I come from a family of skinny women.
The females in my family have small breasts, tiny curves and a tiny bum. They’re sometimes tall, but usually, they’re of average height. As a result of this genetic characteristic, I was a skinny girl growing up.
Being skinny was never an issue when I was younger, but in my teens and mid-twenties, when all the girls around me had big boobs, curves and a bum booming from their back-sides, it seemed that I was left behind, and everyone around me had an issue with it.
I became the butt of skinny jokes in high school, with people likening me to the stereotype of the starving child of Africa who lives on a dollar a day. I was told that I was ugly, and no man would ever want me because “they’d have nothing to hold on to”, meaning no curves.
I thought that this was merely teenagers being horrible, until I became an adult and the big deal with being skinny continued.
As an adult, the nastiness from people, both men and women (funny enough they were from my social circles), seemed to escalate. Now that I was a woman, being skinny meant that I was not pretty enough, as being curvy was seen as a symbol of real femininity and beauty.
I was being body shamed for failing to meet society’s expectations of feminine beauty. I was unable to measure up to supposed body ideals, and that made me the perfect candidate for bullying because I was the “other”.
The experience of being “the other” played with my mind by eroding my self-esteem and a positive self-image, and to remedy the situation, I turned to over-eating to fatten myself up, with a detrimental effect on my health.
I had to learn that I wasn’t the problem. The roots of sexism and patriarchal ideals of the perfect woman were the causes of this whole madness. Keeping women focused on frivolous things such as appearance steals from our power as we learn to believe that we’re not good enough, and I had to get rid of that mindset. My significance and femininity shouldn’t be reduced to the size of my curves, bum and breasts.
I’ve learned to love my body, and I’ve also learned to ignore body shamers.
My skinny figure is perfect and beautiful – that’s all 🙂
* image from Pexels.