girls who have boyish figures are excluded and put down. It’s important to uplift all women who are the larger and smaller versions of pears, apples, rulers, inverted triangles, and hourglasses. We are all women, we’re all beautiful in our own ways, and most importantly, we are not just our bodies.

        • Christine says:

          Thanks for your honesty! My daughter is the same as you…she has experienced those comments all her life. She would love to put on weight so that she looked “normal” to people, so the “skinny” comments would stop. I know that she is beautiful and not just outwardly, but the comments of others hurt her. Recently I have lost weight and though I am not under weight, but the weight I was in my 20′s and 30′s…I experienced the “eat something!” comments. I eat very well and do not diet, but eat nutritionally rich foods and gluten free. I can put on weight when I try, unlike my daughter, but I have avoided those people who knew me 12kgs heavier and wanted to put me down. I can’t believe they made their comments out of concern, but out of ignorance. Because if I was anorexic, their comments would only make me worse!
          We are more than our looks! People should stop being obsessed with outward appearance…and yet most of us love looking our best – hair, clothes the whole thing. We should only build each other up, and need to filter out those comments and people who are hurtful.
          Thanks.

          • Jenifer says:

            Agreed. I am 5’6″, and weigh about 105. I started hearing in THIRD GRADE that I must be anorexic. I hwar all the time I should go eat something. Sure, jerk, let’s see who can down the large pizza- I bet its me, and I’ll finish it off with some Ben & Jerry’s.

            I get SO offended as well with the “Real Women” comments, so the point where I’ve stopped speaking to people because they continue to harp on my weight. I am educated, a mother of two, and run my own (small) business. I cook, clean, and run a household. I’m not rich, and I work hard to make sure my family is taken care of and my business grows. I don’t think you can get more real than that… Regardless of what size top or pant you wear.

        • Sandy says:

          I am 5’11 and slender, I am so glad you posted this comment because I feel the same way. Every thing about me is tiny, but my height. Ever since I was young I have been insulted about being tall and slender. I am in college now and I’m stilll being insulted. I especially hate this when slender men talk about how I am too small. Overl all, the worst part is when they get personal and talk about their sex lives and why they would rather have a curvey woman. I wish they would look in the fucking mirror, why can’t. We tell them to put on some muscle

        • ChloMo says:

          Hey, I’m young less than 14 and I get teased ALL THE TIME. Getting teased is like rain for me, normal. A girl walked up to me and said why do you wear a bra if you have no tits and I cried and still crying I walked to the cafeteria and a boy made an up and down gesture like a wall in front my me and everyone laughed and I started crying all over again and punched him and then a girl asked why i was crying and i told her and she said “thats why, cry baby maybe if you eat you wouldnt get teased” and i ripped out her clip in extension and ran home right in the middle of the day. Why is this ok! Why are skinny peple made of steel and looked down on. I feel like a punching bag.

          • Anna says:

            I can relate to you. Though I’m much older than you are; I’m 22. But when I was in elementary school a classmate was standing behind me in the cafeteria and she accused me of being anorexic like I was skinny enough to have an eating disorder. I did the same thing you did, cried. When I went home I told my mom and she called the school. They set up a conference with my mom, myself, the girl, and her mother. The Principal explained the meaning of the word she used and asked her to apologize for being rude to me like that. It still hurts today when people take one look at me and go “Dang girl, you’re so thin. You should try eating.” I eat just fine and my body is healthy. But I can’t control how much I weigh. I weigh less than my cousin that’s in 4th grade.

        • ami says:

          Im 5’2, 112 lbs and 36 years old. I see myself in the mirror with my ribs showing and pray for my metabolic rate to finally slow down. I’ve always felt too skinny.
          I was married for 10 years, after we got married, my thin husband got large. Even though I lived him the same and it didnt bother me, he freaked out about losing it all by the time he was 30. And he did. He lost 50 lbs in 6 months. At that point I finally had started gaining and was 116 lbs, my correct bmi according to health magazines. He called me fat at the gain of the 4 lbs.
          We are divorced now, for other reasons, but I lost those 4 lbs during the divorce amd cant seem to gain them back.

      • Megan says:

        I am also a VERY thin woman naturally, and super tall. I am 5’10″ and 110 pounds on a GOOD day. Every single year all through middle and high school, I would be called to the guidance office because someone had voiced a concern that I had an eating disorder. I got made fun of every day. It got to the point that I ACTUALLY developed an eating disorder in the 9th grade…I figured why in the hell should I (literally) make myself sick trying to eat enough to gain a little bit of weight when NO ONE understands what struggle I go through on a daily basis, and I said screw it and just stopped eating. You can believe that people started noticing the difference between annorexic and naturally thin very quickly.

        And I HATE the phrase “Real women have curves” or any variation of that phrase. What, suddenly because I’m skinny I have a different set of genitalia than women with curves? Different reproductive organs? I can assure you that is NOT the case, because not only do I already have one very successful and non complicated pregnancy under my belt and a gorgeous 3 year old daughter, I am also currently 38 weeks pregnant with my second. And BOTH were conceived on the first try with absolutely no problems what so ever. So simply because I don’t have curves doesn’t mean that I can’t do the SAME things as “real women.”

        Either way, I’ve lived with my body for 24 years now, Im confident in it and I don’t let people’s comments get me down too often anymore…but sometimes it still really hurts. We as women should be sympathetic towards ALL women with weight struggles, not just those who struggle to LOSE it. Whether people choose to believe it or not, not EVERY woman starves themselves to be thin, and some of us make ourselves sick trying to overcome our problem so we can be looked at as “normal”…and that is sad.

        • Miriam says:

          I just wanted to share something that I ran across last year. I hated the phrase “Real women have curves” too, because “real women” are all the women that are around us…the size 2′s and the size 12′s and everything above and below and in between that.

          I loved the following poem because it addressed the problem of the phrase “Real women have curves” in the most eloquent way I think it could possibly have—by adding an “…and not” to the end of the phrase.

          –Real Women– (Hanne Blank)
          “Excuse me while I throw this down, I’m old and cranky and tired of hearing the idiocy repeated by people who ought to know better.

          Real women do not have curves. Real women do not look like just one thing.

          Real women have curves, and not. They are tall, and not. They are brown-skinned, and olive-skinned, and not. They have small breasts, and big ones, and no breasts whatsoever.

          Real women start their lives as baby girls. And as baby boys. And as babies of indeterminate biological sex whose bodies terrify their doctors and families into making all kinds of very sudden decisions.

          Real women have big hands and small hands and long elegant fingers and short stubby fingers and manicures and broken nails with dirt under them.

          Real women have armpit hair and leg hair and pubic hair and facial hair and chest hair and sexy moustaches and full, luxuriant beards. Real women have none of these things, spontaneously or as the result of intentional change. Real women are bald as eggs, by chance and by choice and by chemo. Real women have hair so long they can sit on it. Real women wear wigs and weaves and extensions and kufi and do-rags and hairnets and hijab and headscarves and hats and yarmulkes and textured rubber swim caps with the plastic flowers on the sides.

          Real women wear high heels and skirts. Or not.

          Real women are feminine and smell good and they are masculine and smell good and they are androgynous and smell good, except when they don’t smell so good, but that can be changed if desired because real women change stuff when they want to.

          Real women have ovaries. Unless they don’t, and sometimes they don’t because they were born that way and sometimes they don’t because they had to have their ovaries removed. Real women have uteruses, unless they don’t, see above. Real women have vaginas and clitorises and XX sex chromosomes and high estrogen levels, they ovulate and menstruate and can get pregnant and have babies. Except sometimes not, for a rather spectacular array of reasons both spontaneous and induced.

          Real women are fat. And thin. And both, and neither, and otherwise. Doesn’t make them any less real.

          There is a phrase I wish I could engrave upon the hearts of every single person, everywhere in the world, and it is this sentence which comes from the genius lips of the grand and eloquent Mr. Glenn Marla:

          There is no wrong way to have a body.

          I’m going to say it again because it’s important: There is no wrong way to have a body.

          And if your moral compass points in any way, shape, or form to equality, you need to get this through your thick skull and stop with the “real women are like such-and-so” crap.

          You are not the authority on what “real” human beings are, and who qualifies as “real” and on what basis. All human beings are real.

          Yes, I know you’re tired of feeling disenfranchised. It is a tiresome and loathsome thing to be and to feel. But the tit-for-tat disenfranchisement of others is not going to solve that problem. Solidarity has to start somewhere and it might as well be with you and me.”
          ~Hanne Blank (www.hanneblank.com/)

          • Fry says:

            Thank you so much for posting this wonderful blog post from Hanne Blank. I feel like it says what I have been feeling and wanting to say my whole life. ‘Real’ women are each and every one of us – whatever size, shape and package we come it. At 105lbs after 2 kids I have struggled all my life with people calling me skinny and asking what I eat and if I’m healthy. I’m an active Mum, love food and cooking among many other things. I hope that as women we can all move forward and stop fighting both with each other and against ‘society’. WE are society and we can change our we choose to communicate with other.

          • Jo says:

            Real women are not not women. That makes no sense. Do not conform and pretend transvestites and such are women because society commands you to.

      • Nicole says:

        wonderfully said

    • Dionne Yagla says:

      I know where You’re coming from, Melanie. My dad was 6’0″ at 150lbs and my mom was 5’6″ at 104lbs in her prime. Needless to say, I’m a little girl who still wears junior sizes in my 40s. When growing up, I was destroyed by boys calling me “stick” or “pancake chest”. Larger women feel like they are attacked for being fat yet I’m small by nature and I got it too. :/ I, too, have been accused of being anorexic. I say we end this war on body image. We’re not skinny or fat- we’re women! …And we’re beautiful just the way we are!

  6. Tracie says:

    I don’t care about a persons size as much as I care about them being happy and healthy. Women of all shapes and sizes are beautiful :)

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  8. No Name says:

    I rarely comment on anyone’s blog post, but I really can’t keep quiet here. I am 5’4″ tall and a size 2. I have been the same size/weight my entire adult life (except pregnancy, where I gained and lost 25-30 pounds each time), and I’m currently 42 years old. I eat well – healthy whole foods, vegan. I’m an athlete, mother, wife.

    There is so much hate coming from women who have beautiful bodies in a size 8 and 12 and 18. I’ve had women who don’t know me make snarky comments in locker rooms to and about me just because of my size. Women I thought were friends post on FB about being “real” women, as if I’m not just because I’m smaller than they are. Women think nothing of asking me how much I weigh, but if I answer and then ask them the same they think *I’m* the one being rude. I’ve walked into rooms and had women look me up and down, give me a dirty look and then make comments in their friend’s ear. They don’t know anything about me and they have decided they don’t like me simply based on my size.

    It’s horrible and alienating, hateful, demoralizing to all involved and really needs to stop. Thank you for writing this post.

    • jenna says:

      Wahhhhh. :-(

    • Arden says:

      This is a wonderful piece, Ali. I am in full agreement.

      Also, I understand what you are saying, No name, although I don’t pay much attention or heed to possible whispering behind my back. I’ve grown up more of a tomboy so perhaps that has helped. I have read books (and I love the series, but disagree with the comment) where the author and character thought that anything smaller than a size 10 (or 12) was a boy with breasts.

      I’m small, like yourself, only slightly taller and I find it interesting how the body sizes and / or breast sizes go from In being small to In being large and then back to small before returning to large again.

      There is beauty in so many women. It’s rather amazing how much many of us put ourselves down either thinking we’re too skinny or too big.

      I agree with some of the other comments that bring up health. There is beauty in the person themselves and with all the different body types and bone sizes, there is no “correct” size.

      I think we should each find something we like about ourselves and then another thing, and then another, followed by finding something to like about the women we come across (hair, skin, eyes – there are many neat eyes).

      And the Dove commercials were mentioned somewhere – I loved the Dove commercials – they were women like whom you would meet on the street. :)

  9. April says:

    I agree with this so much. I posted about this on my blog when I first came across the picture in question, but you’ve said what I wanted to much better. I’ve also seen one that shows a voluptuous woman and a very thin model, which says “This is hot, this is shit.” How is calling another woman’s body “shit” helping matters at all?

  10. Adam says:

    Well, Body size doesn’t matter at all. Women in general are hot its the personalities that say other wise. everything else is just in addition

    • Arden says:

      Hey, thanks Adam. All my male friends tend to think the same way. Women are beautiful, all types. Personality is important. Well, personality and being a woman.

  11. anon says:

    What you’re observing isn’t so much individualized hate against women who are thin but rage at the privilege an unfair system grants them – and, honestly, women whose bodies conform to the current standard DO have privilege they often fail to see. Are all women marginalized and victimized by the patriarchal beauty industry? Yes. Should we work on solidarity? Absolutely. But it’s going to be hard for us to come together, all dress sizes, until women who are able to open a magazine and see models that look like them admit that this privilege is huge. My two cents. Great article though.

    • Icewolf says:

      Very true.

    • WarriorGoddess says:

      Your response is PERFECT. I agree that this is a good article but the truth of the matter is that women size 10+ are NOT represented in the beauty industry or media unless it’s specifically for plus sizes. And even then, many catagalogues and magazines touted as being meant for plus size audiences feature models that are considerably smaller.

      Thin women DO have privileges that thick women do not. To deny that is just naive and wrong. And you’re exactly right – the anger that zoftig women have about thinness in general may (incorrectly) be occasionally directed toward individual women but that’s more a product of an unfair social system that grants rewards and priveleges to thin women that others (the majority, in fact) simply do not have.

      • Fry says:

        I’m interested to know what these ‘privileges’ that thin women apparently have area, could you enlighten me?

        • Megan says:

          Thin women have privileges just as white people (especially white men) have privileges. I’m thin, 5’4″ and 123, and can recognize that I have it easier than my size 16 friends. I am more likely to get a job, more likely to have the door held for me, more likely to have a higher salary, and more likely to be able to find whatever I want, in my size. I don’t have to go to a few limited stores that carry my size. Pretty much everywhere I want to shop, caters to people my size (plus or minus a few sizes).

          How are we not privileged? How are we (thin people) disenfranchised AT ALL? There is so much prejudice and hate and misunderstanding of larger people.

          • Dawn says:

            Megan, you are privileged because you are thin but not TOO thin. You are in the normal, not underweight BMI range. I had a BMI of 16 most of my life and was bullied horribly. I tried to compensate by overeating, but it didn’t work; it was my natural body type. Anyone on the extremes – obese or drastically thin – do not have privilege. We are seen as freaks by society and not fully human. There are indeed some ultra-thin models still on the runway, but they are just that: on the runway. Those of us who have to live in the real world being told we are gross, disgusting, and abnormal do NOT have privilege.

          • Anna says:

            I can see your point on everything but the job thing, Megan. I’m five foot at 75 lbs and I have a very hard time of getting a job. So it’s not all true that thin people have privilege on that one. My larger friend has a job and she’s kept that job very easily. In fact, when I WAS working, everyone tried to get me to clean under the seating booths and climb behind things just because I was the thinnest and smallest person working. It was actually quite insulting to me.

        • anon says:

          My “privilege” was years of relentless bullying in school that some teachers participated in rather than trying to stop. My “privilege” was having to defend my right to have my job when parents at the private school I worked at decided I must have an eating disorder and was a bad example for their kids and should be fire. My “privilege” was harassment by co-workers that the administrators allowed because telling overweight women to stop calling a colleague “skinny bitch” would “hurt their feelings”.

          Yep. Plenty of privilege. I guarantee you that if I had decided to call a co-worker “fat ass”, I would have been reprimanded and possibly fired. So there’s your privilege.

    • Sean says:

      Thank you for couching this discussion in terms of privilege! The analogies to race, gender identity, sexual orientation and disability are obvious to me. In the same way that straight, white, able-bodied males (me) must recognize their privilege in order to act as allies in the struggle against discrimination, so too must those whose appearance conforms with the contrived standard of beauty. As an obese person (even as a male), I am frequently assumed to lack discipline and intelligence.

      It can be an uncomfortable position (as it was for me) to realize that your privilege, though unearned, has allowed you success (or at least greater ease) that others have not enjoyed. Body shape and size are also significant factors of discrimination in our society and are, accordingly, a decider of elements of privilege.

    • Just Me says:

      Agreed and well said. Thank you.

    • annihilatedweek says:

      I agree that this is analogous to the privilege enjoyed by males, Caucasians, etc. As a thin woman, I do not feel discriminated against for being thin when I am “skinny bashed”. HOWEVER, I think it’s important to note that as a thin woman, I am a privileged group *inside of a marginalized group*. Body policing, of ANY woman, directly relates to sexism. While it may be more sizeist to discriminate against a bigger woman, it is just as sexist for anyone, male or female, to think that they have a right to tell women what their bodies “should” look like.

    • Lamp says:

      But why is that rage so often directed at individual skinny women? They didn’t build the beauty industry, they were just born with a specific body type.
      I understand what you’re saying and you are right, but there needs to not be any excuses for hating the thin. Hate the magazines that tell all women to look the same.

      • paige says:

        It’s rarely personal. Thin women are a reminder and a symbol of the inequities described above. I’m 5’2″, straight up & down in the waist & hips, but very big busted – unconventional body type to be sure!
        I see women who naturally fit the “ideal” and get jealous, then angry: how come she’s lucky enough to get the “right” body? No matter how much I exercise or eat well, I will always have this odd shape. No matter how comfortable I am with my shape, I will continue to be passed up in favor of the ideal by most of society.
        I am envious that you got lucky and I didn’t and I will get angry at the ease and privilege you represent.
        Is it right? No. Do I try to avoid that resentment? Yes. But I apologize in advance when I can’t.

    • Dawn says:

      I disagree. It may be a privilege to be thin, but NOT drastically underweight. Anyone too far outside the norm is seen as a freak in our society, regardless of which end of the spectrum they represent. Believe it or not, some women are naturally well below a “normal” BMI, regardless of how much they eat. Seriously, is it a privilege to be bullied DAILY and told you’re gross, disgusting, and abnormal? Not just by women, but men too. No, I think not.

  12. Tracy says:

    I would have like the size range in this article to have been bigger to include more(0-28), other than that.. I agree on all points. When it is ok to say to a thin person “You need to put that apple down and eat a snickers” but there’s no way you can say stuff like that to us morbidly obese ladies. I used to be a 32 and am now a 24 and I fight predjudice(sp?) and judgement almost every day of my life so I have to admit when I first saw the image of the thin women vs the normal size woman I let a cheer rip. It def works both ways. I long for a day when we all band together.. ALL SIZES.

    • Erica says:

      Why does anyone need to eat a Snickers? They don’t. Apples are delicious and good for you. Snickers are a tasty treat but certainly not good for you. So in answer to your question, it’s never ok to say something like that to a thin person. For all you know they have type 1 diabetes and can’t eat things like Snickers. It’s also not ok for a thinner person to comment to a heavier person on their choice of snack. My younger sister has gone from a 22 to a size 12 over a year and a half of healthy eating and reasonable exercise and I have done my best to offer positive encouragement and support without ever commenting on her choice of foods. She has worked hard to become healthier. I say healthier NOT thinner because that has always been the goal and the driving force behind her hard work on the advice of her Dr. The thing that gets to me are the people who have been negative about her transformation, trying to push some cake or other unhealthy food on her. Other heavier girls can’t be happy for her progress and hard work, they have to bring her down. What’s wrong with her getting healthy. Don’t be jealous of her for what she’s accomplished, ask her how she’s done it and I know she’ll give you support if you choose to do the same but she’ll never judge you if you choose not to.

      • Crystal says:

        Erica…that is great that your sister is working to be more healthy and happy. I agree, it really isn’t about trying to be skinny.

        But there will always be jealous, insecure people who try to bring others down. She is lucky to have a supportive sister like you.

    • Briar says:

      Tracy, you say “When it is ok to say to a thin person “You need to put that apple down and eat a snickers” but there’s no way you can say stuff like that to us morbidly obese ladies.”. But here’s the thing–it’s not okay to say that to a thin person. It’s just as rude and judgemental and can be just as hurtful as when someone comments on the dietary choices of a heavier woman.

    • Crystal says:

      But people do say these things, Tracy…how often have you heard people tell a thinner woman that she needs to eat more? Or that she should eat a cheeseburger? It happens very often. Whereas, comments about a larger person’s weight or food choices are deemed offensive.

      I’m sorry if I misunderstood that part of your comment. But I will say that as a size 8-10, I love chocolate. I loved it when I was a size 00 and I still love it.

  13. Afia Mantis says:

    I have to agree with you Ali, Each of the three women in the image are attractive in their own unique way, we all need to be more positive and less negative

  14. Amanda says:

    Rubyathena: That’s great that you’re moving in the direction of compassion. You said: “I feel anger and bias when chicks go in extremes be it super skinny or super obese. Both cases tell me they lack self esteem or health.”

    Please realize that the “extremes” you mention are completely subjective (one person’s “super skinny” may look totally different from yours). What’s more, the size, shape, or physicality won’t actually “tell” you a single thing about someone’s self-esteem or health profile. Those attributes are not causal or even corollary. Women of all sizes — yes, even the “extremes” — can be healthy (or not) and/or have good (or poor) self-esteem. Body size imputes NOTHING about the person’s character, lifestyle, values, or self-beliefs. So it’s not others’ “extreme” bodies that are “telling” you anything — it’s the assumptions you make in your own mind about other people.

    To Anon, three comments above: Thin women recognizing their privilege is not what it’s going to take to stop the body-hating. If I read your comment correctly, what you’re saying is that if I, a thin woman, open a magazine, see someone who “looks like me” (which I don’t, because although I am indeed skinny, I’m also short, flat-chested, and very mousy/bookish — but somehow one’s adiposity is all that matters in your statement), and I pronounce the words, “Wow, I have so much privilege because I’m thin,” THEN and ONLY THEN will women be able to “come together, all dress sizes” to stop the body-hating?

    That, frankly, is bullshit. You’ve got the blame all wrong. It’s the media’s fault for prizing certain body types, certain characteristics, over others. Thin women aren’t the culprits, so no amount of “admitting their privilege” will resolve the body-hate issue. Because the hating on larger body sizes, by and large, is absolutely not coming from thin women.

    Besides, there are all kinds of privilege: White women have privilege. Straight women have privilege. Cisgender women have privilege. Able-bodied women have privilege. Women with breasts sized 32A-40D are privileged because they can almost always find a bra in their size at any regular department store. Women of certain heights (not “too” short, not “too” tall) are privileged. Silky Caucasian hair is privileged. Small noses are privileged. Straight, white teeth are privileged. Clear, unwrinkled, unblemished, even-toned skin is privileged. Youth is privileged. I could go on. And on and on and on.

    I don’t require you, or anyone else, to admit to any of your likely numerous privileges in order for me to support you and join together against something that’s damaging both of us.

    So you’re giving yourself an out — that it’s just going to be too “hard for us to come together” and stop the body-hating until thin women “admit” to their privilege. That won’t change how the media portrays women and prizes certain characteristics while demonizing others. It sucks that you gave yourself that out, because we could use your help.

    To commenters melanie and No Name, above, I send you hugs and solidarity. What people said to you about your bodies was mean and hateful, and you didn’t deserve it. Your bodies are beautiful.

    All bodies are beautiful. People, don’t comment on others’ bodies. It’s just that simple.

    Fantastic article.

    • Sammy says:

      That is so true, Im fairly fat and I once had a housemate who was very skinny. Both of us ate average foods, not overly healthy not overly junky. And yet we both had a hard time finding clothes, even in the ‘skinny’ stores she would struggle to find something small enough to fit her, and even in the ‘fat’ stores I would struggle to find something big and flattering. So we could definatly relate to each others issues. I have many slim freinds who are just naturally very skinny and I have had to defend them against individuals who think its ok to make fun of them and call them anorexic, the same ones who say to me “oh your not fat”, when I am, I dont think its a judgemnt of me its just like saying I have black hair. We really do need to quit judging and focus on trying to be the healthiest we can and just be content in life.

    • WarriorGoddess says:

      Amanda,

      I think you misread the point of Anon’s post. That person clearly said it’s not about individuals, but about the system. So the “they” was not referring to thin women, but the people that perpetuate the belief that only thin is beautiful and that only thin women should be featured in magazines, clothing catalogues, etc.

      And although I agree with you that there are all kinds of privilege related to beauty, this article is particularly aimed at talking about body image. I’m not sure what your point was in bringing up the myriad other kinds of privelege – it didn’t serve any purpose in solidifying your argument.

      Furthermore, the person that wrote that response was not “giving themselves an out.” Get a grip. The fact is, as YOU yourself pointed out earlier in this article, until more women of all shapes and sizes (and colors, hair types, skin types, etc.) are represented in the media and in the beauty industry then it will continue to be difficult for us all to feel a sense of solidarity. DUH.

      …And hating on larger body sizes is not coming from thin women? Who do you think it’s coming from? ‘Cuz I’ve never had a fellow zoftig say something shitty about my size 16 hourglass and well-taken care of body. It’s ONLY been thin women that have ever made snarky comments.

      • mars says:

        I decided to read through all of these comments, and was struck by yours. I am neither fat nor skinny. But what I am is very tall (6’1″). Growing up this height has been both fortunate and traumatic. I didn’t get to choose my height. But, we all get to choose what we eat, when (or if) we exercise. I get that the stigma against overweight people sucks. But lets call a spade a spade: if you are carrying more than 29% body fat, you are not ful-figured, hourglass, curvy – you are obese. And you are a walking health risk. I don’t think it is YOU that people take offense to, though. I believe it is the example that all of our “full-figured” moms give to their kids. I was recently in Paris, where all the food portions are about 60% smaller (and I actually felt full after eating). Walking around, my friends and I saw NO severely overweight people, and were almost annoyed bc here in the States, like 1 out of every 3 people is fat. The one time I saw a fat person, I got a bit verly excited…but then he spoke in English, and with a southern accent. I am not hating on anybody here, but it really upsets me when someone is so delusional as to think that size 16 is healthy. Unless you are 7 feet tall, then no, size 16 is bigger than okay. I am 6’1″ and am 6 size smaller, and by no means skinny. Please stop and think…is this what you want to pass on to our future? That being a woman and being overweight is okay? As a friend, a mom, a caregiver and a student of life, I certainly hope not.

        • jenna says:

          You are rude.

        • llee1279 says:

          In response to Mars – I’m a 5″10 endomorph and the last time I was within my accepted weight bracket 155-175 which is a NORMAL Healthy BMI I was a size 16. So I’m trilled that you at 6’1″ are able to be a size 2 – for some of us these sizes are LITERALLY unobtainable but don’t think that a size 16 isn’t healthy because for some of us it is.

          • mars says:

            Defintely not a size 2. And I was talking body fat percentage. 30% to 32% is considered obese, according to various studies. We all come in different shapes and sizes. I have never been able to be very thin – my body just is happy at a certain weight. I am also an athlete and thankfully that gave me a foundation for a healthy future.
            The thing that upsets me is how much offense women take to ANYBODY who tells is straight. You are NOT healthy if you have 32% BMI. I challenge anybody on here who thinks I am rude to get her body fat checked. Height and weight are not the factors I am trying to emphasize here. It is body FAT. Women can say over and over and over that they are curvy, fulfigured, “real,” but the sad truth is that we are all so scared to hurt feelings or touch on controversial subjects that we simply LIE to eachother to save face. I walked into a Macy’s the other day to find that the “WOMEN’S” section is the section for sizes 14 and up. What message does that send our young girls? That you’re a real woman if you’re (generally) overweight?
            If I came across rude, I am sorry. I don’t mean to offend. I just have experienced so much judgment in my life for something I cannot change (my height), and I’ve even experienced a lot of reverse “isms” because I am thin. It’s so crazy that no thin girls can comment or ask about someone’s weight if they are fat. But all fat women have the freedom to call us “skinny bitches,” and it’s funny?

          • Kelly says:

            Actually the percentages of BMI’s you are throwing out are innaccurate. An ideal BMI for women is between 18%-22% and a BMI of over 25% is considered overweight. I have a BMI of 27% and considered overweight, but I am active, muscular, healthy and quite happy with the way I look since I have over the last 2 years dropped 110 lbs. Anyone that looks at me would NOT say I was overweight, though the BMI charts would say that I was. I think that this is also part of the problem we need to address. That’s my 2 cents.

        • gemini says:

          You are the perfect example of the problem this article refers to. Thank you!

          • anonymous says:

            Fat activism is also a problem. You’re never going to see the medical profession (of which I am a part) endorse obesity in the same way that “fat-positive” websites try to push their agenda. I’ve taken nutrition courses and there is, in fact, a correlation between having extremely low and extremely high body-condition scores and being “unhealthy”. Sorry, but it’s true and no amount of telling yourself the opposite will make it not so.

          • Heidi says:

            I have very similar feelings to Mars. I completely support healthy, happy body image for all women, but take offense to what I see as normalization (or glorification, if it gets to that point) of being overweight. (The womens’ section starting at 14 is an example).

            I’m referring to the constant reminders that “the average American woman is a size 14.” Well, the average American woman is also 5’4″ and a size 14 is *generally* not going to represent a healthy weight/body fat percentage for that height.

            This is NOT an attempt to distract from the fact that the “ideal” female figure perpetuated by the media is any better. In the same way that we should avoid skinny bashing, we should also not be so quick to euphemize fat or obese as “curvy” and “full-figured.” Also I don’t find the above comments as rude at all.

        • Jill says:

          Not to judge, but people in Europe also tend to be skinnier because far more people there smoke cigarettes regularly. Wouldn’t that also make you a “walking health risk”?

          • anon says:

            I not sure i’m responding to the right comment but never mind:

            I wanted to say that a persons health as far as what they put in their own body is their own choice, and i don’t think it should be down to others even the medical profession to decide who is healthy or not if a person is a big or small size and they are happy why constantly tell them they shouldn’t be. If they aren’t happy there needs to be support, education (i don’t know much about what exists already etc). There are too many generalisations mixed in with individual perspectives. Like the average size – no one is average its just unfortunate that society is obsessed with standardising everything – including clothing – it would be nice to have more tailors and dress makers again then there wouldn’t be dress sizes just this one fits you – and this one fits you.

            It’s not ok for anyone to be rude to anyone else there is no reason to be rude to each other, why can’t individuals just accept that other people are not like them but they still deserve to be treated with respect (unless someone is a mean asshole to you then i guess you can tell them a nicely strung together chorus of rude words). Everyone suffers a little bit or alot or it depends how you look at it: if someone makes a rude comment to you, sure you’ve heard it before and its mean and demoralising but i feel more sorry for that person that they have nothing better to do than get self assurance from putting me down.

            there is no point telling people to change like the media or rude people the change has to come from within individuals like in the comment right at the top when individuals learn to accept themselves they will be able to accept others more readily. so we must be proactive – love ourselves more – love each other more, see different people – not less privileged/more privileged people. If we stop buying into the ‘conventional’ or media driven ideas of beauty or a perfect body shape different ideas – individualistic ideas will be able to flourish more, we just have to stop believing in those ‘conventional’ ideas. stop buying the products, magazines etc that perpetuate the ideas that put everyone down (because even the model in the picture doesn’t look like that she’s been totally airbrushed they could have saved people money and used an over sized pre-airbrushed barbie doll) or better yet propose ideas to them you are their audience/readership so they need to sell their product/ magazine to you. it worked with dove etc.

            also i know everything i wrote is idealistic and all and i’m guilty of all of the bad things at some point being all prejudice for the wrong/no reason but we all have bad days and say things we regret later, but i believe that things can be different. we can all be happy if we let ourselves.

          • anon_lady says:

            Actually people in Europe tend to be smaller because they walk more, instead of driving, and because the portion sizes are ridiculously inflated like they are here in the US.

            Really though? Because they smoke more? Thats a ridiculous argument, thats based solely on a stereotype.

        • anon_lady says:

          I actually totally agree with you mars. I think that a lot of people hide behind the “curvy” label, when they are in fact overweight and unhealthy. Its far more socially acceptable for people to look at a skinny person and say “eat a sandwich”, rather than tell an obese person “to put down the fork”

          I understand trying to protect peoples feelings, but unhealthy is unhealthy and you’re not doing anyone any favors by telling them their unhealthy lifestyle is doing them any favors.

          The counter to that is that its their body and they can do whatever they want to it though. I more support that point of view than anything. It does bother me when people hide behind the curvy label when they are clearly just unhealthy…

        • meghan says:

          er BMI is not a percentage. Body fat percentage and BMI are two different things. Clearly you guys know what you’re talking about.

        • Rae says:

          @mars: Your comment is so accurate- and is not rude at all. How come if anyone mentions that being grossly obese is unhealthy and unnatural then they are immediately labeled as rude?
          Since it seems to be the “thing” to post pants size, age, weight, and height in addition to one’s comment, here’s mine: I’m 15, wear junior size 1 pants, am about 5′-5’1″ in height, and weigh around 100 pounds. I don’t weigh or measure myself that often to be honest, so measurements are close but not exact.
          I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve been told to “eat something” because of my size, yet if I ever told a non-skinny woman to “put the fork down” I would be a hateful, horrible person? The double-standard is sickening. Mind you, I’m not saying that either is right. My point is that fat people need to stop hating on skinny people and skinny people need to stop hating on fat people (though I do not see the latter nearly as much as the former).
          HEALTHY bodies are something to be proud of. As mars is saying however, obesity is different than being curvy. Having globs of fat on your body is NOT healthy, no matter how much you want it to be. No, I’m not being rude or hateful by stating this– I’m stating a fact. And it’s not intended to be hateful or judgmental.
          Also, being obese and overweight is a CHOICE. In rare cases it is a genuine medical problem. A lot of people cite genetics as the reason for their overweightness, but that is not a valid excuse. If you want to be slim and healthy, you CAN do it, regardless of genetics. It may be a little harder or a little easier based on genetics or age, but it’s still possible.
          Promoting unhealthy fat people, men and women, is not good for society. Neither is promoting people that are unhealthily skinny.
          As all of these comments show, women’s bodies come in many different sizes. That is fine and something to be celebrated. I’m sorry though, I’m not going to promote unhealthily fat bodies any more than I am going to promote unhealthily skinny bodies.

      • Crystal says:

        The hate comes from both sides. Fat girls hating on skinny, skinny girls hating on fat…and the world goes round and round.

        I never had an issue with bigger women when I was a size 00. But I can tell you that a lot of bigger women had a problem with me. They were offended by the fact that I was smaller. My own cousin, who wears a size 16-18, has verbally ripped me to shreds just because I’m smaller than she is. But the irony is that she has always received more positive attention.

        So it might be more about the system than individuals, WarriorGoddess (cool name), but I find that people spend more time attacking individuals instead of engaging in more productive discourse or activities that can create positive changes.

        If you were being treated like crap for being a size 16, there are also women who can tell you stories about being treated like crap because they wear a size 6 or smaller.

    • Emily says:

      Bravo, Amanda!

    • Fry says:

      Amanda – fantastic response. You are absolutely correct.

  15. N says:

    To Amanda,

    The first step to becoming an ally is to recognize your privilege. Could you imagine a white woman denying her privilege in a conversation about race, or considering it to be unimportant? While it may not be the biggest factor in perpetuating oppression against women based on size, it’s still important for women thin and not-so-thin to understand the mechanism of (unearned) privilege and how it affects them. Healthily thin/slim women who don’t think it’s necessary to recognize the privilege they unfairly gain through the oppressive system of patriarchal culture are going to struggle to connect in a meaningful way with their less-slim sisters. One cannot deny the entrenched fat-bashing, thin-obsessed culture. Remember heroin-chic? There has never been fat-chic since TV was invented. Yes, we can all come together in solidarity, and we can ALSO acknowledge our respective privilege and differences, and how in the end the system of oppression hurts everyone, even men.

    • WarriorGoddess says:

      YES! Yes, yes, yes, yes YES! N, you are EXACTLY right!!!

    • Zee_K says:

      >>here has never been fat-chic since TV was invented.<<

      My mother binge-ate through high school in a desperate attempt to *gain* weight. She wanted to look "curvy" like Marilyn, because to be "curvy" was to be beautiful and to be skinny was to be ugly. 6 meals a day plus 4 meal-replacement bars didn't help her health, and they didn't help her gain weight either. And yeah, that was the TV era.

      The photo linked to in this post is pointing back to that era, back to the time when skinny girls developed eating disorders because they wanted to look like Marilyn. I'd rather live in an era when we think healthy is beautiful, rather than making a group of women with normal bodies feel like shit.

      • WarriorGoddess says:

        Zee_K, come one now. Wanting to look like curvy actresses in the 50′s should hardly be considered “fat-chic.” Those women were not remotely fat. You just completely discredited your argument, which would have made sense from the perspective that eating disorders were certainly inspired by the (more apt) “curve-chic” of the time. Not negating your mother’s experience, but if you can’t tell the difference between wanting to gain tits and ass and the notion of “fat chic,” you’re deluded.

      • mars says:

        I second WarriorGoddess. Come on now. Really? An eating disorder? You call eating to look healthy an “eating disorder.” Man…pick your battles. An eating disorder is something that harms you. Eating to gain weight bc you are very skinny…well, that’s just called eating.

        • Chris says:

          What does it mean to “eat to look healthy”? I would say that eating in order to look a certain way is by definition unhealthy. If you’re eating (or not eating) in order to try to look like a celebrity- whatever size that person is- then you’re not eating to nourish your own body. I think it’s safe to say we’d all agree that eating to BE healthy rather than to LOOK healthy is the best and most sustainable goal.

        • Lamp says:

          Way to miss the entire point of the whole article and discussion, Mars.
          There is NO one “Healthy Size.” Lots of women are naturally skinny. Meant to be skinny. Plenty of 2′s and 12′s are the same level of perfectly healthy. Health can only be determined by the individual and their doctor, NOT by their dress size. For you to instantly dismiss someone’s eating disorder is cruel and ignorant.
          No, people didn’t want to have 40 inch waists back then, but being skinny was indeed highly undesirable, and there was plenty of media to feed any skinny girl’s self hatred and plenty of snake oil products (like today’s shady diet pill industry) that promised a “cure.”

          http://www.retronaut.co/2011/11/vintage-weight-gain-ads/

        • May says:

          No. If you unhealthily stuff yourself with food that can be VERY dangerous. Some people are meant to be skinny, so eating too much for what your body can take is definitely an eating disorder. If that person already eats regularly and they are not gaining weight then that they should not go through extremes trying to gain.

      • Darla says:

        Right on. I’ve been trying to fatten myself up for ten years because men think skinny girls look childish and women think skinny girls are bitches and society thinks skinny girls have eating disorders and, well, I just wanted to weigh more than 90 lbs. But I’ve accepted that 95 is the healthy weight for me, because it is the biggest I can get. I’d rather live in an era where our own bodies, at their healthiest, was the hot body. Not where skinny girls get skinnier and fat girls get fatter and the ones in between try to go either way.

    • quantumdani says:

      Ugh. As a thin Black woman, I found this comparison horribly offensive. Please, just don’t. Black women don’t put white women down when they call them on their privilege. If I hear a skinny woman abusing her privilege, I will call her on it. But I’m not going to tell her she’s less attractive or sickly looking. Similarly, I’m not going to tell a white woman she’s less attractive or sickly looking just because she benefits from privilege. This comment is so unbelievably rude. We can talk about privilege without trying to destroy each other’s self-confidence. I mean, unless we want to work for the beauty industry that preys on all of us, I suppose.

      • Miss Keith says:

        Absolutely this! Thank you!

      • Briar says:

        Thank you for saying this! I agree.

      • Crystal says:

        Quantumdani…great comment! That is what I said in my response to N.

        As women, we just don’t need to attack one another.

        • shimarella says:

          Thank you for this response. I am a woman of colour, I am an activist, I perform in genres where at a certin level we are judged by what we look like. I get the issues involved. But saying that some of us are privileged in the way white people are historically privileged in this culture is a facile argument, to say the least. I am all for calling out unhealthy standards of beauty…but it makes me just as uncomfortable to be told to my face that I’m too skinny and need to eat ( hello I have a brown girl booty even if I am a size 0) as being told I’m a more attractive dancer than my beautiful, talented colleagues because I’m “thin”. Let’s change people’s minds together, y’all.

      • melanie says:

        YES! THIS! Thank you!

      • Rachel says:

        Yes, quantumdani– well said, great comment.

    • Crystal says:

      I agree with most of your statement, but some people cross the line when they unfairly attack others because of perceived or real privilege. I can understand being hurt and angry, but some of it is misplaced.

      Yes, people should be aware of their privilege. But they also should not be made to feel ashamed of who they are. Nor should they have to apologize for being thin or pretty or light-skinned.

      I used to be a size 00. I never bashed bigger women when I was tiny. I’m now a size 8 or 10, depending on the clothes…I still don’t bash women with different body types.

      I agree that there is definitely a lot of discrimination against large women. Personally, I find ALL women to be beautiful in different ways. However, one cannot fight against an oppressive system by trying to attack/oppress others in return. Does that make sense? Until society as a whole can be more accepting and open-minded, this will always be a problem.

      You also made a valid point about racial privilege. As a biracial woman who is very light-skinned, I have been attacked by people who want me to somehow feel guilty about it. I know that some light-skinned people can be cruel to darker people, but I also deal with racism. Life is no walk in the park just because my skin is lighter.

      I believe it’s more about attacking the problem, the toxic culture and the messages we receive, rather than being mad at women who are closer to the ideal through no fault of their own.

      I hope I didn’t offend anyone. That is just my perspective.

    • Dawn says:

      N: Slim women have privilege, yes. Women who are on the extreme end of thin do *not*. We are an extreme minority and looked upon as freaks/less than human. In other words, size 2-8, yes there is privilege. Unable to fill out a size 00? You are a walking target. Privilege is being able to look around in the real world and seeing someone else who looks like you.

      • May says:

        Exactly! A size 0 is too small for me, but a 1 is alittle to big. I don’t feel priviledged at all being as thin as I am. Legs are very very thin and my arms are too thin.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh boy, now this is turning into a race issue! Can we leave race outta this please? This is about weight discrimination, not race.

  16. Esther says:

    @anon, I have an interesting, different view point on this. I used to be a size 0. I’m 5’2 and naturally small-framed, but people were constantly telling me that I was too thin. My co-workers apparently gossiped about me behind my back, accusing me of being anorexic, despite the fact that I ALWAYS ate full meals and snacks during breaks. Some guys told me that I needed more meat on my bones, which always upset me because I lifted weights regularly and was proud of the muscle that I HAD put on my bones. Other people told me that I had an incredible body and that I should be a model. Then in college, a series of running injuries and depression side-lined and cause me to gain considerable weight. I went up to being a size ten, and I felt horrible about myself. I was afraid to return to school, thinking that everyone who saw me would be judging me because it was very obvious that I had gained weight. On the contrary, no one treated me any differently. Girls still told me that I was gorgeous and photogenic and guys still hit on me at parties. It was my own expectations and preconceptions that were prejudiced, not other’s. The boy I started dating had first gotten a crush on me when I was tiny, but fell in love with me when I was larger. I learned that I can be beautiful, no matter what size, big or small. When it came down to it, people were attracted to me because of my smile and my personality, not my weight.

    • WarriorGoddess says:

      I wonder if the same would have been true if you would have ballooned up to a size 20. A size 10 is considered plus in the beauty industry, but not in the general public’s eyes. YOU might have felt crappy but in most people’s eyes a size 10 is perfectly acceptable. It’s 12 and up that people seem to take issue with.

      • Esther says:

        At the weight I was, I had a BMI in the overweight range. A size ten person who is 5’7 looks considerably different than a sizer ten person who is rather short like me.

        • WarriorGoddess says:

          Well – you’re right about that. Certainly an interesting story you’ve shared. At my thinnest I was a size 12 (I’m 5’7″) and looked amazing though I had no self-esteem to speak of. Over the years, I’ve gained all the weight I lost back +10 (a total of about 60lbs) and am now a size 16. I still eat well and exercise regularly, but I have PCOS and that makes it difficult for me to lose weight. Anyway, I feel more confident now than I did at size 12 and have a lot more fun dating now as well. So I kind of understand where you’re coming from, though from a slightly different perspective. ;0)

  17. schuyler says:

    this makes me smile. i happen to be one of those size 2 girls, and i’m 24. i’m not unhealthy, i don’t diet, i’m a normal girl. i have no problem seeing bigger girls as beautiful, we’re all beautiful in our own way. i just can’t stand it when people say they want to see more “real” girls, therefore insinuating that size 2 girls are NOT real and that we starve ourselves and are sick. not true. wish we women would band together rather than constantly bashing each other.

  18. anon says:

    No, Amanda. I don’t condone girl-on-girl violence at all and I’m sorry if that was how it came across. What I was saying was that, yeah, obviously patriarchy is the problem. But it systemically grants privilege to women with certain body types and not others. Pretending it doesn’t is pretty offensive to women who have to struggle constantly to feel good about their bodies because they’re on the wrong side of a size 6. Allies within movements need to understand the ways in which they’re privileged if movements are going to be successful. It doesn’t mean you or anyone else deserves comments like “stickbug,” but processing the hurt from those remarks can be a good opportunity to imagine what women without societally-stamped-as-fuckable bodies feel everyday. Compassion can extend both ways, yknow? And to N: thanks for getting it.

    • Dawn says:

      What you don’t get, anon, is that this privilege isn’t granted to those who are on the wrong side of a 2. In other words, women at the extreme end of thinness are so far outside the norm that it is not a privilege. Wanna know what is? Seeing other people, even just one person, who look like you.

  19. anon says:

    I totally agree with this article that ALL body types should be respected and celerated but what i think is more often uner attack is how women get their figures in the first place i.e. by extreme dieting.

    There are people out there who spend their lives eating that way and make women feel like if they have the smallest amount of unhealthy food they’re going to gain 10 stone and become morbidly obese. Of course, that doesnt mean that every size 0 girl has that issue but its a common assumption that if you can see her ribcage she must be doing some sort of diet/starving herself, and that is what should be combatted, and healthy eating celebrated

    • Dawn says:

      Please, anon, cite a source for this “common assumption”? The truth is that most people (men and women) who are that thin are that way *naturally*. Believe it or not, the majority of us are not celebrities!

  20. Sarah says:

    To Amanda,
    According to you I have to recognize the privilege I have by appearing to be one of the “healthily thin/slim women” you mention. There is no privilege. I have more difficulty finding clothing that fits than my friends who weigh more than I. And I am not “healthily thin.” I am thin because of an autoimmune disease.

    And the idea that seeing the ribcage indicates dieting. My ribcage has always been quite visible, no matter what my weight. That’s just how my skeleton was made.

    We need to stop judging people by their size. Overweight people can have eating disorders. So can men. Some thin could have medical complications, and so could some overweight women. The thing is–you simply don’t know.

    The human body is amazing and beautiful in any form.

  21. Anna says:

    Okay. Yeah. I get the point. But I’m sick of the skinny girls getting butthurt over it. You know why? Because us fat girls have endured years on years of people tell us we’re not good enough, of media telling us we’re unattractive, of going into a clothing store and not being able to buy shit because none of it is made large enough – we’re stuck with granny bra’s and cotton briefs because Victoria’s Secret doesn’t even carry over a 40D in a cute style.

    I get it and It sucks for you, but we get bashed everywhere we turn. And honestly I think it’s only fair that the skinny bitches get some too. We’re trying to make ourselves FEEL better about the fact that we’re not a size 2 and some of us will never be a size 2, or even a single digit size. Stop being so whiny about it. You don’t see bratty men walking around with t-shirts that say “NO SKINNY BITCHES” now, do you? No. The t-shirts say “NO FAT CHICKS”. So excuse US for attempting to make ourselves feel a little better by looking at it in the view of “I am more attractive than her.” In an ideal world, yeah, we’d all be striving for health and fuck beauty. But guess what? It’s never gonna happen. It sounds great in blog posts and on facebook, but it’s not gonna happen.

    Is it fair? No. Is it nice? No. But if you’re gonna get your feelings hurt over some picture on the internet somewhere, maybe the internet isn’t for you.

    • jessica rabbit says:

      And this attitude, Anna, is exactly the problem – no matter the topic at hand.

      “You did it to me so I can do it to you. Nah nah na boo boo”

      Can we please all evolve past the third grade? Thank you.

      • Roberta Andreas says:

        That’s not at all what she was saying. Not even close. That you had to misinterpret her response to try to discredit it instead of addressing any specific points speaks volumes. Like it or not, she has a point. When was the last time you saw a “No Skinny Chicks” bumper sticker? I’ve never seen one. There may be bias against both skinny and fat girls, but you’re delusional if you think they’re both ingrained into our culture to the same degree. Skinny girls get no more than anyone else. This whole article is making a mountain out of a molehill and it makes me very sad to see so many people just bobble-heading in agreement.

        • Jeanette says:

          I can point you to the links ive seen them plenty,all she did was spew ignorance with her disgusting tirade

        • Katy says:

          Actually, that is pretty much exactly what she said.

        • Crystal says:

          Roberta…with all due respect, maybe we’re in agreement because it goes both ways.

          Fat women may be discriminated against, but some of them engage in bashing thinner women as well. This only perpetuates the cycle.

          Essentially there are problems on both sides.

        • anonymous says:

          You’re playing the Victimhood olympics through and through and you don’t even realize it. It isn’t about who gets it worse; it’s about being decent human beings no matter what. You missed the point.

    • Devo says:

      I’ve never seen a “No Fat Chicks” shirt either. And if anyone ever saw someone with that shirt and took them seriously as a credible human being, then their bad. I have no boobs and would never take a guy with an “I Love Tits” shirt seriously and get my feelings hurt over it, as I would know that he was a complete moron.

      The problem here Anna is how much of the bashing you’ve faced for being larger came from skinny women? Instead of attacking the males or patriarchal society that has set up this standard of beauty, women are attacking other women didn’t start the name calling. All you’re doing by bashing other women is feeding into the patriarchal society that created this problem in the first place. Men decided skinny women are more attractive. Men also believe that women are catty and mean-spirited and are always competing with each other. Why are you trying to help them prove their points?

    • llee1279 says:

      Ok – I have to agree – with reservations! I think that skinny/thin women have a smidge or privilege. Yes I have friends who are small/thin/healthy (whatever you want to call it) who have trouble finding clothes that fit, and have a difficult time finding outfits. But here’s the rub – these women have HUNDREDS of stores they can look at (old navy, gap, banana republic, New York and Complany, Loft, ETC.) and I have Lane Bryant and Catherines ( I’m leaving out Walmart type stores) and maybe one or two more. Now I don’t want the world to start being ok with obesity and the sizes to be redesigned and now a 16 in Loft is really a 22. I think THAT would be tragic and intentionally overlooking a serious problem in the US. Then add to the fact that a few of the plus size stores only have older styles and me at age 32 have a hard time finding things my grandmother doesn’t already have.
      As for the rest – yes there are not “no skinny bitches” shirts or mottos. Personally I would rather get rid of size related phrases completely.. How about just NO Bitches… ?

      • Christina says:

        Just wanted to comment that not all skinny women have a ton of stores to shop at. I’m 26 and 5’1 and at most, weight 89 pounds. I’ve never dieted, I don’t exactly work out (I work with children so I’m on my feet a lot, but that’s it) and my weight has been consistently low my whole life. Of the stores you listed, I can MAYBE shop at Old Navy, only if they’re in stock with xs and it happens to not be the “flowy” style that’s in now. I’m stuck shopping at stores for teenagers, which makes it really difficult for appear professional and adult. I’ve left many stores frustrated because nothing fits me, and the stuff that even remotely fits me just hangs on my body and makes me look like a 9 year old boy. So while I’m on the other end of the spectrum, I feel your pain.

      • Leslie says:

        I completely agree with Christina. I have found vanity sizing to be a huge issue that is now making it more and more difficult for very thin women to find clothing at these “hundreds of stores”. I am 5’11 and ~140 pounds, and I have been this weight/height since I was a teenager. Over the past several years, even though I have remained the same physical size, I have gone from a size 6 to a size 2 in clothing. I don’t look extremely “thin”, I have a normal BMI….But if I am that small in all these mainstream stores, where in the world do the very thin women shop? Sizes are getting bigger and bigger to accommodate the “norm”, but for some women who are naturally very thin it is very hard to find clothing.

        • Jessica says:

          I’m with you about this, actually. I’m 5’7″ and around 130 lbs, and recently found myself fitting into a “XS” bathing suit that came from a Macy’s-esque department store (I don’t remember which one). A guy friend who had given me a ride there didn’t understand why that frustrated me so much, why I wasn’t excited to be in a XS. I was like, “If me, a size 6, wears the extra small, what’s the size 2 girl wear?”

          I’m by no means extremely thin; actually, I’m a couple of body fat percentage points above where I should probably be (on the very high side of average).

    • Briar says:

      Wow. Way to miss the point of the article. Maybe try taking some personal responsibility for how you’re treating others instead of hiding behind your anger. Just because you’ve been bashed does not give you the right to bash others. It just perpetuates the cycle.

    • Crystal says:

      So what you’re saying is that it is OK to uplift yourself at the expense of somebody else. That is false empowerment, because how can you really improve your self-confidence by putting another woman down?

      I’m sorry that you have battled a poor body image and negative comments about your weight, but guess what? It happens to ALL women, not just the fat ones. I’m not denying that bigger women are treated badly and discriminated against, but…wow.

      Real women aren’t defined by their size or their curves. Real women don’t belittle others. Please don’t project your insecurities onto thinner women. I’m sure you are beautiful but this hostility is not a good look.

      Newsflash…skinny women are real women, too. I’m not a “skinny bitch” anymore but I used to be thin. Women like you made my life miserable. It goes both ways. You can’t complain about how oppressed you are and then do the same to others.

      And why are you blaming thin women for the stupid t-shirts that some guys wear? How is that the skinny girl’s fault? Any guy who would wear a shirt like that isn’t worth the time it took to write your rant. Those guys are immature and shallow and ridiculous. I know it hurts when you see that, but all of this anger is being directed at the wrong people.

    • Lamp says:

      Make yourself feel better by attacking someone else? Does trying to tear someone down because of their SIZE make you feel better? What a disgusting hypocrite you are. I don’t care how much crap you have to deal with, you don’t have an excuse for that behavior.

    • Heidi says:

      I like your honesty.

      Men “no fat chicks” bumper stickers are douche bags and thin gals with big boobs can’t find cute bras either…just sayin’

    • Paige says:

      You’re completely missing the point, Anna. Your attitude is exactly the kind of thing this article is talking about. I’m not saying that you have to look at the world through rose-colored glasses, but with rage like this you’ll never ever be happy, no matter what your size.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry, but that’s one the reasons I’m glad I have smaller breasts (34B). That’s another thing the media tells us we have to have to be considered attractive is BIG BREASTS, and I’m tired of it. Busty women have been placed on a pedestal for years, and women with small busts have been put down for years by the media, and men.

  22. Thank you for sharing this. It puts so eloquently into words what I’ve been feeling. I’m not runway skinny and I’m not plus size. And I don’t want to join a team. All women, or all sizes, colours, shapes, heights and ages deserve respect.

  23. paige says:

    OMFG, guess what, 14 is not full figured.!! i see girls who r size 14 and that is NOT a full figure. cause it makes the rest of us who r bigger then that feel morelike shit. those women arent full figured, so don’t make them feel that way i size 20 is full figured, a size 18 isfull figured, not a 14. If ur gonna try and defend us full figured women, get the term ” full figured.” straight.!!!!

    • llee1279 says:

      Full figured is misleading. I”m full figured at a size 20 because I’m a size 38C and have big hips. On my body I look like an hour glass. Full figured can be a multitude of things. Look at the girl who wears a size 14 jean JUST because of her hips and is a 34D… that would look hour glassed!

    • Lamp says:

      The fact that the term “full figured” is seen as negative just illustrates the articles whole point. Why view it as negative? Is there an official decision somewhere as to where the cut off is between “full figured” and whatever category is below that?

  24. Jeanette says:

    Anna your comments are disgusting,and hypocritical.Maybe going by your logic fat girls should just get over it and stop whining? If your going to get hurt over a tee shirt that says “no fat chicks” maybe you shouldnt leave your house. Do you even see the ignorance and hypocrisy in everything you wrote?

    • Rosie says:

      There is a lot of anger here, back and forth, but I can see Anna’s point. There is fat bashing everywhere, and it usually doesn’t inspire any articles in their defense. There is so much out there promoting skinny. One little photo comparison of a sex icon and some skinny lady I cannot identify, and it seems to inspire so much anger from the super skinny ladies out there. I’m not saying that its nice to bash anyone, but can you imagine being bashed by nearly everyone all the time like fat people are? I’m not even fat, but the media and anorexic chicks are pretty good at convincing me I am and it makes me feel like shit. Chicks smaller than me have been pinching the skin on their thighs or their tummies since before we were 10 years old while going on about how fat they are, which made a convincing argument to me that because I am bigger than them, I must be very fat. It takes a good look in the mirror and clear thinking to realize I’m not fat, and I can find comfort in that, but I wouldn’t have that comfort if I actually was fat. Life isn’t easy for anyone, and the grass is always greener on the other side, but in society today being a skinny woman is an advantage over being a fat woman. I’m so glad I don’t watch TV because its half commercials of perfectly fine woman endorsing some diet product or cellulite reducing product, or some sort of girdle, or shape enhancing underwear, and even advertisements for cosmetic surgery. We are all accosted with messages that we aren’t good enough as we are, and we need to buy this or that to achieve perfection. Humans are also jealous, competitive creatures by nature, so we’re always looking at what someone else has with envy. I found some comfort in the physique in the Marilyn Monroe pick, but I did pity the unfortunate skinny woman they bashed in the comparing picture. My real opinion on Marilyn Monroe is also one of pity. She got involved in an industry and lifestyle that eventually claimed her life, and in my opinion, changed her identity into something unrecognizable from before she was in the spotlight. It makes me sad that women have to become sex objects to be successful and I would like it if we could all go far in life regardless of our bodies. Marylin herself didn’t even go that far. 28 years. And her image is still a message out there today to little girls that sex sells, and it sure does.

      • Anne says:

        Rosie, I think you nailed it with that comment. I have had plenty of friends who would say to me: “You are not fat”, but then they would complain about how massive they are (I am a size 12UK/12NZ/8-10US – and I am very proud of and feel extremely lucky with the body I have been given :D!) when they are clearly skinnier than me. I’ve even got a friend (and I wonder why sometimes) who told me she would never have been my friend if she had met me a few years back when I was 35pounds heavier (apparently having a friend who is a size 18NZ is very embarrassing…) As for the media, they also had me convinced at one point that I was worthless and never gonna be good enough because I’m “big” (I use that term only because society does, not because I actually think I am). It is absolutely unnecessary to think this, for anyone, no matter what size you are. To think you are not good enough because of the amount of fat you have on your bones, well, we should all be ashamed of ourselves because it sounds rather pathetic, no??? I now look in the mirror and only compare myself to me. Why should I waste my time comparing myself to someone who has a completely different bodytype? Or someone I don’t even want to look like? (and I don’t mean that in a negative way, but we all have a vision of how we would like to look) It’s time we all looked at ourselves (not everyone around us) and come to appreciate what we have all been gifted with: individuality. How boring would life be if we all had the same bodies?

        • Anne says:

          And as for the fact that sex sells, I see way too many young girls out there dressing well beyong their years. It makes me sad to think how much society has changed. And it is not just about our bodies, but also what we do as kids. When I was 12,13, even 14, I still played with toys. Nowadays, I notice small children (some as young as 5!) smoking on the streets, getting drunk every weekend, young girls getting pregnant (a few of my classmates during our first year of high school already got pregnant, aged 13); it really is shocking. What is happening to our society???!!

      • Crystal says:

        That is a valid point, Rosie, and you stated it respectfully…unlike some people.

        But I will say that Marilyn was 36 when she died and she was actually not a bigger woman, like many people seem to believe.

  25. Jackie says:

    @Anna, but obviously you get your feelings hurt over pictures on the internet, and magazines, all the time. Your comment smacks of rage, and maybe some of it is justified, but unless you can stop being so hateful to other women who are trying to say that women should not judge each others bodies (which would seem to be something you could get behind), you’re going to have a hard time finding anyone who wants to rally on your side. I’m a size 10, so you can decide how to reply to me (since that seems to be how you decide whether you like someone’s comment or not).

  26. Jeanette says:

    My bestfriend growing up was very very skinny,she was teased constantly,called skelletor,bag of bones,by JR high it got very bad and she hung herself. By Annas logic thats totally ok because it might have made a bigger girl feel better. Its not ok no matter what the size. its NEVER ok. And for the record I am 5’6 175 pounds so I am by no means a skinny girl.

  27. Nic says:

    Fuck you. You are not excused.

  28. Wendy says:

    Marilyn Monroe was a size 16, and before anyone get’s all in a huff a size 16 THEN is the equivalent to a size 8 in US standards now. That is certainly not too thin nor is it too Big.

    We need to focus on being healthy. Being an anorexic, bulimic or overweight is never healthy.
    Put down the Burger and Fries, and eat something that our Grandparents would have eaten. Eat things that your body can handle. Have something special on occasion but don’t make the occasion a habit. Make healthy eating the habit.

  29. paloma says:

    Love this article. I work with teenage girls and I encourage them to find healthy role models who are a part of their lives- not just people they see in film or magazines. My friends and I also strive to not speak badly about other women (we call it “bad chatter”). Instead of feeling less adequate when I see another woman who is what I want to be I try to celebrate her successes and hope others do the same for me.

  30. Brandina says:

    Thank you for writing this. I recently posted on my blog about being naturally thin….like size 0-2 kind of thin. My post talks about the fact that even thin girls are subjected to the same kinds of comments and generalized hatred for something that they often have no control over.

    The only way to know whether or not someone is beautiful, really beautiful, is to get to know them. Then you’ll see.

  31. Lauren says:

    This article sort of opened my eyes to what I may unintentionally be doing. I struggle with my weight and am embracing my lovely womanly hips, so I tend to enjoy the types of “slamming” comparison pics (which, btw, I have seen posted and commented on by men). And then my 8-year old daughter said to me that she needs to eat more calories ’cause people said she is too skinny. I realized all my “big is beautiful” stuff could end up hurting her. She is at a healthy weight but tall, so she looks really thin. I was bashing the type of women she is growing up to be. You’re right. We need to broaden the scope of beauty to include all women. My curves and my daughter’s slim lines are both gorgeous, thank you very much!

  32. Roberta Andreas says:

    There may be scorn directed at both skinny and fat chicks in our society but you kidding yourself if you think skinny girls have it even a fraction as bad as fat girls do. Don’t believe me? Go do a Google image search for “fat chicks”. Nice, huh? Absolutely disgusting. Now compare the Google image search results for “skinny chicks.” Clear, obvious, undeniable degree of difference there. Deny if you want but as Anna pointed out, I’ll continue to discount this until I see “no skinny chicks” on a few bumper stickers.

    • Jeanette says:

      i found many tee shirts and bumper stickers that say no skinny bitches

      along with eat you skinny bitch
      and i hate skinny bitches

      • Robert Andreas says:

        I’ve never seen any of those, in stores or on a bumper sticker. I think a lot of you posting here are blowing this way out of proportion. I don’t deny that skinny girls are sometimes the target of mean-spirited comments but society is far, far more accepting and tolerant of skinny than fat and I think the Google searches I provided above more than demonstrate the general attitude.

        And hey, next time I hear someone say “You can never been too rich or too fat” I’ll let you know.

    • Dawn says:

      The reason you think this, Roberta Andreas, is because the extreme bullying directed at thin women is only reserved for the drastically thin. There is a difference between being thin and being so far outside the norm that you *never* look around and see a single person like you. A person that thin is a DAILY target because he or she is the only one. We’re a small minority, but we are still real people with real feelings. I can’t think of any other circumstance where someone would say that daily abuse, harassment, and bullying is being blown out of proportion. You seem to think, “If I ain’t seen it, then it ain’t true.”

  33. brittany says:

    i loved this article and it really resonated with me bc just recently a “facebook friend” posted pictures of skinny women and said the most atrocious things about them,she was obviously full figured but i didn’t understand the need to verbally attack skinny women,unfortunately before i could message her to tell her how offended i was and to ask what the issue was i was convienantly defriended and apparently blocked bc she is nowhere to be found. Oh well,we win some we lose some but i am not sorry i lost an ignorant friend. I wish her well but i really did no say or do anything to offend her and had i posted pictures of obese women or even women of her stature and said the things she was saying i’m sure she would have had a thing or two to say to me but i would never do such a thing bc women are beautiful no matter the shape.

  34. Zara says:

    It’s sad, but I think it’s human nature for women to tear each other apart when we should be united and help each other out. Not just size/body issue but also in relationships. It’s more so the case that women are the ones who are “the other lovers” or mistresses. If you know a man is married and yet you knowingly get involved, you are not supporting your own.

  35. Alice says:

    The media can portray whatever it wants to:
    “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent?” -Eleanor Roosevelt

  36. Mily says:

    I completely agree with the article. Women should all be on the same side! Sadly, that is not likely. Women have been/always will be eachothers biggest critics.

  37. Rose says:

    I’m sorry, but it’s the fact that you’re fighting for size 12 girls that is astounding. As someone who’s a size 18, that’s the, excuse my french, mind fuck. Going into our “plus size” stores and finding size 12′s or even size 8′s that’s the social stigma. It’s all just becoming plus size if it isn’t that golden size 0-6. Those stores will only go up to a Large as well. But retailers can sell what they want, people can shop where they want. Now I don’t agree with the exact photo you have posted but I agree with many displaying the contrast. And I do think it is naive examples of Marilyn always being used are her at her highest weight instead of when she was very thin as well. I love pin-up very much and I love that they celebrate curves but it is starting to become the “fat girl” fight. When if you really look at MANY pin-up photos, that isn’t the case. I’m not going to do the healthy vs unhealthy argument because, this is media. You don’t know what’s their diet or honestly what drugs these women might be on. It comes down to what you see in the mirror, not the magazines, on television or the person standing next to you. Although it is related, the debate needs to be separated.

  38. Ellen says:

    This has been a “hot” topic (including those “comparison” photos of olden days actresses and today’s actresses) on Facebook and MyFitnessPal recently. If I were to say to someone, “fat bitches suck” I’d be jumped all over, but in Roberta and Anna’s logic, it’s ok to say “skinny bitches suck” because…well because we’re “skinny” and should somehow suck it up. Um. No, not ok. I’ve been in both places–I grew up thin and athletic, gained an unhealthy amount of weight, lost the weight, and am now fit and healthy for my height–I guess I fit the “skinny bitch” type now…but I think namecalling is ridiculous. It’s not ok to make fun of people for being either overweight, or thin, or ANYTHING. Saying it’s ok to make fun of skinny women because we supposedly haven’t had to put up with what heavy women deal with, is plain and simple CRAP. To try to justify it is bullsh$t. Enough with the namecalling and insults. I think we oughta go back to what many of our parents taught us: if you can’t say something nice about someone…keep your mouth shut.

    • Roberta Andreas says:

      “Roberta and Anna’s logic, it’s ok to say “skinny bitches suck””

      You really need to read what I wrote a lot more carefully, dear. I’ve never said anything of the sort. Care to quote me?

      I said that society is a lot more nasty and vicious to fat girls than to skinny girls, and trying to compare the two is ridiculous. Like I said, next time I hear someone say that you can never been too rich or too fat or see “no skinny chicks” bumperstickers, then I’ll maybe start agreeing that it’s the same. Until then, this “anti-skinny” thing is being blown up into something it’s not.

      • Jeanette says:

        Look below i posted links to shirts that say no skinny bitches,and i have seren people wear them.
        i have also seen many many facebook groups dedicated to how much BETTER full figured women are to skinny women

      • Nick says:

        Former skinny girl here. I was told that I “looked like a 12 year old boy” until I was in my mid twenties. I was called anorexic. I was consistently told that I needed to eat something, and my eating habits were closely scrutinized. If I happened to want a salad, I was obviously starving myself. I had a friend of my stepmother’s who was constantly telling her that she thought I had an eating disorder. I did not. Strangers would ask me how much I weighed. I would sit in the company of curvy women who would start talking about someone who looked like me and say that she wasn’t a “real woman.” It was humiliating, and it happened on a regular basis. It hurts just as much as being judged for being overweight. Society is nasty to women, period.

  39. icee_believes says:

    All of my life, I struggled with gaining weight. I was considered obese, lightly, but still pretty much unhealthy. Then, at college, something in my mind and life changed, and I got in shape: 5’65” and 155 pounds, size 9 (when stretch!). Reading all the above, I have to say I am almost scared of the judgement of others, even after loosing almost 50 pounds. I worked so hard to get there: no dangerous diet, just training and carring to give my body the “good” food it needed. Actually, I remember that one time, a girl came to me: I recall she was slim, but she just couldn’t admit it. She came to me asking how I was doing it! She told me how in good shape I was and that she wanted the same so much. At the time, I almost didn’t believe it. But after thinking about it, even if I am king of sorry for her thinking of herself she was fat even if she wasn’t, I am just happy to see that there are woman who are ready to encourage others rather that getting them down because they have reich their goal and not them. When you just LOVE food (and food loves to stick on you…), being in good, healthy shape is REALLY difficult. And you certainly do not want others bashing on you for achieving it. I saw both size of it, and I just want to say that the only way we will be able to free ourselves from the pression the media puts on us, is by sticking together.

  40. Jeanette says:

    Roberta Andreas so there are no shirts bashing skinny chicks huh?
    http://www.zazzle.com/eat_you_skinny_bitch_tshirt-235512406972968693

    that one says “eat you skinny bitch”

    http://www.zazzle.com/i_hate_skinny_bitches_tee_tshirt-235778439269198182

    that one says “i hate skinny bitches”

    I even found one that said “no skinny bitches”

  41. Kristen says:

    To be honest I think the author of this article missed the point of the picture. The pictures of the stars of the past was not just about body size as much as it was about the glamour and appeal of the women which can be seen in their bodies, hair, dress and charisma. You can be thin and healthy the message of the pictures does not dispute that.

  42. ifsogirl says:

    It’s funny, most people are saying how bad they feel for, or how bad they feel because they are/were skinny chicks. And that anyone who is angry is wrong.

    I was a skinny girl, I got tall before I gained weight. At 12 I was 5ft 8 and 100lbs, everyone made fun of me, not only for being tall but for being flat chested and skinny. By 15 I was 150lbs and was thusly told I was fat and still didn’t have much of a bustline. I then spent years trying to atain what was at the time very glamorous, the heroin chique look. I managed to get down to 105 to 110lbs depending on the day and how much I had been eating/restricting. I’m 35 now and still struggle with weight. I have had 2 children and weigh somewhere around 150 to 160, I don’t own a scale so I’m not really sure.

    Everyone assumes that all women look at that photo of Marylin and the skinny woman and hate the thin one. I feel sad for her and all the women who feel like they have to look like her. I worry that she promotes an unhealthy ideal, I wonder if she got that thin through extreeme dieting. I wonder if she cry’s at night because she ate over her alotted calories for the day. I wonder if gaining 5 or even just 1 lb makes her feel worthless.

    I think alot of women are not angry at skinny girls as a group. We are angry at the media at making us feel like we have to look a certain way. Especially when it is so unatainable for most of us. I think women like myself who suffer from ED are scared for their children. I’m scared for myself frankly. I’ve gained weight over the holiday. I immedieately want to stop eating, have to tell myself that it’s the wrong choice, fight with it every day. While I stand there and look at my normal body and images of women older than me, who’ve had children looking so much thinner, toned, better. How do I compete with what I am told is beauty?

    Unfortunatally it is easier to hate a person than it is an entity. Being angry at Big Media seems hopeless. Being angry at a person in a photo, blaming them for being in the spotlight, it’s easier, puts a name or at least a face to their anger.

    • Crystal says:

      First, allow me to say that I hope things are better for you. I wouldn’t wish ED on my worst enemy. I hope you have finally come to see the beauty in yourself, because you are beautiful no matter what anyone says.

      Second, while I agree with some of your statement, I disagree with other points you made.

      The media promotes an unrealistic image but at some point people must make a conscious effort to fight back against negative programming. It is easier said than done, but not impossible.

      Blaming the media is all too convenient. Being mad at thin women who embody the ideals of Western society is all too simple. It is much more difficult for a person to love what she sees in the mirror, especially if there has been no active resistance to what she hears or sees in the media or from family and friends.

      I’m not sure why you feel sad for the thinner woman or assume that she deprives herself of food. She could be perfectly happy and healthy and well-nourished. We can never assume anything about a person by the way they look. Some people are naturally ectomorphic and stay that way no matter how much they eat.

      But you were 100% right with this comment: “It is easier to hate a person than it is an entity”. This seems to be the root of it all, the pain and the anger.

      As to what you said about seeing women older than yourself who are thinner or in better shape…it is natural to make comparisons and to feel bad about yourself due to social conditioning. I can empathize with that because I believe we’ve all been there, skinny girls included. I’ve hated my body most of my life but now I’m trying to be kinder to myself.

      But then there was this comment: “How do I compete with what I am told is beauty?” This is part of the problem. People are generally competitive, but what it comes down to is this…there will always be somebody prettier or thinner or who embodies some characteristic that is socially acceptable. No matter how tiny one woman might be, there will always be somebody who is thinner or in better shape. That’s just the way it is. It isn’t something that anyone can win because no one is perfect.

      Who is to say that those other women are more beautiful than you just because their bodies are in better shape? You are beautiful. Don’t be a slave to the media. We all have imperfections, including the women who seem to be absolutely perfect in every way. You are a work in progress.

  43. Lola says:

    This article and writer are very naive. They day women stop tearing each other down will never come! We are all conditioned this way from such an early age. As a writer you are merely only scratching the surface of all the underlying issues. It is what it is, It won’t be fixed in our lifetimes so let’s all just move on. By the way I don’t find either of these women attractive-I like Brunettes! Signed, Skinny Model

  44. Gabbs says:

    Society goes to extremmes. The past decades theres been an obsession with being skinny, which I find unhealthy. I preffer skinny looks, but also know a more voluptuous body is also attractive. But I feel the pendulum on the topic is a bit unbalanced, or better said, unrealistic, when obese woman want ot convince everybody that they look gorgeous. I mean, some can have great personality, adn some can be attracted to large women, but generally, people are more attracted to an average size woman. No offense, just my opinion…

  45. TheProgressiveMama says:

    i totally agree with you. i happen to be a “size 2″. i eat healthy and this seems to keep me thin. even after having a baby 3 weeks ago i’m already back into my pre-pregnancy clothing. maybe i just have a fast metabolism, maybe it’s just genes, maybe my healthy vegan diet is keeping me thin. i was called names my entire life for being “too thin”. people would say i was a twig, but really underneath my clothing i have curves. i actually have quite big hips, and many friends and family are surprised when they see me in a bathing suit because they imagine me as stick skinny, when really i’m curvy skinny. yes, i can wear a smaller size than most woman but it’s natural for me. i am short though, so i don’t fit the super model figure, but i’ve had girls treat me horribly just because i was thinner than them. i totally believe that every healthy body is beautiful. i love when i see curvy thicker women not afraid to wear to a bikini at the beach. i also really love pregnant bodies, stretch marks and all. it’s just so beautiful to me. i remember when i was 18 years old i had a male friend ask me “why are all your friends fat? don’t you have any skinny friends you can hook me up with?” i was in shock that he said this to me (i stopped hanging out with him after he said that to me) because none of my friends seemed overweight to me, yeah they weren’t my size, but they were still healthy looking size. society has even trained men to think that size 2 is the optimal size for a girl to be. it’s sad.

  46. D.M. says:

    I’m a referee for a flat-track rollerderby league. One of the things I love about the sport is that, yes, it showcases the players in a sometimes sexy or provocative way, but it also showcases athletes; and the women who play are thin and not, tall and short, narrow and wide, large and small. Regardless of what they look like, or are shaped like, the sport lets them show off their skill, strength, and athleticism. And they are all absolutely beautiful.

    • Hell yeah. I’m one of the definitely-not-thin derby girls, and I am really proud of myself and my body. I’m constantly trying to bring thinner friends “up” from their nagging self-hatred.

      Seriously – if every woman spent a couple of months in roller derby the world would be a better place!! MMA and kickboxing too (any sport that makes you feel strong and powerful!)

  47. sara says:

    I’m sorry but this article is crap ….. Ofcourse we shouldn’t as a society put women down of anysize but If Marilyn was around to day the media would type cast her as a big girl which she clearly was not. As for the girl on the right of the pick she does look (in my opinion ) to be unhealthy looking. The author says she looks at the girls legs and sees muscle but I see how oddly perportioned her leg is compared to her hips her framing looks odd visually you would think she needs to gain a few pounds. The point is I’m a big girl my best friend in the world is 5’9″ and naturally a size 4 but most women are not naturally a size two and most I don’t think need to struggle to be a size they were never meant to be. Eat healthy exercise and be the size god intended you to be.

  48. SO says:

    The problem with any kind of “body bashing” is that women are hurting each other when we need to be banding together. As far as I’m concerned it’s just another way for men to make us turn on each other instead of them. However I will say that boney isn’t attractive (at least not to me) and women need to stop starving themselves in order to be attractive to men.

  49. Katy says:

    The way to respond to the patriarchy controlling our bodies is not to make other women feel shit for the way they look. I honestly can’t believe anyone, especially self-proclaimed feminists, would try to defend that with “social justice” language.

  50. Nancy says:

    I actually quit my last job because I was harassed/bullied by other women in the office after I lost 25 pounds. They spread rumors that I was bulimic/anorexic too. I know it seems like I shouldn’t have left but it was very difficult. Anyway, I was very healthy. I did a lot of weight lifting and I got in shape by eating a lot of healthy food.

  51. Nancy says:

    @SO, I like your comment until the end because you may be assuming too much when you see a thin women. When there were rumors being spread that I was anorexic, I was eating 2000-2500 calories a day. These people didn’t understand “fitness.” They imagined the only way to be thin was to starve.

  52. NS says:

    I must agree with this 100%. I’ve been bouncing around a size 26 and down to a 16 (haven’t seen that since age 17 and I’m 32) and I have infertility and PCOS. We all must be aware of our bodys reactions to our enviorment and have to practice self control. I’d give my left leg to be a size 12 but that’s no one’s fault but my own and my problem to fix if I love myself consistantly and enough to prove my current self wrong. It’s a long, hard road to have to travel but these are my cards I’ve been delt. Plain and simple. Society favors “less is more”. Anger towards this only shows a lack of self control and self esteem. Good luck to me and all of you to find a balance!

  53. Toni Gonzalez says:

    Im 21, im around 5ft 10, about 14 stone, 14 upto around 18 size depending on the style of clothing, I’ve always been on the chubby side since school, only time i Eva got to 9-10 stone was when i got back from holiday and had been unwell, i would love to b 10 stone again but this time through me working to it, rather then being ill and not being able to choose what i ate, but i am a foodie and im not really big on exercise unless am really in th mood, my bmi does put me in ‘overweight’ section, i wuld love to be healthier, whether that means that when i am healthier my body will stay curvey or I’ll go thin, i don’t think i actually care as long as i look after myself for once, i would love for all different types of women to stick together rather then bitch, what i found with that picture comparison was just the shock at the difference in the sence that who eva created that pic sided with curvey by choosing a famous person on th curvey side all glammed up for th pic against a thinner person on the beach that was made to look awful, in the sence that most people are not photogenic 24/7, im not saying th thinner lady is ugly, just that they didn’t get a pic of her at her best which is what im guessing the creator was afta, same as im guessing there will soon be comparison pix perceiving thinner to be betta and chubbier to be not, this has got to stop, we are all beautiful in our own right, im beautiful and i need to believe it more often and get out of general self hating myself, although there will always b a few pix of me i don’t find flattering, but that is me, you don’t judge a book by its cover, or more adapt u don’t judge a person by what size they are, at the same time i think we need to take things depending on situation, less seriously, im happy to get and receive harmless banter from friends about size etc. Coz doing that i find helps take th bullshit nd hate away is my opinion, tho depends on ur line that can’t b crossed, i think taking fear and hate away nd leaving endearing happiness is good for th soul, wished id done that when i got bullied, shoulda just laughed in there face for being silly, walked away nd ignore there crap, tho with this topic its harder to do when th media put us against each other, and making some of us unconsciously or consciously aware of what should be defined as beautiful, it can cause more pain at times, we should be only privileged of being who we are, unique, different, one of a kind, from all backgrounds, creeds, sexual orientation, we should treat each other with respect if u want to be respected as it should be earned, we should all be equal in each others eye, but still be who we are, i don’t know what th future holds, whether im healthy or unhealthy (one day im gonna die so im gonna enjoy life how i want), whether im gonna b thin, chubby or big, i don’t care as long as we learn to love our selves, all we can do isn’t it? We should all accept we are all different, yet equal to each other :) xxx

  54. Jon85 says:

    Why do women wear makeup and perfume? Because they’re ugly, and they stink.

  55. Jen says:

    I would just like to add my own two cents here..

    What you’re asking the larger woman to do is to forget all of the hate and negativity and all of a sudden forget that they have been bashed and treated like shit just so everyone can be equal. Don’t read me wrong, I am very much agreeing with you. However, you have to understand that everyone needs a chance to fight and make up, only after everyone has had their chance to shine. You can’t expect anyone to give up the competition unless they’ve gotten a pat on the back as well. You’re arguing two different things here: The media, and the citizens.

    In the media, image is WHAT MATTERS. Truly, image is the only thing that matters.

    In the public, personality matters. We all know it. Deep within us all, we know image is nothing. At least, that’s my belief..

    The media isn’t pressing an image of perfection into people, the media is pressing the NEED for an image into the people. If everyone woman in the world turned skinny, they would only find a different image for you all to compete for.

    The only way this will stop is if media just stops completely. If there is no image. If on every page and ad and store catalog there is a skinny woman, fat woman, black woman, white woman, asian woman, short woman, tall woman, etc. Until the media forces into the sponge brains of the world that EQUALITY is the image, then it will never be the image.

    There will always be competition, because nobody wants to be who they are. Competition is natural, even in the animal kingdom. Male birds must be flashy to gain a mate, female dogs decide who is the biggest, strongest male and will only mate to have good babies. We can’t get rid of it, it will be a neverending battle. Even if a million of us came together for equality in women, the truth is that only the people within the group will be happy. There is no way to get everyone in the group. The world is made of competition.

    Currently, fat woman simply plain and true do not have a voice in the fashion and sex world. They just don’t. They know that even though they bash skinny woman left and right and scream at the top of their lungs that they deserve every right to be beautiful, it doesn’t matter whether that makes them a good or bad person because in their minds, nobody will hear their true voices anyway. They are degrading themselves by doing this to the skinny women of the world. Anyone who posts that sort of thing should be looked at as a troll, and they don’t deserve a right to decide what is fair and what isn’t.

    You just have to love yourself. If you truly want this to happen, make it happen. Make ads with every kind of woman. Get rid of perfection. Think purely in your imagination and creativity, and ignore everything that has to do with competition. Only when people can be purely themselves, will peace between women happen.

    • Jen says:

      Also, in continuation, I’m not sure men are worth all the damned trouble. XD

    • Crystal says:

      Well said, Jen. That is a very profound statement.

      I’m with you up until this point…”the media is pressing the need for an image into the people”.

      I won’t deny that the media promotes unrealistic and somewhat unhealthy ideals, but people also have the choice to unplug and filter out the media in favor of more positive things. Now there are more resources to promote positivity for bigger women than there were in the past. I know it is small, but it’s one step forward. No one is forcing people to look at skinny models or to emulate celebrities. That is a choice. When I was much thinner, I admired women with a similar body type, but I still appreciated all types of bodies. Now that I’m more curvy, I tend to admire people who are a bit soft and curvy as well. There is no reason to spend time obsessing over extremely thin celebrities and wanting to be like them.

      I rarely, if ever, see women who look like me in the media. My ethnic background is underrepresented, as well as my body type. I constantly receive verbal messages about how I’m not pretty enough because I don’t have long blonde hair and big boobs, in addition to being non-white. I have been made to feel like I’m unfeminine because I don’t have certain physical attributes. Any woman who doesn’t fit the narrow standards of beauty will be bashed and treated like shit. This isn’t something that only happens to larger women, although larger women do face a great deal of cruelty and discrimination.

      But I guess somewhere along the way I decided not to internalize all the bullshit touted by the media. I still struggle with my self-esteem and body image, but that is due to how people treat me in real life, not because of the media. I watch TV and use the Internet and read magazines like everybody else but I’ve made an effort to resist what the media tries to spoonfeed me.

      If more women would simply take a stand and define beauty on their own terms, the media would lose some of its hold over them. I know it is difficult but it can be done.

  56. Toni Gonzalez says:

    Jen, I see and understand ur points, tho it wuld b awesome if the media portrayed every single person as beautiful rather then favoring a couple, and as i said ‘depending on the situation’ we should take the hate out, ‘rise against hate’ I’ve had experience with bullies where I’ve been spat on, insulted, had my hair pulled, when i was on crutches and i was in class some kids walking past my room had nicked one of them, I’ve had juice thrown at me, I’ve walked home from school and had flour chucked at me, jewelry stolen, and more, and I’ve been in roughly i think 4-5 fights where i had enuff and stood up to myself, I’ve neva shinned at school or eva, neva really had a pat on the back, I’ve toughened up in my life through my experiences, but i still try to be a decent person, being caring and nice ect. And through my experiences taught me that those fights and bullies weren’t my fault coz i kept my nose clean, it was because im betting something in there life made them lash out, im past hating, i pity them and hope one day they get to where they want in life, id neva be friends with them because of th past but i wish them well for the future, and i don’t care if i shine or not, coz the people that i care about and care about me, see the shine, i don’t feel th need to make that important in my life, i just want to do what i can to get good in a job and in life in general and earn what i have, if ppl see me shine is coz that’s what they see in me, just by being myself, oops think i might have gone slightly off topic perhaps, im sorry xxx

  57. Toni Gonzalez says:

    I think (hopefully going slightly back on to topic) i got bullied, partly for not following the trend, i was tall for my age, my hair was a nightmare, thick as hell, and i wasn’t slim built like most of the popular kids in school, and i favoured getting stuck into my schoolwork then fuck about in class, i did change later on, only in growing up and liking what i liked, not liking other things, and beca,e my own unique self, i have my own sort of style, and im becoming comfortable with who i am, i should have been straight away tho, but that’s what good and bad influences can do x

  58. Angela says:

    I learned a long time ago that the grass is not always greener on the otherside. That really skinny girls wish they could gain weight and look more volumptuous, and larger girls wish they could lose weight and look skinny.. What I don’t hear is the reason why woman are not happy with themselves, why they must put each ohter down, why we feel we must live up to some unreachable standard.. So let me tell you why. MEN!!! We are all trying to look taller, or thinner, bigger boobed for men. When we stop looking for approval from men, and start to seek approval from our selves this argument between woman will never end….

    • Anne says:

      Right on Angela. I was in a relationship with a guy a few years back. I am a size 12UK/12NZ/8-10US, and my boyfriend at the time made a huge deal out of it (even thought I never even gained a gram plus I worked out more + ate better than he did!) But his viewpoint on it was that skinny = healthy. I’m not saying that skinny people aren’t healthy, because I know plenty of people out there who are, but I think size doesn’t necessarily determine whether or not you are healthy. The problem was that he was a slimmer guy (not a stick, but he was very tall and slimmer-built – but he had a beergut :P), and he said he grew up around skinny people (well, so he claimed). He made me feel so bad about myself, I thought of suicide for over a year. I really felt worthless. It wasn’t untill a year or so later something inside me clicked. I realized it was just a big load of rubbish. I felt bad about being curvy (I am slightly above the ‘normal’ weight, but definitely not fat); it was ridiculous. I had let a man decide who I should be (I went on a diet twice to try and keep him happy!) One day I pretty much told him to get screwed. There was absolutely nothing wrong with me, other than the fact I let a moron tell me I wasn’t good enough, based on my looks. The point of my ramble is, be your own judge – don’t ever let anybody tell you whether you are good enough or not. I can do whatever I want with my body, and if I want to be a “fat” size 12, so be it, at least I am happy with it :D!

  59. FC says:

    I am active and healthy and a comfortable size 10. I could and have been skinnier, but I don’t need to be. I am happy with where I am.

  60. Amy says:

    I love to work out (and I do) and I try to eat healthy and I consider myself thin and/or athletic.

    When working with women I feel nothing but ostracizing on their part onto me because of THEIR insecurity….And I do occasionally get this from men as well.

    It’s MY body and I take care of it.

    I feel that, as a person, I am no different from them.

    Thank you for this article.

  61. Hannah says:

    All I know is that I was raised to respect people regardless of race, gender, size, etc. Yet I have been told by co-workers (all women) that I was too thin/needed to eat more, & a few even said they hated me. Maybe they were joking, but I found it hurtful. Especially because I’m very healthy & have never had an eating disorder of any kind. I agree that hating on each other is not the solution.
    P.S. I’m 5 ft 3 with a pear shaped body (small breasts/curvy hips & thighs), so I can’t really say the media represents me either.

  62. hahaha says:

    If you all would stop fighting on the internet about how butt-hurt you are about your bodies and went on a run instead, there would be no issue here. who gives a fuck what others say is right? I for one only worry about how I see myself and how i feel. I have a man who loves me no matter how much weight I’ve gained since we’ve been together, and friends who could care less about my size.
    GROW UP. and start doing things for yourself and not for others. if you feel disgusted with yourself, make a change. If you hear people talk about you… they’re morons and have no life.
    Stop playing the blame game. It’s sickening… “well i can stoop this low because everyone has hated me my whole life… blah blah” go cry a river… seriously… you are all American woman… some of the most privileged humans in the ENTIRE world… no wonder other countries hate us… while we’re crying about how the media portrays fat girls and skinny girls, others are actually starving, people are dying, and wars are being fought. shut up and do something.

    • Jazz says:

      Hypocrite. Why don’t you stop preaching and go do something instead of trolling other people’s sites?
      And you know what? If I ever have a daughter… and outside forces keep telling her shes not good enough because of her BODY and that her only worth in life is her BODY, well shes not going to have the same confidence you or I have. I want her to grow up knowing shes worth more than her figure. You go fight hunger with your comments. I am going to fight for my fellow women.

    • Nancy says:

      I agree. Please people, if you want to improve your health, then put effort into it. It requires some work. If you’re not willing to do that, that is fine. Just be honest with your priorities. Maturity should put the aesthetics part of this into perspective. It is a little self-involved to worry so much about appearance. If the media is so brain-washing, please turn off the t.v., stop buying beauty magazines. Honestly, the more distance you put between yourself and the media (whether you’re a size 0 or size 20) is going to do you a world of good.

      I’m quite perturbed with all the comments about how women compete, workout, lose weight for men. REALLY? That’s so sad. I only do it for my health, sanity, brain function, nerve function. People, you have internal organs that need care. This is not all about outside appearance. What do I care what Joe Blow thinks of me? He’s probably a loser anyway ;)

  63. Jazz says:

    The thing is.. I am seeing this picture on MENS profiles more than womens. Its sick. I am one of those size 2 girls that can’t gain weight.. literally. I don’t count calories.. I eat SO unhealthy.. don’t work out. But I am bashed CONSTANTLY for being a skinny bleep. My best friend growing up was a full bodied girl and I wanted to trade bodies with her so bad. Why can’t we just be happy we have bodies? If someone has a problem with the way you look, well it’s their problem. Lets keep it this way.

  64. Arathi says:

    Thank you so much for writing this article.

  65. Athena says:

    All my life, my weight has fluctuated. Teen years, I was 5 foot 11 and about 115 in a size 1.
    Now I’m the mother of two beautiful boys, approaching my 30s and over 200 pounds (a lot of it in my humungo boobs) and a size 18. But you know what… I’m completely happy with my body even just having gave birth to an 11 pound baby 6 weeks ago! I see a lot of anger on these posts, and its so unfortunate that we do come against eachother. Just as I found a husband who loves my body just the way it is, you find friends who love you for who you are.. not your scale number (eeeeevil) or pants size. We really have to come together as women and help our society progress even further. We tend to bash eachother for clothing styles, hair, chest size, proffessions… etc. But as women we have come so far in society! What’s keeping us behind on this issue? Love yourselves ladies. Whether your tall, short, thin, or curvy.. you are beautiful. You nurture, love, and commit to others with such passion as your God intended. Why not nurture, love, and commit to being pleased with who you are inside and out? And stop hurting eachother! We are strong, beautiful women .. no matter what beautiful, and individual packaging we may come in.

  66. [...] just found this article online which also links to this article which comments on a what was actually apparently a fairly [...]

  67. Shannon says:

    There are a lot of people here talking about skinny privilege and I would like to take this opportunity to address some of the issues caused by that argument.

    1. Skinny privilege, while it undoubtedly exists, tends to apply to a narrow group of slim women, i.e. slim but curvy, slim with ample breasts and buttocks, slim but not underweight by BMI standards. If someone falls BELOW that ideal, they do not benefit from skinny privilege because

    2. While very thin women are frequently represented in the fashion industry etc. they are also frequently criticised by the public. For every catwalk model who is skinny, there are at least 50 people commenting on how “sick” and “anorexic” and “boyish” she looks. So what, some designers put them in a frock, and that means that skinny women should ignore the 50+ negative comments about them? How is that one positive opinion likely to be more influential on self esteem than the 50+ negative opinions?

    3. Skinny privilege, even though it exists, does not guarantee that a person who fits that ideal has great self esteem. While people who are skinny-bashing are fighting “the system” they are inevitably causing harm to the unseen individual. When someone identifies their own bodies with another’s, they can take on board all the positive and negatives said about that other person’s body. So when you say Keira Knightley looks like a boy and she should go eat a sandwich because only a paedophile would be interested in her, women who resemble Keira can then take that as an attack on how they look and feel like shit. It doesn’t matter that Keira was put on a Chanel ad; that isn’t sufficient to counteract such horrible negativity, nor does it justify the negativity.

    4. Each individual woman’s experience of low-self esteem and self-hate is valid. Just because someone is skinny does not mean that they suffer any less than someone who is not; you do not know their personal situation and you have no right to say that they shouldn’t feel bad about negative things said about them, because you feel bad about negative things said about you. How is a skinny girl who tries to avoid looking in the mirror and scrutinises her body every time she sees it and spends hours upon hours obsessing over how undesirable her body is any different from a larger girl going through the exact same experience? They are both suffering equally.

    To say that they should just suck it up when other people tell them they look terrible is hypocritical, unless you are just going to suck it up, too, when someone says something bad about larger women.

    At the end of the day, every single statement about body image, body hate, and body-bashing comes back to an individual; and individual saying it, and individual reading it and an individual processing the meaning and applying it to their own individual circumstances.

    I truly believe that women can unite. But until we can defend each other and fight the system without belittling others, we will never win.

    Though this is ignoring, of course, my belief that women should not derive their self-worth from how they look. You are more than something to be looked at.

  68. JM says:

    Thank you, Ali. Your article is insightful, and speaks to women about loving ourselves and each other. It speaks of kindness and, yes, a true feminism.

    At 5’1″ and 98 lbs., I’ve been on the slender, petite size all of my life. I was glared at from the age of 11 by middle-aged women as I ate hot fudge sundaes. In high school, female schoolmates joked that I looked like I was ten. In my twenties, while still living in Wisconsin, a woman would walk up to me at least once a week and say, “You’re so skinny, are you anorexic?” People don’t realize how hurtful it can be. Coming to L.A., I realized what a relief it was not to hear those words on a regular basis. It’s important to support each other, not tear each other down– whatever our size :-)

  69. RW says:

    May I offer a guys perspective on this for just a moment?

    What I hear being said by most of the comments on here is “I don’t feel attractive because of someone else’s comments or the expectations set by the media.” All stereotypes aside, do you know what is truly attractive? A woman who is comfortable in her own skin; a woman who is self-confident without becoming arrogant. If “beauty” were the only thing that matters, (and that is a very subjective attribute, based soley on an individual’s likes and dislikes) why do so many extra-marital affairs involve someone with a completely different body type than their spouse would have expected? Because 9 times out of 10, the start of the affair had very little to do with sexual attraction – their was an emotional connection first that developed into physical attraction.

    Let me offer 2the opposite examples of what I’m talking about:

    1. I went to school with a girl who was in all the right social circles, dance, cheer – she was very popular and both guys and girls hovered around her like moths to a flame. One afternoon we wound up walking home together and as we passed the front of the school, some guys started cat-calling and whistling at her. Her whole face fell and she indicated how ugly and cheap that made her feel. I remember feeling shocked! She had it all together, had the “perfect” body type and everything, right? Yet she was just as unhappy as most women with “less than perfect proportions”.

    2. I participated in a weekly youth group, and one of the young ladies played guitar. I confess, I had a bit of a crush. She was beautiful to me. One day, as I was trying to figure out why she was so pretty to me, I realized it had very little to do with her looks. She would have been considered “too skinny” by the world’s standards, and her face was rather plain. Yet she was truly radiant. Why? And it dawned on me that her inner beauty out-shined the exterior. She was comfortable with who she was, and she genuinely cared about other people. When she spoke with you, you didn’t notice physical flaws or imperfections. All you noticed was a beautiful young lady who was genuinely interested in the people around her and what they had to say.

    Please, put the stereotypes aside. I think women in general are beautiful. And I think what’s inside her mind/heart make her far more beautiful (or ugly) than anything she could ever do to the outside of her body. No amount of dieting or makeup will cover up a bad attitude or lack of self-esteem. And no physical imperfection can contain the inner beauty of a woman who has a healthy sense of identity and genuinely cares for the people around her. Please don’t worship at the altar of what society thinks. You will never eliminate the haters. They will ALWAYS find something to hate. Instead, ask yourself if the person “offering their opinion” is really qualified to give it, and move on. If your doctor says your too fat or too skinny, you probably need to make some changes. But please don’t obsess about your weight or make changes because you don’t fit someone else’s stereotype of what beauty is. Let your inner beauty shine through and you will be attractive regardless of your body type. A friend of mine once said that “Everyone lights up a room -and some when they enter and some when they leave.” Which are you?

  70. James says:

    You absurd, patently ridiculous women. There are far more important things going on than your image of your body. You narcissistic, ugly and obsessive pieces of trash need to get your priorities sorted.

  71. Jess says:

    Man… I am so happy someone posted exactly what I’ve been feeling seeing all these links and images pop up recently. I am all for plus-sized pride, but just as Ali wrote, that’s no reason to put down thin girls or try to make them feel less attractive. I’m not a super thin person myself, I’m curvy but still small I guess. I believe that it’s important to stay healthy, so I go to the gym. I started out at an all women gym because I’m self conscious, but got comments EVERY time I went in telling me that I “didn’t need to be there because I was as skinny as a pole”, which was obviously very unfair and frustrating.
    As long as you’re a healthy person, be proud of your body shape. We’re all aware that magazines photoshop the hell out of people’s bodies. We’re aware that nearly all of the runway models are significantly smaller than the average woman. So stop comparing yourself to what you know isn’t even real. No one has perfect, blemish free skin, absolutely no cellulite, a little extra fat here & there, extra hair where it’s unwanted or some other possibly unwanted trait… so just be happy with yourself and stop thinking you can achieve that perfection that’s created by a computer program.

  72. Part of the problem with this is the pushing by the mainstream health “authorities” that weight gain has to do with “will power” and “self control.” Neither of those things have *anything* to do with weight gain or fat storage.

    Weight gain and where your body stores fat is regulated by hormones, and can become dis-regulated by disease, use of drugs/medication, and/or damage to your DNA/RNA/mitochondria. The complete lack of focus by the medical establishment and the “nutritionists” in the area of biochemistry is a complete disservice to the field of science and health, not to mention a complete disservice to humanity.

    #itsthebiochemistrystupid

    • Sheryl says:

      Thank you!!! I saw several physical trainers when I first started seeing weight gain and the first thing I was always asked was “have you considered portion control”? I immediately fired them and looked for another.

      Finally after keeping track of what I ate for a week, one told me “it isn’t WHAT you eat, but the fact that what you eat in a week should be what you eat in a day” .. I was eating too little and my body was in starvation mode. Now if someone had not assumed 2 years before when I started struggling, that it was because I eat a few big macs in a sitting, I might have gotten healthy faster.

      On the other hand my sister is so skinny people have called her anorexic. She isn’t, her metabolism is just so fast that she can’t possibly eat enough to gain an ounce, no matter how hard she tries. Very few people don’t struggle with weight/image. It is a sad fact of today’s world.

  73. llee1279 says:

    Wow – look at all the responses. First off – I agree with the tone of this article. Both women were/are beautiful. I think we as women also forget there are 3 distinct body types: ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. These are builds – genetics more than anything.
    Ectomorphs are the naturally slim, and usually tall and slim. This is the girl in high school that could eat anything and never change shape. The typical example we get are the fashion models.
    Mesomorphs are the athletes. They have an athletic frame and can build muscle easily. Endomorphs are the curvy build. These people have naturally low metabolisms and have a difficult time loosing weight and gaining muscle.
    While the builds and genetics behind them shouldn’t provide excuses, they should be considered. The woman who just can’t gain weight can be just as frustrated and the woman who has cut back to 1500 calories and walks daily but can’t seem to loose weight!
    Personally I’m 5’10″ and a size 20. I know I’m overweight and I’m working at it. My frustration tends to come from the ” eat this way and drop 2 dress sizes in a week” – this marketing ploy doesn’t seem to be aimed at those of use who probably really need to loose weight. It takes more than 10 lbs for me to see it let alone drop a dress size.

    I think we need to cut supermarkets a break. Maybe healthy foods should be what is allowed on WIC and food stamps. Nothing processes, nothing with MSG, only whole foods with little processing. Lets make chicken tenders truly chicken tenders with not breading that we freeze, and provide frozen veggies without sauces. Let’s insist that healthy fresh foods are what we want, let’s teach our children how to cook and not just how to use the microwave!

  74. llee1279 says:

    One last thing – maybe we need to just go to healthy and unhealthy.. You can be 5’9″ an size 4 and still be unhealthy if all you eat is junk food and you don’t have exercise in your life. You have also be 5″10″ and a size 14/16 and be healthy with good muscle tone, and an active healthy diet!

  75. Natalie says:

    After reading through the comments and article, I believe that there are a lot of interesting and valid points that have been made. I agree that there is a problem with the media controlling beauty, because beauty should be deemed by each individual (beauty is in the eye of the beholder). I don’t discredit anyone, large or small, who makes negative comments to another person’s image, because it has been ingrained into our society to judge. Should there be change, yes. It is going to be easy, hell no. I think that acceptance of diversity is one of the hardest things for us to do.

    I can’t say that I have never judged someone based on outward appearance, I’m sure that would be a complete lie for most of us. But if you accept yourself, however you are, that is the first step to accepting others for being unique… this is what makes us all special. My personal philosophy is that you can’t love others until you learn to love yourself.

  76. Jade says:

    My two cents. I have been a skinny girl and I am now a big girl. So I can speak from both ends of the spectrum. I have never judged anyone for their weight even when I was skinny because I had a cousin who was always a little bigger but one of the most beautiful girls I knew. However, skinny girls have privileges. Clothing is an obstacle and not a privilege no matter your size because everyone is built different but compare the “plus” size section to the non-plus size you will find that in most stores non-plus has more selections but again I do not consider that a privilege as much as a convenience. The privileges though well; employment I walk in with my size 22′s and you walk in with your size 2′s with the exact same credentials and I can assure you the size 2 will more than likely get the job and if we both get it the size 2 will statistically make more then the size 22.(Google council on size and weight discrimination to see the facts from the studies). Statistically being thin has undeniable privileges. Doctors even discriminate against larger pregnant patients there are some docs who will not take them on or help them. Trust me as a bigger girl I miss being skinny because there were perks. There shouldn’t be it should be equality for all but its just not – blame the media for telling us what is pretty and what is not but its the truth.

    • Jade says:

      Let me clarify one thing I am not a fan of BIG is beautiful and I do not think skin and bones is beautiful . I think healthy and happy is beautiful over all the rest.

    • Dawn says:

      That’s your experience, Jade. My experience is that GAINING 25 pounds gave me much more privilege. Size 2 used to be an unattainable goal for me because I was much thinner than that. I am now a size 2 at age 37, but most of my life I couldn’t even fill out a size 00. I still get harassed sometimes, but not like I used to when I had a BMI of 16. So while being thin may have privilege, being so thin that strangers stop, stare, and verbally abuse is not.

  77. Mav says:

    The issue is along with some of these photos the size 2 woman they show can be unhealthy because the way they got that thin. But the photos/memes don’t explain that! They just say like this is prettier then this. And yes as long as your being relatively healthy it doesnt matter what size your body is. You are still beautiful. I really dont like the way the count BMI’s, if your “overweight” or “obese” your not healthy. The issue is what it doesnt take into account, is that my butt and calves are pure muscle, and I have a bigger bust. I may have a little extra cellulite I wouldnt mind getting rid of, But I work on it! What is really the mind blow is how they portray obese on the tele, then tell you YOU are obese. Or what they portray is underweight on the tele, and tell you YOU are underweight regardless if you look like that or not it freaks you out! To me, Ive always considered Obese to be like 300lbs + and underweight to be 90lbs- (depending on your bone structure and height etc.)
    But me, who can weigh between 150-200lbs is considered obese too. Example, even as a 5’7 woman, 150 lbs is considered overweight. EVEN WITH MUSCLE! We have to modify this media/healthy weight structure, what IS considered healthy & beautiful. BMI info just doesnt take enough into account to be your only info to tell you your healthy anymore.

  78. Lety says:

    Reading some of these comments Is some what sad to see so many women bashing on each other. There is no need to hate each other no matter what size. I agree with the points that larger women are not portrayed in the media as much as a women who is relatively smaller. Yes women who are of a smaller stature are privileged. Here’s the deal, You are bullied for being to fat you can be bullied for being to skinny, to tall, to short. But what is unattractive to ONE person is beautiful to another. I myself am a larger women and i have no problem with that, I work out and I’m attempting to lose a few pounds to get healthier. NO ONE PERSON HAS THE SAME BODY STRUCTURE!!! that is what people need to get through their thick skulls. if you are the type of person that has always been thin and have a fast immune system you can’t change that, if you have a slower immune system then it happens. their is nothing wrong with being a larger women as long as you are healthy. Of course i think it would be fair to have more voluptuous women in the media without having the word plus size around but that isn’t going to happen. i think it’s about time we all realize fat,,skinny,black,white,polka dot, zebra stripped,tall, short whatever you are that you are beautiful be comfortable in your own skin stop caring what other people think. screw societies image of beauty and be your own person.

  79. AHasan says:

    “The sad thing is, I’m not seeing this image posted on men’s profiles. I’m seeing it posted by women and commented on by women.”

    This is indeed the saddest part of this entire ordeal.

  80. mel. says:

    I find this article and he comments very interesting.

    That said, I want to explain my experience as a “big” girl…

    I will admit, I have been guilty of viewing an image of a thin woman, or seeing a thin women and judging her. I have thought to myself that a women looks too thin, or unhealthily thin. I have seen these thin women and though or said (although never to their face) that they need to eat more. Yes, I do believe this is wrong, I do understand that it is not okay to judge a women I have never met based only on the way she looks; however, I am going to admit now that these thoughts or comments come, not from my hate for these women, but my hate for myself.

    I have always been chubby, even when I danced 5 days a week, I was still bigger than the other girls. I am even stuck in the fat girl mind set, so even when I was a size 8, I still felt chubby.

    The fact of the matter is that I am jealous of the women who come by their thinness easier than I do. I am jealous that they can wear swimsuits (I have not been swimming in many years). I am terrified of summer because it is too warm to wear long pants, and there is no way I’m wearing shorts so everyone can see my thighs…or tanktops because I’m worried about my arms.

    This article is right, it is not okay for me to judge thin women, it is not okay for any of us to judge anyone. But because of society, I have been programmed to hate my body, and I do. I do feel a slight relief when I see these images comparing Marilyn to thin women, because I look more like her than the thin one, and for a moment I feel like maybe I can be beautiful the way I am until the reality sinks back in. Again, I do understand that it is never okay to make someone feel bad about themselves. But ultimately this judgement (on my part at least) is coming from my hate for my own body, and how I wish so much that I could be that size 2 rather than the size 14 that I am.

  81. Kit says:

    Completely agree with this article. I am fairly tall (5’8”) and skinny and these images on Facebook are quite demoralising. I for one would actually like to be a little more curvy, my figure is quite ‘stick-like’, but when I’ve tried gaining weight it just doesn’t happen! And even on a normal day to day basis I eat far more than some of my ‘larger’ (than me) friends who are always trying to lose weight!
    Some people’s bodies just have a lower ‘optimum weight’ that others, and as long as people are healthy, why tell them they should change their size?

  82. Erynn says:

    This is a really good article! But yes we as human beings really need to get together and nip this good size bad size stuff in the bud. Quality is relative. I am african american 5’4″ . I teach dance and I love to exercise and stay busy. I love to play with children until they west me out and I carefully watch what I eat but Im clinically overweight by 20lbs. That’s what the problem is. We are buying into everythats put before us as fact instead of going out and taking a look at the world for ourselves. A slender woman is so incredibly beautiful and a full figured woman is gorgeous jus the same. And as far as dis advantages believe me when I say there is nothing mort trying than being a single dark black woman in the US. But it doesn’t stop me from knowing that Im still

  83. [...] is tearing down another group of women the solution to making the other group feel better? Of course not. And, unfortunately, the media gon’ do what the media gon’ do. But why do we, as [...]

  84. Sheryl says:

    I can sympathize to an extent with the thin people. However MOST comments about weight tend to be derogatory about the other end of the spectrum. I have never heard a man say “oh she is too thin, even though she is cool I couldn’t date that” I HAVE heard “damn you are awesome, but I just don’t like overweight women. Newsflash .. I have a reason for gaining the weight, and i am losing it ..but ..example of ‘helpful’ people below. It is a blog post I wrote after a conversation with my mother.

    Ok, to clarify: I love my parents, I really do. They are wonderful people with hearts of gold…..
    My mom however, there are times when she is in a class all by herself. I have never known anyone who can insult so well…that everyone around you thinks she is being nice and it leaves you grinding your teeth. The thing is she honestly doesn’t mean to be insulting half the time. Here is an example of a typical conversation with my mother:

    (on the phone)
    Mom: “You know, now that you are getting a divorce, you REALLY should think about losing some of that extra weight you are carrying.”
    (my jaw starts slowly dropping)
    Mom: ” No man worth his salt is going to date a FAT girl”
    Me: sputtering “fat? Fat? wha…….”
    Mom: “All these up and coming young men, they all want trophy wives. Not that you would ever BE a trophy wife, you are too smart for that. But would it KILL you to LOOK the part?”

    Now, I long ago learned that the only way to take a conversation like this with my mother, (anything heavier than a size 5 is fat to her) is with a grain of salt and some humor.

    A trophy wife? I am 35 lol .. my shelf-life as a trophy wife is over …um now. Now, since I wasn’t inclined to be one when I was 20…why she would think this is a goal now? No idea.

    Also, I am losing weight slowly..the healthy way but if someone doesn’t want me now for who I am .. I don’t want them then once the weight is off.

    I went from a size 8 to a size 22..and am back down to a 16 ..and I am doing it healthy. Personally I am sticking at a 12 ..I like how I look there.

  85. Guy K says:

    Too much weight on healthy and beautiful. How about other properties: funny, tolerant, polite, good parent, nice etc etc.

  86. Catherine says:

    “So IN YOUR FACE all you haters who think women need to look like stick bugs to be attractive.”

    Just wanted to note that the comment(above)that you quoted doesn’t actually bash skinny girls. It bashes folks who think that women need to look like stick bugs to be attractive. She’s assailing the attitude, not the dress size (since even a thin girl doesn’t automatically look like a stick bug, but there are a lot of folks who think that’s needful

    • Jo says:

      ….do you realize what you just said? they called them STICK BUGS. Explain how that is not bashing thin girls.

      Oh, but if I said “So IN YOUR FACE all you haters who think women need to look like whales to be attractive” you can bet you and thousands of others would want to knock my lights out for saying that -_-

  87. Jacinda says:

    I’m personally sick of people using weight as a goal for being “healthy” people have no idea! They can be 170cms tall and want to weigh 50kgs … that is ridiculously unhealthy! I’m quite slender but also short, I have a lot of people comment that they want to weigh less than me despite having 3x the bust line! And yet they are beautiful at their current state.

  88. [...] Says GirlieGirlArmy: Shouldn’t we all  be striving for healthy bodies? And that means a different shape for  every woman. The media has us all chasing our own tails in the search of  the perfect figure. No matter where you look, you’ll find a reason to  believe that your body can never reach perfection. The idea that  perfection actually exists is the real myth. [...]

  89. Karen says:

    Thank you for this! I have always been thin. Both of my parents are thin. I was teased for years in school for being thin. I am active and lose weight easily. There have been times where I was watching my eating habits to put on a healthy few. When I’ve mentioned this to some people, I’ve often got negative feedback. “Oh, well isn’t that awful… I would love to have your problem!” Someone trying to lose weight and someone trying to gain weight is the different side of the same coin. They both want to change their body for a healthier or different self. It’s the same. Also, I used to model, and with the skinny remarks also comes the model remarks like, “I’m glad they put a normal sized person on this ad and not some model.” This implies that models aren’t normal and are criticized for being beautiful. I was criticized for being thin and thus less attractive when I was younger and have been indirectly criticized for being a model type for being thin and more attractive. The negative criticism ins’t necessary, especially when it’s used to belittle one group of people to raise another. I am healthy and beautiful and find other people of other body types healthy and beautiful. Thanks for letting me share my voice.

  90. M says:

    Every woman, heavy, “normal”, or thin, has been teased by someone, for some thing, whether it be their height, weight, facial features, hair, or her knees. Something. She has looked at herself, and not liked something. If they say they haven’t, they’re lying. She has looked at another woman, celebrity, model or otherwise, and made a comment or thought something negative, out of jealousy or insecurity.
    Women do this. It’s not going to change because of articles “opening their eyes”, or “giving them a voice.” It’s what they do.
    It is too easy for someone to feel better about themselves by putting someone down. When society liked the curvier women, the thin ones were put down, and some thin women wanted to be curvy. When society liked those thin women, the curvy ones were put down in their stead.
    When society is full of heavy people, the unattainable is what is people admire, so it tends toward thin and thinner.
    If society’s view of a beautiful body changes, or rather when it does, the people who are on the opposite end of things suffer.
    No one is ever going to be happy, and women will forever judge other women for all of the things that they aren’t. Which is terrible, but it is what it is. We can’t all look the same, so we will all judge and be judged for our differences.
    Everyone just needs to get over it.

  91. Ruby says:

    You’re doing this to yourselves ladies.. Men love the female shape and most of us adore women in all shapes and sizes :D Personally I go for women who look happy and healthy. If you can tick those two boxes, you will have a pleasant and satisfying life. Stop dieting and be all you can be \o/

  92. Briar says:

    Thank you so much for writing this. I have always been thin and I have been put down, made fun of, had people grab me by the waist or arm to emphasize how thin I was, been given nasty looks and heard snarky comments about what I eat or what I am presumed to eat. I have also been accused of being anorexic with one gentleman nicknaming me “Annie” as short for anorexia. It’s hurtful and there is no need of it. If the topic of food comes up I usually keep silent because of the attitude I am met with by other women.

    The hate I see from some individuals in these comments is sad but not unexpected, as are the arguments I see here for continuing the cycle of abuse. Unfortunately it seems courtesy and kindness are both becoming rare. It is the norm in this society to tear each other down and to be downright mean and nasty. In response to this we each need to make a stand and take personal responsibility for how we treat others. We must do what we can to show kindness and courtesy, even when it feels we are the only ones doing so. So thank you for being a voice of reason about this issue, and for having the courage to write about it.

  93. steve Soucy says:

    They are all beautiful.

    And anyone who says one way is wrong, and the other is right… is only talking about themselves and how they personally would feel about themselves if they were this “thing” they see in other women… that they don’t like.

    Promoting beauty, any kind of beauty, at the expense or unbalancing of, the a natural sense of self-esteem we’re born with… is always weird to me… but not even that means those other people are wrong for not agreeing with me.

    People who are fat or skinny, have either chosen it or not… but no matter how they see themselves…. if we point them out as wrong, they also get to decide if our opinion of them matters. It seems most of the problems i see in the world, have to do with people’s believes or self-esteem. And no amount of labeling people or trying to convince them to be more like “us,” ever helps anyone.

    So even when I see the extremes of fat or skinny… my job personally… is to be just willing to allow them to have their human experience, without any interference from me. It’s certainly not tell them what they’re doing wrong.

    I don’t like what high heels do to women’s backs, but I am also willing to admit that I like what they look like…. does that make me part of a problem? Whos’ problem is that? And should I care if someone else has a problem with what I think, when I know I’m a kind and caring person?

    Actually, any & every problem, only exists in the mind of the person who labels it a problem.

    I’m now dismounting my high horse to step in a cowpie…

    love is a good thing

  94. jackie says:

    Very very similar article posted the othe other day on thegloss.com…

  95. Brett says:

    I am loving this discussion going on, but why are we delegating it to only women? Honestly, I was a very skinny guy my whole life, and have always been treated as less of a man than the guys who found it was easy to bulk up. I was a very active individual and I would take in a very large number of calories, but because I had difficulty gaining “mass” I was second class to the guys who can. This topic runs MUCH deeper than a woman’s dress size, it is a topic that knows no gender, and should be covered as such.

    On a second note, I was always raised to see what makes a woman beautiful no matter who she was/is (even if she is a street corner lady of the night). We need to stop focusing on what stereotypes we don’t meet in our gender/cultural groups, and instead focus on the qualities we exceed at!

    • Brett says:

      I also meant to say, the worst part about not being able to gain much body mass, it was women, both thin and curvy, who made the biggest deal about how skinny I was and how awful it was that I, a guy, could eat as much as I could without gaining weight (5’9″ and 145 lbs for 12 years now)… All the while, I was wishing, only to be able to gain more mass…

    • Jo says:

      because it happens to women way more than men. but I agree. I feel sorry for guys who it happens to because at least some people feel bad for thin women who get picked on but who feels sorry for the men? no one knows it happens.

  96. Helen S says:

    Yes.

    This especially, I would like to flag up and have on billboards around the world:

    “Demonizing one to glorify another isn’t the way to have a real discussion on the female body. In fact, it’s part of the problem.”

    I’ve been slender, and had a friend call me skinny – that hurt, as it implied a negative, that I was too thin. I wasn’t – I didn’t have much fat on me, I was toned, but I was in the middle of the height/weight range, and ate well. Then I got older, put on weight, and went up two dress sizes. Now I’m over the top of my height/weight range, and I like my curves – especially my bigger boobs (personally I always wanted something bigger than the A cup I had before). However, the boobs and curves come with a belly and bigger thighs. Those are within my control, if I exercise.

    I want to eat better and exercise more for ME, as well as for how I look to others. I want to look after my body to avoid health issues both now and later. I want to exercise so I can run distances, as I enjoy it. And both of those – while helping ME – also have the added bonus of presenting an image I am happy with to others. If I change, it will be because I want to.

    I have a friend who is size 0. She’s also about 5 foot tall – she looks proportional. I have a friend who’s 5 foot 10 and a size 12 – she looks proportional too. If you look healthy and happy, that’s all that matters.

  97. Tamara says:

    I have read through a few comments & have found that we are not banding together, instead we are all letting our own insecurities cause us pain & therefore cause others pain. From the comments I have read. We are all simply giving our personal experiences, not trying to offend anyone, so why, if we do take offense to it, take it one step further & abuse them? It obviously does not help any cause to throw abuse around. We all want to be treated equally but all we can do is play to our strengths. All I ask is for you to be happy with yourself, if you’re not happy, change it, just remember happiness is not measured by your weight & that it comes from within you. If we want to accept others for who they are we need to accept ourselves.

  98. Baldurdash says:

    Society in general is insecure and everyone seems to be bound and determined to make you feel bad about who you are. If you’re too thin, too fat, how you dress, I could go on. Basically that beauty magazine is telling you you’re ugly.

    ‘Beauty’ doesn’t even LAST. That alone shows how much it matters.

    I find food commercials marketed toward women stupid and presumptuous; all women are NOT worried about their weight! We are NOT *all* watching our calories or worrying that that brownie will go straight to our ass!

    I go to Yahoo Answers often to try to give some relationship advice, and often I see teenage girls posting their measurements and/or describing themselves and asking the Yahoo community at large “am I pretty/hot/beautiful/cute”? Sometimes they even post pictures. Having been the insecure girl once upon a time I answer them all thusly;

    ‘Honestly, the faster you figure out that you can’t please everyone, the faster you can love yourself for who you are.’

    And you know, my weight has yo-yo-ed, my hair is greasy right now and my acne got worse with age instead of better…but I am beautiful, inside and out. My husband thinks so too.

  99. Rosie says:

    It’s about time someone wrote an article like this. Another thing I hate is women size 12 and above being referred to as REAL women. What? So just because I’m thin I’m therefore not real? It’s ridiculous.

  100. Ashley says:

    Thank you so much for posting this article. I’m naturally a VERY thin person – I always have been. I’m probably around 5’7″ and maybe a size 2 or 4. I eat like a horse though. My younger brother is the same way. My mom and dad were both just as thin when they were younger.
    I wouldn’t, however, call it a privilege. At LEAST once a week I have people make awful comments about my body. It ranges from the typical “eat a cheeseburger” to “you’re DISGUSTING.” I can’t even talk about normal things or do normal activities with some people.
    If I bring up shopping, my friends don’t want to hear that I can’t shop at certain stores. So I go shopping by myself and end up crying in the dressing room.
    I don’t like going to formal events (I opt out of them as often as I can), because every time I put an effort into getting dressed up, there will be someone saying I look sick (got that on my senior prom. Yep). I’ve skipped out on several parties because of this.
    I don’t even like eating around certain people because they stare at me.
    The funny thing is, anyone who has KNOWN someone with an eating disorder would know just by looking at me that I don’t have one. I have bright skin and eyes, I’m full of energy, thick hair on my head. Oh, and I love food.
    And even if I did have an eating disorder – what the hell would give a random person who is NOT a medical professional the right to call me disgusting?! Do you really think that’s going to motivate a person to eat?
    Anyway, one thing that might sound funny out of this whole thing is that it’s made it easier for me to relate to overweight women. I wish overweight women and underweight women could sit down and see how much we both have in common. There is a good chance many of us have had similar problems being teased or freaking out trying to find one (JUST ONE) pair of jeans that fit.
    Oh, and don’t get me started on the “real” women thing. My doctor and I can assure all of you, I am a real woman.

  101. Amber says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I just wrote about this last week: http://www.bodyheart.com/2012/01/20/fat-or-thin/

    I was hoping to inspire people to stop valuing comparison + competition. We are one tribe. One tribe of women. Mothers. Daughters. Sisters. Friends. Wives. Girlfriends.

    I’d like to invite you to take our ‘I Commit’ Pledge. A public display of women and men committing to be kinder to their bodies this year. http://bodyheartbootcamp.com.

    Cheers to compassion, acceptance + peace.
    Amber

  102. Samantha MacDonalld says:

    I am a thin person, I always have been and maybe I always will be. i was lucky to have been born with a beautiful body. But on a daily basis for my ENTIRE life, girls (even those not that much different than me) have made snotty rude stabbing comments about my body and that I’m thin. I’ve started snapping back and they reply “What? That was a compliment” really? ‘oh my god fuck you youre so skinny’ is a compliment? when i say im going to work out for my HEALTH rolling your eyes and saying ‘fuck you’ is a compliment?

    I totally agree with this article, I’m sick of being put down, sworn at and criticized for my HEALTHY NATURAL BODY

  103. wendy says:

    I think the hate for “thin” people comes from how overweight, heavy set, chunky, large people are made to feel. When some says “eat a cheese burger or your so skinny!” It’s jealousy, envy or a joke. When someone says your fat go on a diet or do you really want to eat that, it’s so hurtful. I think the difference is that one is meant to be hurtful and one isn’t or its fulled by something else.
    I was once extremely obese, morbidly so. I am now told often how thin I am even though i am only an 8. At this point I don’t think there is a time in a ladies life that they don’t worry about weight. I know I am not too thin, I know I don’t have a problem, I know the comments I get come from a place of humour or jealousy or its a compliment that I don’t know how to take. I still worry. But I don’t hate myself anymore, which I did when I got diet advice and comments about my (over) weight.
    I agree we pick at each other too much, but I think we pick at ourselves the most.

    • Crystal says:

      In some instances, there is a malicious intent behind it.

      Some bigger women were actually happy when I gained weight due to a hormonal problem. And of course there were people who would call me ugly and skinny, or criticize my shape, or make snide comments about my eating habits.

      Sometimes people are just kidding when they say things like that, but it is still hurtful nonetheless.

      Thin people can have massive insecurities and low self-esteem too. A large woman will often look at a thinner woman and be like, “I hate skinny bitches…they think they’re all that, but they’re not. Real women have curves! Who wants the body of a child?” And so on and so forth.

      That isn’t a compliment, nor does it come from a place of humor. It is hurtful and destructive. Maybe if some bigger women understood that thin women also have their own individual struggles too, this would help to level things out a bit.

      When I was a size 00, I thought I was ugly. I had no breasts and I was constantly mocked for being skinny, although I still had curves in some places. I never thought of myself as being better than any woman bigger than myself.

      I wish that we could all be more accepting of one another.

  104. April says:

    Thank you so much for writing this article. I am a very naturally skinny woman. I am getting so sick and tired of people making fun of my because I am so thin! I would love to gain weight, but I can’t. I am tired of people telling me to eat. I am tired of seeing my plus size friends be made fun of too.

  105. 00010 says:

    I am a fellow ectomorph (5’8″/size 0-4/debutante model) and I completely agree with the article for the most part. Without going into very intellectual detail, my opinion on the entire subject is that blaming the media – or men – for any negative self-esteem is not helping anything.

    It may sound cliche, but no one can control if you feel good or bad about yourself. Don’t take it personally what some magazine prints. The more anger you attribute toward anything, the more power you give it.

    My point is, stop making every negative thing personal. Greet it with an overwhelmingly unaffected disregard. If you’re happy being fat, fine, if you’re skinny and proud, fine. Don’t wait on a group of people to applaud your opinion, just go with it. Don’t shove it in anyone’s face if you’re truly okay with how you feel.

  106. Jack says:

    On some primal level, I agree with what the image is TRYING to say; I personally prefer women “with more meat on them,” in the sense that I find a fuller figure, with hips and breasts and the rest more attractive than women with a more narrow body type. But I understand and can tell the difference between a lean and narrow figure and someone who is anorexic, just like I can tell the difference between obese and full figured. But the maker of the image went about it the wrong way and so do many others who cry for more plus size models and such. Don’t hate, you’re all women and you’re all beautiful. I say, if you’ve got curves, great. Use them, get comfortable in them and flaunt them. And if you’re skinny and lean, imagine all the long, sleek dresses you can wear. Focus on who you are and don’t forget it. I am but one man with a preference for curvy women; there are other men who like them the other way. I iterate, regardless of your body type, you are all sexy women and any man you be glad to have you.

  107. Alexandra Oravetz says:

    This article is so true, and it’s incredibly inspiring to me.
    I am a size zero and have an athletic straight up and down body, although no one verbally taunts me on looking anorexic, I feel attacked when people say that the only way to be beautiful is to have curves.
    I exercise and eat healthy, I have absolutely no abnormalities with my eating habits. I feel strong and fit.

    I honestly believe I have a healthy mindset, and that I’m not doing anything wrong. But then I see what the curvy girls are saying and I feel bashed for the fact that my body doesn’t look like the rest of the world’s. People should be entitled to have their body reflect their ideal of health and happiness, but still be able to see the beauty in everyone’s bodies- curvy girls, athletic girls, and even men’s bodies.

    Also, it’s true what you said about how we don’t see the male’s point of view in this issue. We shouldn’t have to set the standards for them on what attractive is, we should let them decide. There are lots of men that will look at a curvier girl and feel love at first sight. Same for the slender girls.

    They thing that all attractive girls have in common is warmth and admiration for their body.

  108. Kat says:

    Thank you for this. I am a naturally curvy woman, but I always appreciate women who are choosing to be healthy, whatever they’re shape, that is beautiful. I was very displeased, a. with people saying that being skinny is what women should be. b. Curvy women’s bashing naturally thin, and c. the nasty responses directed back from women naturally stung by this, which implied that all curvy women are in your face and mean towards others which aren’t. That really bothered me. Especially as someone so focused on seeing a broad range of sizes and only ever wanting people to be healthy (hey realize I may be curvy but dude I have friends and family, we are ALL different!). I make a habit of complimenting all my friends for healthy choices. And I realize that sometimes being larger is really awkward, like pants fit the waist, not the legs, or shirts that look wonderful, I can’t wear them. (or ppl that call me a slut when in reality I make a point of not showing a lot, but it doesn’t matter, it shows…)Lets take this to the model industry (and clothing makers) to have more variety. It is most certainly wrong to have as low as size 6 women modelling for the plus size women! I see the pressure to be skinny, and the reverse. Especially bugs me for bra sizes!! Not everyone is tiny in ribcage and full of breast, nor the other way round, and there’s everything in between. We’re women not manequins! one size DOES NOT fit all!

    • Jo says:

      how can you not be “naturally” curvy? you probably mean fat, and I highly doubt it is natural. if you are, fine, but you do realize almost every fat person claims they can’t help it, right? whereas in reality the percentage of people who actually ARE like that are roughly 5%.

  109. We are all different shapes and sizes, and that’s okay. That’s what makes us who we are and not just cookie-cutter shapes. We need to stop putting each other down and celebrate our curves or lack of them. We are all beautiful. It’s time we all believe it. Love this post! :-)

  110. Cookies says:

    Hey you ladies are not the only ones that have to deal with this. I have always been small including my family. I am 5’11 around 145lbs. I eat and definitly dont have any kind of eating disorder. Yet guys and girls alike talk crap and tell me I am too skinny or I need to gain weight. I am a army war veteran yet people still dismiss my service because I am small. I feel there might be jealousy because if everyone seems to have to make a comment then they are obviously jealous or something.

  111. Elizabeth says:

    So happy to read this article and what a wonderful opportunity to open a healthy discussion. Women should just stop bashing each other all around – not just the weight issue.

    I am 5’7″ and have weighed around 112 lbs since high school. I weighed this when I was not a vegan and I weigh the same now that I am. After a broken heart I worked out 6 days a week trying to keep my mind off of the breakup and managed to gain a whole 5 pounds of muscle but I looked REALLY anorexic then – even wearing a sweater and a winter coat.

    As some of the other posters have said, I have had complete strangers touch me and tell me the same “to eat a cheeseburger”… I even had one woman offer to pay for me to get a complete checkup with HER doctor because she was concerned about my health/weight (she was the wife of my cat’s veterinarian). I took her up on it. HER doctor was tinier than I am, sweet petite lady, and found me to be 100% healthy with nothing to worry about. Even she told me to eat more though.

    Ladies, let’s support each other no matter how much we weigh. We are all beautiful no matter what the media says. Find the light inside you and let that shine. YOU are not defined by the opinions of others.
    Each day you have a choice of who you will be that day and how you will react to the world. Let it be positive as there is enough negativity in the world without adding to it.

    PS I would LOVE to know what it is like to have cleavage. You lucky ladies… I don’t even have it when I bend over and squeeze them together. My toes have cleavage in pumps!

  112. [...] “The real question is, why must it be one way or the other? Shouldn’t we all be striving for healthy bodies? And that means a different shape for every woman. The media has us all chasing our own tails in the search of the perfect figure. No matter where you look, you’ll find a reason to believe that your body can never reach perfection. The idea that perfection actually exists is the real myth,” writes Ali Berman in “The Problem with Skinny Bashing”. [...]

  113. Noel says:

    Ok I agree with a lot of what has been said on here. I am a size 18 woman, and am only 5’1″, however the majority of my weight is in my chest, butt, and thighs…Not restricted to those areas only mind you, but the majority is. That being said…

    Something I have not seen mentioned yet is weight gain due to medications. I used to be a size 5, 125-130 lbs, active, and proud of my body. Due to various illnesses including epilepsy, syncope, and more recently an aortic valve filtration problem. I had to go through numerous tests and drug trials. These medications made me gain significant weight over the years. I’ve still be excersising and eating healthily all along, but my condition also requires me to increase my salt intake which in turn, makes me gain weight. I wish more than anything that I could be the same weight and frame that I had a few years ago, but I will probably never be again.
    I do look at some thinner women enviously knowing I used to look like that and I used to be just as proud of my body as them. However, I never bash them or insult them for being thin. First of all, there’s just no point to it; what would it accomplish? Secondly, there is nothing wrong with how they look, God made us a certain way for a reason.
    What upsets me is that even though I show no anger or contempt towards thinner women, they show it towards me, without even knowing the circumstances. I’ve been called fat, heffer, lard-ass, and some other hurtful names as well. I already have problem with my self-image as it is, so I really don’t need help from outside voices to make myself feel worse.

    A close friend of mine is very thin, around a size 0 or 2. She has hyperthyroidism, which means her metabolism processes her foods at a very high rate, so it’s difficult for her to keep weight on. She actually wishes she could gain weight. She’s always cold no matter what the temperature and sometimes wears kids/teen clothes because they fit her better.
    Don’t take this as a gripe session because that is not what this is. I am actually a very happy person! This is simply being informative. Some people need to think before they judge. Not all people are overweight because they eat too much or eat unhealthily. Not all people are skinny because they starve themselves, or from lack of eating. Some people are the way they are due to illness and medications. Unfortunately, many are quick to judge, so hopefully this puts weight into yet another perspective. =)

  114. Aimee says:

    I really enjoyed reading this article and think it’s a wonderful message – thank you for sharing your insight and I hope people will learn a lot from it and the importance of respecting all women and realizing the beauty in all. Just fyi, the other woman in the picture is Nicole Kidman, a beautiful and slender woman, who, as pointed out, is very physically active and fit. Thanks again!

  115. Annie says:

    anorexia is a disease, not an insult. I’m on my phone right now so I can’t write a long, eloquent response, but thank you to Ali for writing this post.

  116. Jessica says:

    About a year ago, I was diagnosed with a rare and severe case of food allergen hypersensitivity- which means that I was found to be allergic to almost all kinds of food. Needless to say, I lost a ton of weight on a new, limited diet, which my doctor recommended for optimal health. When people criticized my weight loss, it just really showed that you can’t judge, especially when you don’t have all the facts. I wanted to eat more, but I had health problems stemming from food.

  117. Carrie says:

    For the record, the skinny bashing is not something people in size acceptance communities are unaware of. There are quite a few people who do understand that size acceptance means just that, accepting all sizes as beautiful and acceptable in their own ways.

    The only problem with using health as an indicator of beauty is making a determination about good health. This might look different on different bodies and mean different things to different people.

    And the idea of thin privilege isn’t about being called a skinny whatever whatever, it’s about not enduring discrimination because of size. Let’s try to maintain some perspective here people. A doctor won’t refuse to treat you unless you lose 100lbs. A potential employer won’t refuse to hire you if they think you’ll have to take time off to treat some illness you don’t actually have. I could go on, but I won’t.

  118. Jeannette says:

    Thank you for bringing up such an important and crucial point. Being healthy, being sexy, being beautiful is so much more than beyond looks and the size of one’s body. And it goes so much more than the quantitive ways in which it is socially acceptable. I’ve always been a size 0 and when I think back it amazes me the comments I would get from others when I was in my late teens and early twenties. As a high school student I worked as a bank teller at my local bank and every Friday Dunkin Donuts was available in the kitchen. I rarely ate the donuts, simply because I just didn’t want them. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I began to dread going into work on Fridays beacuse each Friday someone would try to push me into eating an donut and when I refused the same remark would be made: “Oh but your so skinny”. In my early 20′s I was at the gym once and two women looked at me and one of them said “Do you need a cookie?” and they both laughed. I mean these were women (and it was always women) who were at least double my age at the time and even though they felt they were being funny I felt picked on.

    At the end of the day we as human beings are not meant to be all the same size. There are cultures out there who revere a woman’s curves. I strongly feel that as women we all need to stop hating on ourselves, stop hating on others and really celebrate one another. And women like us should be so grateful that we live in a country of freedoms of choice and expression. There are millions of women worldwide who have their bodies abused and tortured in the most cold hearted ways. I choose to celebrate and honor my body as a thank you for being able to engage in such freedoms.

  119. Kristine says:

    I’m guilty!! I myself have posted this picture on my Facebook. Though after reading this
    article I feel differently and am thankful for the different point of view. As women we can only sympathize with what we ourselves have had to deal with. So for example a thin girl who has been thin her whole life may not quite understand the feelings of a women who’s been “overweight” her whole life and the same for a overweight person. I think that it is asking a lot of women to just look past how we look. Especially since for generations “looks” are number one. I try to relate it to someone who may have a beautiful face rather than a women who by society standards has an “ugly” face. We can make the alterations either way but society is going to think whatever they think! Until we can change everyone’s opion it will not change. On a side note I was appalled to hear that a Lane Bryant commercial was pulled!! I was so happy that women of a curvier body were shown in a sexy matter even though I would not concider Lane Bryant models typical “plus size” women but it was a start. I am very upset about this especially since they now televise the Victoria Secret runway show at a time that any age could see it!! And people are offended by a commercial of women who are just barely pluse size!!! Shocking!! Again apologize for the picture even though it does make me feel a little better about MYSELF I can see how it would offend my smaller sisters.

  120. Julia says:

    Its unfortunate but I think that really men set the size of beauty for women. So you can beat each other up about who is fat or skinny (neither word is bad) just societally there are, in other words during Marilyn’s time her size was in demand, now size 2 is in demand, in the Renaissance women who were size 14-16 were painted. So we can support each other but really its the demand thats causes all the epidemics and the very unhealthy relationship with food and our bodies that is cultivated and passed on to little girls. Its depressing.

  121. If you’re looking for another sphere to talk about these issues, check out pretty girl feminism!
    whitney.

  122. Tzivia says:

    I just can’t have sympathy for the skinny people who say that they are criticized or made to feel bad. You are the epitome of beauty, and have admiration from society, the media and men and women alike. You can wear the Victoria Secret clothes and skin tight sweaters. A chubby, unsightly size 8 person like me constantly deals with subtle suggestions about diets, and pitying comments about an accessory or shoes that are not weight related. The only way people like me will become accepted as feminine and worthy of looking somewhat attractive is if the media, Hollywood and clothing companies change the accepted female image.

    • Annie says:

      Unfortunately, there’s a distinction between unhealthy-skinny and desirable-skinny, and desirable-skinny is, at least from my observation, impossible to attain.

    • Crystal says:

      Tzivia…I’m not sure that thin women are asking for sympathy, though. I believe that they just want all the body bashing to end. Period. Enough with the hate on both sides.

      I was once a size 00, as tiny as I could be. I am now a size 8-10. Like you, I also deal with negative comments about my body and my appearance. I know that it hurts when people tell you that you need to lose weight. My mother, my stepfather, and many other people have made some very hurtful comments over the years.

      But I will also say that my body image has always been extremely poor, even when I was skinny. I might have been thin but I certainly did not feel like the “epitome of beauty”. I was self-conscious and unhappy. Not everyone admired me…most people didn’t. I was constantly criticized for having small boobs and a pear shape. I wanted to wear cute little bikinis but I was ashamed of my flat chest.

      My cousin, who has always been anywhere between a size 14 and a size 22, was the one who was considered beautiful while we were growing up. She has always struggled with her weight and bitterness toward skinny girls but she is still confident. She wears sexy clothes and tight dresses without a care in the world. She has a confidence that I, as a thinner woman, have never had.

      As to skin tight sweaters, I wear them all the time. I don’t think a person needs to be skinny in order to wear nice sweaters…they just need to fit appropriately and not look trashy.

      My point is that only a handful of women in the world can fit certain ideals. Being thin isn’t enough to make somebody the epitome of beauty, because what about a person’s face or other aspects of their figure?

    • Susan says:

      That is no excuse to bully thin women but often bullies cite exactly what you say.

  123. [...] Talking trash about skinny women is just as fucking sexist as talking trash about fat women.  Get a… [...]

  124. [...] article that I read today on Girlie Girl Army (love that blog by the way!) is such a crucial read for all women of all sizes.  By the way, the [...]

  125. Bethany says:

    Wow! I was so encouraged by this article. I am 5′ 4″ and have always been skinny. It’s just part of my build, plus I have a hight metabolism. Sometime I feel like people feel they can say whatever they want to skinny girl, the reality is, I have often wished for curves in the right places! But let’s get real, every woman battles insecurity whether you have the curves or you’re thin. Let’s accept each other and make a practice of telling other women they are beautiful – and mean it! If we can do that, I think our sex would be more accepting on both sides of curvy and thin. Remember the grass can always seem greener on the other side, but how each woman has been created IS beautiful.

  126. Jeanette says:

    Im so sick of hearing “oh the media says i need to be skinny” yeah its ays people need to be skinny then it turns around and says they need to gain weight,when does the time come when people stop being sheep and live for themselves and not the ideals of someone else? Sometimes blonds are promoted as sexy since im allergic to dyes and bleach should it be ok for me to make pictures about how ugly they are?

  127. [...] The Problem with Skinny Bashing After being annoyed at all those memes on Facebook asking when This (a thin girl) became more attractive than This (Marilyn Monroe), I was really glad to see this article. Yes, larger women have gotten the shit end of the stick in our society, but I don’t think that makes it okay to insult small women. I think it’s hypocritical to want to be accepted for the size you are, but then jump at the opportunity to criticize someone who is the opposite of you. But up until now I’ve kept my mouth shut about it. As someone who is relatively small, I feel like the situation is comparable to a white person complaining about being discriminated against: I’m bemoaning something I’ve never really experienced the brunt of. [...]

  128. Mac says:

    Say what you will… I’d prefer to be skinny.

  129. Brit says:

    Thanks so much for this! I’ve had times when I have actually felt inferior for being skinny. I have always wanted a curvier body, because that is what I have associated with being womanly. I do see pictures of Marilyn Monroe and wish I could have that kind of body. When it comes to looks, the grass is always greener on the other side. Thank you for reminding me that as long as I am healthy, I am beautiful.

  130. Annie says:

    I know y’all are busy girls but have you considered making your own clothes that fit? If you have a problem with the oppressive image of the ideal woman (which is unattainable, and since we’re dealing with a broad spectrum of men, not even agreed upon), you don’t have to support that. Be your own damn beautiful and it shouldn’t matter.

    On that note, I’ll repeat what I said above–”ANOREXIC” SHOULDN’T BE AN INSULT. IT’S A DISEASE. One that I have, and have struggled with for six years. Never in my LIFE have I said anything derogatory about an overweight person to their face or to myself, but I still got people of all weights commenting on my body. I had a teacher remark to his class that I looked like a skeleton. I had nurses in the hospital that refused to treat me because of my disease. Would you refuse to treat somebody with depression or diabetes? What about a rape victim? Yeah, a lot of the first stages of anorexia and bulimia are elective, but once you get into it, it’s as devastating as any addiction and it shouldn’t be handled lightly. I’ve been in treatment and I’m on a tube-feed now, but seriously, I HATE when people comment on my body to my face. I feel like I’m a piece of property. My physical appearance is just who I am, and it’s extra frustrating because I’ve made a conscious effort for the longest time to not judge others on their bodies or faces.

    I think the reason “skinny bitches” get so offended by the “real women” comments is because, at least in my experience, hatred or disgust against overweight or obese people doesn’t attempt to entirely nullify their experience as a human being. It gets touched on in the “dumb & lazy” stereotype, but it doesn’t completely deny the target the privileges of something as fundamental as having a gender.

    It’s easy to think men love “anorexic” women, but really I think most men are attracted to women in a HEALTHY weight range (and that varies from woman to woman), not super-skinny. I’ve never had a boyfriend that was satisfied with my physical appearance, and it’s devastating to be reminded again and again that people aren’t attracted to you.

    Moral of the story: it’s just unfair to get pissed off about the extremes. There’s usually a deeper story.

    • Julia says:

      Amen sister. I am battling a compulsive eating disorder that I have been living with for a very long time. I have gone to women’s support groups for eating disorders and the fat, skinny and ones that look perfectly healthy all meet in 1 room with the same issues…I agree its about a healthy mind and soul within. Because the trend on women’s body types change with the wind, so whats the point. Your moral was spot on: There’s usually a deeper story. Not judging others is best.

  131. Laura Markham says:

    “To compare is to kill”. The message about our bodies is that they are all marvelous, beautiful and worthy of praise, love and acceptance regardless of their size, tone, whatever. If we can step into gratitude for our womanly bodies we could take down billion dollar industries that keep us spinning our wheels, and preoccupying us from what’s really IMPORTANT. Like love, acceptance and gratitude. Ok, ladies, quietly start the revolution now by giving yourself and hug and an expression of gratitude that it is good to be alive and well in whatever body you occupy at this moment.

  132. Tania says:

    my girlfriend of many years sent me this article after reading my post on fb which I’ll post a link for , I 35 yrs old , I have 3 kids ranging from 5 to 16 , I not sick , I eat and don’t purge , and I don’t exercise. In high school I was between 110 an 115 pds ,now I weight 94, and can’t for the life of me get to 100, ladies , please , it’s not cute to call me a skinny bitch, it’s not cute to tell me I’ll blow away , or assume I’m happy with the way I look or try to be this thin , the grass is not always greener, and no I can’t hide behind it = ( , thank you for this articlehttps://www.facebook.com/tmega1/posts/3183877675447?notif_t=like

  133. Jen Westcott says:

    How about instead of “demanding” the media represent women of all shapes and sizes, women of all shapes and sizes BECOME the media? If more women were producers and directors and writers and showrunners we wouldn’t have to ask the male-dominated media for anything. We’d be making it ourselves.

  134. I posted that image to my facebook, the Marilyn Monroe comparison, not because I was skinny bashing, but because it offers a certain shock value to thrust people out of their comfort zone and force them to confront their own stereotypes and preconceived notions.

    Also, while this article brings up many great points, writing this article only to women (Calling All Women) just marginalizes potential male readers.

    This mean that readers who actually agree with you that all body types (men and women) are beautiful and have value may not get the message.

    Still, I’ll post this to my facebook page as well because, for all its shortcomings, it’s a good perspective.

    I’m sure I’ll receive a lot of “hate” for not getting it, for being so damn … something … because I’m a guy and I can’t possibly understand.

    Let’s just say I’m a fellow skinny bitch of the male persuasion who society told long ago should have mad muscles and athleticism, but I just never measured up.

    But I know… I don’t understand. :)

    Later,
    ADJ

  135. CourtneyP says:

    I was so inspired by this article that I immediately went home and started writing. We need more open dialogue like this. I think the biggest problem with women is how we treat one another. There’s so much rivalry and jealousy and it only ever hurts us. I love this honest communication. Please keep it up! Feel free to check out my inspired blog post:

    http://notablyneurotic.blogspot.com/2012/01/our-bodies-myself.html

  136. Lindsey says:

    What I find really funny is that the woman they’re bashing may have had a similar waist size to Marilyn Monroe.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-24/hollywood-auction-ends-myth-of-zaftig-marilyn-virginia-postrel.html

    “In fact, the average waist measurement of the four Monroe dresses was a mere 22 inches, according to Lisa Urban, the Hollywood consultant who dressed the mannequins and took measurements for me. Even Monroe’s bust was a modest 34 inches.”

  137. Joe says:

    If you’re not pretty, you’re not pretty. For all of us men, please don’t gain any self confidence from this article and show off your upsetting figure. It’s a cute thought, but please take care of yourselves, that is what is really attractive, though physical health is sexy – it also implies someone who has priorities and takes care of themselves. From a mans perspective – just to what you can to be less ugly. As men, we think its dumb these articles get printed.

    • Crystal says:

      But it seems that you’re equating weight with beauty.

      A pretty woman can be on the bigger side. It all depends on height, proportion, and how well she takes care of herself.

    • Paige says:

      Maybe you shouldn’t assume that all men agree with you, Joe.

    • nancy says:

      I’m a woman who doesn’t spend my time trying to please men. I do take care of myself and love physical fitness. I get very tired of men thinking women who take care of themselves are after male attention. It seems like you objectify women, which is unfortunate. You have a right to your opinion, but a person with self-confidence isn’t going to cater to it.

  138. bag says:

    YES ! and pls. let me thank you for your thoughts/reflection/food-for-thought in this post. and for #bodybashing

    > Demand that the full range of woman be represented in film and in print. (…) enjoy life as healthy confident women (…) <
    dito. pls. let *us* celebrate diversity & inclusiveness – in order to enrich each others lives. smash soc. beauty.
    and pls. lets stop soc. body-shaming and body-policing each other; do not adapt the soc. male-gaze/male-stream when meeting women IRL and "on-the-webz", no matter where we live …

    *i have a dream* : stop #bodybashing
    greetz & cheers

  139. [...] on all women to “Stop body bashing and widen society's view of what is beautiful.” This piece,“The Problem with Skinny Bashing,” focuses on the inherent problems of polarizing what is healthy and beautifully in the media [...]

  140. Beth Wittig says:

    As a woman, like most women, who has struggled with body-image for a long time, this was such a refreshing and liberating article. By bashing other women, we are not taking the power back, be are polarizing one another, judging and creating a further divide, fracturing the power we have. By bashing, we are actually self-destructing. I was so inspired by this post , I wrote my own full blog response. Check it out at http://www.puraliving.com. Thanks for writing this.

  141. Jessa says:

    I love this article and women of ALL sizes.. however.. let’s be honest about what a healthy weight is. Obesity (and being underweight) isn’t healthy, no matter how beautiful we try and pretend it is. This is the problem with the fat and skinny acceptance movements… we are telling women that it’s ok to be a size 24, that it isn’t dangerous for their health (it simply is, ask any trained nutritionist, doctor, or morgue worker who dies youngest) to be that large. It’s like celebrating any addiction, it seems weird. If you are a healthy size 10 woman who works out, eats healthfully, and is happy – by all means. But promoting the “fat is great” slogan to teens isn’t productive or healthy. Best to promote exercise and eating clean instead! Is it possible that the more chubby kids are told fat is beautiful, the more ice cream they are going to eat? It’s another perspective. Certainly not hating on fat folks – we all have our struggles. But I just personally think it’s strange to celebrate clinical obesity.

    • Lola says:

      THANK YOU FOR SAYING THIS, Jessa!!!

      I work hard to be healthy – eating clean vegan organic foods, working out, and drinking lots of water. Being skinny isn’t a luxury, it’s something lots of us need to work for. We work to be healthy. Why should we celebrate many people’s slothfulness? Let’s be honest, MOST people who are fat (not including health or hormone issues) are simply not working to lose the weight and be healthy. Is that something to celebrate? Yes, of course all women are beautiful, but heart disease, cancer, and clogged arteries are not. It’s the insides I’m concerned with (as a health professional) and that’s what needs to also be addressed. Before we wave a “fat is gorgeous, eat your bacon!” flag – let’s look at our insides, have a physical, and try living healthfully first…

  142. Elisa says:

    OMG! You think overweight women are overweight because we are lazy?? Who died and made you the god of all things healthy?? My mother worked as a nurse (on her feet) then came home to cook and clean (always on her feet moving) and she was and still is over weight. I run around all over with my children, I cook, clean, work (not lazy) and I am still over weight. I eat a healthy diet because I make all the food. You cannot say that is is because of slothfulness. Genetics also have a role in how our bodies are. We should not be made to feel ashamed of how we look, and it’s people like you Lola that make me sick with your pompus attitudes. Hurray for you! you eat vegan and exercise. Suck on toufu and stfu.

    • Elisa says:

      Just for the record, We do try (when we can afford to) eat vegan like. My ds is AdHd and my dd is autistic. I was in no way picking on the vegan lifestyle. I found issue with being slothful.

    • Lola says:

      I said not ALL fat folks are slothful.. plenty of skinny folks are super slothful. We are all lazy when it comes to getting in our optimum shape. I get it. I’m a working Mom who kills herself and works non stop. All I’m saying is I’m 99% sure that most women waving the “fat is healthy” flag would see a 365 degree turn around in their health if they ate more veggies and worked out. It’s not about what looks prettiest, it’s about what is HEALTHIEST. What is most life affirming and extending.

    • Just Me says:

      This article is frustrating to no end. Those of us who are NOT a size 2 have dealt with ridicule for DECADES – and when the tide starts to shift a little more our way, rather than celebrate, the skinny world goes into uproar and demands their spotlight back. Give me a break.

      I am healthy. I eat a good diet, though not a vegan (that is the most unhealthy diet you can subject yourself to, but a whole other topic entirely!). I exercise 5 days a week. My blood pressure and blood work is all above average. And I am a size 22.

      I have dealt with ridicule, teasing, and bullying my entire life because of my weight. I love to act, and have a very hard time being cast in community theatre because I don’t fit the ‘stereotypical’ female figure.

      Judging happens on both sides of the spectrum. I think it’s just hard for some people to watch the ‘plus size’ women finally gain acceptance into society. For those people – shut up and eat a friggin’ cookie. :-p

      • Crystal says:

        Just Me…you’re missing the point. That is not what this is about. No one is asking to be in the spotlight.

        What we’re saying is that bashing of ANY body type is wrong. Whether it is skinny people bashing fat people or the other way around.

        None of it is OK. It is hurtful. I find it funny that you acknowledge that judging happens on both sides of the spectrum, but you’re telling folks to shut up and eat a cookie.

        As a size 10, I want to see women of all sizes and shapes being viewed as beautiful in society.

      • anon_lady says:

        Size 2 here! I’ve fit in to everything from a size 1, to a size 14. And I’ve got to say that I’m made fun of more often and more maliciously now (and back before I gained weight) that I am thin. I’m sorry that you were made fun of, but that doesn’t mean that you were the only one. Or that only bigger girls are made fun of for their size. The tides aren’t just now turning, people just don’t take the thinner girls seriously when they say they’re being made fun of for their size too.

        Also this article isn’t bashing on anyone’s size, its promoting body acceptance for everyone. I’m not sure how you can twist that to be a bad thing…

      • nancy says:

        Not taking the life of a sentient being is actually a very healthy, compassionate way to live. Every nutrient is available in the plant world. (For example, chia seeds are great for Omega3s and DHA can be found in algae. Sulfur is in vegetables.) When you eat meat your body has to break it down to raw materials again, and then use it for your body. It’s much easier on your body to get the raw materials directly from the plant source – as the animal did.

  143. Miranda says:

    I am a girl who is a size 0. You can see my ribs in a bikini, but I don’t starve myself and I’ve never counted a calorie in my life. Despite this, I stil have curves and am quite healthy. Being this size was just how I was born. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But I have to admit everytime one of my friends posts a photo like that or tries to empower themselves by criticizing what I look like, it really hurts my feelings. I think all healthy women, regardless of size or shape, are beautiful. I would never think of degrading my size 12 friends. But unfortunately photos like this show up on my Facebook feed all time, and it stings. Thank you for this article and trying to celebrate all women and body types!

  144. Kelly says:

    Hey Ladies LOVING this article… FYI… this is a VEGAN website that promotes CRUELTY FREE and HEALTHY LIVING. You won’t find Paula Deen butter frying here…

  145. kmuy says:

    I have been trying to preach this for so long, and on facebook and all kinds of social groups I Constantly notice one size bashing the other. I have always been extremely skinny, I have a fast metabolism, and all growing up I Hated being so skinny..but I never bashed girls bigger than me, in fact, I envied them. Now that I’ve grown and matured I’ve realized this problem with most women who are insecure with their bodies, will try and make themselves feel better by making other’s feel like crap…bullying in essence. Thank-you so much for posting this I finally don’t feel so alone in this battle! :)

  146. Paige says:

    THANK YOU. I can’t tell you how happy I am to read this. As a thin person who has had to put up with rude remarks from other people, this is a welcome change.

    True story: I was buying a burrito at Chipotle. The woman making my food looks at me and goes, “Are you *really* going to eat this?”

    Yes, bitch, I am.

    It’s not okay to ridicule people for being fat, and it’s not okay to imply that all thin people have an eating disorder (because the vast majority of us don’t). Again, THANK YOU.

  147. [...] And lastly an insightful article with a new take on body bashing. [...]

  148. [...] a lot of that is based on years of worrying about being a big girl and, I won't lie, envy. Anyway, here's another article to read  about body image and skinny-bashing. We are all naturally different sizes and should learn to deal with it. Healthy attitude, healthy [...]

  149. marcoda says:

    Yes, oh my god, yes! Promote health management not weight management. I’m 5’6″ and have worked hard over the last few years to get my weight up to 118 pounds. I’m guilty of checking my weight and tracking my caloric intake every day because I want so desperately to have the curves that “real women” have. But also, it’s because I want to make sure I’m getting everything my body needs and THAT’s the important part that all people (including me) need to focus more on. Give your body what it needs, not what your mind wants, and your natural shape will shine, whatever it is and you will be beautiful.

  150. Megan Henson says:

    This article really convicted me about how I look at and judge others. I’m a big girl, so when the original photo this article is referring to started circulating, I gave myself a little pat on the back and felt comforted, but now I realize it is at the expense of others. I’m inspired. As a photographer, I feel like I have the tools to do something with this inspiration, so I’m doing a project in the Portland (Oregon) area called “Beyond Body Bashing.” Feel free to check out my facebook page, but here are the details below:

    Beyond Body Bashing ~ An Opportunity to Celebrate One Another Calling for beautiful women ((ALL WOMEN))!!! It’s time to celebrate the individual beauty of women. My hope through this project is to inspire the women around me, in the Portland area and beyond, to encourage and celebrate one another for who we all are as individuals–individuals with beautiful bodies! Here’s the details: ♥ This project is all about women celebrating one another, so I’m looking for women to nominate other women to be a part of this creative-photo opportunity. ♥ I’m looking for 5-10 beautiful Portland-area women to participate in a photo project. They will be photographed in a way that shows off their beautiful, unique bodies! 5-10 nominees will receive a free digital copy of their favorite photo, and the photos will also be shared on Facebook, with other writing and reflective components. The selected 5-10 nominees will get to be part of the artistic process, collaborating on the whole photo-shoot concept. They may be photographed on their own or with other nominees. Nominees must be 18 or older. ♥ Nominate someone you think is beautiful–inside and out–who maybe doesn’t recognize it in themselves. This could be someone who is too busy to worry about outward appearance, someone who is constantly taking care of others, or someone who doesn’t feel like they fit the standard ideal of beauty. I know it won’t be hard for you to think of a woman who feels inadequate when it comes to her appearance. This project is all about turning that around! ♥ To nominate someone, email your nomination to Megan: meganhensonphotography@gmail.com (nominations may be published on Facebook, but personal information will not be). Your nomination should include contact information for the woman you’re nominating (full name and phone number or email address), but also–and importantly–you should include your reason for nominating the person you have chosen. Give details about what makes this woman beautiful to you–inside and out! What you write will be what we use to consider which women to choose; please do not send photos. This is about celebrating the fact that ALL women are beautiful! ♥ Make sure you tell your friend that you’ve nominated them. Even if they aren’t contacted to participate in this project, they will probably be very blessed by the time and heart you’ve given in nominating them. ♥ Share this project with your friends; anyone can make a nomination. Refer any questions or nominations to Megan Henson Photography: meganhensonphotography@gmail.com.

  151. Scatteredmom says:

    I have been small my entire life, and I have had people literally look over my shoulder and scrutinize every bite I took, accuse me of having anorexia, etc. I’ve never dieted and can’t help the fact that I’m naturally thin, I just AM. I’d never make the comments to an overweight person that have been made to me. It has been to the point where I’m hesitant to even say my size because of the reactions I get.

    It’s not about thin, it’s about healthy. Regardless of your size. The weird thing? I’m easy 10 lbs heavier now than I was 20 years ago, and I never was ‘bashed’ back then.

    • nancy says:

      I am wondering if there is more criticism of thin people now because our society has become much larger over the last 20 years.

  152. [...] you know, I’m not even going to engage further with this, it is too ridiculous. But other bloggers have, and much more articulately than me, so, [...]

  153. Thank you! I consider myself an ally to fat people, and regularly speak up when I see fat shaming happening around me. But I have been skinny all my life. In fact, I’ve always been very self-conscious about my size.

    I try not to take it personally when I hear people say things like “never trust someone whose thighs don’t touch” or “real women have curves,” or “carpenters dream, flat as a board” etc, but the truth is these things hurt me.

    I get that being fat means being on the receiving end of these kinds of sentiments all the damn time rather than just once in a while, and sometimes when reclaiming a love and acceptance of your own body, it can be easy to turn it around on the images that have been used to oppress you. Because of that I try to react gently and with compassion when I hear those kinds of things come at me.

    But I agree that at its core, any kind of body shaming is hurtful to all of us. The more we make this about who is better? fat or skinny, the more we hurt ourselves. Because our worth is not about our size, it’s about who we are inside and how we affect others in the world around us.

    Hurting others to bolster our own self-image is truly ugly behaviour, no matter one’s size!

  154. Stephanie says:

    Wow, really great article and discussion. I am a UK 14-16 which I think is a US 10-12, and I used to be a lot bigger. I am working hard to be healthy, and as someone who struggled with hurtful comments and self esteem in the past (and still have my bad days, as we all do), I have always thought it must be great to be thin- never dreaming that petite women have the same battle on the other side of the spectrum. I avoid commenting on people’s weight because I don’t think it’s anyone’s place, but this certainly has got me thinking about my own prejudices that I didn’t know were there. I can sympathise more now and it’s true, we are all real women.

  155. anon_guy says:

    Really skinny girls? You love to post to the rest of the world “I’m skinny but I totally sympathize with all body types.” It’s easy to brag about how you think heavy set girls are pretty online, but where are you in real life sticking up for your so-called-heavy friends? I never see it. Put what you say in practice because these women are hurting inside more than you will ever know. How do you think they feel when the first line of every post is “I’m small, I’m skinny, I’m size 0-2″. I don’t care what you look like, it makes other women feel ashamed of themselves more because they feel less normal.

    • marie says:

      dont judge us all. i have stood up MANY times for my heavy friends. in middle school my best friend was about 150 lbs over weight. i always stood up for her. and i always paid the consequences for it (being mocked out right along with her). not every ‘skinny’ girl is ignorant.

    • k.m says:

      and do you stand up for the “skinny” people who get made fun of? a lot of times people are too caught up in their own thoughts to notice that Yes..skinny girls go through that pain too. and usually when you get made fun of, your bigger friends will join in on the comments because they don’t think it’s rude…well it is..and it does hurt. not everyone is the same…just because i’m skinny doesn’t mean i won’t stick up for bigger People. the point of this article is to get people to stop bashing Any size. if people think one size is more beautiful than the other..they have no idea what beauty is.

      • marie says:

        i do. i am skinny. i have an abnormal metabolism which doesnt allow me to gain like id like to, despite the fact that i can eat like a man. i get ignorant comments from people all the time about being small. i have never once in my life put someone down cause of their body type/weight. and the fact that im getting it alot lately really gets frustrating. if you have a healthy body then that should be enough

    • k.m says:

      also, i see More and More bashing of skinny girls now adays…open your eyes. you have no idea how alone I feel as a skinny girl. to read posts on here FINALLY about girls who go through the same thing made my life. don’t be ignorant.

      • marie says:

        ignorant? are you implying that im being ignorant? i said im skinny (my metabolism wont allow me to gain properly) and that i dont bash people for their body type. i go through it everyday from people who like to assume that i dont eat when i can easily put away a good amount of food

      • marie says:

        never mind lol. ive been up since 5am lol. youre responding to the first post. my bad lol

      • anon_guy says:

        For one thing, there is not a lot of name calling going on of people getting made fun of ALL the time, it’s more subtle than that (unless your in high school or your hanging with douches or something). I think this is more of a girl thing anyways. I have a lot of friends, and I’ve never heard any “skinny” bashing to anybody, so no, I don’t stick up for skinny people only because I don’t see them getting made fun of. If someone is making fun of someone skinny it’s because they are insecure with themselves, and for some mental reason it makes them feel better. Either your taking things the wrong way or you need to surround yourself around normal people for a change. For your information I LOVE ALL women, of all types. They are the most beautiful creatures inside and out on this planet. I just wish women can stop judging each other over their appearances. I mean look on the bright side of things, being skinny has it’s advantages like when you see a cute shirt at the store chances are it fits you. It’s harder to shop being larger, most of the cute things you find at stores are made for skinny girls. Don’t turn this around and make it about your skinny issues because chances are your acting self-fish; being fat is harder, thank the media for your lack of problems.

        • anon_lady says:

          You’re right, it is more of a girl issue. You should probably stay out of it. Girls pick on each other for damned near everything, I was constantly made fun of for being too thin all through school, and when I gained weight people picked on me for that too. Honestly though I got more flack for being thing than I did when I was overweight. So maybe instead of picking sides and preaching that we should hate the thin girls, you should just accept that people come in all sizes, and body acceptance is the message that needs to be promoted.

    • Susan says:

      You come across as female. It seems you may be bullying or being rude to thin women. Only bigger women claim they never see thin women bashed when that is such a lie. Try having a group of bigger women spread lies about you just to ensure you have no friends that is bullying.

      Of course if you are thin it’s naturally okay for bigger women to bash you because in their warped brains you deserve it.

  156. marie says:

    exactly! not everyone who is big has over eats just as not everyone whos skinny has an eating disorder. its gotten way out of hand. women blame eachother and its not right. its society. its hollywood. im small. i dont like it, but its how nature made me. my metabolism is abnormal. i eat like a man at times and people put me down for the fact that im small. its not right. and women (and men) need to knock it off and just be happy that whether youre small or big, youre healthy

  157. [...] Girlie Girl Army posted an article about the problems with bashing skinny woman and body image. I found her points to be very thought provoking and encourage everyone reading this post to stop for a minute and read this article instead. Thank you Julie for pointing out this article. [...]

  158. Luann says:

    I’ve got bootie and boobs and I’m married to a brazilian who appreciates a curvy woman. I’ve always been alot heavier than the äverage”girl my height. I’ve got muscle and gave up on meeting the weight expectation years ago. I’m hot in my curvylicious bod and my husband loves me curvy, as I am.

  159. annie says:

    i am guilty of body bashing as well. after reading the articles/comments, i realized how much time & effort we women have been wasting talking about our body sizes. like anne lamott said, “looking back on my life, i regret wasting so much time worrying about the size of my thighs.”

    in fact, the ‘bashing’ needs to be against the media/fashion industry which have manipulated/programmed generations of women to try to achieve the impossible – to look like who they are not. that’s why eating disorders are still prevalent among girls/women today.

    i think the backlash right now stems from the skinny girls having gotten all the attention & the $$ for the past decades. and people having to do unnatural things like not eat bread. it’s understandable that the frustration/anguish from not-so-skinny girls are targeted at the beneficiaries (skinny women) rather than the instigators (media/fashion industry). the media has glorified these skinny girls to god-like status and has thrown their images at us front & center all the time: look at the clothes they get to wear, the places they get to go, the guys they get to date, etc.

    some of the comments are right – kate moss prob has always been bone skinny, so can’t blame her for her natural body type.
    what we can do is to hold the media/fashion industry responsible for excessively valuing her type of body over others. and for making fun of fat people.

    we need to fight back by calling them out, by stop buying into their programming, and by removing “I’m on a diet” from our daily vocabulary! and we need to start ignoring all those magazine covers and infomercials that scream “lose weight, lose weight now because unless you are a size 2, you are just not good enough.”

    it’s been a journey for me. i am nearing 50, and have been weight-conscious since 12 (the age i started dieting so i could look like the girls in those jordache jeans commercial). truth is, my body type looks nothing like those iron-board-bodied models. yet i have dieted my whole life, with periodic success (i have been a size 2 at various times). but it was hard to keep up. and when i was skinny, i carried around a false sense of pride/superiority towards other women. i was caught up on how ‘good’ i looked. no time for internal development.

    in looking back, my 12-yr-old psyche was no match against the barrage of media hype. we need to use our actions today (as somewhat mature women) to protect the next generation from such harmful images & messages.

    we can do so much collectively – to teach each other to value us for who we are and not for what we look like. step 1 is to stop talking about our body size. i am probably a size 6 today, not as thin as i once was, but learning to accept it. a 50-yr-old is not supposed to look like a 20-yr-old. again, let’s stop buying into the hype of the media touting 50-yr-olds in their bikinis (most prob had work done).

    i am struck by the beauty icons i grew up with – farrah fawcett in the 70s; heather locklear in the 80s; demi moore in the 90s. media swooned over their bodies. i felt unworthy compared to them. fast forward to present day, and none of them seem to have a strong inside (farrah rip; but her last days were not pretty). and heather is twice divorced and in-and-out of hospitals. of course demi is the latest. she does not look healthy. i’m not bashing her but stating my observation. i think it’s risky when a woman banks on her looks so much.

    when i look at the actor/celebrity set, i would want to model after meryl streep. she has never strutted around in revealing clothes to compete for magazine covers, even in her younger days. (again, the shallow media hardly ever puts her on the cover, an amazing actor with more oscars & nominations than i can count on both hands). instead, she has focused on her art/talent, and continues to delight her audiences with incredible acting chops. in addition, she has been married for decades to the same man. now, why don’t we women start talking more about women like her, than who’s skinny & who’s not?

  160. [...] Girlie Girl Army calls for an end to skinny bashing. Like the ‘More Brown Bras’ campaign mentioned above, this is also long overdue. As Lingerie Addict reader Sandra mentioned on the TLA Facebook page this week, it’s like we can’t even look at a photo of a woman without making some negative remark about her body. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being judged for what basically amounts to being alive. Women come in all shapes and sizes. They’re all natural. They’re all womanly. The end. Period. [...]

  161. Jordan says:

    Reading down the list comments, I think it’s safe to say that mostly woman have been adding their thoughts to this article. Before I begin I should open up by admitting that I do love skinny woman. I am not a fan of fat. Perhaps this is the media programming me or perhaps because I myself am athletic my body desires a similar quality in a counterpart. Having stated all this it important as I will be excessively bias in my next comments.

    The media displays what people will watch. If it’s a television show then it’s to gain your attention and steal your time. If it’s advertising it’s to get you to purchase something. If skinny people didn’t attract the majority or at least the majority of their target demograph then it wouldn’t work and they wouldn’t use those types of people. But it does work! YOU still purchase and watch the “skinnies.” No not everyone can be skinny. Similarly, not everyone can be an NBA star. However, it’s the unattainable that we enjoy daydreaming about and trying to reach. Being a “healthy weight” is easy. Being fat is even easier. Do I watch an NBA team of average players? Hell no. Why would I watch some chick that looks like everyone else when I can see a supermodel on TV.

    The point is that not everyone is like me, but most males are. Sure we like personality, and love and all that other crap, but when it comes down to bare sex appeal most of you don’t make the cut in comparison to these other unrealistically petite size woman. Believe me, I wish I could find larger woman attractive. My god would the world be my oyster! But the rarity of something can sometimes make it that more precious and beautiful.

    Beside, woman are way more cruel about each other’s body sizes than any men that I know. The number of times that the woman that I know knock other woman’s bodies or fashion is appalling. “oh my god, she should not be wearing that. [referring to her size]” is a comment that I hear on a daily basis in Toronto.

    • Adeline says:

      Im glad someone said this. Most girls try and paint themselves as the victims of society and of chauvinistic material men, but the only people who have ever criticized my weight have been me, my sister and my mom. ALL women. Only girls care about how much you weigh or what size you wear, guys only care about whats inside the clothes. And yes, i watch movies and tv shows that have skinny, perfect women in them because they are beautiful and perfect and thats what I want to look like. No one is telling me to look that way, its just me wanting to look a certain way.

  162. [...] The Problem With Skinny Bashing [...]

  163. [...] it's implying that thin women are "fake." What it is is a microaggression. http://girliegirlarmy.com/lifestyle/…kinny-bashing/ http://girliegirlarmy.com/lifestyle/…ays-to-fix-it/ Lane Bryant can focus on making their [...]

  164. Darla says:

    Since everybody is putting their two cents in, I guess I ought to, also.
    I am 5’1″. The most I have ever weighed is 98 lbs. I wear a size 2, but I have gone down to a 12. In girls sizes. I have to work to gain weight, and when I lose weight, it’s because of stress. I don’t take care of myself, I eat junk food, and don’t sleep. Those things, which cause some people to gain weight or get sick, cause me to lose.
    One of my best friends is 5’11″ and wears a 14, and I’ve always envied her body. I’ve always envied Katharine Hepburn, as well. I’ve always wanted to be tall and a normal weight for that height. But the fact of the matter is, I’m small. I’ve accepted it. I now eat as healthy as I can (as healthy as a recent grad can, living on the budget of an intern) and I feel good about myself.
    It would be wonderful if the women commenting on this would see that all women are beautiful, but really only when they are healthy. Stop trying to gain or lose, and stop calling other girls ugly. Because that just makes you a whole lot uglier, and makes the group you represent a whole lot uglier.

  165. vanessa says:

    I was watching a music based reality tv show tonite and two contestants were singing against each other. One lady was tall, the other lady was rather short.

    On tv before the two ladies sang the female host for the tv done a brief intro of events before they came on. She referred to the tall lady by just her name but for the short lady she said ”pint sized angie”. Is this not a bit demeaning towards this lady, no doubt if a heavy woman was on and she said plump angie their’d be war but because this lady was very small and thin it was deemed ok to call her pint sized.

  166. jen says:

    Thank you for this!!! EVERY body is beautiful!

    I’m small. Ive felt huge shame for being smaller… people say they are jealous of me. They wish they could have my body, and I feel bad: Like somehow I have done something to hurt them just because I am smaller.

    I have had my ideas dismissed because I am small. I KNOW it happens to all people, and it hurts. I don’t want to be my body: I want to be ME! My physical size is just one part of me.

  167. [...] article here at girliegirlarmy.com (which I had never heard of before but will now pay attention to) about [...]

  168. Antitype X says:

    “The real question is, why must it be one way or the other? Shouldn’t we all be striving for healthy bodies? And that means a different shape for every woman.”

    Well said!!

    I find myself getting skinny-bashed frequently these days (as well as being criticized for leaving my hair un-straightened/unbleached, for being ‘sickly pale skinned’, refusing to wear heels etc).

    Sometimes, I feel the pressure bearing down on us all to conform to beauty ideals is intolerable, it takes over our lives, consuming everything.

    Come on society, can’t we deviate just a little?

  169. Kelly says:

    Thank you so much for writing this article!

    Please would everyone celebrate their curves now by entering the Curvy Kate Star in A Bra competition opening on Monday (www.starinabra.com)! And if you would please help me celebrate mine by voting for me as I made it into the top 30 of the UK version! I have curves and am a uk size 14! Voting closes midnight (uk time) Tuesday 3rd April – http://apps.facebook.com/star-in-a-bra/models/788
    Voting is free and only takes two minutes!

    Thank you – Team Curves! Xx

  170. Redacted Girl says:

    I agree with this article. And the next time I hear someone mention ‘thin privilege’ I’m going to scream and throw stuff.

    Because it’s not true. As all these naturally thin women’s experiences pretty much demonstrate for themselves.

    I’m 5’7″. I weigh 116 lbs on a good day. And ever since I was about 12-13, people felt entitled not just to comment on my body, but to intervene in my life because I was thin and harshly cut rather than classically feminine-bodied. People I didn’t know would actually ask for a breakdown of my diet! I remember being TWELVE and strangers would ask to know what kind of levels of protein and carbohydrate I ate. I didn’t know how to deal with it, so I just refused to answer, and then they told me I was being rude.

    Just as delightful were the concern trolls. People would treat me as if I must be profoundly physically frail and have something wrong with me, when I was obviously able bodied and perfectly capable of most things. I was forbidden to lift PLASTIC CHAIRS in high school because ‘you’re so light, you’ll hurt yourself’. PLASTIC CHAIRS. At 22, I still get harassed when carrying my own fuel home by people who won’t accept ‘no’ and even try and GRAB IT OUT MY HANDS because they think that I’m too frail and will hurt myself.

    This isn’t confined to randomers being nosey and rude. I once accompanied my brother to a medical appointment aged 15 and she started on ME saying I was too thin. This after I had struggled my ass off to GAIN about 8 lbs.

    The icing on the cake was last summer when I was on a mild corticosteroid. Here’s the fun thing with those…if you take too much on a regular basis you can shut your own cortisol completely down.

    I knew that. I knew exactly how adrenal suppression happens. So, you know what I did?

    Yeah…I started purposely taking doses I didn’t need so I could gain weight because I was so sick of being shamed, told there must be things wrong with me, or having ‘ideal weight’ statistics shoved in my face. I don’t usually admit that I actually did that, but this point needs illustrating.

    I didn’t harm myself, thankfully. I had to quit taking that drug because it had the side effect of causing me severe vertigo and constant unsteadiness.

    Now, what if I hadn’t had the vertigo and just kept overdosing on that chemical? I could have given myself a fucking chemical adrenalectomy, that’s what. I could have possibly ended up dead. All for the sake of fitting other people’s idea of a right body that I had internalized.

    But I’m not allowed to talk about that, because I’m privileged. A fat girl can merely get her feelings hurt and she is recognized as a member of an oppressed group who deserves care and respect – but I risked seriously fucking myself up and possibly dying and that is totally okay with people because hey, I’m thin, and therefore PRIVILEGED.

    I don’t want to play oppression olympics here…but it strikes me as mightily hypocritical that people sympathize with a fat person who has low self esteem but will tell me to shut up about my own experiences. Apparently hurt feelings = oppression, but taking substances that can completely deactivate your adrenal glands = not a big deal, stop whining, the fat people have it worse than you.

    Dead and skinny is still fucking DEAD.

    So, yeah. Shut the hell up. SHUT THE HELL UP. Thin privilege is nonsense.

  171. Adeline says:

    Is there a figure-pride/complaining about category for bustiness? I can’t get anyone to make eye contact with me even in the most modest of blouses on. If skinny girls can complain about how hard it is to gain weight then I want to be recognized for society making me feel like a dumb tramp just for having an excellent set of headlights

  172. Redacted Girl says:

    Yep, Adeline you are not the only one. I read an account on The F-Word last year about a woman who had size 32Es since early adolescence and got constantly sexually harassed not just by idiot teen boys but by men well into adulthood, while people who were supposed to protect her did nothing.

  173. [...] against fat shaming, and I thought it was interesting when I came across an article about “skinny bashing”. Although its great to see that our culture is slowly becoming more accepting towards more [...]

  174. Blahblahblah says:

    Oh yes back in the day Marilyn was true beauty and so inspirational. Being a dumb whore actress that died from a drug OD haha, nice role model!!! Hell she didn’t even use her own name when she was this “icon”, she played a role given to her by the media (sounds familiar right?)

    Character has nothing to do with beauty. It would be a nice fairy tale world if it was but the hotter the chick the better chance she has at getting a rich guy. This is the fantasy of the modern western world. I wouldn’t know from personal experience, i make a shit amount of money and according to that I’m less desirable.

    as for girls complaining about not being able to gain weight…lol go buy a weight gainer at any nutritional store(like 30 bucks at most) and come back in a month and tell me how you’re not gaining weight. If you’re skinny it IS your fault. If you’re fat it IS your fault. Take responsibility for your life. Everything in your life is YOUR fault and that’s not always a bad thing.

    Women….Why am I so attracted to you all when the majority of you are so vapid?

  175. Redacted Girl says:

    Moron, when I forced myself to eat huge amounts of food ONCE PER HOUR I just suffered from extreme overheating and LOST weight.

    I think I just detailed that. Duh.

  176. Redacted Girl says:

    Oh no wait, I didn’t. That was elsewhere.

    Well, now I have, so don’t try and tell me that’s my fault.

  177. Amelia says:

    I love this article and have scrolled through the comments. Im 5’0”, 93 lbs and live in South Carolina, one of the capitals of American obesity wherein you are definitely the minority if you’re underweight. Especially when I was younger and thinner (84 lbs just last year), I received some verbal abuse for my body-type, which I already felt terribel about. Worst of all often these incidents took place while I was working at a job, so I couldn’t reply in any other way than a polite smile or my job would be at stake. Or even once it was the mother of a fellow girl on my swim team who felt obliged to make harsh comments about my weight. I would have loved to make a response but not only was she ‘an adult’ but also extremely prone to violence, and no doubt her large body could have damaged my immature teenage one.

    Anyway, the point is it’s nice to see some women and men letting it out that yes, skinny girls receive hate too, and some of us feel terrible about our weight. Nowadays I’m more concerned about gaining a little bit of muscle.

  178. [...] body types are still fair game, skinny-bashing is totally in vogue, but I think there’s something fairly complex going on there, so I’ll talk about that in a later post. But with fat people, the case is pretty [...]

  179. Eliza says:

    Well its getting annoying reading all of these online comments that are “skinny bashing” saying they are so happy to see someone like Adele who is not an anorexic size 0, and I am a size 0 and very healthy. And the term “curvy” has been changed and now used for anyone overweight. And the whole “real women” comments are the worst. America is getting bigger and now bashing thin/skinny women. Its sad that men get away with their weight.

  180. Ashley says:

    A lot of people are missing the point of the article. And this bullying doesn’t stop at skinny vs. fat. As a middle school teacher I am constantly hearing girls tearing each other down for ANYTHING just to make themselves feel better. You have frizzy hair, you have man hands, you have sausage toes, your shirt has holes in it. These are just to name a few. This is so wrong. I have struggled with severe acne my whole life, and still remember my 9th grade friend saying, “wow there is enough grease on your face to make a burrito. Why don’t you wash your face?” When the reality was that I had tried every acne perscription under the sun and washed my face according to how my dermatologist told me I should, but nothing helped. I still remember her saying this in 9th grade and how it made me feel, even though I am 24 now. Those feelings of insecurity and self-hatred are making me choke up with tears as I am writing this now. The point of the article is to watch what you say to people, and bring love instead of judgement. You don’t know what a person is struggling with, and there are so many things that just cannot be helped by a person such as weight, skin color, disabilites, acne etc. We need to teach our girls to be kinder, and we ALL need to think about the golden rule at all times. Build yourself up by finding the good in yourself rather than the flaws in others.

  181. Lacy says:

    I couldnt possibly agree more with this article. All women are beautiful, people are just too stupid to realize that! Think theyre fixing the problem by making thick girls only feel better? Well what about skinny girls? People nowadays . I dont know whats wrong with them!

  182. Alyssa says:

    I agree, being too extreme in either direction is bad. Being healthy is the key and I have friends of varying shapes and sizes, all gorgeous.

    But why do people reference size so much as a way to judge? It isn’t always accurate. I wear a size 2-4 and I look nothing like that “stick thin model” type of girl. I have a small waist and I’m petite, but at 5’3” I weight 122 lbs and I’m quite curvy with hips, a full chest and butt. And then I have friends who wear size 2 that are very thin and boy shaped. Point is, it really depends on the individual’s proportion, shape, lean body mass to fat, etc. You can’t just judge by numbers.

  183. Talia says:

    When I look at this image, my natural reaction is to regard the woman in the middle, and the woman on the right as most beautiful. I am very slim naturally, my bones show even, yet I eat a healthy diet. I have stopped exercising as I felt very uncomfortable with the gaze of onlookers, who I worried thought I didn’t eat and was running to lose weight. Actually, I enjoy running. I’ve had comments like ‘stop running, you’re skinny enough as it is!’ called to me when exercising in the park. Don’t assume that every thin person has starved or worked themselves to be that way, or that we think ourselves superior. This is far from the truth for many of us.

  184. [...] The Problem With Skinny Bashing | GirlieGirl ArmyJan 20, 2012 … Want to tell you all I HAVE NEVER been cruel to a skinny woman, a naturaly thin woman or any other person. Here goes my quick two cent … [...]

  185. rachel says:

    Couldn’t agree more with your words! I am a naturally skinny girl, and have been ostracized for it myself. Other girls in school would follow me into the bathroom to make sure I wasn’t throwing up my lunch – because they believed no one could be that thin without having an eating disorder. So sad. If everyone started just by eating right, exercising appropriately and then letting their body become healthier – they’d find that beauty can’t help but follow. Doing those things not only gives you a glow -but it gives you self-esteem, self-fulfillment and self-confidence which are the qualities that truly make one sexy and beautiful.

  186. May says:

    I really like this article. I’ve never understood how people can just look at you and say that you are unhealthy and anorexic. I’ve been no bigger than a size 2 my entirely life and I’ve eaten regularly. I’ve actually had VERY bad eating habits. I ate very healthy foods, and I just started eating healthier. I don’t go through any extremes to be thin and I hope that one day I could gain about 25 pounds to start with. The “normal” thin girls iswhat society’s ideal is. The media tells us that people who are as thin as I am are disgusting so,I just wish that the whole thing would stop. I am totally healthy according to my doctor, and I wish people would stop telling me that I am not.

  187. Kristin says:

    I posted this on http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-the-Skinny-Bashing/215507911878959

    ALL bodies are good bodies and bashing goes BOTH ways! Of course we can stop it if we just open our eyes.

  188. Erynn says:

    I have to say being naturally tall and thin I’ve gotten verbal abuse from other women my whole life. Even other tall thin women comment on how thin I am. Like hello have you looked in a mirror lately? Really aggravating. Sometimes it comes across as envy other times as disgust, and every time I feel its uncalled for. The funny thing about the Monroe comparison Meme is that the pic they always chose to use is Marilyn at her heaviest, she was 3 months pregnant in that pic. In reality she was 5’5″ and hovered around 120-125lbs her whole life…so is that considered “heavy” I think not. Also she was NEVER a size 12, in today’s sizing system she’d be between a 4 and a 6…that’s 1 size larger then me. We need to stop comparing ourselves to dead celebrities and airbrushed models and just be happy and accepting of ourselves and others.

    • Lokah Smiþa says:

      I’m naturally very lean, I don’t get hungry often and I work out – I am skinny and muscular, and BOY do the other women hate me.

      Frankly, I think the tolerance for skinny-hating is from a politically correct double-standard, or what Nietzsche called the Slave Morality: like it’s the job of people with superior traits (objectively or by practical norms) to bend over for people who lack those traits. It’s a notion I spit on.

  189. Fava Bean says:

    As a 50-year old natural size 2 without dieting (you should see what I put away every day), I get angered both at assumptions that all thin people diet to be thin and at assumptions that there is only one physical ideal. People come in different sizes, some are thin and some are “mollig” (a German word that I love).

  190. Damion says:

    I only find skinny girls attractive.

  191. Cho says:

    I LOVE this article! Whenever I see pictures like that (and they’re everywhere) I feel like killing myself. I’m 5’4, 110 lbs. I’ve had tons and tons of friends pick on my thinness whenever they get the chance (literally..whenever. they. get. a. chance.). I’ve grown to ADORE my body, though :) I still have curves and boobs, and I wouldn’t trade my skinny figure for the world! I still highly adore my mother and sister’s bodies, too. They are the eptitome of curviness. Not only do they have the hourglass shapes, but also the meat to go with it. ;) I have their figures minus the meat. Lol. But God I love women so much, all of yas!!

  192. Jamie says:

    I recall reading a short story in a college course that was intended to expose little girls to a wider variety of body types. Instead, it was 100% invested in promoting the idea of a larger woman being beautiful rather than embracing all shapes. Or, let’s delve even further — that being beautiful somehow factors into your worth as a woman.

    Women are too often reduced to physical appearances, whether it’s weight, wrinkles, lip plumpness, or whatever. We invest all this time, money, etc. in looking good enough for others to accept us and, even when we are valued and noticed, our value still so often comes down to our appearance.

    I have always been very small and I recall that, even in elementary school, many of my PEERS would tell me how adorable I was. They weren’t mean-spirited, but they were certainly very condescending whether they intended to be or not. They would treat me like I was younger despite the fact that I should have been considered their equal.

    And I believe this problem is still pervasive no matter what age women are. Traditionally beautiful women are acknowledged but rarely lauded for any achievements beyond their beauty. Traditionally beautiful women are often even assumed to be unintelligent or possess a variety of other undesirable qualities (mean, a tease, a slut, etc.) Meanwhile, many other women are plagued with not being noticed at all.

    I guess what I’m suggesting here is that we turn the conversation away from “fat vs skinny” to “stop disparaging your fellow woman altogether for her physical appearance” because we’re missing out on opportunities to share and appreciate our womanly bad-assery.

  193. Sam says:

    I am small framed, not a size 0, but a size 6. (that is after i lost 15 kg over a period of 2 years – something my friends didn’t approve of – just the girls)- but I did it for me.
    I am a runner.. i run three days a week. Eat when I am hungry- and until I am full. Not over stuffed. I am energetic. Less stressed. More confident. and I have strong legs. (i can lift 92 kg with them) I have a body mass index of 18 and I am happy with it.
    You don’t live your life to please others (its impossible, believe me)As long as you know you are healthy and beautiful, you are just fine. Don’t let anyone else tell you that you are not. Thin or Big, or inbetween- we are all beautiful!!

  194. Blog Love says:

    [...] It’s a bit dated, but this article on “skinny bashing” really resonated with me (been told to eat a cheeseburger MANY times) The comments are impressively constructive and well thought out as the response to articles like this generally turn into a clusterf*ck of mean comments and hurt feelings. The main argument being, why do we need to bash one body type to uplift another? >>> [...]




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