Fat and skinny shaming isn’t cool

When I was skinny people used to call me names. Names that made my illness worse. People hissed names about me under their breathe like skinny bitch. Hearing it made me eat less. People would tell me I looked ‘rank’ and would never be pretty. That too made me eat less. People used to trip me up in corridors laughing and spluttering praise at who it was to ‘tap’ the skeleton. That again made me eat less. People used to not bother holding doors open for me because I was the ugly, invisible one. That made me eat a lot less. Feel less. Less worthy, less deserving of care and appreciation, less human and whole. My anorexia filled that whole, starving myself was my coping mechanism to deal with all the crap in my life. I was still human, still worthy and I still had emotions, feelings. I may have looked empty but I was full to the brim with guilt, fear and pain. The people that used to treat me differently because of the illness I developed I have no time for now. Perhaps if they didn’t call me names I may have recovered sooner. Perhaps if they didn’t treat me differently I would have suffered less bullying. Perhaps if they understood that what they were doing was making me worse they may have stopped.

 

The reason behind this message:

If someone is skinny, if someone is ill, if someone has an eating disorder you should treat them with as much respect as anyone else. I think people need to realise the power of their words/actions and what effect they can have on those like myself who for 6+ years wanted and was desperate to recover but was never encouraged by her peers (at the time) to feel worthy enough of it. The truth is everyone is worthy of recovery, food, happiness, friends, family, passions, dreams. So the next time you hear/see someone fat or skinny shaming someone don’t just stand to watch/listen. Stare at them directly in the eyes, tell them it’s wrong, that they should stop, explain why, educate them.

 

People now hold the door open for me, people now tell me I look pretty, people now smile at me in corridors... but really people always should have done that. Fat/skinny shaming is not cool and from personal experience it was kindness and encouragement from others that helped me to eat again. When people began treating me in a healthy way it motivated me to be healthy. When people began to care about me, it inspired me to care about myself too. When people stopped bullying me it helped me to stop bullying myself with them. You can have a positive or negative impact on someone’s recovery and it’s your choice which one you choose.

 Photography by: Ansa Gohar

Photography by: Ansa Gohar

EducationalMargherita Barbieri