Skinny Shaming Isn’t Real

Skinny Shaming Isn’t Real

Periodically, the internet goes mad because somebody somewhere called someone a skinny bitch. It went particularly mad in 2014 when Meghan Trainor released All About That Bass, and think pieces galore sprung up entitled ‘All About That Bass might actually be bad for female body image’. These articles generally went like this:

All About That Bass is terrible because calling people skinny bitches is just as bad as calling them fat. It’s skinny shaming; and skinny shaming is WRONG.”

If you’re not in the know, All About That Bass is one of several songs around at the moment encouraging women to embrace their curves and to love their body, even if it isn’t thin. These songs are part of a wider movement known as the Fat Acceptance Movement, which – as you might have guessed – encourages women (and men, but primarily women since women’s bodies are more readily scrutinised by society) to reject the beauty norms that tell them they must be thin.

It’s a great movement.

Unfortunately, the movement is often criticised for throwing thin women under the bus and making the feel like they’re not worthy because they don’t have ‘all the right junk in all the right places’. And these are legitimate criticisms. We shouldn’t raise one body time up by bringing another body type down. (Well, in an ideal world we wouldn’t have to raise any body type up because everyone would stop telling women that their worth is defined by their size. But y’know, patriarchy).

But those people that are crying out that skinny shaming is just as bad as fat shaming are seriously ignorant to the world we live in, and they need to pipe the fuck down.

Skinny girls can open magazines and see images of women whose bodies look like theirs. Fat girls open magazines and see their bodies being torn down.

Skinny girls can walk into Topshop and find an array of clothes in their size. Fat girls have to trawl the shopping centres looking for stores that stock their size.

Skinny girls earn more than fat girls. Really skinny girls (that weigh 25 pounds less than the average) earn $15,572 more than women of average weight. Fat girls earn $13,847 less than their average counterparts.

Skinny girls get more sympathy from their doctors than fat girls. Fat girls get every medical problem blamed on their weight.

Skinny girls are more likely to get away with murder. Or at least petty crimes. Fat girls are more likely to be labelled ‘repeat offenders’

Calling someone a skinny bitch is nasty, that’s true. But when you call someone fat you’re implying so much more about them that just their size. If you’re fat, society views you as lazy and unworthy. If you’re thin, society views you as an acceptable member of society. So telling a girl to go eat a sandwich might make her feel bad for a little while, which is wrong, but telling a girl to lose weight tells her that she is currently socially unacceptable.

So no. Skinny shaming isn’t real, and it isn’t as bad as fat shaming. When society stops treating fat girls as less than human, then you can tell me that skinny shaming is real.

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  1. October 1, 2016 / 14:38

    I’ve never read anything so true and real in my life! Great post girl and i totally agree with everything you have wrote. 💜 xxx

    • Liv Woodward
      October 1, 2016 / 14:45

      I’m so pleased you liked it and that it resonated with you! Thanks for reading and your lovely comment! xxx

  2. F
    October 1, 2016 / 17:09

    As an obese woman who has been fat shamed constantly by friends and family alike, I take great offence to this and can assure you that skinny shaming is very real. I’ve seen it happen to many of my friends and I’m ashamed to say I’ve done it myself occasionally.

    Whilst some articles and people surely exist that equate body positivity with skinny shaming they are wrong – I do agree with you there.However, your argument is flawed and eerily similar to the #alllivesmatter ridiculousness.

    Skinny shaming does exist. Just think of the stereotypes for skinny women, people are more likely to assume that someone is ‘stingy’ and mean etc. if they’re skinny; I’ve heard people say the likes of “you need a sandwich” countless times. I think we need to stop setting any beauty standards for women at all, everyone is under pressure.

    To assume that a “skinny” (what do you even mean here? How are you defining that?) woman isn’t under intense societal pressure to look a certain way is ridiculous. I am 100% sure that smaller women have felt lacking because people have said that they don’t have a large butt, or because “there’s nothing to hold on to”, or because their breasts may be smaller. Heck, the mainstream likes of Buzzfeed have done countless videos on it. I think we’re forgetting that all women are under intense pressure to look a certain way, an often unachievable standard, and to assume otherwise is ridiculously naive.

    • F
      October 1, 2016 / 17:11

      I’ve just noticed that you claim to be a feminist. I can’t even summon the words.

    • Liv Woodward
      October 2, 2016 / 10:42

      I never said skinny people aren’t under societal pressure too – as someone who has suffered from an eating disorder I’m all too aware of the pressure all women face when it comes to their body. But being told to eat a sandwich is not comparable to the systematic oppression and shaming overweight women face every day, as highlighted y the examples I used in this article. As I pointed out, telling thin people they’re too thin, to eat a sandwich, etc is nasty and absolutely a terrible, terrible, awful thing to do – but it’s not the same as the shaming fat women face. It’s like people trying to claim reverse sexism and reverse racism are real – they’re not, because sexism and racism as systematic and institutionalised forms of oppression. It’s the same with fat shaming.

  3. Rachael
    March 11, 2017 / 08:19

    This is fantastic! Thank you for summing it up so well.

    • Liv Woodward
      March 11, 2017 / 11:05

      Thank you! I’m glad you liked it!

  4. April 7, 2017 / 00:35

    This is a very well written article I will give you that, but as a skinny person who has experience skinny shaming countless times in my life ever since I could remember but those very nasty words that they say stay with you and they hurt I can’t tell you how many times I went home crying because of the things people were saying to me.My family even talks about me, my own family, and when you said they part about “Skinny girls get more sympathy from their doctors” no my doctor blames everything on me being underweight from my period to my migraines. I’ve even had a boyfriend tell me that I was lucky that he was dating me because he usually dates fuller figured girls. Don’t get me started on the many of times I’ve been called a sir because i don’t have a chest or a butt. Skinny shaming is real and it really sucks that people don’t believe its a thing because that means its going to keep happening.

  5. May 19, 2017 / 19:06

    Whilst I agree that there is a system in place that shames fat women and privileges skinny women, I have to disagree with the statement that skinny shaming isn’t real. As a slim (not skinny) woman who has been skinny shamed many times, it is very real and quite hurtful, because people are still judging over my body type.

    I think body shaming is something that affects a lot of women regardless of their body type.


    • Liv Woodward
      May 24, 2017 / 14:21

      There’s a difference between being mean to someone about their weight (which absolutely happens to thin people as well as fat people), and the systematic oppression that fat people face in every aspect of their life. Thin people are treated better by society, systematically, than fat people are.

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