"Stop calling me skinny."
You don't hear that too often, right? Yeah, I thought so. I said this to my girlfriend the other day -- and she was quite surprised by it. She asked, "Why would that bother you so much?"
I really didn't know the answer to that. Maybe it was because guys aren't supposed to be too skinny -- rather "fit" or "sculpted." Those adjectives would have been better. Maybe it was because I've been trying to gain a bit more weight -- breaking away from cardio to do more weight training -- but the results haven't quite shown yet.
Either way, I was called "skinny," and I was mad. I mean: Why is okay to call me skinny when it's such a faux pas to call someone fat? At the end of the day, it's judging a person's body image all the same. Was it different because I'm a guy? I asked around.
I took my question to a couple of my female friends for their take. Was I being out of line here, or did I have a legitimate gripe? The first said, "Don't ever complain about not being able to gain weight to a girl." Really? That conversation ended quickly.
The next female friend I questioned about the topic said, "If a friend or significant other called her skinny (or too skinny), it would imply to her that they thought she had an eating disorder." This was vastly different from my thought process upon hearing it. She added that friends likely said it to me because they know it bothers me (she knows me well, apparently). She, too, asked what about someone calling me skinny bothers me.
Well, now I'm at square one. I guess I had to figure this one out for myself. To start: Being more than six feet tall with a fast metabolism, weight hasn't really ever been an issue for me (not to brag or anything). With that said, I've always been very cognizant not to comment on other people's weight knowing that I can't relate to their struggle.
Therefore, I concluded the reason it bothered me wasn't because guys are supposed to be big or because my workouts weren't working fast enough. It was because it wasn't fair. If I can't say someone is fat, you shouldn't be able to call me skinny. That was the heart of it.
Having identified the reason why it bothered me, I've been able to get past it when someone refers to me as "skinny." It all comes down to their intention -- most friends who say it think they're giving me a compliment. I can now say "thank you" and actually mean it.
If you're struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.