The Truth And Lies About Being Skinny
I am often asked if I’ve been skinny all my life and my response is always a resounding “Yes, except when I was a baby.” Until one time, a friend laughed at the thought of an underweight baby and that’s when I realized my default answer was stupid.
Chubby, fat, overweight, malaman, however way you put it—girls, or everyone in general, will always have something to say about body image and I thought maybe I should speak for us from the other end of the spectrum. Here are a few that I'll debunk or confirm:
WE WANT TO GAIN WEIGHT.
Lie. This was only true for me at some point in my childhood, when my father dear was so obsessed with making me gain weight; so I really thought I needed to. It was only when I grew up and realized that all, if not most, fathers are really that way, and have a natural inclination to feed their offspring. It’s such a revelation, right?
My father also admitted later on that he didn’t really care if I was underweight, as long as I’m healthy and I don’t get sick. Which brings me to the next point…
WE ARE WEAK.
Half-truth, half-lie. I say this only because I know of people bigger than me in size who are weak. I find out in instances like opening a sliding door, pushing a cabinet, or unscrewing the cap of a bottled drink.
But to be honest, I believe that inner strength has a lot to do with it, too. Like at times I only appear strong because my willpower is great or I’m hyped by the situation and I feel like I can totally conquer anything—but physically can't.
WE CAN EAT ALL WE WANT AND STILL MAINTAIN OUR FIGURE (OR LACK OF IT).
Super lie. This is not true at all. I can name all the skinny friends I have met in my life and I will now: Julian, Cez, Joanna, Hannah, Lorraine, my cousins Jacine and Meggy, and they are all living proof that we are not fat-immune human beings.
While I don’t think any of my friends have become overweight or are near to that, I just know that say, for example, they eat rice and bread (we love bread!) more than they should, it will show. I also know that from being skinny-that-people-want-to-feed-all-the-time, one can gain weight to the point that they still look slim, but okay enough for people will leave them alone and stop offering them food.
As for me, I have first-hand experience as well. When I eat fries or chips, I really, really feel it staying in my tummy for a long, long time, like I’m having trouble digesting or getting rid of it. It’s true!!! Same goes for instant noodles. That’s why I’ve stopped eating instant ramen no matter how much the K-dramas are tempting me to because the noodles only go straight to my puson!!!
WE LOOK GOOD IN ANYTHING.
Ultimate truth. Just kidding!!! Well, I think the proper way to put it is, skinny people are supposedly easier to dress but only because of the fact that the fabric will just fall the way it should naturally and skinny girls function as human hangers. That’s the reason why high fashion brands hire super skinny supermodels, right?
But looking good is an entirely different story and the real world isn’t made up of everything couture. There will always be the right cut, fabric, et cetera, that would suit each body type best, so it’s totally untrue to say we look good in anything—because we're skinny. I'd rather we're told we look good in anything because we really look good, period, (LOLJK!) or because we style ourselves well.
WE DON’T NEED TO EXERCISE FOR LIFE.
Truth. Well, if it’s to get thin, I guess it’s true because the skinny friends I know don't actually exercise and they look the same. But that’s just my basis okay so please don’t bash me.
If it’s to get healthy, then no, it’s a total, absolute lie. We’re humans, too and we definitely need exercise to be healthy. In college I used to commute to school each day (one trike, three to four jeepneys, and then long walks around campus) and to my first job, too (one trike, two jeepneys, a two-hour train ride, and a 15-minute walk to the office). I could say I was super healthy then because of all the walking, moving up and about, and the daily, physical fights I've always had with fellow commuters. But when I got a job near my house, I honestly felt my health deteriorate, especially in terms of stamina and immunity, because the times I would walk in a day were significantly less. So yes, I had to come up with an ~exercise routine~ of sorts to bring back my healthy self.
WE DON’T GET HIT BY THE RAINDROPS.
True. My father would say I don’t need to bring an umbrella because I’m so thin, the raindrops would miss me. I found out this was semi-true. If I would be strategic, I could totally miss the raindrops. Just kidding! Well, actually, if it’s just a pre-rain shower, yes, I can hardly feel it touching me.
But of course if there’s rain or it’s really pouring, I get drenched too, like the rest of you. So please don’t hog the experience.
Cover photo by Miguel Alomajan.