Small Fry, Large Fry
“You wouldn’t order a steak if it was nothing but bone, so why would you want a woman that way?”
Phrases like this one have been plaguing social media lately. And, as a whopping five feet two inches tall and 103 pounds, I find these remarks offensive.
But it’s nothing new to me. People make fun and joke about my size all the time. Last year, a teacher told me in front of the entire class that I looked like I starved myself. At first, I laughed it off, but after a while, the comment really got to me. Yes, professor, I’m well aware that I have the physique of a 12-year-old boy.
And in case you’re wondering, no, I don’t starve myself. In fact, my mom calls me her personal garbage disposal. I surprise people when we eat together and they see how much food I can scarf down (and no, I don’t throw it up later, either).
I’ve been called a “skinny bitch” in jest, and in elementary school, a girl who didn’t like the fact that I was scrawny said she hoped I would grow up to live as an obese woman with 12 children in a shack – a pretty elaborate hate story for a fourth grader.
So, my question is – why is it okay for us to tell a thin person that they look like they “need to eat a sandwich,” but it’s not okay to tell a larger person that they need to eat fewer sandwiches? Neither of the comments should be acceptable. Natural body types come in all shapes and sizes, not just curvy, and not stick thin, either. Real women have real bodies, not a cookie cutter shape.
We are so used to society telling us that skinny is beautiful, that we may not realize that jokes about being too skinny hurt – and are inappropriate. As a whole, we have simply become obsessed with telling each other how we should look.
We applaud actresses like Jennifer Lawrence for telling us that we should be able to eat whatever we want and still feel beautiful, and this is true. But it’s comments like this one – “I’d rather look chubby on screen and like a person in real life” – that contradict her own message.
The fact is that all body types should be celebrated – a person born with a smaller body frame shouldn’t be made to feel like they are unhealthy, just like someone who is larger shouldn’t have to feel that way.
In the words of my best friend, Katie, “There shouldn’t be any ‘classification’ for women….just that we are all beautiful,” and she’s exactly right.