October 3 12

I have written about this before.

I have asked that people STOP saying that someone thin needs to eat a sandwich, or, you know, a cheeseburger.

I have felt shame about my visible ribs.

I am thin. I am 5 foot 1-and-a-half inches tall.

I weigh, as of this morning, 104 pounds.


I eat healthier than I have ever eaten in my life—including all sorts of good-for-you things like protein and yogurt and fiber and quinoa and chia seeds.

I also eat many, many delicious things—like chocolate buffalo and cookie dough and key lime pie—because food is delicious.

I work out regularly—three times a week.

I am lazy—and enjoy sitting on my arse in front of my computer or my television.

I take care of my body—it’s extremely important to me. I have two daughters and a son. I am the daughter of two parents who have spent much of their lives being overweight. I am the daughter of a parent who has diabetes and heart disease. I have sat on the floor of a hospital room afraid that my dad was going to die—I do not want my three children to ever, ever have to do this.

I am good to my body.

Sometimes I am not so good to my body.

But here’s the thing: It’s *really* none of your business. I shouldn’t have to explain myself to you, I shouldn’t have to justify my eating and exercise habits.

Me: Have an easy fast.

Him: I would wish you one too, but I don’t need to.

Me: …

Him: Well, you fast all the time.

Me: …

Him: Well, you are so skinny.

Me: I am thin because I have a good metabolism, because I exercise on a regular basis, and because I take care of myself.

Him: …

It has been a week and I have not been able to shake this conversation. Not even one little bit. It hit me so deep, it hit nerves that I didn’t even know I had.

I don’t understand why this is okay. 

We talk quite a bit these days about fat-shaming. We throw words around—BULLY. And I agree with this, 1000%. These people are bullies, and it is not okay. And I think it’s awesome, truly awesome, that this video was shared no less than 83 times in my Facebook stream.

But why is it okay to bully the thin girls?

But why is it okay to make assumptions, to make judgements, to throw around hints of eating disorders?

But why is it okay to tell someone that they really need to eat a meal?

Why is it okay to bully ANYONE at ANY WEIGHT?

The answer is simple:

It is not.


  1. Exactly this.

    Comment by Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] on October 3, 2012
  2. I agree, Ali. It is always hurtful, and people can be darn insensitive. xo

    Comment by Loukia on October 3, 2012
  3. Agreed. It’s unnecessary.

    Comment by Nanette on October 3, 2012
  4. I hear you. People are likely jealous of your genetic makeup and lifestyle and so to make themselves feel better they point out how thin you are, in a seemingly negative way, because that’s how they want to be but can’t for whatever reason. Not necessary to make comments on people’s weight – thin or not. I’m fed up of people saying to me, “Why aren’t you thin? You don’t eat very much (um… hey f*@k you… stop watching what I eat!) and you exercise a lot. What’s wrong?” I’m so fed up of all of it. Who cares? People should ask if you’re happy or how your day went, not why you weigh what you do. This angers me.

    Comment by Sandy on October 3, 2012
  5. People are assholes. The end.

    Comment by Kristabella on October 3, 2012
  6. TRUTH. Until I was pregnant with my first daughter, I was 5’4″ (well, still am) and 115 pounds. I got told to eat A LOT. The thing is, though, I DID eat. A LOT. And I was EXTREMELY active in before/during/after school activities and I walked to and from school every single day.

    “Thin” doesn’t always mean “anorexic”. “Fat” doesn’t mean “lazy over-eater”.

    People are mean.

    Comment by Mrs. Wilson on October 3, 2012
  7. This.

    “Thin” doesn’t always mean “anorexic.” “Fat” doesn’t mean “lazy over-eater.”


    Comment by Alimartell on October 3, 2012
  8. Wow, wishing someone a good fast and getting that response somehow makes it even worse in my head. Not only is it truly disrespectful and full of assumptions, it was from a member of a community that should be caring and loving to one another.

    Comment by Corey Feldman on October 3, 2012
  9. I am on your skinny team – and proud of it. I wrote a Parent Club post on my weight (http://parentclub.ca/2010/02/moms-weight-eating-and-body-image/) just so that I didn’t have to make excuses anymore.

    I’m thin – and probably always will be – but most importantly…I’m comfortable in my own skin.

    Comment by Parent Club {Caroline} on October 3, 2012
  10. Thank. You. I’ve been told the most awful, judgmental things about being small. I must never eat. I should take someone else’s fat. I must be going to the bathroom to throw up after dinner. I’m not allowed to feel big or heavy or be sad about gaining weight (I’m almost 6 months pregnant). I’m constantly given crap about working for a magazine called “Curvy Girl Guide,” which is why I wrote this:


    Not okay at any weight. I’m done being told how to feel about my body, or what I should eat. Thank you again; this is awesome.

    Comment by Kristen on October 3, 2012
  11. Every time I mention running or entering a 5K, several people always roll their eyes and ask me why I run when I’m already thin. Oh, so the only reason one should exercise is to be thin. Got it. UGH.

    Comment by Alison on October 3, 2012
  12. Ali, I had to come here right after I read your FB message. Funny we both wrote about this today. Well, so many people are, so maybe not so funny. BUT GOOD! As I said in my piece, there are great messages in what she said. And if people want to call it that, then MAN have I been bullied since becoming a writer! I just don’t like to see this kind of “hate mail” (which alas is inevitable because people are mean) equated to what gay kids go through in high school. I don’t want to dilute the term. You look gorj and healthy, btw! xo Love your post!

    Comment by Haley-O on October 3, 2012
  13. I think, to me, there are lots of different kind of bullying…and making someone else feel small is a kind of bullying—at least for me.

    But yes..I get that idea of diluting to the word…and that, 100%, someone making me feel shitty about being skinny is very different from other kinds of bullying.

    I guess I’m not focusing on THE WORD…but the FEELINGS that are happening here. The WRONG that is happening, no matter what you call it. One person using power (in her instance and in mine—it’s words) to make another person feel small and badly about herself…I don’t know… certainly feels like some sort of bullying.

    Comment by ali on October 3, 2012
  14. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with calling it “bullying” really, but setting the segment up specifically as an anti-bullying effort irked me. Livingston’s use of the incident to preach anti-bullying was a bit presumptuous, I guess is what I’m ultimately saying in terms of the video itself (I used it more as a springboard for discussion in my own article). I would have liked her to focus more on the issues you did here. The hurt, the judgment, weight-bashing, etc.

    Comment by Haley-O on October 3, 2012
  15. And sorry if that makes no sense. I’m sick as a dog… 😉

    Comment by Haley-O on October 3, 2012
  16. Amen. My relatives, of all people, were the worst. Because they knew so and so who was anorexic then I MUST have been too. They didn’t believe me when I said I weighed more than 100 lbs (107 at the time). It got so bad that at my grandfather’s wake (yes, his wake!) my mother went into the house, grabbed a scale and had me stand on it in front of said relatives. It shut them up for a while to know that yes, I did in fact weight more than 100 lbs. I was never so happy to finally gain weight as I did about eight years ago. Mind you there are people who don’t really believe I weigh closer to 130 lbs now. I will admit, I would be happier in my skin if I was about 10 lbs lighter, but I look healthy at my current weight and most of my clothes still fit (jeans without spandex not so much, and I finally got rid of my university grad outfit…17 years later!).
    Sometimes it actually does suck to be skinny. 🙁

    Comment by Amanda on October 3, 2012
  17. Boundaries are critical.
    Weight is nobody’s business!

    Comment by Linda on October 3, 2012
  18. I was recently in a situation where we were giving away t-shirts to people of many different sizes, and I found it so odd that there were men and women who were just as embarrassed to say they need a small — or even ask for an extra small — as those asking for 2X and 3X shirts. It was as if they knew there was the possibility someone might say something about just how small they are.

    I understand the shame people might feel asking for a larger size because I, too, have been there. But seeing that same look in the eyes of thin people (as well as reading your thoughts in this post) was a real eye-opener.

    Comment by Jen on October 4, 2012
  19. […] say that I don’t have my judge-y moments. Is there anyone who would say they have never? But I do not talk about weight. I do not talk about things a person cannot control—how a person IS is very different than how a […]

    Pingback by » Shallow Cheaper Than Therapy on October 8, 2012

Allowed tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>