Thin Privilege

Hi. My name is Sofaia Cavunavesi Honolulu Momo and this is my story.

I live in a society where people, especially young women like myself, are continuously being judged, especially on their body type. We women are being body shamed because society is too thick in the head to accept what’s right in front of them! People are always quick to judge others on their appearance, picking out people’s flaws. In today’s society, your body size is put into one of three categories – Fat, Skinny and Average. Can we just have a look at those labels again, FAT, SKINNY and AVERAGE. For starters, not one of them actually has a positive tag attached to it, even average! My blog post is one specifically about what I can relate to, what I am freaking sick of, and a perspective I hope to offer that might make some people think before they start to blurt out negative comments to “skinny” people. This isn’t the typical type of post from me today. It’s a somewhat controversial post.

I’ve had my fair share of body shaming. Over the years, I’ve been called a “skinny b*tch”, “stick”, “lila waso” (which is skinny ass in Fijian, I think). I was called “a girl with no meat” by an ex, who by the way had the audacity to body shame me when he himself have “no meat” (not even any satisfactory meat down there lol) while conversing with a female whom I thought was a friend. Just recently this year, a status of mine was being shared around social media and the first thing that came into their heads was my body type. People whom I didn’t know and even some of my ex-friends went out of their way body shaming me. I mean, apart from being body shamed, there were rumours and damn how it never got to me because the rumours were hilarious and I realized that people will only judge you on what they think they see in you and on what they think they know about you. Society will always judge you on your appearance first. They called me “a walking skeleton”. Others called me “sui ni ika” (which translated to Fijian is fish bones or bony fish). Now apart from all the bullshit rumours, the only thing that got to me was how people made fun of body!!! Yes, weight discrimination is alive and it is as damaging as racial discrimination!! When I was being body shamed, I felt under attack, I felt hurt. I cried about it. A lot. But I never responded to these comments because I was not comfortable complaining from my throne of entitlement. It hurts to be attacked for your body type especially when you don’t know these people. I was even called names when I tried to put on weight, it was absolutely impossible. People would either assume that I was pregnant or having too much sex (lol what does gaining weight have to do with the D?). It also made me feel like crap. I felt like I didn’t meet a certain standardized size acceptable in society. I felt so different.

You see, I’ve been skinny for a very long time now. But again, can you see what I’m doing? I’m trying to justify why I’m skinny! Being skinny seems like the need to be justified! It’s not fair that society, the media etc have created this and it’s not fair that we have played along with it! My family and friends were always questioning why I was still thin because they knew that I for one, am a small girl with a big appetite. No joke! They’d ask, “You eat a lot Faia, but you’re still skinny … why?” The answer here is simply Metabolism. My metabolism is what I’d like to call “super metabolism”. For those of you who don’t know what metabolism is, it’s basically a chemical reaction that happens in all living organisms to help maintain life. It is the rate at which your body burns calories and breaks down fat. Having a high metabolism means that it is impossible for me to put on weight, and maintain it. My body breaks down fat and burns calories at a stupidly fast rate.

“Skinny people” have feelings too! And it’s not that nice being told on a daily basis that you look thin, or that you could look better, or that you looked better some other time. Once I was asked if I had an eating disorder or if I was anorexic. NO I AM NOT!! I know I am thin, I know that sometimes I get really thin, not by actively starving myself and not by trying to lose weight. Sometimes, I am super busy with school, balancing school with work, going through life with my boyfriend, enjoying my days and nights with friends, helping out with family affairs, organizing family gatherings and so on that I can eat a heavy breakfast and go through my day snacking on fruits or junk food. I get to dinner and I’ll say “oh, I forgot about lunch today”. I get through the day just fine. People who don’t have a life, but have time to judge and body shame others wouldn’t understand this – it’s called a busy schedule or a LIFE!

I think the biggest problem is that people judge what they see. Still, it’s taking attributes like being controlling, self-centered, and vain. People are too concerned about other people’s appearance and body that they might feel some sort of envy and hate towards another just because they dislike their body type or simply because they low-key want a body like that! Many women struggle against these prejudices every day. Women of all shapes and sizes are (unfortunately) subject to judgment and scrutiny based on their bodies. Before you even think about prejudging a woman (no matter her size), think really hard about what it says about you. I think commenting on anybodies weight is unacceptable. Who are you to judge someone because of their size and body type? It’s really not fair. Nobody ever takes into account that genes, metabolism, bone structure, medical problem may be some ways people are skinny. There are thousands of reasons people are how they are, and why people are the size they are.

So, is calling someone a “skinny b*tch” really acceptable? Is calling someone “fat” or “an average” acceptable? I can tell you that it’s not very nice being called out for being “too skinny”, especially as I tried so hard to put weight on, and wanted so desperately to be of “average size”. It’s a bit of a touchy subject but one I wanted to address. I’m tired of seeing social media make jokes about someone who is fat or skinny or not “just right”. People even come up with memes and that’s just one of the many forms of body shaming on the internet. People need to stop hating and start appreciating! How can you say you love God when you don’t love his creation? How can you say you love God when you’re constantly judging others? We are all created in God’s image. Our body type is not a mistake – God doesn’t make mistakes. Unless you are God, then I’d accept being judged on, body shamed or made to feel inferior. You see, no one wants to feel belittle, it’s an attack, just like how being body shamed is an attack. Also, no one deserves to feel inferior because of someone’s 2 cent opinion. Everyone should be encouraging one another and picking each other up, especially us females. We also need to stop picking ourselves apart, because we believe we don’t meet a specific criteria or standard of how society says we should look. If society can’t accept you for who you are, then that’s their loss.

Yes, perhaps by society’s standards I am too skinny. But guess what? GOD made me this way and my beauty is not confined to what a scale says anyway. I am so much more. I am able, I have life and I have love. Skinny or not. Inside of my skinny body, I have a heart and a soul. And next time you see a skinny person, or an overweight or an average person … for that matter, in fact, lets drop the labels! Next time you see a PERSON, rather than jump on the “hate their figure band wagon” or point out to them that they are skinny (because they haven’t noticed), look at their smile, look at their eyes, listen to their laugh, listen to their words. If you feel the need to comment, say something that is going to lift them up, say something nice that you notice about them, because you might be surprised to know, that skinny people and average people and overweight people don’t get told that often that they look good! Today’s society is already full of shit, no one needs more shitty rude comments about one’s body type. If you can’t say something uplifting then I suggest you keep your opinions to yourselves. Honestly!!

Being skinny is just the beauty of life! Having a skinny body is a blessing. I appreciate the body God has given me. I LOVE my body, how it looks and how I’m shaped. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I guess over the years, I’ve learned to love myself and my body because if I can’t love myself then who will? You need to love yourself to gain love. You see in high school, I learned that you can’t except people to love you if you can’t love yourself. I stopped being so sad about my body type and loved it. Overtime, people would compliment my body, it made me feel secure and I gained more confidence from the nice words from people. God bless ya’ll who compliment me, making me feel good about my body. I appreciate you! It’s because of people, I am able to express my thoughts on body shaming. So thank you. Also a thank you to my girls, you know yourselves, Queens, who literally stood up to people who body shamed me. And to my boyfriend, Anthony, for helping me find confidence within me, especially when being body shamed, and giving me the courage to voice my opinions on such a topic. Thank you Va.

This blog post is basically my rant about how I feel about being body shamed and it’s a more slightly controversial one but I hope you can understand my perspective. If you have gone this far, thank you for taking your time reading about what’s been in my head these past few years. If anyone needs someone to rant to about how they’re feeling because of society’s judgemental perspectives on a person’s body, or basically anything,  I’m always here and willing to talk. I mean anyone at all. To the people who have been body shamed, put into labels by society because of your body or have been judged based on your body type, this one is dedicated you too. YOU ARE GORGEOUS. YOU ARE WONDERFUL. YOUR BODY IS BEAUTIFUL. YOU ARE A MIRROR IMAGE OF GOD’S ARTISTIC WORK. YOU ARE A BLESSING! Everybody is different, and nobody is perfect. It would be a very boring place if this wasn’t the case. You are made in God’s image, you’re beautiful just the way you are ♥

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them.”– Genesis 1:27