Be healthy, not skinny

Girls everywhere have an ideal body image that they want to achieve. Most girls want to lose weight and be skinny like a supermodel, and some girls will try to achieve that image no  matter the cost. I have the body that many girls wish for, but I’m here to tell you that being this skinny–barely underweight–isn’t all that.

Being skinny is a pain in the butt, quite literally. It is very hard for me to find a comfortable way to sit at times because I’m so skinny. On top of that, people always complain when I sit on them because they can feel my bones. I have rib pain because I am so skinny that my  muscles get squeezed between my ribs. There are times when I pull up my sleeves and my “funny bone” gets brushed because there’s not much there protecting it.

Not only am I skinny, but I have certain things that, I am told, many women try to achieve and are jealous of. I once had a friend in Okinawa who told me she was jealous of my thigh gap. I looked at her confusedly and asked her what a thigh gap was, and she told me it was the little gap between my thighs. I looked down and noticed I had a gap between my thighs… I had never noticed before!

Why had I never noticed? Because it’s insignificant. It doesn’t make me more or less beautiful. It’s just there. It made me feel weird and unhealthy! There is no reason to be jealous of girls who have a little gap between their thighs.

I have tried for years to gain weight so that I could be healthy. The only thing that has ever helped me to gain weight has been going to the gym. Why is it that I gain weight when I go to the gym? Because being skinny was a sign of ill health and working out gave me muscle which made me healthier.

Ladies, be happy with the body you have and don’t be jealous of someone just because they’re skinny. We shouldn’t be looking at a photo shopped image of beauty. Instead, look at the  beauty that God has given to you. Some people are naturally heavier and some people are naturally lighter, and that’s how we’re meant to be. If you ever aim to achieve anything with your body, aim to go to the gym and maintain a healthy body. Don’t look at a starved, anorexic model as the image to achieve. It’s not fun to have no fat on your body: trust me. The ideal body image is different for every person, so you shouldn’t hold yourself to someone else’s standards.

Be healthy, not skinny.

Shafer is a junior majoring in biblical and theological studies. She can be reached at ShaferZ@jbu.edu.