Last night I went for dinner with my best friend, Ben. Since childhood we have both been plagued with ‘being skinny’. We got into a conversation about how overlooked the issues of being skinny can be. This isn’t going to be a post where I compare my own (or indeed our own) suffering to the injustice in history because I am well aware of how ridiculous that would be. It’s just a personal bug bear, it just grinds my gears, and that’s what this blog is here for.
Ben said last night that he would consider both of us to be of an athletic build, which I completely agree with. The fact of the matter is that on the Body Mass Index we both come in as being slightly underweight but who is to say that’s such a terrible thing.
The key difference between being underweight and being overweight is that people feel they have every right to tell you that you look thin, or to tell you that they want to feed you up but I could never approach someone who was medically obese and say to them “oh, I’d love to take you for a run and get some stuffed vine leaves down you” because apparently that’s not acceptable. I don’t understand what the difference is. There are a variety of reasons that people are overweight and some of these could be down to deep-seated psychological issues but could the same not be said of underweight people? As it goes Ben and I have a perfectly good relationship with food, you should have seen us put away a mixed grill and a rainbow trout last night followed by dessert. That doesn’t change the fact that there are some people who are underweight and it isn’t just because they are of a slight frame, they have the same psychological issues with food; albeit at the opposite end of the spectrum, as an overweight person.
So next time you are confronted by gaunt cheekbones and sunken eyes have a quick think about what they would say about you if they felt they had free reign over their condemnation of your appearance.