I am a skinny and tall girl and I do not automatically feel beautiful when I look in the mirror. Amplified by the obsession with the underweight supermodels of the eighties, weight confidence issues have been associated more with overweight girls and much less with skinny girls. American culture has idolized stick-thin and tall girls because of the association with the fashion industry and has condemned overweight and naturally large girls for not fitting this vision of beauty. The body image movement recently gained momentum when famous people began spreading messages of confidence across social media and writing them into songs. One problem is that our culture doesn’t know how to build up the confidence of one body type without putting another one down. For instance, when Meghan Trainor wrote the hit single, “All About that Bass,” she tried to promote curves by shaming skinny girls. She said that curvy girls should feel good about themselves because “boys like a little more booty to hold at night.”
When I complain about my body, I am shut down. I am told that I’m “not even fat” or that I “don’t get to complain.” When I was around twelve, I was coaxed into wearing bikinis by my friends because I had the “best stomach in the group.” If they were wearing them then I should have been, too. I couldn’t be the shy girl that I had been for a majority of my childhood, but I was instead more exposed and had to build up a defense. Although many people think it is easier for skinny girls to feel beautiful, I feel left out when I don’t have the curves I see in the media. Beauty is about how comfortable you feel in your body, not how much you conform to billboards.
It’s easy to say that I am ungrateful for my body, or that I shouldn’t be complaining about beauty, but I disagree. I recognize that larger girls have a harder time feeling welcomed by today’s fashion standards, but body positivity movements often fail to realize that skinny girls can feel unfortable as well. Body positivity should be for everyone.