I was born a chubby, healthy baby—the chubbiest of my siblings, in fact. But by the time I was in kindergarten I had slipped down the growth charts, and became just plain skinny.
Now, at 26, I hate that word.
I have scoliosis, which adds to my body issues, as my waist, ribcage, and shoulders are not balanced.
I was teased growing up by boys and girls—for my knobby knees, for shaking along with the pencil sharpener when I sharpened my pencils at school, for looking like I “came from a concentration camp.”
People are uncomfortable with “different” at all ages, I have come to find, and unfortunately it is seen as acceptable to react cruelly.
Sadly, family members have been a source of negativity as well. I’ve been called a string bean, bribed to gain weight, and one uncle even commented that I looked like I was starving. When I was in high school, my mom took me to a psychiatrist because she believed I had an eating disorder. In grade 12, I never applied to colleges because she told me I wasn’t allowed to go to college until I “looked like a college student.”
When I finally got the courage to attend college, a girl driving by as I walked to class with my boyfriend yelled at me out her car window, “EAT SOME FOOD!” I cried a lot.
The honest truth is that I don’t have an eating disorder. I eat food. I don’t restrict, I don’t vomit. I almost never exercise, but when I do it’s because I want a healthy heart and strong muscles, not to lose weight. I get angry that eating disorders exist, and want to fix the people who are experiencing them.
I simply can’t hold weight on my body. If I manage to put on a few pounds, it disappears. I feel powerless. I am just plain skinny.
Now I am 26, married, in nursing school. My husband tells me I am beautiful, and I know he thinks I am, but I still don’t like myself. It’s sad because there are actually times when I feel okay about my body, but then someone will stare at me, or make a rude comment about my thinness, and I hate myself again. I have been conditioned to think that skinny is ugly, and this is what I believe most of the time.
As I sit here and browse these photographs of real women, I am thinking how beautiful they all are, and how I wish I could look like them. I want to weigh 145 pounds and have strength and curves. At 145 pounds my BMI would be 23 and I would never again have a doctor ask me how often I purge.
I am skinny, and guess what? The skinny girl is unhappy with her body too.
height: 5\'7\" weight: 102 lbs pants: 0-2 shirt: xs body shape: banana
The My Body Gallery project needs real Women! We need your help to develop the project and build a collection of photos that will help more women see themselves more clearly. Upload a picture of your full body. Our photo submission process also allows you to block out part of the image to protect your identity, if you wish. Please note that you must be 18 to upload a photo.