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To ask if skinny shaming is as bad as fat shaming?

(99 Posts)
upsideup Fri 09-Feb-18 09:40:19

I'm not trying to deny the reality of fat shaming or downplay the seriousness of it, I thinks its disgusting and rightfully as far as I am aware most people view it as completely unacecceptable, I'm just questioning why skinny shaming is still so socially acceptable. This thread is slightly inspired by some comments I have seen on other threads recently but is not a TAAT as such, I wanted to ask this question wihout derailing someone elses thread.

I am in stable recovery from anorexia now and have kept myself within the healthy BMI range for over 10 years, but my ED is irrelevant to this post as few people I now talk to know nothing about it, I dont know if they would be more sensitive if they did but it shouldnt matter, I know many slim people who have never had an eating disorder and are a healthy weight but who have experianced skinny shaming

I never comment on other peoples weight (big or small), I never purposely put anyone in a position where they would be made bad to feel bad about their weight or body because I know how horrible it feels. But just in the last few weeks I've had the 'Your so skinny' 'too skinny' 'Skeleton' comments from strangers and even 'Skinny bitch' comments. I've also been informed that men like bigger women and wouldnt my DH like me to have a bigger arse or when I decline food I am pushed to accept because 'I look like I could do with a cake' and this isnt by one individial, it's by many and in front of many, not once did anyone bat an eyelid and its normally just followed by laughter or agreement from others.

I guess I've never been overweight or been fat shamed so I cant get the full picture but AIBU in thinking skinny shaming is just as bad as fat shaming? and not understand why people dont think so?
I'm definately willing to be explained to why its not the same and that I am being unreasonable but please be a little gentle with me, I'm not trying to cause offence.

Jaygee61 Fri 09-Feb-18 09:43:38

Skinny shaming arises from jealousy, because being slim is desirable. Fat shaming arises from disgust because being fat is socially unacceptable.

Glad you are recovering from anorexia.

ChasedByBees Fri 09-Feb-18 09:45:56

Some people are arseholes and it sounds like you’ve encountered your fair share.

I think with judging fat people, there’s more of a sense of disgust, like they can’t control themselves and are physically repulsive. They apply their physical characteristics and extrapolate character flaws. You have been judged on your appearance, and that’s wrong too.

There’s research to show that fat people are discriminated against in jobs however:

www.monster.com/career-advice/article/weight-discrimination

www.bbc.com/capital/story/20161130-fat-people-earn-less-and-have-a-harder-time-finding-work

So I think that makes it a little different for me.

Tarraleaha Fri 09-Feb-18 09:47:15

Skinny shaming is much worst, because it's somehow being judged as more acceptable. People pretend to believe that being skinny is luck.

That said, "you are so skinny" could be as much of a compliment as an insult, it depends on the tone.

ragmayo Fri 09-Feb-18 09:49:24

Absolutely definitely!!! It's seen as more socially acceptable (but seriously, how?!!) but it's just as hurtful

TheCatsPaws Fri 09-Feb-18 09:51:09

It’s rude to comment on anyone’s weight. I had comments after I had DS that I was in my clothes straight away and so must not care about my baby hmm I’d had HG and he’d been back to back so didn’t really have a bump but sure, judge away...

It is absolutely as bad.

midnightmisssuki Fri 09-Feb-18 09:55:23

ive been skinny-shamed almost all my life - unfortunately ive got used to it now. If i eat more than one portion - im probably going to to toilet after to throw it up. If i dont eat because of whatever reason, im annorexic. Im SO thin that everyone can see my bones thought my clothes apparenty... Ive heard it all. I eat lots of junk food and i have an unhealthy obsession with sugar - people have willed me to get 'fat' beacuse its just simply not fair that i get to eat all these and still put no weight on. Its just the way i am - its the way my body is.

I am natually slim - always have been. When i lost weight after the children, i was accused of all sorts - was i really even pregnant? etc etc. When i was so desperate to be bigger and went up to a size 8 - i was then accused of being 'fat' and shamed that way. People just dont realise that skinny shaming is not acceptable and yes, slim people have feelings too. I let it go these days - simply because ive just heard it all and i cannot be bothered to fight back anymore.

Well done on the ongoing recovery OP. flowers

WhooooAmI24601 Fri 09-Feb-18 09:56:12

I think people are far too quick generally to comment on other people's bodies. It's rude and ignorant and whilst "wow, you look lovely" is great, "wow, you're too thin, you've lost too much weight" is not.

Whichever way your body goes, there'll always be someone there with a comment to make you feel shit about it. I've worked hard to lose almost 3 stone over the last 6 months or so and MIL said to me on wednesday "well, it's a bit of a waste at your age, nobody's going to be looking at you". It's a revolting culture we have where womens bodies are universally judged and found wanting and I refuse to subscribe to it.

Tarraleaha Fri 09-Feb-18 09:58:44

it's not just women, men are judged just as harshly.

Digitalash Fri 09-Feb-18 10:00:00

I think people think they are being nice sometimes but its just rude to comment on peoples looks/weight IMO. I suffered from an ED and i am still very slight and it makes me really uncomfortable when people comment on my weight - it just reminds you of the years of battles I faced and thats shit when all you want to do is move on.
So yes OP they are just as bad as each othe i think.

QuiteLikely5 Fri 09-Feb-18 10:03:55

Either way it’s not good

BlindAssassin1 Fri 09-Feb-18 10:04:41

Skinny shaming isn't worse than fat shaming at all, though both are unnecessary, unkind and hurtful.

Its a bit like white people complaining about being discriminated because of their whiteness or men complaining about being discriminated against because of their sex. There may well be incidents where people are marginalised because of those factors but the entire rest of society and culture works for and is centred around white people, and/ or men to their betterment and protection.

I had a sub-clinical ED and its very difficult to shake off. Its a bit like alcoholism - you kind of have it for life and need to look after yourself when it comes to food and body image. But even when I've had the 'skinny bitch' and 'men like junk in the truck' shit said to me, its not a patch on being spat on in the street, loudly jeered at by teenagers when going running, or called things like 'vile pig', all of which has happened to bigger women around me. Society is vicious to big women, where thin women are rewarded with approval.

SoftSheen Fri 09-Feb-18 10:04:47

YANBU. However, some people (misguidedly) use it as a compliment, so it is best to try not to take offence where none is meant. In general it is best not to pass comment on someone's weight at all. Good luck with your recovery smile

FissionChips Fri 09-Feb-18 10:06:19

Neither is nice. There is no reason to comment on someone’s appearance, it’s their body, not yours.

SantanicoPandemonium Fri 09-Feb-18 10:09:10

Skinny shaming is disgusting behaviour and anyone who does should be ashamed of themselves. I’m sick of people looking me up and down and telling me how skinny I am, but if I told them how chunky they are there’d be outrage!

And as for this real women have curves bullshit, that can fuck off!

formerbabe Fri 09-Feb-18 10:11:35

I hate all the terms "fat shaming" and "skinny shaming" and "body shaming". It is simply a symptom of this current narcissistic, self obsessed, image obsessed, shallow culture. How about we just stop obsessing over how we look and how others perceive us.

CougheeBean Fri 09-Feb-18 10:11:56

Neither is nice. However for me personally, comments about my weight now that I'm smaller barely even register. When I was bigger and had nasty comments it really, really hurt and made me feel worthless. I haven't experienced much skinny shaming but comments like "you're getting too skinny", "look like you need a burger/cake", "I can see your bones", "you're fading away" etc I actually take as compliments. Due to being so much bigger before. My confidence is much, much higher now and it's pretty obvious when comments come from jealousy - and if they come from spite, I have a much thicker skin that comes with higher self-worth.

I can imagine it must be different for people who are naturally skinny, but this is something I work hard for and I'm quite pleased when people notice. I'm the healthiest I've ever been.

LemonShark Fri 09-Feb-18 10:12:04

Yes, it's horrendous both ways. People rarely see skinny shaming as a problem as our culture doesn't see being thin as a problem in the way it sees being fat as a problem (and understandably, it's generally healthier to be on the slim side than to be overweight).

I cringe when I hear 'stick insect' 'real women have curves' blah blah. It's not okay to judge anyone else's body disparagingly.

PutTheBunnyBackInTheBox Fri 09-Feb-18 10:12:21

It's not worse but they are as bad as each other.

I'm slim and forever hearing comments about my weight. At work if I don't want a biscuit/bun etc it's announced 'Bunny doesn't eat that sort of thing' and was once described by a customer as 'the thin one'. I think it's seen as acceptable.

Ihatemarmite123 Fri 09-Feb-18 10:12:23

Shaming anyone for their body is disgusting.

Only time I've experienced it is when pregnant. It's says more about them than you.

CoalTit Fri 09-Feb-18 10:14:20

I've had plenty of rude things said to me about my thinness. My favourites are "have you got worms or something?" and "are you using heroin?"
It seems really clear to me that it's mixed up with approval and envy, and nothing like the abuse that women get for not being thin. It all stems from misogyny.

Noloot Fri 09-Feb-18 10:14:41

I don't think skinny shaming exists I like being called skinny by fat people. Insult me all you like at least I'm not fat.
I really think that even though it is mean.

Dancingfairy Fri 09-Feb-18 10:17:04

I don't think it is as most times I've heard it it seems to be said out jealous or envy. Rather than disgust (like fat shaming)

Situp Fri 09-Feb-18 10:17:10

I think the answer is in the word shaming rather than fat or skinny. Your body is your business

Mercurial123 Fri 09-Feb-18 10:17:15

Some people are morons I've had someone prod me in the stomach and ask if I'm anorexic. Another time someone who I barely know told me I looked disgusting. I'm not even that thin 65 kgs at 5'9" is hardly anorexic.

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