I used to be the kind of person that laughed when skinny girls called themselves fat. As a skinny girl myself – the kind that was in permanent limbo between a size 00 and 0, who still had to shop in juniors because womens clothes didn’t fit her – I thought it was ridiculous that a skinny girl could feel fat. Sure, I knew skinny girls could have many other body image issues – I had them myself – like hating too skinny limbs, or protruding bones – but I couldn’t grasp how a skinny girl could possibly think she was fat. For a while, I wrote it off as a social phenomenon – so many women bond over their body image issues of thinking themselves fat, and butting in with a “my arms are too stick-like” usually gets your female companions to glare at you. It makes sense that skinny girls would want to feel included by expressing their feelings that they too feel fat.
I never thought it was because skinny girls could actually feel fat until a few months ago.
I moved back in with my parents after graduating college this May, in dire need of comfort, home cooked food, and no rent. Of course, home cooked food comes with a mother who stuffs your face full of it, and without realizing, I promptly gained 10 pounds in the span of two months.
Down to the numbers – in the grand scheme of things, this was actually a perfect thing. I previously weighed less than 100lbs and even though I was a short 5’2″, it was still a borderline unhealthy weight. With the pounds added from rice and quickly eating in my half-hour lunch break at work, I now weigh in at 107lbs, which is my new happy place. I shall be content to stay here forever.
But I didn’t feel that way back in June.
For the first time ever after a convention, I got Cosplay pictures back and wasn’t pleased with how I looked. My tummy was sticking out. I had a double chin. I didn’t get it. How could I look fat in pictures when I was finally a “healthy” weight?
It took me a while to admit that I felt fat since I knew in my mind it was a logically ridiculous feeling for a skinny girl to have. It took me a really long time to say that despite putting on weight in convenient places (hello booty!) that the weight in my stomach really bothered me. I sat next to a pregnant woman on the train during my morning commute one day and put my bag over my stomach. What if people thought I was pregnant too because of how tiny the rest of me is?
The entire time I thought this, I mentally beat myself up for being so absolutely ridiculous.
I finally admitted to my family that I felt this way and completely broke down. Of course they consoled me with all the platitudes that I was telling myself. But then my mom asked me why I had not bought myself new clothes yet. Obviously my old ones didn’t fit.
I went on a Black Friday online shopping spree. Got myself new pants mainly. But they came in two days ago and I had a revelation. They fit me like my old pants did. They didn’t squish my stomach out anymore. I didn’t look fat. I felt good.
Buy clothes that fit and flatter. For the first time in my life, clothing didn’t fit me how I wanted it to or expected it to, and it led to crazy body image issues. Having pants that fit when you feel like your stomach is big is key to feeling confident – and as an added bonus, I can sit down without feeling like my pants are strangling my stomach.
I never thought I would feel fat. Ever. But now that I have, I’ve made a promise to myself to never dismiss my skinny girls that feel the same way, as I’ve done before. Yes, you’re skinny, but it’s okay to feel fat. It makes sense. I will never dismiss your concerns, and I will do my best to help you feel confident in your own skin again. Maybe all we skinny girls need is a pair of pants that fit.