Why thin is a dirty word.
If someone were to tell you how thin you are looking, what would be your reaction?
Would you think, that’s great what a nice thing to say?
Would you think I’m really happy with that, thin is what I was aiming for?
Do you think being told you’re thin is a compliment?
Would your reaction to being called thin be the complete opposite?
Would you be offended? Would you see it as an insult or at the very least a back handed compliment?
Would you analyse? Is there more to this comment than meets the eye.
Is thin what we women aspire to be? Is being thin the ultimate success for us as women? The holy grail, our whole reason for being?
Want to know what I think?
I think there is so much more to us ladies than ‘just’ being ‘thin’.
I think thin is a doubled edged word. It can be said as a compliment, but I actually think that it can also be used to bring us down.
‘Oh you look so thin’ – Often used when someone is unwell.
How many times have you heard the word ‘painfully thin’ when describing a person with anorexia?
To me the word ‘thin’ just doesn’t sound pleasant.
It is not a positive word.
How can it be seen as a good thing when used in that context?
I actually wrote this post a little while ago but I hadn’t scheduled it to post when I came across this picture in my Facebook feed from one of those junk sites that you can’t get rid of.
It was supposed to be an article humourously showing the difference between men and women. A light hearted look at how women view themselves compared to how men do.
You get my drift, the mens version looked something like this.
It just struck a real chord with me, given the fact I had this post already written. Far from seeing the picture of the girl above as light hearted and funny, it actually made me really really sad.
Is that what we are teaching our children every time we look in the mirror, pinch an inch and bemoan how ‘fat’ we are?
To me, telling someone that they look ‘healthy’, ‘fit’ or ‘strong’ is far far more positive and powerful. There is much more meaning behind those words. The imagery when thinking of those words in your mind is so much more empowering.
As a woman my grandiose aspiration in life is not to be thin, it is to be strong, healthy, and fit, to be a good healthy role model for my children and to be the healthiest I can be to live as long as I can. When I am all of those things, ‘healthy’ weight loss follows, it can’t not in my opinion, but that weight loss is a by product of living a healthy lifestyle. I don’t want my children growing up with a mother on a constant diet, constantly analysing her body and not being happy with what I see, that is all kinds of the wrong message to send to my kids.
To me being thin conjures up images of people starving themselves, or manically exercising to excess in order to achieve the thin body ideal. The picture in my mind of a thin person is not a fit toned and vibrant person, but rather someone who is tired, a bit ill looking, sallow complexion, no muscle tone, no level of fitness;
but wait! Yey they managed to squeeze into a size 6 pair of skinny jeans.
That to me is not right.
So I say that yes, ‘thin’ is a dirty word and it is certainly not where we should be aiming for in our quest for feeling good about ourselves and being happy with what we see when we look in the mirror.
Strong, fit, toned and healthy, that’s what I want to be and what I’m working towards. Whatever size that puts me at.
What do you think? Am I overanalysing? Do you think thin is a dirty word?