Stop Demonizing “Skinny”

Make no mistake, thin isn’t good enough.

Heather M. Edwards
7 min readSep 26, 2019


All rights © Gesina Kunkel

Thin women do not glide through life unscathed by impossible beauty standards any more than they slide under a door like an envelope. Although women who don’t see themselves as thin often lob this unsolicited metaphor at “skinny bitches”.

No one is more critical of thin women than women who do not see themselves as thin. Too many women think that labeling skinny as an “impossible” beauty standard is as justified as shaming the “fake” women who “attain” the apparently unattainable. And that it rights the wrongs caused by fat-shaming. Like old-school comedians, they think “punching up” isn’t bad manners. Because we’re so lucky to be thin! We’ve never struggled against a single insecurity, endured any ridicule, self-doubt, rejection or clothes that don’t fit, right? Life is but a dream.

Just as not-thin women think thin women are magically and wholly exempted from society’s beauty standards for women, they simultaneously think they are exempted from adhering to a basic rule — never talk to a woman about her weight. Yes — this includes women whose weight you might envy.

And why might women turn against each other? Because they feel threatened by perceived competition. And they resent the advantages they assume thin women all uniformly have. They think thin is all that men want. And they forget just how many things we humans judge and criticize each other for — weight is not the only fodder for ridicule.

However, I have yet to hear one man describe his dream woman by dress size. Or weight. Those are numbers that women obsess over — not men.

I have not been friends with many men who filter anything they say. Our friend groups tend to be no-nonsense enclaves where few topics are off-limits and dirty laundry is aired like the weather or sports scores. Yet in the twenty-some years that I’ve enjoyed uncensored conversations about what matters most to us I have yet to meet a man who even knows women’s dress sizes, let alone mated accordingly. Hourglass, yes. Hip-to-waist ratio, yes. Bust/waist/hip measurements, yes. Cup size, yes. They are attracted to women they find beautiful, not the number on a label in a dress they just want to take off.