I was a skinny, bony kid. I remember other kids always grabbing my wrist and measuring how little it was with their fingers. They would laugh at my skinny stick legs coming out of the bottom of my denim culottes. For the most part I didn’t mind very much. I just loved to laugh and play.
I was a skinny, bony teenager as well. Naturally, this is when it was a little tougher. I remember eating as much as I could in an attempt to gain weight. I even counted calories to make sure I got enough, but to no avail. I could not gain an ounce. I was not a pretty skinny. I felt utterly unattractive. It was not unusual to have people stop and stare as I walked by and I could hear them say in hushed horrified tones, “Did you see how skinny that girl was?”
When I got to boarding school, my dorm parents and teachers alike thought I had an eating disorder. One teacher even called me “Anorexia” for a while. He forever earned my respect one day when he noticed I didn’t like it. He asked me if it bothered me, and I said, “Yes.” He apologized and never said it again. But I had seen pictures of people with this disease, and there was nothing attractive about them.
I was just as skinny when I went to college. I remember one incident in particular. I got all ready to go down to the lunch room and felt like I looked nice. It was a good hair day. As I stood in line for my food, one of the popular upper classman walked over to me and said, “You might be pretty if you’d gain some weight,” and walked back to his table. I think those were the only words he ever spoke to me. People all around snickered but didn’t say anything. I thought to myself, “If I said something like that to an over-weight person, those standing in line would hate me forever.” Why do people think it is okay to treat skinny people like that? These are just a few examples. Unfortunately I could tell you many more.
I think I was in my mid twenties before I finally gained a few pounds. Now after four children I am forever trying to lose those five to ten vanity pounds. Recently, my eldest daughter declared, “Mom, you’re not fat and you’re not skinny. You’re just normal.” Just think. I had to wait 39 years to hear those words!