Double Standards Skinny People Face

You might think they are all bad but that’s not always the case. Some certainly are not great and some are funny, some pretty much just suck. I think that even if you’re a healthy, stable weight we all sort have a 10 pound range we live in longer term. For me that’s somewhere between, “she’s really thin” and “wow, she’s thin”! I’d like to think it’s the one thing Taylor Swift and I have in common. I actually wrote a more serious post about the things people say to skinny people (and what I want to say back…) here, but this one is more light hearted.

Overall I would say that the double standards and sometimes nasty comments are less hidden and more out there then it is for people who are overweight. That’s probably better than the alternative of having things said about you behind your back. However some days… Comments on other people’s bodies in general are not you’re business certainly not strangers bodies unless they are sincere compliments I think we all want more of those! Unless you are someone’s doctor or a concerned loved one zip it! But you might think it’s all rainbows and sunshine on this side but it’s not, there are a few unicorns though. So see how the other side lives or commiserate with your skinnies but hopefully some of this makes you laugh (or think about something new)!

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Being asked how much you weigh

Alright I’m going out on a limb here but I’m guessing you would not walk up to a normal weighted person you hardly know or have just been introduced to and ask them how much they weigh. I know you would NEVER EVER do that to someone who was overweight much less a lady! Literally not a month goes by that someone I don’t know asks me how much I weigh, tutoring parents, customer’s wives, grocery clerks people you just met at a forced dinner parties and you’re expected to answer. Just as a point of comparison… I was best friends with a girl for about three years before I delicately asked her how much her husband weighed. And I mean we had been through the trenches together at this point. And… it was in the context of some terrible health diagnosis and her confessing she already had a plan together because she was afraid if something didn’t change she would loose him. So that is quite different!

Then people doubt how much you weigh (to your face)

My typical answer to that is between 120 and 125 lbs. Then people ask me how tall I am and I say 5’8. Some of the nicer people just look at me doubtfully while lots of others scoff, and tell me there is no way I’m over 100 lbs. My protests that I’m relatively tall fall on deaf ears. If it’s a doctor usually this is when they weigh me but they get to do that sort of thing. I’m guessing this doesn’t happen to anyone else besides celebrities and then it gets printed in magazines. Another way I’m like Taylor Swift.

Cheaper clothes

If you’re skinny, pretty darn skinny, it can be hard to find clothes in your size and it’s getting harder as time goes on. Side note I think this is because vanity sizing is getting out of control. As I teen I was even smaller and I generally took a two and didn’t fit into a 0, now double 0’s don’t usually fit. But if you can fit into the kids clothes score, so much cheaper! Plus kids now dress so much better than we did so bunny sweaters aren’t necessary, but I’ll still go there. Hell even Micheal Kors has a kids line now, not that I shell out for it but… In Canada at least there isn’t even tax on kids clothes!

No special stores

But at the same time there is no special store for us, sad face :(. Bigger men have big and tall shops, plus sized shops for the ladies and tall lady shops. So many women’s clothing stores have a petite section for the shorties but there is no special store of section for the thin ladies! I feel like I’m pushing the hight limit on kids clothes already, my ankles and wrists are always on full display and for certain things you just can’t go to the kids section for. Things like lingerie, business suits, button ups, tailored jackets and skirts can be a real issue. Sure you can have things altered but it takes time, costs more and certain things can only be taken in so far. I suggest making friends with a sewist, I often alter my own clothes. I’m not into really tight shirts and adding two v-shaped darts at the back of pants usually does the trick.

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Me and my one year old niece wearing the same sweater and hairstyle. Who wore it better?

Body shaming is okay if you’re skinny

I’m not naive enough to think that this doesn’t go on at the other end of the spectrum at least behind people’s back. But the awareness is changing terms like fat shaming now exist and there is a consensus building that it’s not something you should do. However the more general term body shamming really is generally used in the context of the over weight. I covered a lot of that ground in a pervious post if you’re interested but generally people can and do say some pretty nasty stuff to you!

People are always offering to carry things for you

Not matter how strong you are or are known to be if you’re skinny and carrying something heavy there is always someone around offering to do it for you. I tend to think of this as a nice and chivalrous thing to do but if you were dedicated you could take it as a slight. I think it’s pretty great though, I usually decline the offer. I’m hella strong and when my yoga teacher asked us how long we could hold an extended side plank for I answered confidently, “indefinitely.” It can lead to funny things though. This spring a neighbour saw me carrying the back of an aluminium boat and  he rushed over to take it from me. After nearly dropping it on his own he asked me to help again. That was awesome! Pound for pound I’m stronger than most guys but it’s still nice to have someone to put the kitty litter in the car.

People assume you are shallow

There is no question that the ideal for female beauty is currently very thin and one dimensional. That fact I seem to hold myself to this makes people assume a whole lot of wrong things when meeting me. It’s especially bad if you’re dressed well/up or wearing makeup. People tend to put you in that ‘you must be obsessed with you’re image’ box. It’s assumed you are a typical skinny bimbo. You must be stupid, fake, bitchy, narcissistic and generally a shallow terrible person. Never mind I have a PhD in cell and molecular biology, couldn’t be someone I’m not if I tried, kind (at least I try really hard) and empathetic to a fault. Basically people think of you the same way they think of Paris Hilton and that’s no fun.

People tell you NOT to workout

Most people I gather are hit over the head with the message to exercise and get moving. When you’re really really thin if people see you exercising, they tell you to stop! People will tell you that you don’t need to be running unless it’s for pizza. It’s probably not a very nice thing to do to someone but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else. A neighbour recently stopped me when I was running home to tell me I ought not to be out exercising at all! When People hear that I’m an avid cyclist, runner and occasional triathlete they tell me I should stop. However my doctor is pretty happy that I’m one of the 5% of Canadians that meet healthy living guidelines on the regular. So ahhh… No I’m not going to be stopping based on your advice.

You can fit in tight spots

This may not seem like a big deal but you would be surprised it comes in handy on the regular! Say two jerks conspire to park terribly and while they leave space for a car to fit in there is no way anyone can get out of it. Well that parking spot is made just for me! I barely need to open the door to get out so I’ll take it. One weekend my friend and I were doing some work at a remote federal marine research station when we went to get something out of the car. We locked the keys and our phones in the station. The nearest neighbour was about 5 km away. The tiny window high in the men’s bathroom was open a crack and since she was a cheerleader so she could lift me up and I was able to squeeze in. Sometimes we even book work based on the fact that I can get into tight spots. One job this summer required new surface electrical to be run. Most contractors said it had to run up the length of the walls to the ceiling but since I was tiny we were able to run it underneath and we got the job instead.

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Kiss my a$$! I’ll be riding my bike anyway!

People treat you like a child

This sort of goes hand in hand with people assuming you are shallow and wanting to carry things for you but people often treat you as a child when you are very skinny. It is often assumed that you can’t do basic adult things for yourself or make your own life choices. People have questioned how much I was going to eat, drink, whether it was time for me to go to bed, and did I need a coat all because I was skinny. “Are you sure you should be doing that, you’re awfully thin…,” is something no thirty year old needs to hear. You would never say that to any other adult I can only imagine how often you would hear it if you were thin AND short!

People feel responsible for feeding you

This might be the best double standard there is for the skinnies out there. People you barely know feel a strong and irresistible desire to feed you. Who knows why really, chances are you are not starving or poor but moms especially love to feed the skinnies. My pizza lady always upsizes my order sighting my small size. If there is an appetizer that I’m gobbling up the host will always send the rest home with me or make more and even tutoring parents feed me when I visit sighting my size each time. I love food and especially in training season but I generally eat more than Richard. Even when we’re just working I tend to do more hard grunt work since he has actual skills. Like this past week he handled the chain saw all day and I dragged the brush. So having dinner with friends I ate twice the amount he did and our host dutifully and happily ran to get me more.

What double standards have you run up against being skinny. Which are your favourites and which ones upset you? Have I forgotten any?

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