I Was Bullied for being Thin!

I’ve been debating writing this post for a while now. It’s a difficult one for me as it digs up old emotions but one that I feel I need to write. I’ve always hated the word ‘skinny’ as it’s been directed at me with such venom on many occasions. As a young teenager and throughout my teenage years I was slim, a size 8 with a small frame. I could eat what I wanted and not put on weight. Now I know what most of you will be thinking, what is she moaning about. I was lucky. I didn’t have to worry about putting on weight but that didn’t mean that I didn’t have body confidence issues. I felt like I didn’t have enough curves, I was embarrassed of my so called ‘chicken legs’ and a lot of the time I didn’t feel pretty. 

I Was Bullied for being thin

Throughout school I was called skinny. Not in a nice way! The teachers never did anything. I didn’t feel like I could even say that it was happening. “I would love to be skinny but you are so skinny you’re gross” “Wow you are so flat chested no boys ever going to fancy you” The pokes of my legs or body and the giggles “Oh did I just snap you in half” “You are a skinny, ugly rat” and many more still ring in my ears. When I plucked up the courage to tell people, friends, family that it upset me, which of course it would I was being bullied for being thin. The response was always “oh they are just jealous!” I know they were saying it to make me feel better about myself but I couldn’t understand why it was ok for people to behave like that. Getting changed for PE was hell. Nothing was ever done. Teachers witnessed it, some PE teachers even joined in!

I couldn’t and still can’t understand why it was seen as ok. In my eyes it’s exactly the same as bullying someone for being overweight. The effect is the same, the feeling of shame is the same, the burning of your cheeks as people laugh at you is the same, the crying at night in your bed is the same, the not wanting to go to school is the same, the staring at yourself in the mirror and hating what you see is the same.

I developed an unhealthy attitude with food. I knew I needed to eat more to stop the comments. But as I started to eat I would think ‘I need to eat this to put on weight’ which in turn would make me think about the incidents, make me feel sick and so I couldn’t eat. It was a vicious cycle! It’s something that has stayed with me and even now when I am stressed the first thing that goes is my appetite. 

Fast forward 15 years and I’m getting comments again. I’m not talking about the “Oh I love your jumper, you are looking great” who wouldn’t love that kind of comment? I’ve lost a lot of weight after having Ava, the restricted diet with breastfeeding and her allergies I think has contributed to it. I get comments about my size and weight almost every day. The comments that get me are the ones that leave me agonising over whether they were actually a compliment at all or an adult who has learnt to disguise their cruelness better than their teenage counterpart “You’re not my friend now, how can you eat that?” In the staff room “Are you really eating them. But you’re so skinny!” “We don’t want her sitting with us do we, skinny cow”, “You’re looking really skinny, you bitch!” 

I’ve spoken to friends and family about it and even those closest to me don’t see it as a problem. Maybe it isn’t, maybe I’m so scarred emotionally from before that I take it the wrong way. Or maybe it’s because I’m being called skinny which is a desirable attribute to many. If people were commenting on me being overweight would they think differently?

I find myself looking in the mirror again. Am I too skinny? Am I gross? Am I an ugly rat?

Before you think I don’t understand what it’s like to be called fat I do. I’ve also been on the other end of the scale so I know how much it can hurt too. After my second child I had PND, the medication along with an insatiable appetite from breastfeeding saw me at my heaviest. When Finlay was 14 months I weighed more than I did full term with Ava.  I never received any comments from work colleagues, friends or family. The only ones I did were from the person who should have been supportive after all he was the Dad to the baby I had just had. When I started to loose the weight I received positive comments on how good I was looking, never anything negative and there is the difference. It’s not socially acceptable to comment on people’s weight when they are overweight.

Skinny shaming has exactly the same negative emotional affects as fat shaming. Being bullied was the start of a long ongoing battle with hating myself that has caused me many problems over the years, things that are too personal to put on here.

So please if you are one of the many people that makes comments on people’s weight, questions them about their weight and eating habits stop and think. Would you be doing it if the person was overweight? Would you like it if someone said it to you? To your daughter? We all have our own issues even if on the outside it doesn’t look like we do.

47 responses to “I Was Bullied for being Thin!”

  1. Pen says:

    I am skinny. I eat lots, particularly cake. I regularly get asked at work whether I am eating enough. I am, I really am, I just don’t put on weight easily. I am still breastfeeding too which means that a lot of the calories go to the little one. I try not to worry. I think there comes a point in life when you just have to accept who you are and only listen to those whom you respect. I know that it is easier said than done, but real friends don’t say things to hurt you. Tell them that you are unhappy about it and they will stop…if they are your friend.

    I still dream of having curves, but I have come to accept that I never will. Chin up. Skinny or not, you are beautiful.


    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      Thanks πŸ™‚ You are right and I’m trying to only listen to those whose opinions I respect. Enjoy your cake x

  2. Emma says:

    I’m so sorry you are facing these comments.It’s always harder when it opens old wounds as well. You are doing what you need to for your baby so try and focus on you and your body’s strength. The skinny shamers should focus their own issues!

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      Thank you, yes it is I think that’s why I find the comments harder. x

  3. Thank you for sharing this. It had to be difficult to share.
    I think the main issue on both ends of the spectrum, is that people assume you can do something about your weight, IF YOU ONLY TRIED.
    I see this with overweight people, when people who have never been heavy think if they just had some self control, they could lose the weight. Then, these same people feel that someone that is skinny, could gain weight, if they just ate some fatty food.
    There is so much wrong with that frame of thought. Our bodies are awesome, just they way they are! But why can’t people appreciate all body types, instead of trying to put us into categories.
    You never can know what people struggle with, it would be great if others could keep their observations to themselves.

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      Having been at the other end of the scale for me anyway I know how hard it can be to loose weight. I hate how people are put into categories. Thanks for your comment x

  4. Lady Nym says:

    It’s not okay for people to say these things. It’s body shaming and that’s never acceptable. I used to get it to some extent (though, from the sounds of it, nowhere near as bad as you) and it annoyed me so much. I could never retaliate, either, because everyone would have gasped if I’d said something about them being overweight. Look at songs like ‘All About That Bass’ where it’s implied that women who are slim and don’t have curves aren’t ‘real women’. It’s still seen as perfectly acceptable to criticise women for being ‘too thin’ when it would be seen as bullying to tell them they’re ‘too fat’.

    For what it’s worth, I think you look stunning (as in, I have genuinely thought that when reading your blog in the past and I’m not simply writing that now to make you feel better). I think you should call people out when they say these things to you. Point out how unacceptable it would be if they were saying similar things to someone who was overweight. Try not to let it get to you (easier said than done, I know).

  5. Emma Shilton says:

    It makes me so sad to read this, I really wonder if people think about what they’re saying and how those words will affect the person they’re directing them towards. I’ve been overweight for pretty much my whole life and have been subjected to the same type of bullying so I can completely empathise xx

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      I’m sorry to hear that hun, bullying has the same affects no matter what it is for. I wish people were as thoughtful as maybe we are. x

  6. Chloe says:

    I am so glad you’ve written this post. I think too many people are unaware of how they make people feel by commenting on body image, especially when you’re thin.

    People do think it’s ok to comment on how skinny someone is and it’s wrong. If you’re not giving someone a positive compliment about themselves as a whole then it should be kept to yourself.

    I’ve always been self concious about my weight too but on the other end of the spectrum. I finally got down to my goal weight just before I found out I was pregnant. Because of ‘other peoples thoughts’ on my body, I developed an unhealthy relationship with food when I was pregnant and didn’t put on nearly enough weight throughout pregnancy.

    After Evie was born, I became even skinnier than I ever have been in my life within 8 weeks. People were telling me how great I looked and then the comments about being a skinny bitch and looking like I’d snap started to roll in and I didn’t understand why it was still happening even though I was no longer battling with too much weight.

    I’ve gradually learnt to take it all on the chin. I am at a weight I am confident with and that’s all that matters. But I still do clam up when someone mentions my body.

    I really hope this post is going to raise awareness to people, that just because someone is skinny, it doesn’t mean you can pass comment on there weight. Tell them they look fabulous and you love what they’re wearing yes. But weight doesn’t need to be brought into it.

    I’m sorry you have been made to feel crappy throughout your life. I hope, like I’m sure you do, that our daughters grow up with a positive attitude towards body image. I even had to stop my mum the other day saying ‘look at he cute chubby cheeks!’. It sounds silly because I know she’s going to be met with comments like that all of her life and I can’t filter out what everybody says. But I am going to teach her to embrace her body and love it regardless of other peoples thoughts.

    p.s. You are beautiful just how you are, both inside and out!


    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      I really do hope that Ava grows up with a positive body image. It would break my heart if she thinks she is ugly or believes it if people are horrible to her. Im glad you are at a happy weight. To be honest I think I am too, don’t get me wrong I would like to tone up and have anew belly button haha. I’m sorry you have been through it too, it makes me sad I wish people were nicer to each other x

  7. Ali says:

    I’m glad you’ve written this as I don’t think people think twice about commenting on your size if you’re slim. I’m a size 6-8 after having my third baby and often get comments about me loosing too much weight. I have not got to this size on purpose, it’s a combination of breastfeeding, dog walking and running around after a toddler yet people feel the need to express their concern. I actually feel great but what annoys me the most is that no one tells a bigger person they’ve put on too much weight so why comment when you’ve lost it?

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      I don’t know, I really don’t understand why it is seen as ok to do it! I didn’t try and loose the weight either. I wish I had more time to sit and eat! Thanks for your comment x

  8. sarah says:

    Glad you wrote this, the best reads are personable stories. Its also important that you wrote this because girls/ ladies struggling with the same problem will really appreciate it and it may help them!
    Trouble is, its women vs women I think. I think we are conditioned in a way to always be competing with each other. So I’d say it was definitely jealousy but perhaps there trying to pick on a subject that they know is sensitive to you, to hurt you the most and make themselves feel better. Very sad all round really.
    Next time just say, ‘yeah I know I look fabulous don’t I?’ That will shut them up. xxx

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      I hope it does help, even if it’s just one person who reads it and knows that they aren’t alone and that it isn’t ok! Thanks for your comment I’m definitely going to try the thanks I look fabulous πŸ˜‰ x

  9. @alex_keno says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m slim and my Mum is too and I’ve found especially since having had children that I am always justifying my size. Weight fell off me after giving birth to the point where I looked awful and I struggled to gain weight despite eating loads. During this time I have had ‘lucky cow’ & ‘skinny bitch’ comments which I take with good humour but it’s not nice!

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      I’m sorry you have had it too. It’s nice to hear from other people and know that they don’t like it either. I don’t feel so silly for getting upset by them now. x

  10. I’m always so confused as to why anyone ever thinks its ok to make rude remarks about someone’s weight or size… So sorry you’ve had to face that πŸ™ I think this is a really important post… People need to be made aware as I think often the comments are probably made in jest, and people don’t realise how hurtful it can be. Keep going strong, lovely!

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      Thank you, I would never make a comment on someone’s size unless it was a compliment if a friend was dieting or towards a pregnant friends lovely bump. I’ve always been of the ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say’ camp. x

  11. Robyn says:

    It’s such a shame that people feel free to comment on each other’s sizes, because it’s an issue so many people (probably all of us) are sensitive about. It was brave of you to write about how these comments have made you feel and hopefully it’ll make people take stock if they think they are complimenting a person by commenting on how thin they are. #picknmix

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      Thank you, I haven’t dared to post this on my personal pages yet on Facebook as I’m sure there are people that will see it that have made the comments. x

  12. Talya says:

    I am skinny too and still get really irked when people kind of tell me in that annoying way – oh you’re so skinny! – like not in a complimentary way…it’s hard to pinpoint it. But it’s just how I am, my genetics, and I eat a truck load of food and cannot understand this strange reaction in people. Very annoying indeed #PickNMix

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      Thank you, nice to hear from another fellow slim person. I know what you mean it’s so hard to describe the comments, there is a definite undercurrent to them, even the ones that on the surface seem innocent x

  13. What a fab, insightful and thoughtful post. Well done for sharing your story. I am so sorry for what you went through and what you continue to go through. I always feel that if people can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything…. especially when said in front of the person! Some people don’t think and some people are just rude.

    From your picture in the corner, I can see that you are an absolutely stunning woman. You are gorgeous. So when people say they are just saying spiteful things cos they are jealous maybe they are! You are a beautiful woman inside and out. Maybe start to see yourself as slim and not skinny.

    Stay strong lovely πŸ™‚


    Gemma xx

    • MummyandMonkeys says:

      Thank you for your lovely comments πŸ™‚ I am definitely of the ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say’ camp. I really do need to start liking what I see in the mirror. x

  14. Well done for having the courage to write this post. And i’m sorry you had to go through this. In my opinion bullying is bullying, it doesn’t matter what the subject matter is. I too was bullied, not for my weight – but because I was born with a deformity meaning I have 4 toes on one foot and the whole right side of my body is smaller than my left side. It hurts having people say mean things about you. Well done for staying strong. #picknmix

  15. A lovely honest post! I didn’t get bullied about my weight but I do have red hair which caused a lot of trouble for me in school. I went through years of bullying because of it, and it made me really ill. It is such a shame that bullying is so common when it should be something that we all try and stop…especially for our little ones starting out in school. #picknmix

  16. Beauty comes from within. Always remember that. xoxoxo #picknmix

  17. Charlotte says:

    Thank you for sharing, it doesn’t seem like we can win either way, someone is always going to pick on something. I lost a load of weight (the healthy way) and I get comments from people saying “you look too skinny now” (i’m actually at a great range) “where have your boobs gone” etc etc and they act like just because your thinner they should be able to weigh in (see what I did there) and judge – well they can’t! chin up chicky you’re beautiful just the way you are! #Picknmix

  18. Silly Mummy says:

    You’re right, it isn’t right to do whether about being thin or overweight. I don’t get anything negative and I’m not unusually slim (just slim-normal), but I didn’t put on weight in pregnancy and didn’t show much, and I literally went back to normal immediately after the births. People will joke about it, but no one was nasty, but it is interesting because I avoid mentioning it to people who don’t know. Whenever I read anything relating to pregnancy weight gain, or feelings about body afterwards, or getting shape back, I avoid saying anything that indicates I didn’t have any problems because I think it would just annoy people or get a negative response. But it is silly really that you always think that way if you are on the thinner side – there really is no reason that you should feel like you can’t state the facts of your experience, it’s not judging anyone else, and every one else does it – but I do feel like I shouldn’t.

    Funnily enough, many moons ago when I wrote my dissertation, I also did that on discrepancies between how we look at people who are thin and people who are overweight. Specifically that sectioning and forced treatment is relatively common for anorexics, sometimes bulimics, but not compulsive eaters. All three are eating disorders, they are all the results of psychological problems, and they all damage health and can lead to death. But it is deemed right to view those who are starving themselves as incapable, but not those who are eating themselves to death. I mention it because I think it all stems from some similar thinking: that thin equals childlike and you can treat thin people as such, that thin equals vanity (rather than anorexics are very ill and it is not about being thin, and naturally thin people are just that way because they are) and therefore is ridiculous and to be scorned.

    Whilst I don’t dispute that some people have negative attitudes and say nasty things about people who are overweight, I agree with you – it’s done, but it is also regarded as bullying and not socially acceptable. Whereas comments about naturally thin people (and judgements of eating disorders like anorexia too) actually are not given much consideration at all – it seems fine to say what you like. #picknmix

  19. Im so sorry you had to go through that! πŸ™ i have always been skinny too and have never been able to put weight on. I get comments from some family members how they wished they had the same ‘problem’ as me and how i get laughed at for telling them i have put on a couple of lbs for me to just lose it again in a matter of days. But i have learnt to live with it. I was at my most comfortable when i was pregnant with my two children, as that was the only time i could gain weight. Just ignore the haters, they are probably just jealous anyway, you look very pretty in your photo πŸ™‚ #PinknMix

  20. This is such a relatable post to me. Just because someone is thin doesn’t make they need to be body confident. I would give anything to be able to put on weight quickly, but some people aren’t born that way and likewise for those who would like to lose weight faster than they do. I don’t think anybody should tell anybody whether they really are too slim, skinny, chubby, fat etc. Words can hurt an insane amount. Great post and enjoyed the read. #picknmix

  21. It’s so horrible how people feel they need to comment on other people’s looks all the time. It doesn’t matter what kind of person you are, the good deeds you do, if you’re too thin, or too fat, or not enough whatever you’re still fair game. I’ve had negative comments at my smallest (size 6), my biggest (size 24) and every point in between. Now I just kind of envy them – it must be great to have so little to worry about in life that you can put that excess energy into having a dig at strangers! πŸ™‚ #picknmix

  22. Tracey Abrahams says:

    People are often cruel, often insensitive. People should think long and hard before making ANY comment about another persons physical apearance. If the comment is not designed to be a compliment then it should probably not be said (there maybe cases where a close friend is worried about a sudden weight gain/loss etc and may sensitivly mention it).

  23. What a difficult post this must have been to write but it is so important for people to see the other side of the coin. It makes me so sad that no one stuck up for you when you were being bullied and you must have felt awful. I have a friend who is naturally very slim as well and she suffered similar comments and I have to say, I used to be so envious of her as I was always overweight. People just don’t see it as the same thing as teasing for being fat do they, more is the pity. Thanks for joining in with #sundaystars x Julia

  24. ERFmama says:

    It’s a shame that we are so obsessed with the looks I think. I wish there would be more focus on the inside instead of the outside you know? I think society as a whole is a shallow shallow pit of venom at times and it’s hard. Some times you just want to throw everything out the window, pick up the family and move to the Amazon to be honest. hehe

  25. Tracy Nixon says:

    I can totally relate to your post as I too was bullied at school for being then. I am still skinny now but have Crohn’s disease, which doesn’t help. I am either stared out now for being thin or people will say ‘I wish I had Crohn’s so I could lose weight’!!! That shocks me as I wouldn’t wish Crohn’s disease on my worst enemy. Some people just don’t think – school aged children are the worst as bullying can scar a person for life.

  26. Wow! I was exactly the same. I was bullied for being skinny at school too and then I had an unhealthy relationship with food too. At this stage I don’t really care what people say to me anymore. Really, it doesn’t bother me. I just don’t care. I have put on a bit of weight but if I can be thin then I can just need to work harder on being thin in a healthier way. But I don’t want to be thin. I am happy as I am. People words can hurt so much. Llife is short and I don’t want to live my life having to worry on what other people wants or feels I should be. They are very insignificant to me. The most important things in my life right now are my kids. Full stop. They don’t have to like me as they way I am – and I am fine with that. Live your life and I’ll live mind how I want to live. Don’t be so hard on yourself. People are just plain nasty. Big hugs. Xxx #PicknMix

  27. I really hate how some people feel they have the right to comment on someone’s appearance in a negative way. There is so much more to a person than how they look and what dress size they are, all the important parts are inside and can’t be measured! I think some people let jealousy get the better of them, but I for one never judge a person by looks, and think whatever size they are that’s their business!

    Stevie xx

  28. You poor thing, sounds awful I was bullied at school because I was clever and it took me a long time to get over it! Kids are cruel but adults should know better! I will be teaching my children all about bullying and the damage it can do. You are very brave for writing this as it sounds like many others have been through the same. I think you look gorgeous in your photo below Xx #picknmix

  29. lisa says:

    Wonderful words made me think x

  30. sophie says:

    Sounds like we experienced the same. I had school friends take the mick; even their mothers would encourage me to eat more cake to put some meat on me…a few of the reasons I decided to jump ship from an all girls school to join my friends at the boys school for sixth form!
    My mother has been consistently the worst culprit to date which is really sad. It must be due to some kind of bitterness and jealousy that people choose to bully people for being thin. I don’t like hearing myself or anyone else being called a skinny cow or the like because although it could be said in humour, to return it and say you fat cow would cause upset too.
    Great post πŸ™‚ xx

  31. Anon says:

    Hi. I remember been at a meeting in work last year and I was sitting beside my boss a very petite woman. Another manager just back from maternity leave sat down beside my manager . The other manager said to my manager, I never saw you pregnant , do you have any photos? My manager I could tell was hurt by this and said no. It looked like to me the other manager was saying I can’t believe you could get pregnant like I can and I want proof. My fear is that if she did have photos the lady would have bullied her more. I felt sorry for my manager as she was humiliated in front of a colleague she works with and made look inferior and weak. Another time while pregnant another female manager who also had kids told her she was as big as a house and went off laughing. Again my manager was upset and didn’t stand up for herself. On both occasions I doubt either gave any thought on the feelings of my manager.

  32. D Perez says:

    As being a naturally thin female my whole life I can completely relate. I was teased for being thin I was called “ugly”, ” skeleton” and that I had a little boy’s body. Middleschool was the worst and till this day ( I am 34 yrs old now) it still stings. What’s worse recently one of my co workers told me ” You look like Olive Oil in that outfit!” I couldn’t believe someone had the nerve to say something like that to me AS AN ADULT! I was embarrassed and just walked away. Everyday I still look in the mirror and wonder does everyone I meet think I’m anorexic? Or bulimic? I’m not! I eat every meal everyday and normal portions. It’s hard but I try to just keep my head up and know that I AM healthy and to not ever say anything negative to another person,because you never know how your words might impact a person.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I’m so sorry you had to go through all that. It’s horrible and no one should feel that pain. You’re beautiful and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
    I don’t like to think i’m ‘skinny’ but I get called it all the time by my family members. I laugh it off and pretend to fit in with their jokes but they don’t joke about it. I’m 23 now and everything I eat is monitored. I feel eyes staring at me from the moment I put food on the plate to the moment its all gone. My relationship with food has improved throughout the years. I was picked on by family & extended family when I was a ‘fat’ kid and still remember the tears like it was yesterday. In the last two years of high school I lost the weight and my relationship with food worsened just before starting university. I was at my thinnest due to problems going on in my life. When I started university I put some weight on and my relationship with food became so much better. Since then, i’ve remained a healthy weight but to others i’m ‘skinny’ and cause i’m the ‘thinnest’ in the family. I understand how upset you got but the truth is, people will always find ways to pick on others for their weight. They can NEVER be satisfied.

  34. Sarah M says:

    Having just got back from taking my kids to the play park where I was gawped at by two other mums, this is a subject that I am painfully aware of. I am of a naturally thin build and am also breastfeeding so struggling to keep the weight up. It’s very hard to ignore the shamers and like you this has opened old wounds. Looking at your recent pictures you look great. Can I ask how you have managed to put on the weight?

    Thank you!
    Sarah X

  35. Goodness says:

    I was bullied in secondary school for being thin so I never talked to people only those I was friends with which was just about 3 people they too made comments here and then my self esteem was 0.1 I hated my self I tried to eat so much that I usually feel sick eating more than I could take somtimes I just force my self to eat more than I could take. I tell my friends that there comments about my weight hurts but they take my hurts as a joke Then I looked forward to university for a new start but the same thing is happening I am am outcast only because I have no curves and look too young and skinny. It hurts but it’s fine I have zero confidence and am always self conscious

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