“You’re too skinny” – A few thoughts on skinny shaming

During my morning commute a few weeks ago, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and came across this post about Giuliana Rancic.  It was about her acknowledging her skinny frame and responding to people critiquing her for it.

I almost decided not to write this because I figured a lot of people would think that I’m defending a famous person who doesn’t need defending and such. Based upon a lot of the Twitter comments I read in reply to that tweet, there is a lot of hatred. Many people not even bothering to read the article, saying horrible things about her and how she needs to eat and how she’s terrible and many accusing her of just trying to get attention and make herself seem like a victim, in light of the recent Zendaya scandal. I merely want to express my thoughts on this article and the things that it made me reflect on. I was also fearful of the backlash I might receive, as is often the case, from people saying that skinny shaming isn’t a real thing and that by saying it is I’m just perpetuating and diminishing fat shaming. That’s not what I’m trying to do either.

Regardless of what her reasons are for this article, I agree with a lot of what Giuliana has to say. She mentions that there were a lot of rumours and accusations about her having an eating disorder. She also states that if she actually did have an eating disorder, this would not be the appropriate way for people to address it. If someone is struggling with an eating disorder, do you think by shaming them and getting angry with them, that you’re making the situation any better? People going through these things need support, not hate. Growing up, I often dealt with accusations that I had an eating disorder. In high school, one girl tried spreading a rumour that I was anorexic. I never understood why she felt the need to do that. These accusations would often come from people who themselves had issues with their own bodies, but it also came from others. Family, friends, acquaintances, anybody I met. I’ve had people ask me if I was anorexic, while I was eating food in front of them. It didn’t make any sense. It was as if they were using the word as a synonym for thin, not realizing that it implied a serious eating disorder.

While I’ve never had an eating disorder myself, I know that it a serious issue that many people face and that a lot of people, famous or not, struggle with body image.  Celebrities like P!nk and Kelly Clarkson, have recently spoken out against body shaming. There are numerous campaigns promoting loving your body and being happy with yourself and not adhering to a certain image or ideal and that’s great.  But there is still a lot of hatred.  Whether it is fat shaming or skinny shaming, it is still wrong.

One of the reason’s that Giuliana’s situation struck a cord with me, is because there are health issues involved.  She has fought cancer and says that some of the medication she takes causes weight loss.  Many have chimed in saying that she was already skinny before the cancer, trying to push that aside so they can still direct shame at her.  Health issues are not something that healthy individuals often think about or consider when judging another person.  There are all sorts of illnesses and medications that can cause either weight gain or weight loss and there is no way that you could fully know another person’s situation simply by looking at them.  Imagine how awful it would be if you were dealing with a chronic illness and on top of that, you had to deal with people criticizing your weight, which is something that your illness has influenced.

I have dealt with health issues myself, and in turn dealt with people questioning me about my weight and my diet.  I remember one time someone said to me “You’re so skinny, I love how you can just eat whatever you want and not gain weight!”  Normally, I wouldn’t argue, but that time I mumbled something about how I couldn’t actually eat whatever I wanted.  She then asked me if I was really strict with my diet, assuming that it was something I chose simply to maintain a certain weight.  I told her that I actually have food sensitivities and there are certain things I can’t eat.  There’s a huge difference between choosing to cut something out of your diet because you want to lose weight and actually not being able to eat something because it physically wreaks havoc on your body.  It’s not like, oh, I can’t eat this because I might gain a few pounds, it’s I can’t eat this because I will physically suffer as a result.

Another time, I had a friend question my dining choices and tell me outright that I was too skinny.  That’s when I told her I was actually on a modified diet due to health reasons.  I know that there are some people who don’t have any health issues and just have a fast metabolism and good genes and everyone envies them.  People start being hateful because of it.  But in Giuliana’s case, there is more to it than that.  A lot of people wish they could eat whatever they wanted and not gain weight, but would you still want that if it meant you had cancer or some type of chronic illness?  I’m guessing not.

The health aspect of body shaming is the one that I feel really strongly about. But even if there is no serious underlying health issue involved, it is still something that should not be tolerated.  I have other thoughts on the subject and could probably devote an entire blog to skinny shaming or body shaming alone.  But I won’t.  But I will very likely post about it again in the future.

Advertisements

I was hungry

This one time, I ate a muffin in the library even though the sign said no food. Cause I’m a rebel like that.

I need to start eating better, she says to herself after she picks up a turkey & beef lumberjack sandwich at Safeway

lumberjack sandwich

Turkey & beef lumberjack sandwich

This is kind of exciting, because they actually list the ingredients.  With the regular lumberjack sandwich, it says “may or may not contain” and then lists various meats.  At least this way, I know my meats are turkey and roast beef.  Or so they say.

The most upsetting thing

So I went grocery shopping at Safeway with my dad on Sunday. I picked up some essentials, you know, a lumberjack sandwich, a tub of ice cream, a box of donuts. They also have pie in their baked goods section. I noticed they had a key lime meringue pie. Obviously I had to get one.

That night, I had a very small piece of it. It was good. I was looking forward to having more the following day. I considered taking a piece to work with my lunch but then I would have had to find a container for it and I just couldn’t be bothered. Waiting until I got home the next day would be fine. Or so I thought.

When I came home yesterday, my family was watching Fear Factor. People were in a giant tub of cow’s blood and they had to put the cow’s hearts in their mouths. My only question was why? Seriously, why? Isn’t that highly unsanitary? Not to mention disgusting? Oh wait, I guess I do have more questions than why? Anyway, you would think that would have been the most upsetting thing I saw that day. But you would be wrong.

I went into the kitchen. Sitting on the counter was the foil dish that the pie had been on, as well as the cover. It was empty. Completely empty. I interrupted my family mid Fear Factor viewing to yell “You ate the entire pie?!!”. Seriously, I wasn’t even expecting anyone else to eat any of it, let alone the whole thing. My brothers sort of pointed to each other, blaming one another for having eaten it, or having eaten most of it. But yeah, seeing the empty pie dish was the most upsetting thing I saw yesterday. The awfulness of Fear Factor came in at a very close second.

Sour cream & bacon chips

I did not know these existed. But I happened across them when I popped into Shoppers Drug Mart to kill time while waiting for my bus. Ruffles chips are 2 for $4 at the moment. I love Ruffles. There’s something about the ridges that make the chips that much better. My favourite is probably all dressed, but I’m excited to try sour cream & bacon. You can’t go wrong with bacon, right?

My dream job

A few weeks ago when I came home, my mom tossed the Richmond Review newspaper to me and said “Here’s a job for you”.  I didn’t know what it was.  I thought maybe it would be some sort of joke thing, you never know with my mom.  But this is the article that she was referring to.

Of course I was intrigued, read the whole article and looked it up online and checked all the qualifications and instructions and deadline for submissions.  Tourism Richmond is hiring a food blogger to eat at various restaurants around Richmond and blog about it.  This is pretty much my dream job.  The only thing better would be if someone would pay me to blog about watching TV or riding public transit.

When I went to the online ad, it said they were looking for someone who was passionate about food and was constantly on Facebook and Twitter.  If those were the only requirements, I’d be a shoo-in for this.  But it looks like they might prefer candidates who already have their own established food blogs.  While my blog here isn’t solely dedicated to food, it seems like food is a topic that seems to come up pretty often.  I am passionate about food and it is one of my most popular blogging topics.

I update my Facebook and Twitter several times a day.  And everyday there is at least one status about food, usually more.  Either about food that I’ve bought, seen, eaten, or want to eat.  Or something witty about the various national food days.  For example, today happens to be National French Bread Day.  How do I know that?  I make it a point to keep up with all the national food holidays throughout the year.  My friend asked me if I have a food calendar.  I do not, but I would like one.  Do those exist?  If not, can I start making them?  I mean a calendar that lists the national food days, not a calendar made of food.  Although that sounds even more amazing.

I haven’t applied for this job yet.  They give you all of March to do so.  I don’t want to rush it.  From what I’ve seen, there’s A LOT of competition.  And a lot of them are total foodies who have well established food blogs and lots of followers and experience.  Experience with what?  I don’t know, writing?  Eating?  But I think I have a lot of experience writing and eating as well.  And I have a lot of experience living in Richmond, so I know areas and restaurants and history.

When thinking about applying, this is what I came up with for the reasons I should be the food blogger for Tourism Richmond.

1) I eat food.

2) I’m a blogger.

3) I live in Richmond.

You can’t argue with that logic, right?  Although some would say it’s a bit of a weak arguement, I suppose.  But it’s true.  Then again, a lot of people can probably relate to items 1-3.  I guess I shall have to come up with more than that.  What about the fact that I really want it and it’s my dream job?  No?  Not good enough?  Fine.  I’ll think of something better.

The perks of this job are insane.  I had to read it several times in order to believe that this was an actual position.  They pay $50,000 for a year of work.  They pay you to eat out at restaurants.  They provide you with housing.  They give you a gym membership to help you work off the calories from eating out everyday.  What more could you ask for?

Of course with an insane job, there will be insane competition.  If you check Facebook or Twitter or just Google 365 Days of Dining, you’ll see how much hype and interest there is in this.  Obviously.  But I won’t let that discourage me.  I’ll accept it as a challenge.  One thing they want is someone who’s “open-minded and willing to try new things”.  There’s a lot of food that I’ve tried, and a lot that I haven’t tried.  And I think that’s a good thing, because it would give a new perspective for some things.

I love blogging and I love food and it would be so great to be able to combine the two and get paid for it.  I wish there wasn’t only the one position.  But alas, that’s the way it is.  And whether or not I qualify for this, I will continue to blog about food and I will continue to constantly overuse Facebook and Twitter.  It would just be a whole lot better if I was getting paid to do so.

 

How I spend my Tuesdays

Today I experienced a bit of deja vu as I was nearing the end of my day.  I seem to have my Tuesday routine down: work, volunteer, miss the bus, Fresh Slice, London Drugs.  In that order.  Except that the Fresh Slice and London Drugs are interchangeable as to the times they occur in that sequence (side note: every time I try to type “Fresh Slice”, I always end up typing “Fresh Slive” instead.  What the hell?  I don’t seem to mess up the “c” and the “v” keys when typing any other words.  I don’t know what the problem is here).

And by routine, I of course mean two Tuesdays in a row.  Crazy, I know.  Maybe the fact that I’ve blogged about it twice makes it seem as though it’s happened more often.  I should actually add to the end of that sequence: come home, eat, watch tv, blog, herbal tea, attempt to sleep, sleep.  Except eat is often repeated after TV, and sometimes after blog.  And sometimes simultaneously occurs along with TV and herbal tea.

Last Tuesday, before I missed the bus, I ran for said bus, knowing all too well that it would not be there when I reached the stop.  Today was similar.  I looked out the window of the Canada Line and saw the 401 sitting there.  I forced the person beside me to get up sooner than he would have liked, so I could assume my position as close to the doors as possible when we pulled to the station.  But instead of running, I fast walked.  Made like I was in a hurry, but not too much of a hurry.  Because I knew that I would miss it, and didn’t want to look like an idiot again when it happened.  But a small part of me hoped that maybe, just maybe, it would stay, and that part of me made me move just a wee bit quicker.

And I noticed other people rushing as well (Oh wait, I lied.  When I tried to type “noticed” I ended up typing “notived”.  Guess I do have a general problem with the “c” and “v” keys after all).  I figured the other people must be trying to catch the bus as well, and if they do indeed make it, they can hold it for me.  But alas, they did not make it either.  Or maybe they weren’t actually running for it.  Maybe they just felt the urge to exercise spontaneously?  Either way, I missed the bus again.  But the fact that I didn’t run this time made it less disappointing.

And of course it also allowed me to make stops at both Fresh Slice (I spelled it right on the first try that time!) and London Drugs.  I was again worried I might miss the next bus while shopping, so I hurried myself to get what I needed, bought my shampoo, and walked back to the bus stop.  Yes, I know I just bought shampoo at London Drugs last Tuesday, so why did I need to buy more.  No, this was not another soap incident.  I will explain in a later post why I felt the need to buy more.

I think this Tuesday tradition that I’ve set up for myself may end here.  Even though it’s only just begun.  My work and volunteer schedules may change.  Which will in turn affect my Fresh Slice and London Drugs frequenting.  Sad, I know.  But maybe it’s for the best.  Maybe I can begin a new routine.  One where I don’t miss the bus, perhaps?  I can dare to dream.