No, I am not underweight; you're just used to seeing lots of plump people.

I’ve heard all the “what are you, anorexic?” comments as well. I agree that telling someone how skinny they are is just as dumb and insensitive as saying they are a tub of lard.

However, the important thing to keep in mind is that most people don’t understand how that could be seen as rude and insensitive. We live in a society where being thin is not just a health issue, it is the ideal standard of beauty. It’s a standard that is perpetuated by the media, and it’s completely unfair. Unless this beauty standard changes, many people will continue to believe that skinniess=anorexia, even when it’s just a person’s natural body type.

That’s why I take comments like that as neither an insult nor a compliment. I just shake my head and move on.

I’ve heard all the “what are you, anorexic?” comments as well. I agree that telling someone how skinny they are is just as dumb and insensitive as saying they are a tub of lard.

However, the important thing to keep in mind is that most people don’t understand how that could be seen as rude and insensitive. We live in a society where being thin is not just a health issue, it is the ideal standard of beauty. It’s a standard that is perpetuated by the media, and it’s completely unfair. Unless this beauty standard changes, many people will continue to believe that skinnyness=anorexia, even when it’s just a person’s natural body type.

That’s why I take comments like that as neither an insult nor a compliment. I just shake my head and move on.

I have a unique viewpoint to all of this.

I grew up a stick, I mean I was a damn twig! My brother had the same problem. Both of us were tall and all legs. I couldn’t gain for nothin’ and I ate like a horse during my high school years. I had one teacher pull me side and ask the inevitable anorexia questions to which I answered I wasn’t as she smirked and cocked her head at me is disbelief.

It’s been 11 years since that happened and my metabolism has changed. I had a child and I am now considered overweight. I don’t miss being so thin but I would like to lose some. I’ve gotten “heavy” comments but I admit I got more when I was a stick.

I was embarrassed to wear shorts (my twiggy legs were knock-kneed in grade school) and while dating the same guy throughout high school, I would wear an extra layer of clothing under my jeans (leggings usually) to make my legs appear not so thin even during the summer. He asked me a few times why I did that but I never answered truthfully.

I hated my ribs and hipbones poking out, and I definitely don’t miss that but I do need to lose some weight. If I could find that balance, I’d be happy.

I think people need to mind their own business on either end of the scale.

Google Phrase:
“Too Thin” 34,800 Hits
“Too Fat” 90,200 Hits

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Damn. I do need to eat more.

There are various reasons for having stopped or irregular menstruation. Like you said, some of the women are anorexic, others exercise heavily. It can also be the result of being underweight or having low body fat. This does not mean the person is “potentially an anorexic in denial”. There are healthy, thin females who eat properly yet have stopped/irregular menstruation. This anorexic comment and others like it seem to insinuate that thin people must have an eating disorder, that something must be wrong with them for being underweight. Some people are just thin.

Zhora, I didn’t mean it quite like that. But I stand by the general sense of the remark.

Phrasing things carefully - if you’ve stopped menstruating due to low body fat and
a) you aren’t aware of a good reason for dropping below menstruation weight
and also
b) you don’t think you have a weight problem, or worse, think you could lose weight still
then, well, quite possibly you do have a problem.

I would dispute that it is possible for a young woman to be completely healthy and eating properly and also to have have stopped menstruation - with the exception of extreme sports training. The form of ill health may vary, it may be nothing at all to do with an eating disorder, it may be a menstrual disorder or another illness.

Look, having had a schoolfriend hospitalised for anorexia, all the while protesting that she was too fat and needed to lose weight, I have seen the denial right there in action. It happens, and I think it happens quite a lot. Seriously underweight is NOT healthy. There IS something wrong with it. Just as seriously overweight is not healthy - we all know the deal there, heart disease, diabetes etc etc.

The problem seems to come in with defining and recognising “serious”. And perhaps, as suggested in the OP, our ability to recognise serious levels of underweight have been warped by the “obesity epidemic”. It’s indeed wrong to suggest that there’s something wrong with people who are in the healthy range, and extremely rude to go round lecturing strangers on their bodies. With friends, though, it can be simple concern.

No, never, I’ve never gotten the “you’re too skinny” remark from gays. Then again, there’s a whole set of reasons for that.

And besides, if anything, gays are hyper-concious about physical appearance, and frown on any tendency to be overweight, so perhaps I’m thinking stereotypically.

No, never, I’ve never gotten the “you’re too skinny” remark from gays. Then again, there’s a whole set of reasons for that.

And besides, if anything, gays are hyper-concious about physical appearance, and frown on any tendency to be overweight, so perhaps I’m thinking stereotypically.

I’ve found over time that there is almost no way to make comments on a person’s weight that does not risk offending them. When I was slightly overweight, I got comments, and now that I’m underweight, I get comments. The only difference is, the comments are a whole lot more frequent and mean-spirited than when I was slightly overweight. However, I’ve not had the experience of being seriously overweight, and I know people in that situation suffer the most by far.

Maybe someone at work was right when they once said to a third party: “Shut the fuck up about people’s weight and focus on work. No wonder the economy sucks!” :slight_smile:

Cajela.

Now that you add item b), I do agree that the person has a severe body image problem.

I have spoken with an ob/gyn about it and was told that a thin person can have stopped/irregular menstruation due to low body fat and still be healthy. That is my source. The reason why athletes and thin people are affected is low body fat, that is all. There is no other “form of ill health” necessarily present.

I am sorry to hear that your friend suffered from anorexia. I understand why you have such strong feelings on this issue.