The Double Standard

I am naturally thin. Always have been and always will be. But for some reason (perhaps childhood bullying), I’ve had this deep-rooted insecurity for years that I am too skinny.

And the thing is, that insecurity hasn’t gone away even into my adulthood. While adults aren’t quite as blunt as kids, they have a sneaky way of commenting on your weight, or in my case, the apparent lack thereof. Maybe it’s jealousy or ignorance, but either way, it’s never okay in my mind to talk about someone’s weight, even if that person is thin.

In my vocabulary, I don’t even use the word skinny because I find it offensive. And for as long as I can remember, there have been have been people in my life, whether they may be complete strangers, friends or co-workers, who have used that awful word to describe me.

I also happen to have a chronic illness where my weight fluctuates all the time. From one month to the next, I can look very different (as in, opposite ends of the spectrum). Over the past five years, I’ve taken steroid-based medications which, through the course of treatment, have caused leaps and drops in my weight of up to 20 pounds!

Here’s my issue: people have no trouble saying things like, “You can stand to gain a few pounds,” or “Wow, you’re soo skinny.” Yet, I would never go up to someone and say, “Hey, you’re looking a little fat today.”

There is definitely a double standard out there, and I’m here to talk about the other side of it. Aside from what popular culture and the media would have us believe, it’s not cool to be labelled as skinny, or at least not in my opinion.

When people make comments about my weight, there’s often a sarcastic or negative undertone there. Of course, there is the exception of my close friends and family who would choose to complement me rather than do the opposite.

I encourage others to think carefully before they speak about another person’s weight, whether that person is of slim, average or large build. You never know how your words are affecting someone.

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