Slim with a babyface. That’s me.
Actually, not slim: ‘Skinny’.
Poked and prodded from all angles by strangers and distant relatives I barely know, people seem to think I’m totally cool being treated like a science project, and are quick to watch me binge on cakes and sweets, only to then reminisce about ‘I was as skinny as you once’ – As if to somehow predict my future.
I’ve weigh 8.3stone for almost 4 years. I’m 5ft 8, size 6 and can still shop in the kid’s section of New Look.
I love cake, the idea of exercise irks me and I cannot stand people calorie counting, checking out the fats in food and shopping for the highest protein prizes. Dieters make me feel uncomfortable and whenever I am even slightly concerned or upset with my body, I am shunned and made to feel pathetic.
I have a naturally fast metabolism; and due to a tough time at Uni, I made some silly dietary decisions, dropped a stone in weight, built half of it back up and plateaud.
Skinny isn’t a compliment. ‘Skinny’ as we’re calling it, is my normal. It’s embarrassing when people draw attention to it, or use me as a comparison for their own bodies to say ‘it’s fine for you, you don’t have to think about it’ and only brings bad memories back. Essentially telling me I’m not allowed to feel fat, uncomfortable or unhealthy. Because ‘some people would kill for a body like yours’.
It’s not a celebratory thing – being underweight and ‘skinny’. I am weak, extremely weak; My joints are knackered and tired all the time; At uni, I’d go out for meals and be so tired halfway through, I wouldn’t be able to finish the food. It’s not as apparent now, but it’s still difficult everynow and then; Clothes very rarely fit okay, and after spending so long trying to fit in with everyone’s ‘healthy eating’ schemes and diets through school and adulthood I’ve been left with absolutely no passion for food.
Pair this with my ultimate babyface – the joke that will haunt me forever.
I look young. Which is probably great in some people’s opinions. But being shouted ‘baby face’ from the bar, ID’d everywhere I go – even by people the same age as me or younger – is horrendous.
I’m 22 years old and mistaken for 16 and younger – not long ago I was asked for my half fare pass.
At job interviews, I can’t help feeling inferior, with judges looking down on me; asking me if I’ve ever had ‘a real job’ and changing their tone of voice around me.
I can’t help but feel I’m not taken seriously as an adult. And when people say ‘oh but you’ll appreciate it when you’re 40’? Well, I’m not 40. And I’m not going to be for a very long time. So for now, do I have to live with a lack of respect, strange looks and being taken the piss out of everytime I have to crack out my provisional?
Overall, the two combined make me feel disgusting practically everyday.
I’m lanky, ‘skinny’ and have the face of a 12 year old. I look like a disproportionate kid, and people are quick to let me know.
What you see as complimentary could be an insult for another. Your appearance goals and aspirations, could be someone else’s normal, or even nightmare.
Be careful how you choose to comment on those around you and their bodies. None of us realise the damage that can be done with words.