Things Petite Women Are Sick of Hearing

I’m totally behind ‘body positivity’ as a movement, but in recent months I can’t help but notice that we are failing to celebrate all body types. In Britain, we go from one extreme to the next. One day we are campaigning for plus size models at LFW and the next we have taken to Twitter to slate someone in the public eye for how they look. We often contradict ourselves, and I’m sure this happens on a global scale too.

Much like feminism has, in places, discriminated against men, body positivity has also discriminated against the naturally petite. Feminism started out as a fight for equal rights, but in some cases this has been taken to extremes and actually contributed towards the dividing of the two sexes even more.

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The same thing has happened with the body positivity movement – in a bid to normalise plus size models and support/celebrate all body types, many ‘skinny girls’ have become victims of abuse, mainly in the form of backhanded compliments. What people don’t seem to be able to grasp, is the concept of equality and positivity.

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As a petite woman myself, I’m nervous about posting this, because I know it is easy to dubbed ‘MEGA bitch’, especially when your complaining about the reaction of a body type that comes with many privileges. I’m not blind, or hard done by – I’m well aware that I’m lucky to fit into Western media’s standards of “beauty”, and that it has its advantages in everything from social media right through to hierarchy in friend groups, but this doesn’t mean I don’t have similar insecurities.

If this is news to you, then listen up, cos’ people may be less outwardly cruel to those with a skinny frame, but these comments still resonate with us just as much. To help display this, I’ve put together a list of comments that petite women are sick of hearing, alongside comments that are equally offensive to those of a larger frame. My aim here is not to offend anyone, it is to make a point. With that in mind, let’s get started with number 1 shall we?

1) “You’re so lucky you’re skinny!”

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This is like saying, “You’re lucky your fat, because I bet it keeps you warm in the winter!”

2) “What does your boyfriend even grab hold of when your doing it?”

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This is like saying, “How does your boyfriend even find your bits with all that fat?”

3) “You’re nothing but skin and bones.”

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This is like saying, “You’re nothing but cellulite and fat.”

4) “I need to feed you up! Are you sure you’re eating enough?”

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This is like saying, “I need to put you on a diet! Are you sure you’ve been working out enough?”

5) “Who would have thought such a small person could have such a big brain!”

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This is like saying, “You’re big, so you’re almost definitely dumb!”

So… I think you get the general gist of what I’m trying to say. But for any of you still wondering why I’m offended by each comment above, here’s a quick breakdown of explanations:

1) “You’re so lucky you’re skinny!”

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First of all, this is offensive because lucky simply doesn’t come into it. Those who are in good shape often work hard for their bodies, making conscious and not to mention, challenging, lifestyle choices to look that way. Secondly, this is the perfect representation of a comment that reinforces the messed up way we look at the petite in society today – as a group of privileged people who only get where they are because of their size or appearance. It is never cool or okay to assume or tell someone that they only achieve something because of their frame, in the same way is it not cool or okay to tell someone they are too fat to achieve in a particular sector.

2) “What does your boyfriend even grab hold of when you’re doing it?”

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The equivalent of this comment for those of the opposite frame is outrageous and in all my years, I’ve never ever heard it actually come out of someones mouth – thank god. However, I have been directly affected by comments like: “There’s nothing there to even grab hold of. What does Sam do?” many, many times. Somehow and somewhere down the line, this comment has become acceptable, and almost seen as a compliment when it’s clearly not. Just because I don’t always have to worry about rolls on my tummy, doesn’t mean I don’t worry about my hips being womanly enough. Everyone has a insecurity and I think it is responsible to consider this whoever we speak to.

3) “You’re nothing but skin and bones.”

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This is comment is possibly the one that arks me the most, because straight away I feel I have to explain myself. After explaining “actually, I have all these organs, cells, muscles and a deep meditative space inside of me” I realise that I didn’t actually ask for a critique of my body, and nor did I want it or issue you with one in return!

4) “I need to feed you up! Are you sure you’re eating enough?”

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The worst thing about this comment is that it can come across as really caring, which makes you look like a dick when you respond with something aggy. This comment isn’t, in fact, caring at all and instead I would label it extremely patronising, especially when I eat like a bloody pig!!! Furthermore, if you are concerned for someone you know and think they may be struggling with an eating disorder, telling them to eat more is not going to fix or help the problem. There are better ways to approach the subject, and if there is no genuine concern, why are you putting someone down?

5) “Who would have thought such a small person could have such a big brain!”

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On a daily basis, I shock people. I shock people because they ultimately expect less from me because I’m small and petite, which is why I’m used to comments like “who would have thought such a small person could have such a big brain”. I brush them under the carpet most of the time, but it’s an extra insecurity I have to fight each and every day. Comments like this make me feel like a have to constantly prove myself, to show that there’s more to me than what first meets the eye. But there’s more to everyone than what first meets the eye, and this is something we should try to remember.

Do you have a different opinion? Are you affected by any of the issues raised? Have your say using the comments section below or tweet me @MakeMeUpMarie. Thanks for reading today 🙂

 

14 thoughts on “Things Petite Women Are Sick of Hearing

  1. I’m on the other side of a spectrum, I’m tall and chubby. So people are like: “Do you play basketbal/volleyball” “What’s the weather up there?” “You’re blocking my view/I can’t see anything” And I’m like, sorry, I can’t make myself smaller, I can’t lay on a floor xD Or: “You should model, you’re so tall”, like, don’t you see my muffin top and mermaid legs, I couldn’t model even if I wanted because you gotta be underweight for that, models who have normal BMI are still not in. And I’m not big and curvy enough to be a plus size model. Like you either have to be tall and skinny, or tall, big and curvy. What about people who are tall and big, but not curvy? Or short and slim, but not curvy? Some men be like: Oh, I don’t want skin and bones, I want to grab something, I want you to have curves, but not muffin top.” Hourglass figure is in now, which is great for people who have it, but not all of us are born that way.Sorry, this turned into a rant, but I don’t know, this stuff makes me mad, I just had to share it with someone.

    1. I think you make some really interesting points and I’m so glad you felt able to post this here – I’m sure many people will relate to what you’re saying, as I do! It’s crazy that after all these years living side by side, all different shapes and sizes, we’re still acting this way!!

  2. I so agree with you, the range of human bodies should be celebrated & not belittled. People seems to take “equality” movements way too far so that it is really more about them having what they want & no one who is different should have the same thing. I am so sick of this attempt to elevate people by stepping on everyone else.

  3. I’m short. And my kids are short. Which apparently gives everyone the right to point it out (usually by measuring themselves up against us) and use adjectives like ‘diddy’. And to marvel at our small feet (look at the freaks!!). Since models are usually tall, being short is considered unattractive, it’s even a bit ‘working class’ to be short too. Tall people have obviously made more of an effort than me.

    I even had a teacher tell me I was short because I didn’t drink milk – she was a biology teacher so I told her it might be something to so with genes. I’m pretty sure no one at corporate jobs has even taken me seriously because I’m just ‘a little girl’ – and if I ever do get angry or mean it’s because I’m over-compensating.

    1. Although I don’t wish any of this on anyone, I do find it really interesting to hear your personal experiences. I’m glad I’m not alone in this and hope that getting people talking/opening up like this will encourage more narrowminded people to open their eyes and see things and individuals for what they really are!

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, I’m sure many will enjoy reading your input 🙂 xx

  4. Great post! I get sick of things being for lack of better words “pro-curve”. Everyone is different, and society criticises damn everyone these days . One thing I constantly get irritated by is the reaction so someone being classed as clinically obese as fat shaming. If you’re unhealthy that’s one thing Hut if someone is being rude or insulting or abusive that is shaming

    1. That’s such a good point! I agree – and I think those that use such terms/words are pretty naive. I really hope that this post may have reached some of these people, or at least got a few readers to think twice. Thanks so much for your input, you’ve brought such important things up that I haven’t even covered. It’s a huuuuge subject, affecting sooo many people, but I’m glad there are still plenty like you that have the right mindset 😀 x

  5. Thank you so much for posting this! The amount of horrible things that have been said over a lifetime of being naturally tiny, either purposeful bullies or unknowing backhanded compliments it’s nice to know that other people are in the same boat and are willing to speak about it as it’s so easy for others to say we are being “skinny bitches” to those that are bigger than us. From your words you aren’t putting anyone else down to gain confidence for yourself unlike many other things I see such as Megan trainor singing about how boys like to have more to hold at night.

    1. I totally understand lovely and am almost glad this post resonated with you, as like you said it’s nice to know you’re not alone. Hopefully things will change in the future, but people like Megan Trainor deffo aren’t helping!! x

  6. Thank you for sharing this! I experience it on a daily basis! I can’t stand that someone can call me names or point out things about the way I look, but if I were to openly just say “wow, you’re so fat!” or “You’re so big, where do you find clothes your size?” it wouldn’t be acceptable. It changed a bit after I had children. During my pregnancy people always had something to say about the size of my belly. Now the one I hear the most often is, “You have kids?!, I can’t believe that baby came out of you, or I hate you!” Although I know that people usually are not being literal, it does hurt my feelings most times. To tell me you hate me because I look the same now as I did before having children is just not ok. I can’t help the way I look or the way my body shape is. Not to mention that many times the people who make comments about my body type are those who are on horrible diets and live a not so healthy lifestyle.

    1. I don’t wish this upon anyone but I am glad this post has resonated with so many people, as it just proves I’m not alone. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us Yajaira, I feel very much the same as you do! Let’s just hope more posts like this get noticed & shared xx

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