I was very skinny as a teen and self-conscious about it. I’ll never forget the first time I heard someone say, “Real women have curves. Men like women who have curves, who aren’t all bony and angles. They like someone soft and feminine.” I looked at myself, all angular and scrawny, 5’ 7” and 117 lbs. and thought: No wonder nobody’s ever been interested in me.
As a result, You Look Fab’s recent post Skinny Women Are Real Women, Too touched a chord with me. I’m not nearly so skinny or angular anymore, but I’m still quite slender and get comments on needing to eat more (yes, I do need to make sure I get enough protein, a habit I find hard to get into) and how I can eat all the cake or donuts that I want. It does bother me at times. I never was and never will be less of a woman because I’m skinny, just as any curvy woman isn’t more or less of woman. We’re all women and we’re all beautiful the way God created us.
So here’s the thing I’m not happy with: Somehow, amid all the talk about body acceptance, it has become acceptable to discriminate against skinny women. It is so common to hear comments like “who wears size 0 and 2 anyway?”, and to hear people making assumptions about eating disorders when someone is slim. I often hear average sized women making a comment along the lines of “wow, do you eat?” to a skinny friend, but imagine the consequences of asking one of your larger friends, “wow, do you eat a lot?”. It is a double standard.
Sure, the fashion industry may be projecting skinny as an unrealistic ideal, but that doesn’t make it acceptable to make snide comments about someone who is thinner than average. After all, skinny women are not all part of a secret society that is conspiring to keep the fashion industry obsessed with their body type. They are mostly just women who are naturally thin. Body types have a distribution, just like most things in nature, and there will be examples at both ends of the spectrum.
This is a rather old, but beautiful post from the Brave Girls’ Club that is also really resonating with me at the moment. Last week, I was involved in a situation with someone whose behavior was hiding what is likely a lot of hurt and pain. Sadly, it took me so long to figure that out, even though I’d read this post some time ago.
I think we should just try to imagine it………that when a friend is quiet…or not showing up to stuff she usually shows up to….or acting a little “off”….or a family member is wearing pajamas to the grocery store for weeks on end……or not answering the phone…..or the lawn is not mowed…..
whatever it is……….
IT IS A SIGN. It is not a sign that can be read in words and letters, but it is a sign that someone needs to be treated gently…that they need help….most of all, that they need love, understanding…and that they DEFINITELY DO NOT need to be judged.
Read it. And watch for signs. They are there.
And The Unfortunate Lily Maid has some excellent thoughts after watching Disney’s “Tangled,” thoughts and ideas that have resonated with me. I’ve been thinking about parents sheltering children and the careful balance it takes to shelter, but not over-shelter and stifle children. Home-schoolers tend to be really big on sheltering and I think anyone who home-schools or intends to in the future needs to take a look at how they intend to do and where to draw the line. I’ve seen over-sheltering produce young adults who go wild and lose their faith in God once they get their freedom. And I’ve seen it produce adults who are afraid of the world and won’t step outside of their comfort zones. It’s all a balance…and you can’t have the good without the bad, no joy in Christ without facing the challenges to your faith.
So – as with the traditional story – Rapunzel leaves. And she discovers that her mother was right – the world is full of scary, frightening creatures. Not everyone wants what is best for you. Not every creature or place is safe. But she also sees and experiences beauty and fun and joy that she never would have had if she hadn’t left the tower. If you can’t have the bitter, you can’t have the sweet.
What blog posts are resonating or inspiring you today?