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Open Letter From a Fed-Up Skinny Girl

I swear to the HEAVENS, if I hear, “girl you need to eat” or “why you goin’ to the gym” or “you need some meat on them bones, your man ain’t gone have nothing to hold onto” one more friggin time, I’m gonna scream!

I’m 5’2” tall and 34 years old with two children and the most I’ve weighed in my LIFE (outside of pregnancy) was 135 pounds (that was after I gave birth to my daughter Phoenix. The weight disappeared when I stopped nursing). So, let me set the record straight… YES, I’m small. YES, I know this. Why do people always feel the need to remind me of it? I look at myself in the damn mirror at least once every day, and I sometimes pass it a hundred times on one of my “damn I’m fine days”. 

But seriously… I wanted to write a letter to all of those people who think that it’s ok to point out to a skinny person that they’re skinny.

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Dear YOU:

I grew up in the South with cornbread fed girls whose bodies defied the laws of science. I was the knock-kneed nerd with glasses who couldn’t find her breasts and booty with a magnifying glass. (Sometimes I still have to look for them.) I KNOW  I’m the minority. Especially since I’ve resided in one of the country’s most obese states for my ENTIRE life.

I’ve been called flat-chested, boney, tiny, lil’ bitty, and a plethora of other things since puberty. Hell, well into adulthood. So, I promise you that I get it.

I go out in public and people tell me I need to eat. They ask why I’m in the gym when I’m already skinny. They tell me my husband needs something to grab onto. (Yeah, I had to say that one again, because, I mean, how offensive is that?)

But I am speaking for all of the skinny girls out there when I say this:

What you ain’t gon’ do is keep projecting your own insecurities onto me. How would you feel if I walked up to you and asked you why you aren’t in the gym, or if I told you that maybe you need to push back from the table sometimes? Would you take it quietly if I said that your husband may have a hard time finding what he’s trying to get to?

You’d be ready to fight. You’d threaten to paint the walls with my lil’ ass. You’d yell and scream and tell me that I had some nerve talking to you like that.

So why in the hell do you think that it’s ok for you to come at me or any small woman like that?

I go to the gym because I value my health. Working out is about more than losing weight. I can actually gain when I lift weights. I eat more than most grown men. But my metabolism is on steroids and always has been (blame my parents for that one). I’m not excited to be a grown-ass woman buying my bras in the little girls’ section because they don’t make them in my size for adults. And my husband… well, let’s just say there are no complaints on him having enough to hold onto. So there!

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I get so tired of women talking out of the side of their necks to me because of my size. Would you walk up to a woman who was overweight and say, “Ooh girl, let me refer you to my personal trainer”? Nope. Would you slap the turkey leg out of someone’s hand who’s had several helpings at a buffet and tell them “you’ll thank me later”? Nope.

So back the hell off! For real! If You want to help me, tell me something I don’t know, like I have a booger in my nose or my ‘fro is lopsided. Tell me there’s lipstick on my teeth or tuck my tag back into my shirt. Or better yet… tell me I’m beautiful and you like my shoes. Tell me I have a pretty smile or a good spirit.

Raise me up. Don’t judge me, especially on some shit I have no control over.

I bet you didn’t know that I was fed Ensure when I was a teenager because they were trying to “fatten me up,” or that I had to drink a gallon of that nasty mess every day when I was pregnant because my metabolism was so high my child couldn’t get enough nutrients no matter how much I ate. That people think that my daughter is my sister and that her little sister is her child. I bet you didn’t know I was teased and bullied because I was so tiny? Add being smart to that mix and I was the poster child for swirlies and the butt of jokes.

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Yes, Pygmies can give birth to Amazons

Now, I know there are some skinny girls who are really mean, but not all of us are looking for the opportunity to hurt and humiliate someone, and frankly, I don’t like them mean skinny bitches, either. But you have to see that there’s more to them than being skinny. They’re just mean, insecure people who want to make someone else feel bad. Kinda like you do when you say something like “here baby, have a sandwich” to a slim girl just because she’s slim. Don’t repeat the cycle. Don’t be a part of the problem.

Women have a hard enough rap. Why are we trying to uplift ourselves by stepping on the faces of other women? Just stop it! No, really, STOP IT! If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Let’s try to make that the new trend.

Or… don’t be offended when I come back with some equally disrespectful retort. Or maybe I’ll just counter with an “I love you” or “you’re beautiful.” But that will truly depend on the kind of day I’m having.

Consider yourself warned.

Sincerely,

A Fed-Up Skinny Girl (I prefer the term Slim Thick, by the way)

Joi

About the author

Joi Miner is a 35-year-old wife and mother from Montgomery, AL (currently residing in Birmingham, AL). She began her career as a performance poet and motivational speaker in 2000 and has since founded Poetic Advisory, LLC and has made a name for herself, not only in poetry, but in fiction, as well. She has four poetry collections, nine novels, and several anthology publications under her belt. Find out more about Joi Miner at www.joiminer.com.

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