I Love My Skinny Body

(c) Sea of Shoes

[Monthly Columnist – Rebekah Snyder] – Please don’t judge me for my skinny body.

“Oh my gosh, Rebekah, you are sooo skinny!”

She said it like it was a compliment. As if she had called me cute or gorgeous or some other word that could lift a wounded spirit or brighten a woman’s day.

But no, she called me “skinny,” which isn’t a compliment at all. On the contrary, my dictionary describes skinny as,

“lacking sufficient flesh; very thin; emaciated; lacking usual or desirable bulk, quantity, qualities or significance.”

And you wonder why I felt insulted.

Even though I knew it was meant to be a compliment—even though there were girls who would love to have my figure—when I heard the word “skinny,” I considered the definition.

Undesirable.

Lacking significance.

So I taught myself not to care about my appearance.

I didn’t wear make-up and, somehow, I managed to convince myself that the reason I didn’t spend time in front of the mirror was because I was secure. But looking back, I have to wonder if it didn’t have at least something to do with all the comments about my figure.

Maybe I was avoiding looking at myself because I would have to be reminded…

I was small—too small—and, curse my metabolism, there was nothing I could do about it.

I was helpless to stop the (teasing) rumors that I was probably anorexic. I had no way of disproving the comment that,

“there are sticks with more shape than me.”

And if I had a dollar for every time someone told me I could blow away in a windstorm…

I could probably stock up on comfort food for a year.

It still wouldn’t add an inch to my waistline.

I’m not sure how it happened that I related the familiar creation story of Genesis to the girl in the mirror, but the words hit me one day as I caught a glimpse of my reflection.

“And God saw that it was good.”

Me.

My face.

My body.

My skinny, little self.

Good. My skinny body was good. Not just good enough. Not merely passable, but good.

I considered this impossibility for a moment before I heard a Voice in my spirit ask,

“Who are you to judge My artwork? Who are you to define what beautiful is? Who are you to say that any one flower is less perfect than the next? That any one human is prettier than another?”

And I realized that every time I looked in the mirror and decided that what I saw wasn’t good enough, it wasn’t a reflection on me; it was a reflection on Him—the Master Artist.

He formed my every feature.

From the excess skin under my eyes that would identify me as my dad’s daughter to the slight webbing of my toes that proves I’m related to my mom. He’s the one who shaped my figure, making it smaller than most.

I’m the handiwork of an extremely talented Artist who shapes the world in a variety of ways because He knows that life would be so boring if every single person was the same.

With that in mind, I can finally look in the mirror and say that I like—genuinely like—what I see.

Because God didn’t make me “skinny.”

I’m exactly what He planned and desired for me to be. The simple fact that God spoke me into being proves that I have great significance. And no matter what else may be said about me, that’s what I choose to believe.

Rebekah Snyder finally hit a hundred pounds at the age of sixteen. It was perhaps one of her finest moments. Well, that and the day her fist book, Beyond Waiting, actually got published. She spends her days herding preschoolers and pouring her heart into various writing venues. You can read more of her words at www.beyondwaiting.com.

17 comments on “I Love My Skinny Body”

  1. Lola says:

    Thanks for sharing such a beautiful experience. I didn’t break 100 pounds until I was 21 years old.

    1. Rebekah Snyder says:

      You and Becky both? I’m starting to feel like I’m on the pudgy side of skinny. 😉 But you know what, weight isn’t an issue. The simple fact of the matter is that we were all created beautiful–regardless of our body shape. Glad you were blessed!

  2. Becky says:

    I resonate with this a lot! As some one who has also been the “skinny” one. I don’t think I hit 100lbs until I was in college and I’m 5’6″! But like you, I learned that God created me and I am His design! Thank you for sharing, Rebekah!

    1. Rebekah Snyder says:

      Yeah, it would be best if people would keep the body shape comments to themselves. Tell me I’m beautiful, and I’m good with that, but don’t assume that skinny is a compliment. Of course, we shouldn’t assume that it’s an insult either.

  3. I love this, so much. I used to dread visiting my relatives because my uncle always called me ‘skinny minnie’ in front of everyone and made fun of how lanky I was. And all my parents and friends made comments all.the.time. I didn’t even let myself own a pair of shorts until I was probably 21 or 22 because I was so embarrassed about how thin my legs were. And this meant that I refused to participate in ANY extracurricular activities because I didn’t want to have to wear shorts in front of people. Thankfully, at age 24, I finally [suddenly] love them. But seriously. No one understands how “omg you’re so tiny!!!!!” can dig into your heart in a negative way. Thank you so much for writing.

    1. Wow Lauren. Thanks for sharing.

    2. Rebekah Snyder says:

      Sometimes our relatives should just keep their mouths shut, as they tend to be the ones who say the most degrading things. Sorry for all your unhappy family reunions, but I’m so glad you’ve learned to embrace your beautiful body.

  4. I can really relate to this post too. I used to be told alllll the time how I was so skinny and also asked if I was anorexic. People did NOT mean it as a compliment either. Used to be embarrassed by my “chicken legs” too, and now they are also one of my favorite parts of my body! they don’t look so chicken-y anymore, but they are long and thin and healthy 🙂 thanks for a wonderfully crafted post Rebekah!

    1. Rebekah Snyder says:

      Sometimes it’s all I can do not to respond sarcastically to some of the comments I’ve received. “Am I anorexic? No. Did you get locked in a dessert truck?” It just amazes me that people feel like they can get by with calling me “skinny,” but if I were to tell them they were looking a little pudgy, that would be offensive. As long as you’re healthy, that’s all that matters.

  5. Glad to see the “skinny side” of body image issues. I am 32 with 3 young boys and I get people asking me if I’m sick and wanting to pray for me because I’m so thin. It’s awkward and I’ve often wondered why it’s ok to talk about a person’s skinnyness and not ok to talk about any one else’s weight.

    1. Thanks so much for commenting. If you would ever like to share your story please let me know!!

    2. Rebekah Snyder says:

      Yeah, it gets old after awhile. I wonder if your all-too-concerned friends know that God is already well aware of your “problem.” 😉

  6. AMEN!!! This is totally me. I was looking forward to the Freshman Fifteen but I lost weight in college. When I moved out on my own, Mom suggested I use a calorie counter app–just to be sure I’m getting enough. You wouldn’t walk up to someone who’s overweight and say, “You’re so fat” so why is it ok to say “You’re so skinny” to someone underweight?

  7. Lauren Saggio says:

    i love this. thank u! i need this, because i know i’m beautiful by god’s key, but it’s hard when the world is so critical..

  8. Maria says:

    I go through the same thing and I haven’t hit 100 yet but ik soon I will bc I’ve seen improvements on my thighs I’m still not confident enough to wear leggings outside of the house bc of what people will think. In family reunions all I hear is that I’m skinny and it makes me feel bad about myself they don’t understand the struggle it is to hear it eveyday. This post really helped me alot thank you

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