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Body Shaming: It Happens To Skinny People, Too

by Kelly Langevin

It comes and goes likes waves hitting the sand and wandering back into the sea. Some nights are filled with darkness and, other nights, the light shines through. I guess you can say I bury things, words especially. I pretend that words don’t hurt, when in fact, they feel like bullets piercing my body, leaving unseen scars that I only can touch.

Imagine telling someone who is overweight to put the food down because you believe they can lose a few pounds. It’s seen as insulting and socially unacceptable to say such harsh words because body weight is often a touchy subject, and bullying people who are heavier is obviously highly frowned upon.

Often bullying people because of their weight is recognized as shaming them because they’re heavier. That’s not always true, and it’s time people realized the words “twig” and “I can break you” can hurt just as much as the word “fat.”

I started to realize how bad words affected me during high school. It wasn’t only from boys that made me feel ashamed to look in the mirror and stare at my reflection hoping the next time I looked up, I would somehow be transformed into something that I wasn’t.

At lunch, the girls would say, “That’s all you’re going to eat today? No wonder why you’re so skinny.” Boys would comment “why don’t you have an a** and boobs like her? You’re stuck in the sixth grade.”

In eighth grade in science class, we had to step on a scale and record our weight in the class for an experiment. As I stepped off the scale and read 105 pounds, I felt my heart beat out of my chest.

A boy who was watching looked at me and said, “No wonder why you can fit through that space over there so easily.”

It wasn’t just school that made me realize that being skinny followed me around like a target on my back; I didn’t feel like being skinny was a bad thing at first. I saw myself as a normal person, 5-foot-2-inch, 108 pounds and, to be honest, eating way more McDonalds than I should have.

I just have a very fast metabolism and genetics aren’t making gaining weight any easier, something my family members know.

But still, at every family party, I attended, I’d hear, “She’s just as tiny as her mother. Always so small.”

Words hurt. Being told that you have to change and don’t have the right body type hurts. People don’t realize that making fun of others because they’re skinny has a huge impact on oneself, just like being made fun of for being heavy does.

It is something that will probably follow me for the rest of my life. I can brush it off and pretend it doesn’t hurt, but at the end of the day, I know leftover comments will dance in the back of my mind and bring forward unpleasant feelings and thoughts.

What people need to understand is that falsely claiming a person has a disease, like anorexia, hurts. Either way, being bullied for being overweight or underweight is never okay.

It’s time we look at society, look at ourselves and change the way we treat people because words hurt. Words always hurt.