For a long time now, discussions around the stigma of obesity are making corners at every debate show. Though the stigma rests, there has been a great shift in society that is now becoming acceptable to different body shapes and sizes, except for being thin. Being skinny has a lot of disadvantages as well as questioning for being naturally thin. While it is deemed morally wrong to disrespect an overweight person, the majority believes that defaming a thin person is not immoral. There have been pre-waif beauty conventions that happen to change from time to time, however, being overweight or skinny never made it to the list. The stigma around obesity is considered a ‘real’ problem nobody wants to bring up skinny shaming.
By and large, most believe in the rejection of women being naturally thin. If a person is overweight it is considered natural while a woman is skinny, people assume that they are trying to stay slim on purpose. People don’t believe that size is not a choice. As a result, skinny folks feel ostracised for having a shape that is not their choice. An overweight person can try to lose weight through diet and lifestyle changes, but a naturally underweight person cannot gain weight simply by those methods.
There is a well-known concept called ‘constitutional thinness’.
Women who are constitutionally thin, actually eat around the same number of calories as normal-weight women. They may sometimes have a diet better than many people yet having control over their weight is not an option. While loads of women are battling to lose weight, it is much harder to conceive it. What is more ostracised is the fact that despite negative comments every day, people refuse to believe slender women feel insecure about their weight. Nobody wants to hear complaints from a woman who can apparently eat a buffet without gaining a single pound.
Further still, these are the same people who criticize them for being underweight. They are often mocked with phrases like, “have you eaten, you look ill, you should eat more” and remains so. If it is not okay to say, ‘you look fat’, then why is it okay to say, ‘you look too thin’? In most cases, even a healthy person can be extremely thin and can look unwell, so why are they stereotyped?
The hypocrisy can be well witnessed in the entertainment industry where women are forced to be slim, yet skinny women are rejected. Even well-known skinny-mini-Victoria Beckham banned ‘too thin’ models from her runway shows. They are constantly food policed, instructing them on what to eat and what not. Body shaming against any person despite the circumstances is wrong. Terribly and irreparably, it is devastating for a person to feel insecure in a body they are born with, over something that they simply do not control. By creating such situations, you rage a war against not just one’s physicality but also psychologically. The stigma of skinny shaming exists, and it is dehumanizing with its consequences.
If a person is naturally thin or fat, it is immoral to assume that they are deserving of the ridicule that they receive. Fat shaming, on the other hand, faces more awfully painful moments than their skinny folks, however, we cannot just leave out skinny people’s share of legitimate trauma.
By creating a discussion on skinny shaming, we are not siding fat stigma to diminish, but rather bringing more serious issues to the center, i.e Body shaming. Body shaming does not just include skinny and fat people but also those with diseases, disorders, or any other problems they are dealing with inclusive of acne, stretch marks, body hair, and every aspect of the human body that is being stereotyped. We cannot side with one stigma when the oppressive culture of sexism and racism is making its way into institutional systems.